Dubai; World’s Smartest and Happiest City by 2020

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Under the patronage of Smart Dubai Office, the University of Dubai (UD) hosted on January 15th, 2017 the “Towards Dubai 2020 Smart City Conference” which was chaired by UD President Dr. Eesa Bastaki, organized by Minds@Works Japan (Japanese strategy consultancy company) and supported by the UAE Ministry of Economy.


More than 32 keynote speakers and moderators from several UAE and international governmental and private institutions including Google, UAE Ministry of Economy, Roads and Transport Authority, Smart City/Smart Government Initiative Lead (du), Dubai Chamber, ICT Funds, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Dubai Holdings, Smart Dubai Office, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulation (DHCR), Smartworld, and M2M Enterprise participated at the conference.


Through their presentations, the speakers mainly discussed the latest developments and challenges in making Dubai the World’s smartest and happiest city by 2020 in the presence of more than 100 professors, scholars, researchers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, specialists and knowledge-seekers. Internet of Things, Smart Mobility, and Smart Services were also among the issues highlighted during the conference.


While delivering his opening remarks, Dr. Bastaki welcomed the participants and shared his inspiring thoughts on the significance of developing advanced technologies and methodologies to be fully prepared for Expo 2020. “Figuring out the ideal, sustainable infrastructures of the smartest and happiest cities should be our main focus for the time being,” he said. “Our mission as an educational institution is to boost research and motivate our talented students to think outside the box,” Dr. Bastaki concluded.


During her speech, Director of Foreign Trade Policies at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Economy Ms. Hind Alyouha stated: “This historic gathering of distinguished international experts, leaders, pioneers and specialists related to Smart Cities in Dubai and Tokyo allows us to examine the unique journey of Dubai and Tokyo as well as UAE and Japan -towards becoming the world’s smartest cities and countries. Both will successfully set up new benchmarks for other nations.”

Ms. Alyouha also noted that this conference followed by another one in Tokyo (September 2017), will serve as a platform for all of us to explore where Dubai and Tokyo now stand in their smart transformation journey, what successes they have achieved so far, what challenges remain and what their governments are doing to ensure that these ambitious goals will be met.


From Tokyo to Dubai, Acting CEO at Minds@Works Japan Takako Okabe said in her speech that “Japan was pleased to cooperate with UD in this conference and we look forward to working with Dr. Eesa on future projects, including next conference in Tokyo.”


From his side, Dr. Sed Saad, Professor/Consultant in Innovation and Strategic Management, said: “I believe that UD, under the leadership of Dr. Eesa, is a key player within smart cities arena as it was demonstrated during the conference.”


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