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Rabih Dabboussi, Managing Director, Cisco UAE.

Cisco highlights qualifications to support Dubai’s smart city ambitions

: Wednesday, December 18 - 2013 @ 09:24

Senior Cisco executives outlined the company’s blueprint for creating a sustainable, smart and connected city. Cisco believes that the principles of openness that made the Internet a thriving ecosystem over the past 20 years can be applied to create and grow a networked platform for connecting people with products, services and information. This same network can also provide a means for cities to manage services, provide citywide information, learn how citizens use managed services, and deliver business opportunities.

Drawing on examples from current strategic partnerships – taking place via smart city initiatives in places like Barcelona in Spain, Nice in France and Hamburg in Germany, amongst many others – experts and analysts agreed that Dubai’s Smart City plans could create one of the world’s most connected and sustainable urban centers.

Having secured Expo 2020, Dubai’s rapidly accelerating Smart City bid comes at an opportune time. Frost & Sullivan estimate that the global market potential for smart cities – infrastructure development, technology integration, and e-government, energy and security services – could reach $3.3 trillion by 2025.

“The way we will move around in and interact with the city of Dubai is being revolutionized, and companies like Cisco are working very closely with both government and businesses to guide and support this momentous change. The era of inert buildings, unresponsive citizen services, and lack of logistical transparency is over, and Dubai has everything in place to become an exemplary smart city pioneer, not only throughout the region but also on a global scale,” said Rabih Dabboussi, Managing Director, Cisco UAE.

The global need for cities to adapt is intensifying. Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) predicts that cities in the future will account for nearly 90% of global population growth, 80% of wealth creation, and 60% of total energy consumption. According to analysis by McKinsey, one billion people will enter the global “consuming class” by 2025 – a rise of 70% from today. To cope, cities will need to construct floor space equivalent to 85% of all of today’s urban building stock – an area the size of Austria.

Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) – A Reality Today
Cisco is currently involved in over 90 S+CC projects worldwide, all of which feature an open-architecture platform that enables Cisco, its partners and customers to create and deploy new smart services and applications. To learn about cutting-edge Cisco smart city technologies in action, a delegation of Dubai government representatives recently visited Barcelona, one of Cisco’s most prominent S+CC engagements.

The Born District of Barcelona is using Cisco Smart+Connected City Wi-Fi and sensing devices to improve livability for citizens, create a smart city blueprint and demonstrate thought leadership in the region. City Wi-Fi is also the foundation for infrastructure-based management services. For example, environmental smart sensors report in real-time on variables such as temperature, noise, humidity, gas and dust-particle concentration. The data gathered helps to paint a picture of the city’s overall livability, and also generates alerts when actions are required.

Smart parking sensors, for instance, help citizens find open parking spaces via a smartphone app, whereas waste containers are equipped with sensors that signal when they become full or are emitting odors above a set threshold. They also emit data to inform optimal pickup routes. Other innovations include smart street lighting sensors that can detect movement, including people and animals, and adjust light levels accordingly. Cisco’s reputation is already well established in the technologies, standards and experience of smart cities, with the company having supported the development and growth of the Internet. Today, it is helping to take things to the next level through the The Internet of Things and its next incarnation, The Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE could connect 50 billion people, processes, data and things by 2020.

“We can deliver the intelligent network —a network that listens, learns and responds—on a scale like never before,” explained Dabboussi. “The rise of the smart city is intimately linked to Cisco’s IoE strategy, which we estimate has a value of $14.4 trillion,” Dabboussi added.

Another example of Cisco’s smart city expertise is the recently launched “Connected Boulevard” in Nice, France. An ambitious proof-of-concept project built to demonstrate the benefits and value of IoE for both residents and city leadership, the project includes four types of city services—smart circulation (traffic), smart lighting, smart waste management and environmental monitoring. The applications gather information from about 200 wireless devices and sensors deployed along the 800-yard-long Boulevard Victor Hugo. The shared network platform makes it possible to transform raw data from these sensors into the actionable intelligence that, when scaled, has the potential to transform Nice into a smart city.

Meanwhile, in the city of Hamburg, Germany, Cisco is using Smart+Connected City Wi-Fi to improve service delivery to mobile citizens in order to boost the local economy, and to provide smart parking via the Hamburg Port Authority. City Wi-Fi also provides the foundational platform for enabling IoE innovations such as traffic congestion management and automated water metering, resulting in greener and more efficient city infrastructure management. On the public safety and security front, the City Wi-Fi solution improves situational awareness by accelerating incident detection and it can trigger a combination of automated response, real-time collaboration and escalated decision support for optimal city operations and planning.

According to Amr Salem, Cisco’s Dubai-based Managing Director for Global Smart+Connected Communities, it is Cisco’s track record with projects of this nature that marks it out as an ideal partner to support the delivery of Dubai’s smart city strategy.

“Dubai has to be commended for its leadership’s smart city vision and for its commitment to making it a reality,” he said. “Dubai’s strategy is a carefully considered, robust plan structured to benefit residents, businesses and visitors, and it is emblematic of the city’s receptivity to cutting-edge technology. The fiber optic networks, high-speed wireless Internet and sensors set for deployment across Dubai will mean a continuous flow of improvements that will benefit everything from education, healthcare and transport to utilities and general security,” he added.

Salem added that Cisco’s approach to addressing these needs is to leverage the network as the foundation for managed city and business services. This foundation layer will then incorporate all manner of mobility, security, cloud computing, virtualization, collaboration and video—as well as other evolving technologies—and rely on, and accommodate, a diversity of cross-functional, open-architecture applications that package and distribute information and services.

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Wednesday, December 18- 2013 @ 9:24 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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