Components for transforming the Middle East into a Safer and Smarter Region
The transformative forces of mega trends are shaping the Middle East. Urban planners are confronted with unprecedented challenges to address. Turning them into a competitive advantage requires strategy, sustainable model and smart technologies.
About the report
The report examines some of the key issues that urban planners in the Middle East are confronted with followed by a high-level perspective of the approach that should be adopted to address them in an effective and sustainable manner.
The report identified five (5) mega trends that will shape and transform the Middle East over the next few decades. Their impact cannot be underestimated. In particular, rapid growth of urbanization is putting a strain on its existing resources and infrastructure. A benchmark of eight (8) countries across the region assesses Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey on their relative smart city readiness and extend of urgency for action.
Smart services that are applicable in alleviating some of the challenges are highlighted at the broad level. Prioritization across the eight (8) countries highlight areas where investments should be focused at the local level.
We also examined various key technologies that are critical in bringing about digital transformation. Building an enabling infrastructure and platform are key in orchestrating various applications and facilitating the sharing of intelligence across different government agencies.
The deployment of smart technologies are highlighted in two (2) case studies using global examples that are applicable in the context of the Middle East.
Four (4) types of smart city business models are proposed for urban planners to choose from. We stress the importance of bringing on board all relevant stakeholders at the planning stage. A proper understanding of their needs will enable urban planners to evaluate the merits of various business models to determine the one that best meets its objectives.
The report closes with an emphasis of the key consideration factors in developing safer and smarter cities. In particular, connected infrastructure will be more vulnerable to intruders than before. Cyber security should be an important component at the planning stage.
Above all, having a trust adviser with proven capabilities in cyber and physical security that are aligned to the challenges faced in the Middle East is critical. Achieving the intended outcomes in any smart and safe city projects will never come easy. Urban planners will be confronted with a number of consideration factors. It takes an experienced hand to guide them along the way.
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