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Posted on December 10, 2013

The 2nd Annual Middle East Smart Cities Summit, which was organized under the theme ‘Gateway to a Smart and Sustainable Future’, came to a close today as around 150 delegates and participants from across the region and beyond witnessed two days of high energy presentations, discussions and exchange of information on the latest advancements in methods, systems and technologies related to sustainable developments for a Smart City transformation.

The two-day summit, which was held at the Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel in Qatar, between the 9-10 December was organized by Fleming Gulf – one of the leading providers of business intelligence through industry specific conferences, webinars and skills enhancement training courses. The summit was held in association with the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) and supported by Qatar Rail Company and the National Transport Authority (NTA) -United Arab Emirates.  The proceedings during the two days were chaired by Dr. Yousef Al-Horr, Founding Chairman, Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), while Hussain Naimi, CEO‘s Advisor for Smart City, Lusail Real Estate Development Company, served as the summit’s co-chair.

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“These past two days have proven to be extremely informative even for acknowledged experts in this field,” Dr. Al-Horr said. “The presentations and insights shared during this summit included groundbreaking information that has inspired us all to explore further. With our aim of coming up with the most viable, cost-efficient yet most effective solutions of achieving regional and even global sustainable development objectives, the discussions  have undoubtedly contributed in an extremely positive way towards our journey to such goals.

“Following the summit’s resounding success, we look forward to gathering around again next year to assess and evaluate what we have discussed here now and how to continuously and constantly improve whatever we have so far,” he added.

The event opened on December 9th, with an Opening Keynote speech by Dr. Yousef Al-Horr, followed by Hussain Naimi who highlighted Lusail’s vision towards Smart and Integrated Cities.  The opening session also witnessed an exclusive keynote presentation delivered by Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Khudairi, Deputy Governor and Undersecretary, Makkah Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who spoke about ‘Smart Cities and the Strategic Challenges’. Later in the day Daniel Leckel, Chief Technical Officer from Qatar Rail presented the Smart City planning for Doha Metro in line with achieving Qatar’s National vision 2030.

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“Qatar has been at the forefront of sustainable development with the Lusail City project – Qatar’s first sustainable city and largest sustainable development in the region,” said Mr. Naimi, following his presentation.  “It is therefore significant that such a prestigious and extremely important summit has been held here in Doha.

“Having listened attentively to the discussions, we have learned a lot,” he added. “At the same time, other experts either based here or elsewhere, have also learned more about what this country is doing towards sustainable development, how we at Lusail Real Estate Development Company is implementing this country’s objectives, and how every stakeholder is positively contributing towards meeting such goals.”

The second day had key insights from H.E. Dr. Nadhem A. Bin Taher, Executive Director of Service Provision Centers Sector, National Transport Authority (NTA) United Arab Emirate.

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Among the other highlights of the two-day event were a ‘Smart City Leaders Panel: The Smart City Model & Business Framework’ on the first day and a ‘Wrap Up Panel: Strategies and Opportunities for a Smart City transformation’, on the second day.  

In addition, George Galica, Head of Business Solutions, Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C – the event’s Titanium M2M Partner – presented ‘Vodafone Qatar on Smarter Cities and Smarter Living’ during the summit’s first day, followed by a presentation about ‘Implementation and Operating of a fully Inter-Operable Smart City’ by Tuomas Koskenranta, Founder and Chairman of COBA Middle East FZCO – the event’s Platinum Smart Inter-Operability Partner.

On the second day, Associate Professor Sekhar Kondepudi, from the Smart Buildings of the National University of Singapore presented his views on ‘Smart Buildings and Smart Cities: The Role of Intelligent Buildings in Smart Cities’, while Dr. Haidar Fraihat, Director ICT Division, United Nations – ESCWA, Lebanon delivered a discussion on the ‘The role of smart cities in economic and social development’. The Summit main sponsors and partners included Vodafone Qatar, Huawei, COBA Middle East, PwC Qatar and Qatar Project Management.

Qatar Airways flies 3 times weekly to Belgrade, Serbia starting 20th November