Riyadh International Hotel to host smart cities summit

The Riyadh International Hotel will play host to the upcoming smart cities summit.
The Riyadh International Hotel will play host to the upcoming smart cities summit.
With Saudi Arabia investing $70 billion in smart cities technology, the country will host a Digital Grids and Smart Cities Summit May 3 and 4 at the Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel to provide a forum for smart cities advocates to trade ideas and strategize.

A smart city is a city whose infrastructure and government relations are heavily dependent on a variety of digital tools. The business of making smart cities is estimated to be an $8.1 billion industry, with growth estimates topping $39 billion in the next two years.

With 150 policy makers, tech users, tech providers, service providers and academics expected to attend, conference organizers hope this year's event in Riyadh will advance the smart cities movement in Saudi Arabia and abroad by providing spaces for dialogue. Topics include extending the conceptual framework of smart cities to emerging fields like smart governance, smart economy, smart mobility, smart environment, smart people and smart living.

Marafiq President and CEO Abdullah Al-Buainain will deliver a keynote address, titled "Changing consumption patterns for greener and smarter cities."

Other speakers include Dr. Fred Ernst, GIS advisor for AlMadinah AlMunawara Development Authority, who will talk about zero-energy buildings with low-energy storage. E-Government Portal Department Manager for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in Qatar Tareq Alemadi will elaborate on GCC Government cloud computing & ICT Green strategy. Finally, Fawaz Alharbi, head of master planning for the Jeddah Economic Company, Kingdom Tower and Kingdom City, will talk about goals and challenges of the Jeddah Economic Company Tower's Smart City Strategy.

The event is being organized by the events management company Fleming.

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