UAE to be a global tech hub

World fairs and expos have always been about showcasing new and emerging technological breakthroughs and the Expo 2020 gives an opportunity for the UAE to do so.

The city is already witnessing to smart infrastructure being built based on the latest and cutting edge technology – be it the driverless Metro, the drive-through toll gates, Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest tower and the construction of the three Palm Islands.

UAE nationals and residents can today almost walk through the passport controls at the Dubai International Airport and the new Al Maktoum International Airport thanks to the newly introduced automated smart gate system.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has already announced that in 2020 Dubai will showcase to the world something it has never seen before.

“We renew our promise to astonish the world in 2020. Dubai will bring to life our vision: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future….. Dubai Expo2020 will breathe new life into the ancient role of the Middle East as a melting pot for cultures and creativity.”

The government of Dubai is already racing ahead towards transforming the emirate into a smart city.

Announcing the project on his Twitter page Sheikh Mohammed had said: “We have launched a new project to transform Dubai into a smart city. Education, healthcare and general security will be managed via smart systems.”

The project also aims to provide all Dubai residents with high speed internet in public places and ‘live’ services and information.

The push towards enabling e-services and making them mobile would mean that residents will be able to sit in the comfort of their living room to access and process services offered by most government agencies.

Dubai is well connected through the most advanced fibre optic network and high-speed wireless internet, with speeds of up to 300mbps.

Technology companies in the UAE are already gearing up to this challenge, building additional capacity and infrastructure.

Vishesh Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer, Jumbo says technology will continue to play a key role in supporting business functions across industry verticals.

With Dubai’s ambition to become a regional and global trade and logistics powerhouse, and initiatives such as Dubai World Central, Jafza, and Dafza to name a few, Expo 2020 comes at a very opportune time.

“At Jumbo, we are planning for this and have invested significantly in technologies across the group including the award-winning Jumbo Logistics division, which offers integrated, world-class logistics solutions that will be increasingly in demand leading up to Expo 2020 and beyond,” he said.

According to him the recent high profile announcement by Shaikh Mohammad to transform Dubai into a “Smart City”, linking the emirate’s government services and the public through the use of smart devices using high-speed wireless internet connections, is another major development that will go hand-in-hand with Expo 2020. “It will throw the spotlight on the increasing role technology will play in creating new opportunities in Dubai over the next few years,” he said.

“Our technology investments across the entire Jumbo group have been as a result of careful analysis of these developments, our company requirements and growth plans, and are very crucial to our strategic objectives. Our advice to businesses across verticals would be to strategically assess, plan for and invest in infrastructure – especially technology to support your business through the opportunities generated by Expo 2020 and other developments,” he added.

Saleh Al Abdooli, CEO, Etisalat – UAE said the very fact Dubai has been chosen as the venue of Expo 2020 is a direct outcome of the visionary leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed.

“The emphatic success over other contenders of the bid also asserts our country’s competency in leading development in the region with its world-class infrastructure, highly efficient logistic services, as well as modern legislative and regulatory frameworks,” he said.

The march towards 2020 will definitely go on to transform the country into a major technological hub not just within the region but at a global level. As one senior government official recently put it, “We have already astonished the world enough with some of our major projects. Every new visitor to the city goes back with a feeling of awe. What needs to be seen is how much more we will be able to astonish the world.”

[Image via Shutterstock]

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