UAE, Dubai: In the presence of H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy in the UAE, the Lebanese Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates organised a signing ceremony to launch the latest book of Dr. Nidal Abou Zaki, Founder and Managing Director of Orient Planet Group, titled ‘Smart Cities in the Arab World and their Socio-Economic Impact.’
The launch of the new book was held at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in the presence of distinguished guests - including Maha Al Gargawi, Executive Director of Business Advocacy at Dubai Chambers, and Charles Jeha, President of the Lebanese Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates, among other dignitaries and businessmen.
The book highlights the growing significance of cities as urban centres that keep up with accelerating changes related to digital advancement and artificial intelligence. It also sheds light on successful Arab smart city models and experiences. The book delves into the future of Arab smart cities, underlining extraordinary experiences, technology, and tactics applied in labour and infrastructure systems. It also looks at some of the ambitious efforts being made across the Arab world to construct new cities based on the notion of smart cities.
H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh said: “The book's release coincides with the Arab region's accelerating pace of smart transformation, particularly in the GCC countries and the growing reliance on technologies and its applications to advance economic and social development. The UAE has made tremendous progress in comprehensive digital transformation, making qualitative leaps in the information technology and digital transformation sectors to consolidate its leading position, further shaping the future based on advanced technology supported by artificial intelligence and smart cities, and lay the foundations of a knowledge economy that achieves development. A sustainable and smart city has the potential to ensure societal well-being.”
Charles Jeha, President of the Lebanese Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates, said: “The book highlights smart transformation projects and experiences in prominent Arab cities. It examines the challenges and opportunities that Arab cities face as they strive to become smart and sustainable cities. Among the Arab world, the UAE model is one of the most successful in terms of smart transformation. It is regarded as one of the top countries in terms of implementing smart practises in different facets of daily life.”
Dr. Abou Zaki said: “While writing this book, I placed a strong emphasis on highlighting the intricate connections between technology, society, and the economy. I underscored the significance of harnessing the power of data, artificial intelligence, and sustainable approaches in the creation of smart cities, as we now live in a new phase of digital transformation. We are witnessing a major shift towards transforming entire cities into smart, sustainable ones based on the latest ICT technologies. The book further emphasises the importance of cooperation and partnerships among governments, institutions, and society in accomplishing these objectives.”
“Smart cities are key drivers of long-term sustainable growth. They help in increasing resource efficiency by leveraging latest digital technologies and advanced data analytics to deliver high-quality services that boost economic growth, environmental sustainability, and quality of life. I believe that this book will offer motivation and will inspire collaborative efforts towards the creation of smart cities and the promotion of economic and social development in our society,” Dr. Abou Zaki added.
The signing ceremony served as an ideal forum to discuss the relevance of smart transformation and city development in the Arab world. The book is expected to be internationally appreciated and to serve as a roadmap for initiatives in the region to construct smart and sustainable cities. The event also allowed attendees and others interested in this sector to share ideas and skills on how to achieve sustainable and smart development across the Arab world.
Dr. Abou Zaki published his first book, ‘The Future Gulf - Economic Challenges and Opportunities in the Post Oil Era,’ in 2018, in which he provided a comprehensive analysis of economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council since the beginning of the oil era, the stages of economic development, and its implications across the region. He further gave an insight on current economic variables, results of which can be seen in the transition to a more diverse and balanced economy, which offers the private sector a stronger role in job creation, economic stimulus and technical advancement towards a knowledge economy.