Dubai, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) most prominent city, recently played host to ‘Future Technology Week.’ Abdulrahman Al Ansari looks at how this collection of technology-orientated events shed light on the current trajectory of the country’s digital economy.
Future Technology Week Gulf Daily Online reports that Future Technology Week was hosted in Dubai, during the week to 31st March 2016. It involved four events – the two-day Internet of Things Expo (IoTX), the one-day Gulf Enterprise Mobility Exhibition & Conference (Gemec), the one-day The Big Data Show and the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (Gisec).
Gemec, the exhibition element of Future Technology Week, saw 180 exhibitors take the opportunity to display innovative solutions and products. Future Technology Week events attracted some of the world’s most high profile technology firms, including BT, Dark Matter, Dell, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft and Advantech.
Discussing technological innovations
IoTX was a big hit, with its opening day attracting thousands of technology industry professionals. At this Expo, discussions were held on how companies can take advantage of the booming regional Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem commercially. Younus Nasser, the assistant director general of Dubai’s Smart Government Office, delivered the keynote speech at IoTX.
Commenting on how ‘citizen happiness’ is his entity’s ultimate success indicator, Nasser said: “Technology today can deliver city-wide social happiness and as we transform Dubai into the world’s smartest city, the Smart Dubai blueprint will define smart city transformation.”
Meanwhile at Gemec, headline discussions were centred on how increased social mobility is destined to radically transform business’ customer engagement strategies. Gemec discussions also looked at how authentication, access controls and forensics can be utilised to negate mobile security threats in a world where mobile devices are increasingly being used to execute purchasing decisions.
Tackling technological challenges
IoT is an umbrella term, which refers to “a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.” The International Data Corporation suggests that the global IoT market will expand from US$655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020, providing national economies with a wealth of expansion opportunities. Back in 2013, a report from the United Nations Broadband Commission suggested that the UAE has the third most internet users in the Middle East. Therefore, as the IoT market expands, increased connectively will provide the Emirates with new ways to boost its thriving digital economy. But challenges remain, with a survey commissioned by F5 Networks, a global Application Delivery Networking leader, suggesting that eight in ten Emirati firms are vulnerable to cybercrime.
Collectively, the events which took place in Dubai during Future Technology Week suggested that the UAE is fast moving into the digital age. Not only is the Middle Eastern country capitalising on the IoT to develop connected smart-cities, but it is looking to tackle the challenges such initiatives present, to ensure the Emirates can utilise digital revenue opportunities to expand economically.
About Abdulrahman Al Ansari
Abdulrahman Al Ansari has more than 18 years of experience in the global financial services industry. He serves as the chairman of a number of reputable financial firms including AMA Investment Holding and Bid Capital Management Consultancy.
Abdulrahman’s professional portfolio encompasses a diverse range of sectors from commodities and natural resources to education, healthcare, oil & gas and investment banking. He has earned a reputation as an innovator, who consistently develops new ideas and solutions to address the complex and demanding challenges which confront his clients every day. Over the years, Abdulrahman has cultivated a special interest in the continued economic and community development of the UAE.