“Doha Smart Cities Summit” Stresses on the Role and Importance of Smart Cities in Tackling Pandemic Challenges
Msheireb Properties, the leading sustainable real estate development company in Qatar, organised the first-of-its-kind virtual summit in the region – “Doha Smart Cities Summit.” The event took place on November 24, hosting Msheireb Properties representatives, partners, global smart cities leaders, innovators, and experts locally, regionally and internationally.
The speakers discussed the vital role of smart cities for current and future generations and its high capabilities to tackle different challenges during pandemic times, and its role in supporting sustainability and water and energy efficiency.
Engineer Ali Al-Kuwari, Msheireb Properties Acting CEO, revealed that Msheireb Properties is conducting tests for autonomous vehicles at Msheireb Downtown Doha during the summit. The new autonomous vehicles will be offering their services once the tests are completed.
Al-Kuawri added in his speech: “Since its inception, Msheireb Properties has taken the responsibility to build a fully sustainable smart city, which is Msheireb Downtown Doha, one of the smartest and most sustainable cities in the world. Smart cities are no longer a matter of choice but rather a global trend adopted by countries and corporates to cope with new societal demands, whether by individuals,companies, or governmental entities. Smart cities have proven their high capabilities to meet individual and companies’ needs better than conventional cities during the Corona pandemic, in the fields of remote learning, work from home, delivery servicesor unmanned equipment. ”
“Msheireb Properties is adopting an “autonomous vehicle” concept, which can be used in many matters, especially in various delivery services, without the need for a driver. Further tests are being conducted on this vehicle in our city Msheireb Downtown Doha, and once they are completed, the vehicle will serve residents and tenants,” he stated.
H.E. Reem Mohammed Al-Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Society Development, Ministry of Transport and Communications said: “Qatar is working to accomplish sustainable development as per the pillars of 2030 Qatar National vision and change the economy from a natural based economy to a knowledge-based society, with Qatar being positioned at the forefront of digital innovations.
“The ministry launched TASMU smart Qatar Program as the digital response to the national vision. TASMU harnesses advanced technology and innovation to deliver smart solutions and applications across priority sectors. For example, this year, to help reduce the strain on our health care facilities, during COVID-19, we accelerated implementing one of our existing smart solutions in the healthcare sector. We launched the service in collaboration with the Ministry of Public health virtual consultation services. We also launched EHTERAZ mobile application; the smart solution helped the country identify and manage disease transmission chains”.
H.E. Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary-General, Chairman, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, said, “Qatar succeeded through hard work and proper planning in overcoming the obstacles related to the international tournament. We work to ensure the provision of smart experience for visitors to Qatar 2022 from the moment they board a plane, arriving at Hamad International airport, using 5G network, commute through Doha Metro, booking their stay in Msheireb or any other destination, and moving to and from the stadiums and other locations.”
Reiterating the importance of sustainability in preserving the environment and resources, Al Thawadi stated that all stadiums are sustainable to serve all member of society.
H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani, CEO, Vodafone Qatar, said: “The transformation to smart cities is no longer a luxury but a necessity that is required to solve some of the greatest challenges the world is facing. Smart cities were able to quickly and efficiently respond to fighting the virus, through processing algorithms and artificial intelligence applications that helped authorities set plans in place to trace suspect COVID-19 Cases.”
“We have invested heavily in building the foundation of a smart digital city that enables integration, analysis, and sharing data. Our investments also include a 5G network. Vodafone Qatar was one of the first to launch a 5G network, which has a deep impact on how we live and work in Qatar. Vodafone Qatar partnership with Msheireb Downtown Doha reflects our commitment to accelerating Qatar’s journey towards becoming one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world”, he added.
The summit included representatives from global leading smart cities, such as Amsterdam and Singapore. Leonie van den Beuken, Program Director at Amsterdam Smart City, and Tan Puay Hong, Principle Engineer at Land Transport Authority of Singapore, shared the experience of the two cities with the audience.
The summit included a series of panel discussions about a range of specialist areas. The first panel discussed cybersecurity in smart cities and the importance of implementing digital systems services. The second panel focused on mobility and autonomous vehicles and the presentation of a new transportation business model. The third session was held under the title of “Innovation and Sustainability From Lifestyle Shift to Climate Change.” The summit ended with a special closing panel session on a pandemic-ready smart city model, outlining smart cities’ readiness and preparedness in the stages of lockdown.
Doha Smart Cities Summit was an important platform for experts, professionals, and a broader audience to share, inspire, and shape the Smart City industry’s future.
The summit comes under Msheireb Properties’ continuous commitment to adopting sustainable practices of smart cities to strengthen its position among global cities and reflects its effort in supporting the 2030 Qatar National Vision that seeks to achieve sustainable development. Also, the summit positions Qatar as a leading country in promoting partnerships that serve societies and nations.
Doha Smart Cities Summit has many local partners, including the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Free Zones Authority, and Vodafone Qatar.