By Rabih Dabboussi, General Manager at Cisco UAE.
As part of the most successful GITEX Technology Week yet – with the 2014 edition themed “Re-Imagining Our Future” and a strong Smart City focus - Cisco showcased how the Internet of Everything – the interconnection of people, processes, data, and objects – will transform daily lives and businesses in the region, especially in Dubai.
When UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Dubai's strategy to transform Dubai into a smart city, his vision was to touch the life of every individual in the country, and achieve a happier life for all. The goal is for a smart city, smart economy, smart education and smart environment that will create a different life, not just for upcoming generations, but for everyone today. Dubai is making strong progress on its Smart City drive to become one of the world's best-connected and 'happiest' cities, and the city is set to host 25 million visitors for the technology-infused World Expo 2020.
In this Internet of Everything era, millions of sensors in everyday objects are generating data pumped over citywide Wi-Fi networks. At the Cisco GITEX stand this year, we showed how this data can be transformed into actionable intelligence for organizations and consumer mobile apps. It featured demos of innovative technology solutions bringing to life the themes of Smart and Connected City, Data Centre, Smart Government, and Smart Tourism/Hospitality.
As city transport services become smarter, being held-up in Dubai's notorious traffic will be a thing of the past. Sensors in Smart Cars will communicate to one another to avoid car crashes, and also communicate with traffic lights to speed up traffic, while also enabling drivers to easily find parking spaces.
Consider an ambulance trying to reach the scene of a traffic accident as soon as possible. In the future, technology advancements will allow the ambulance to alert traffic signals to make room on the road ahead and give it priority. Likewise, medics will be able to communicate directly with the ambulance crew in real-time via audio and video which will enable the specialist teams to attain all of the vital statistics of the injured - such as blood pressure, heart rate, place of injury - well in advance.
No longer will people have to wait for a bus in the searing heat, thanks to connected bus stops that use GPS sensors to track buses and display precise arrival times.
As the Dubai World Central and Jebel Ali ports become among the world's most advanced logistics hubs, underwater sensors will automatically and safely guide docking ships.
With the UAE encouraging more sustainable use of limited resources, both street lights and office lights will use sensors to automatically shut off when people are not around.
Supporting Dubai's tourism growth and catering to increasingly tech-savvy guests, hotels are rapidly deploying smart solutions like virtual concierges, room automation, and back-office functions such as instant messaging, voicemail, and utilities management.
The rise in affordable, collaboration solutions will also enable care-at-a-distance for healthcare delivery to people in rural areas and senior citizens, more flexible and globally-connected education, and support emergency services with real-time insights.
GITEX Technology Week also saw Cisco unveiling several new agreements with the UAE's public sector to support the UAE's sustainable, knowledge-based economy.
Dubai Design District (d3) will commence a Smart City pilot project in the design, fashion, and art industries; and the Dubai Department of Economic Development will roll out new government service pods to be situated in convenient locations where people work and live, launching in the Dubai Mall.
The UAE Ministry of Interior will establish a Cisco Networking Academy to provide innovative ICT training that will help government employees to upgrade electronic services, ensure customer satisfaction, thanks to a comprehensive curriculum that include courses, exams and practical applications through Cisco's website.
We are conducting business at an interesting and pivotal time and the success of Cisco's presence at GITEX 2014 was the result of many hours of dedicated planning in addition to a tireless on stand delivery team. It delivers an excellent platform to engage with key customers and showcase our exciting technology solutions.