Posted on November 23, 2014

Innovative and cutting-edge technologies were the highlight of the two-day 3rd Annual Middle East Smart Cities Summit, including exclusive pre-conference masterclass workshops, as insightful presentations and  discussions at the event came to a close on Wednesday, 19 November 2014, at the Intercontinental Doha – The City Hotel (pictured) in Qatar.

Organized by Fleming Gulf – one of the leading providers of business intelligence through industry specific conferences, webinars and skills enhancement training courses and organisers of market-leading conferences across the GCC – the summit was well-attended by over  150+ delegates from across the region and beyond. With valuable inputs from some of the leading experts and authorities in smart city developments, the summit also focused on key issues and concerns that were of great importance to Municipalities and Government Authorities, public services and sectorial authorities, urban planners, architects and consulting firms, universities and research institutes, banks and investment hubs, with system integrators and technology providers.

“Clearly, this third edition of the summit was another success,” said Jason Mendonca, Production Head – Utilities of Fleming Gulf. “The highly informative presentations as well as the lively interactive discussions proved how important this summit is to the aspirations and objectives of several countries in this region towards the development of smart cities. “The revelations made in the presentations have indeed provided precious information to participants, and will surely prove extremely useful towards the achievement of sustainable, environment-friendly and futuristic urban centers,” he added. “We look forward to organizing the 4th Annual Summit next year and facilitating the exchange and delivery of even more valuable information to our target audiences.”

Among the key speakers at the event included Mansoor Al Malki, Director of Information Systems Department of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, Qatar; Dr. Wissam El Hamra, Lead Transportation Modeler, Transportation and Infrastructure Planning Department of the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Qatar; Eng. Nasser Rashid E R Al-Kuwari, Head of Engineering Information System, The Public Works Authority Ashghal; Tareq Alemadi, Head of Information Technology at Qatar National Food Security Programme; Saleh A. Mubarak, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil & Architectural Engineering at the College of Engineering of Qatar University; and Dr. Rainer Schnepfleitner, Regulation Affairs and Competition, Department Manager CRA, Qatar.

In addition, the other distinguished speakers were Tuomas Koskenranta, Founder & Chairman of COBA Middle East FZCO; Eng. Mohamed Jaber, Director of MEP Engineering, Design Division at KEO International Consultants, Qatar; George Galica, Head of Business Solutions at Vodafone Qatar; Eng. Zeina Nazer; Secretary General and Smart Cities Working Group Chair of ITS Arab, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Dr. Nagwa El-Shenawi, Under Secretary for Information & Strategic Planning at the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, Egypt; and Husamettin Baskaya, Senior Regional Director MENA, Websense.

Qatar Airways Baku

The sessions at the two-day summit included ‘Vision to Smart Cities’, ‘The ICT Segment’, ‘Smart Cities in Business from the Pioneers’, ‘Inventing the Wheel’, and ‘Connecting Smart Cities’. Within these sessions were two panel discussions on ‘Breaking through Tools for developing Smart City Business Models’ and ‘Master Planners of Policy’.

The key topics discussed within the first day sessions of the Summit were ‘Official Statistics and Smart Cities in Qatar’, ‘Less Traffic Congestion Using Smart Route Choice’, ‘M2M Project Opportunities and Market Potential’, ‘New Innovations in ICT to Enable the “Smart Elements” in Future Smart Cities in trade’, ‘Automation infrastructure – Challenges and future growth prospects in the region’, ‘Regulatory and Policy Framework Changes towards Smart ROI‘s’, ‘Successful Implementation and Integration of all automation, metering, security & Safety Systems – Paving the path to a fully Inter operable Smart City’, ‘Smart Cities: Increasing the human security IQ in A digitally connected world’, and ‘Sustainable Approach to Lighting Design in Buildings’.

On the second and final day, the topics focused on ‘Intelligent designs of service and Systems for Smart Cities through Telecommunications’, ‘Smart Cities and Behavior Change’, ‘National Food Security Program’, ‘The role of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS ) in managing traffic safety, security and congestion’, and ‘Measuring happiness in cities - big city glitter’.

On the other hand, the exclusive pre-conference Masterclass workshops covered an ‘Introduction to LEED v4’ conducted by Hamoda Youssef, Research Specialist and Consultant at the Qatar Green Building Council, and ‘A Primer on Smart Cities: Characteristics, Infrastructure, KPI‘s and Data Analytics: What/Why/How’ presented by Dr. Sekhar Kondepudi, Vice-Chair for the Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) developing global standards, and Associate Professor – Smart Buildings at the National University of Singapore.

To mark the close of the summit, the closing remarks was delivered by the Event Chairperson Ebrahim Al Haddad, Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for the Arab States Telecommunication Development Bureau, Republic of Egypt.

The two-day summit was supported by Vodafone as Headline Sponsor; Coba as Platinum Smart Inter-Operable Cities Partner; Reign as Smart BMS Solutions Partner;  Lonix as Smart Building Connectivity Partner; Granlund as Smart Energy Logistics Partner; EXI lights as Smart Lighting Solutions Partner;  Simply City as Smart City Integration Platform Partner; KSENOS as Smart City Video Surveillance Partner; Qatar Green Building Council as Official Green Building Partner and QPM as Project Management Partner.

Other sponsors & partners included amplex, websense, Fratello Holding Limited, axxon, 6Sigmea and Logos networking as Silver Sponsors. In addition, ITS Arab was the Supporting Partner and Al Emadi Solar was the Exhibiting Partner with Kinetic being the Official Freight Partner and ESNA and OSGP Alliance the Association Partners.