Converge Qatar, Japan tech to build smart cities.
There is a “huge opportunity” to build smart cities in the country by converging Qatar and Japanese technologies, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman said.
Speaking at the “Japan Electronics Technology Forum for Sustainable Development” hosted by Doha Bank on Sunday, Seetharaman also stressed the relevance of smart cities in spurring economic development, citing an “89% growth” in the non-hydrocarbon sector.
“Qatar and Japanese technologies can converge to create smart cities considering the opportunities and the enlightened vision that Qatar is setting. With growth in urban development and the non-hydrocarbon sector, we see a bigger opportunity to converge and create partnerships between technology companies from both countries,” Seetharaman said.
According to Seetharaman, Doha Bank hosted the forum to emphasise the importance of building more global partnerships to help the Qatar National Vision 2030.
“Japanese companies are trend setters in recognising the changes in multiple form and substance. Looking at the bigger picture, we need more global partnerships to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030. With that perspective in mind, we thought it was appropriate to bring in the technology forum,” he said.
He added, “Qatar, with its enlightened vision, has arranged a new set of governance to bring in global partnership to a higher level and intensify the relationship between Qataris and the Japanese.” This was echoed by Fujitsu Middle East head of business development and operations Aiham al-Akhras, who noted that Qatar has taken the right direction in terms of technological advancements towards building smart cities.
“Qatar has the right momentum today to embrace smart city technologies because the population growth Qatar will witness in the future is huge and this will put pressure on its infrastructure and other elements such as security and energy management. Building a smart city solution for Qatar will actually help the country increase its competitiveness while optimising resources efficiently,” al-Akhras told Gulf Times.
Asked how far Qatar has reached in its journey towards becoming “smart,” al-Akhras said, “It’s a journey.
The destination, as you go closer, moves forward as well because every day there are new technologies evolving, there are new discoveries and innovations being revealed.”
He added, “So, there is no one tick box that says ‘I’m a smart city’ because the definition of a smart city is relative.
“For Qatar to be ‘smart,’ it would be different from how Saudi Arabia or the UAE see themselves as smart cities even though they are neighbouring countries because their challenges are different and their vision might not be similar in terms of their economies or business scope. But I believe that Qatar is in the right direction and is taking the right steps.”
By Peter Alagos