Gitex sets the stage for smart city mega-trends

Dubai - Artificial intelligence, cloud, 5G, the digital economy and cybersecurity to be at forefront of growth


Issac John

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Published: Sat 5 Dec 2020, 10:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 6 Dec 2020, 8:40 AM

Gitex Technology Week, which opens on Sunday at the Dubai World Trade Centre, sets the stage for five mega-trends of 2021 for the global smart cities’ market that is estimated to leapfrog by billions of dollars in the coming years, according to industry experts.

The mega-trends that will drive smart cities’ growth worldwide include artificial intelligence, cloud, 5G, the digital economy and cybersecurity.

A ‘smart city,’ according to industry experts, is to be defined as an urban setting that applies technology to enhance the benefits and diminish the shortcomings of urbanisation for its citizens. Smart cities encapsulate a significant number of different domains and application areas that are enhanced with technological advancements and their effective use to provide services to people.

According to the 2020 Smart City Index, with key findings on how technology is playing a role in the Covid-19 era in a way that is likely to remain, two UAE cities, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, rank among the top 50 global smart cities. The index, released by the Institute for Management Development in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design, ranks Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich as the top three while placing Abu Dhabi 42nd and Dubai 43rd globally.

Over the past 12 months, while Abu Dhabi has made a significant improvement in IMD’s 2020 Smart City Index after having ranked 56th last year, Dubai saw an increase of two placements to rank 43rd.

The UAE is leading innovation in the world’s smart cities market, thanks to digital transformation of the government. Smart Dubai initiatives and Expo 2020 Dubai, which is one of the world’s best connected events, are among the drivers of this digital leap.

“The UAE’s ascension in global Smart City rankings is testament to the country’s government-led digital transformation,” said Savitha Bhaskar, COO of Condo Protego.

The size and pace of growth of the smart cities’ market have been variously estimated by researchers and analysts.

A report from global technology research and advisory company Technavio forecasts that the smart city market size is poised to grow by more than $2.12 trillion during 2020-24 with the decreasing price of connected devices expected to fuel market growth.

While the report, which highlights the smart governance and education segment as key areas of growth, forecasts growth to progress at a compound annual growth rate of 23 per cent throughout the period.

However, Meticulous Research expects the global Smart Cities market to grow at 23 per cent at a compound annual growth rate to $546 billion by 2027.

Another study by Markets and Markets reveals that the global smart cities market size is expected to grow from $410.8 billion in 2020 to $820.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 14.8 per cent.

The study said the smart cities market is expected to grow, owing to the increasing demand for public safety, rising urban population, and growing government initiatives.

“In smart cities, technologies such as video surveillance, DNA phenotyping, and real-time license plate and facial recognition are widely used for public safety, indicating the need for surveillance to ensure the safety of citizens,” said the study.

The smart transportation segment is estimated to account for the largest market size in 2020 and expected to grow at an impressive CAGR during the forecast period. Smart transportation solutions provide an essential boost to the existing and new transport infrastructure projects, taking into consideration several factors, such as the increasing urban demographics and growing environmental concerns.



KT file photo
KT file photo
Dubai is ranked 43rd in the 2020 Smart City Index.
Dubai is ranked 43rd in the 2020 Smart City Index.

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