Dubai – MENA Herald: The Smart Dubai Office hosted six international smart city experts for a workshop on The Future of Smart Cities, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, DIFC. The workshop was attended by thought leaders and smart city transformation consultants from leading global institutions including McKinsey, Ernst & Young, Boston Consulting Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM and CISCO.

Opened by H.E Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, the workshop featured case studies on city digital transformation projects from the United States, China, South East Asia, and other emerging cities across the globe. The workshop was a part of a series of meetings recently conducted between the Smart Dubai Office and local and international representatives from the public and private sector, to review and validate the new digital agenda, The Smart Dubai Digital Transformation Agenda, which will be announced later this year, at the conclusion of the current validation program.

Dr. Okan Geray Strategic Planning Consultant, Smart Dubai Office also presented the digital transformation strategy of Smart Dubai, which will guide city’s smart ongoing transformation with an inclusive, impact-driven and sustainable city transformation.

“Smart Dubai has been consistently committed to collaborating and engaging with our local and international smart city peers. Working together and learning from each other will enhance our smart city transformation. Today’s workshop is an integral part of our approach, and I encourage others to learn from what we are doing here. We have to be open to reaching across traditional barriers to achieve our shared vision to make Dubai the happiest city.” said Dr.Aisha Bin Bishr

“Today we had the privilege of sharing our strategy with some of the world’s leading smart city experts. Learning from their experiences, we will be able to validate and refine our approach to achieve maximum benefits from smart services and infrastructure in our digital transformation, for all businesses, residents and visitors of Dubai.” said Dr. Okan Geray, Strategic Planning Consultant, Smart Dubai Office. Dr. Geray is also Co-Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Enhancing Innovation and Participation, part of the UN United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) initiative.

“I would like to congratulate the Smart Dubai Office on hosting this interactive workshop with industry experts. Dubai has managed to put together a very well thought, integrated framework which will serve as a solid basis for the implementation of its smart city ambition, to become one of the world’s leading cities with respect to live ability, ease of doing business and happiness.” said Hazem Galal, Partner, Cities and Local Government, Global Leader, PWC

“It was a very comprehensive presentation, well thought through and aspirational in terms of trying to create a place that has a happy society. “said Anil Menon, Global President, Smart and Connected Communities, CISCO

“Very inspiring. I was very impressed with the level of thought and depth that Dr.Aisha and her team have put together for the Smart Dubai 2021 plan. Dubai can surely be a leading light in showcasing how a city can function for the benefit of its citizens.” said George D Thomas, Partner & Global Director, Market Development, IBM Government Industry.

“This is a brilliant start, Dubai is well on its way to becoming the global benchmark for a smart city.” said Michael V.Littlejohn, Executive Director, Ernst & Young

“Congratulations on a very clear and ambitious plan. I am very pleased to see the Smart Dubai Office is customer centric with a very clear framework, measurable KPIs and concrete actions.” said Yvonne Zhou, Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

“The Smart Dubai initiative has succeeded in setting out a very clear vision and framework for achieving a fundamental shift by 2021. I am impressed by the transformation metrics that have been agreed, in particular the aim to achieve 100% adoption. This will enable to really focus the activities going forward on the North Star of the smart city vision.” said Driek Desmet, Senior Partner, Head of McKinsey Digital Labs Asia