The Middle East is undoubtedly working effortlessly towards creating a sustainable future by creating autonomous homes and green initiatives. By achieving a balance between social and economic development, the UAE is seen moving smartly towards the future in building greater efficiency, sustainability and quality of life for its residents.
According to the IMD Smart City 2019 Index, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the top smart cities in MENA for investing in the development of next-generation technologies, beating cities like Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo.
As the UAE government continues to ensure sustainable and eco-friendly development, can there be anything that can disrupt smart cities' development?
Speaking at the Forbes Middle East “Building The Future” event, Fadi Shaanah, Senior Director, Head of Construction Infrastructure & Hospitality at Etisalat, says that it’s 5G. “5G is really a change in smart cities because 5G as a technology from a technological perspective is something we’ve never experienced before.”
Etisalat is the first telecom operator in the UAE and MENA to market smartphones with 5G. He says that from a business perspective it’s a massive investment and not only for consumer usage.
“From a strategic perspective, we engage with different verticals in the way we do business,” he added. Though he emphasized that 5G is, in fact, the solution.
In 2006, Masdar City was first initiated in Abu Dhabi and best represents the Middle East’s first attempt to build a sustainable city. With this in mind, 5G could play an important role in autonomous car technology and could benefit traffic management, commutes safer and self-driving cars smarter.
Steve Severance, Head of Program Management & Marketing at Masdar, added that autonomous transportation will change the way we move within the next 10 years.