Ithraa to Discuss Smart Cities, Building for Tomorrow within Inside Stories

Muscat, Meeting the twin global challenges of

more people and an evolving global economy, countries around the

world are constructing entirely new smart cities, urban areas built on

technology and innovation and revitalizing existing ones with data-

driven intelligence to boost their competitiveness.

Recognising the key role of Oman’s own upcoming smart cities

– Madinat Al Irfan and Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront � in the

Sultanate’s continued economic diversification, Ithraa, Oman’s inward

investment and export development agency, will discuss the game-

changing role of smart cities in tomorrow’s economic growth at the

upcoming edition of its Inside Stories, on Tuesday, 13 November at the

Training Centre of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA).

Clearly, with cities worldwide competing for investment and talent,

harnessing the potential of these Omani economic powerhouses and

drivers of investment is of significant interest to the local business

community and to those considering investment in the Sultanate,

pointed out Taleb al-Makhmari, Director General for Marketing and

Media at Ithraa, organizer of the quarterly Inside Stories initiative.

Noting that according to the McKinsey Global Institute, the

world’s top 100 cities already account for 38% of total global GDP, the

Ithraa Director General continued, During the course of the evening,

we’ll be touching on the technology behind these standard setting

cities and their impact on the world of work as well as the lifestyle they

offer but our main focus will be on their potential to drive prosperity.

The panel will be looking at existing cities like Barcelona, New

York, London, Seoul and Shanghai � places that have gone smart and

using the Internet of Things (IoT) to manage everything from

healthcare, public transport, traffic flows and parking to water and air


We’ll be considering what Oman’s urban eco-system can learn from

how these ‘lighthouse’ cities use the smart data they gather to inform

longer term planning decisions, enhancing the quality of life for

residents and ensuring environmental sustainability, explained al-


Ithraa’s Director General added: Of course, we will also be

zooming in on potential challenges for smart city-based businesses

and issues the people who make them their home may face. We have

a great panel of smart urban experts lined up for what promises to be a

fascinating edition of Inside Stories and one that is set to offer

participants an informative window on factors driving our way of life, our

way of business and our international competitiveness in the not too

distant future.

Leading the Smart Cities discussions and sharing their

expertise and insights on 13 November are Dr. Ali al-Shidhani from the

Research Council and Professor Nikolaus Knebel of GUtech along with

Nadia Maqbool and Stuart Caunt from 23 Degrees North.

Source: Oman News Agency