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Dubai Municipality to Achieve Zero Visits by 2011
Source: ameinfo.com
Source Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Focus: E-Education
Country: United Arab Emirates
Created: Nov 11, 2010

During IBM Middle East's annual CIO Conference, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General, Dubai Municipality, discussed the Municipality's efforts in developing Dubai as a smarter city. Mr Lootah highlighted the municipality's work on the e-government project for the last 10 years, whereby they have converted almost 500 of their services to online services.

He also emphasised the municipality's aim to achieve "zero visits" by the end of 2011, meaning that all of the Dubai Municipality's services will be accessible online enabling that citizens and businesses can access from their offices, homes and mobiles 24/7.

The panel was also attended by eminent industry experts such as Osman Sultan, CEO, Du; Abdullah Al Madani, CEO, RTA Corporate Technical Support Services Sector and Yousif Asfour, CIO, New York University Abu Dhabi who discussed in detail their visions of a smarter city, as well as the projects they have been leading in the Emirates alongside Dr Colin Harrison, IBM Master Inventor and Director for Strategic Innovation.

"The IBM CIO conference has evolved and grown since our inaugural event in 2004 to become an annual meeting point for the region to address the issues they face with a changing business environment. This year's event attracted over 400 CIOs from across the region making for meaningful, inclusive, region-led discussions that shared experiences and best practice in delivering on the vision of a 'Smarter Planet'," said Takreem El Tohamy, general manager IBM Middle East and Africa. "We're very excited to carry on the relevant conversations kicked off at the event with CIOs in sectors from government to healthcare and from banking to education as we deliver 'Smarter Projects' across the region."

Urbanization is changing the global landscape with over 50% of the world's population currently living in urban areas and close to 70% of the world's population predicted to be living in cities by 2050, making the issue of Smarter Cities absolutely critical. The Smarter Cities panel was therefore incredibly pertinent to today's CIO, as a group of leading industry practitioners discussed the projects that they have been delivering in building Smarter Cities here in the region.

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, at independent research firm Forrester Research, Inc. presented a session that answer's one of the most critical factors in building a Smarter Planet, that of Smarter Cities as she discussed 'Taking Lessons from Smart Cities'.

The conference was also attended by eminent IBM executives including; Laura Voglino - VP Growth Markets, Marketing and Communications, IBM Systems and Technology Group; Mark Musto - Business Development, Travel & Transportation, Smarter Travel and Transportation, IBM Global Business Services; Virginie Haas, Vice President, Worldwide Cloud Sales and Strategy and John Mclean, Vice President WebSphere Connectivity Development and the Director of the IBM Hursley Laboratory, amongst many others.

Following the Panel discussion, IBM global executives also led 12 breakout sessions where regional CIOs were invited to discuss the issues affecting their businesses regionally and globally. Topics that were covered included; The Smarter Bank, Business Analytics and Optimization for Banking, Delivering Consistent Customer Experience, From virtualization to cloud computing with integrated service management, Smarter Healthcare, Smarter Travel and Transportation, Smarter Energy and Utilities, Smarter Education, IT Leader's Guide to Building a Smarter Planet, Introducing IBM Smart Business cloud solutions, Accelerate Value and Business Insight From Your BPM and Business Analytics Investment and Virtualization with Integrated Service Management for improved business agility.

"Having travelled to the region for a number of the MENA CIO conferences, I've found that the level of discussion never ceases to impress me as we cover important topics in building a Smarter Planet, here in the region," said Colin Harrison, Master Inventor and Director for Strategic Innovation, IBM. "I'm looking forward to developing these discussions into further projects that will deliver on the vision of building a Smarter Planet, City by City."

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