Tech investment in smart cities to hit US$2.30bn by 2021 in Middle East and Africa

  Marwan Zeidan Real Estate and Healthcare Segment Director Middle East and Africa Schneider ElectricAt GITEX Technology Week 2019 (6-10 October 2019, Dubai World Trade Centre), Schneider Electric is showcasing emerging technologies that facilitate the development of smart cities and digital transformation in the Middle East and Africa

“The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) continue to play a pivotal role in shaping our strategy towards an ecosystem that enables productivity and drives digital transformation – whether it be for an office building, a hospital, or a university,” said Ahmed Khashan, president of Gulf Countries Schneider Electric.

“Collaborative efforts between government and private bodies have been vital in fast-tracking digital transformation initiatives and building sustainable, secure and reliable urban communities especially in the UAE.”

As estimated by the International Data Corporation (IDC), investment in technologies enabling smart cities in the Middle East and Africa region is expected to hit the USD$2.30bn mark by 2021. Building cities integrated with next-generation technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoTs) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) requires a huge investment, starting with creating a suitable infrastructure that supports current advancements.

The ever-increasing urban population has resulted in growing energy demands, coupled with the advent of new technology and the need for smart cities that improve systems and create a sustainable and reliable infrastructure.

The integration of smart solutions that promote the efficient use of resources and data plays a crucial role in this drive towards smart cities while improving safety, mobility and overall well-being.

“Building vibrant smart cities is the basis of economic development for the UAE. Schneider Electric’s contribution towards government-led initiatives reflects our purpose as a company and is a step forward in utilising energy efficiency in developing smart buildings – a fundamental element in the transformative journey to a smart city. Our business model at Schneider Electric is to have a strong local footprint and create an ecosystem for our partners by providing access to sophisticated solutions that promote sustainability and digital transformation in support of the region’s digital transformation,” added Khashan.

‘Role of Smart Cities for Economic Development', a report commissioned by Chordant, emphasises the central importance of technology as a driver of economic development in future Smart Cities. The smart city concept has the potential to boost the economic development of global cities by 5 per cent and deliver over US$20tn in additional economic benefits by 2026.

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