Last week’s Arab Future Cities Summit held in Dubai hosted over 350 of the region’s senior government officials, city stakeholders, leading technologists and experts on sustainability who gathered to discuss the key issues and challenges relating to smart urban development.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has made it his stated aim to transform Dubai into a Smart City, with his directive incorporating 100 key initiatives around the key pillars of society, mobility, economy, communication, governance and the environment. The emirate is gearing up for hosting the World Expo 2020 and it is expected that Dubai will be a fully integrated metropolis by then, enabling millions of residents, tourists, and business visitors to appreciate the advantages of such a network. Ultimately, the city aims to be in the top 10 of the world’s most sustainable cities, providing a highly connected, technology-centric environment that prioritises the optimisation of resources.
As PR professionals in Dubai, the aspect of the city’s development that will probably affect us the most are the initiatives around communication, with the advances that are anticipated elevating our industry to a new level of dynamism. Fast and high-capacity communication networks will enable us to send high resolution images to editors instantly, wherever we are. We will no longer have to scrabble around trying to find Internet access at an event or wait until we reach the office, as coverage will be universal, including parks beaches and other public spaces.
Enhanced cloud services will help us store and retrieve data effortlessly, as well as reducing the overall cost of ownership of infrastructure significantly. In fact, one cloud computing stakeholder has reported that some of its clients have saved 50-75 percent in hardware costs when they switched to this form of data storage. The reduction in expenditure from the improved cloud services in Smart City Dubai will be a boon for smaller agencies operating in the emirate and help safeguard their operations. Better videoconferencing capabilities will mean easier client interaction with less need for face-to-face meetings. This will result in less time spent on the road travelling – periods of the working day that are ultimately ‘dead’ times where little if anything constructive can be achieved.
The increase in efficiency and the improvement of convenience isn’t just related to our work sphere but will affect all aspects of our lives as residents in Smart City Dubai. The seamless coordination and interfacing of a multitude of devices will mean that not only telephones and PCs will be connected to the Internet, but also home appliances and vehicles. Our lives will become enhanced in every area, making work, play and travel a much more enjoyable and productive experience. With citywide services such as transportation, distribution, finance, energy and government facilities all linked and able to coordinate their activities, we will all benefit from a much more connected and convenient style of living, both in and out of the office.
So there you have it. With last week’s Arab Future Cities Summit Conference aiming to make the Dubai Smart City dream a reality, we can all look forward to a bright, exciting and sustainable future for our professional PR activities, as well as for our personal lives. Bring on Smart City Dubai!