The conference will see local and international speakers

The conference will see local and international speakers

Oman gears up for debut smart city meet

01 January 2017

Top experts and leaders will highlight and discuss the economic value and benefits of implementing smart cities projects in Oman and the region, at the inaugural Oman Smart City Summit 2017, to be held this year.

The conference and exhibition will take place with the support and cooperation of the Smart Cities Council and Information Technology Authority (ITA) on March 28 and 29, at the Oman Convention and Exhibition centre.

The event will focus on the theme “Empowering Smart Nation”, which will draw attention to what defines a smart city, and as well as explore how to adapt the concept to best meet the unique needs for each city, said a statement from the organisers.

The exhibition will see local and international speakers, thought leaders and experts presenting case studies discussing latest developments and future growth prospects, it said.

 Oman’s digital strategy was led by ITA more than a decade ago and was successful in paving the way for building a future-proof information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. This solid infrastructure enables the creation of new ventures that contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), it added.

Commenting on the conference, Dr Salim Bin Sultan Alruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, said: “Technological change and new technologies have made massive improvements in the delivery of public services and Oman is one of the countries aspiring to embrace the move toward urban automation and transforming into smart government.”

“This conference, with its highly recognised experts and thought leaders, will bring about new insights on how the change to smart cities can open new horizons to the country at socio/economic levels,” he said.

“The big stimulus for smart services comes from the acceleration of the fiber-based national fixed broadband infrastructure. Global trend statistics prove that for a 10 per cent increase in national broadband penetration, there is a direct growth on the GDP by 1.38 per cent,” he added.

Alruzaiqi stated that fiber-to-home (FTTH), the new generation broad band, will provide the nation with unmatched benefits and more reliability enabling ultra-fast internet connectivity and content-rich applications that require high bandwidth and speeds.

He pointed out that by 2020 it is estimated that over 90 per cent of the Governorate of Muscat, which is equivalent to 350,000 premises, will be covered by the fiber optic network.

“By the end of 2030, it is expected that most of the surrounding urban areas outside of Muscat will also be covered by the fiber optic network. The ultimate target is to connect all homes and businesses to the national broadband network across the sultanate by 2040,” Alruzaiqi

Philip Bane, managing director of Smart Cities Council, explained that participation is part of its global initiative to share knowledge, benefits and opportunities and best practices from proven smart city projects implemented around the world.

The Smart Cities Council includes a global network of smart city practitioners and innovators dedicated to improving the livability, workability and sustainability of the world’s cities. The council’s network of over 40 companies and more than 75 expert advisors has completed more than 5,000 smart city projects all over the world.

Tarek Ali, general manager of OITE Trade Fairs, said: “The developed IT infrastructure in Oman and the expansion of broadband services opens new investment opportunities for international and local companies to explore.”

“The sultanate has already started implementing smart cities applications and the emerging projects such as Madinat Al Irfan, Omagine Oman and Duqm are examples of the country’s vision to create new urban centres and enhance urbanism,” he added.

Alongside the conference, leading smart city companies will present international technologies and ideas to conference participants and the local business community to expand knowledge and business sourcing, it stated.

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