DUBAI - Over its past editions, the World Governments Summit (WGS) has been instrumental in inspiring proactive measures from governments and institutions to develop and embrace digital solutions to shape future cities. By leveraging data, governments aim to become more agile and effective, steering societies towards a brighter, happier, and more prosperous future.

During the 2019 World Governments Summit, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, discussed the challenges facing future cities in a keynote speech titled "7 Key Principles for Future Cities".

"The future of countries, the future of human beings and the future of life is directly linked to the future of cities. Talk about the future of cities is always linked to Dubai because many of the world's cities view Dubai as a city of the future," H.H. Sheikh Hamdan said.

In 2021, the World Governments Summit Organisation released a report titled "Security by Design: Safe and Secure Smart Cities in a Volatile Cyber World", part of its efforts to support governments in envisioning and securing the cities of the future.

The report focused on governments' need to invest heavily in securing information and communication technologies, including all digital services, while increasing cyber awareness among all stakeholders, residents, and government officials.

In 2022, the report "Future of Cities: Three Principles for Digital Transformation in Cities, emphasised the urgency of comprehensive digital transformation for future city readiness. It spotlighted global city innovations and initiatives, including the app created by Dubai to capture citizen-customer happiness data in a consolidated city dashboard.

Naim Yazbeck, General Manager at Microsoft UAE, highlighted how modern cities rely on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to enhance social and economic aspects.

In statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) during his participation at the WGS, Yazbeck urged investment in artificial intelligence and modern applications in Arab countries to foster societal growth, especially in education. He noted that using such advanced technologies leads to the development of Arab societies.

Building smart cities requires technological development and protection against challenges accompanying growth and urbanisation. This involves enhancing cybersecurity and adopting new practices to keep pace with rapid digital transformation.

By enhancing innovation and technology in city development, focusing on smart city design and cybersecurity, governments can integrate security solutions effectively.