The first edition of the Smart City Expo Doha (SCE Doha), held on the sidelines of the Qatar IT Conference & Exhibition (Qitcom 2019), ended on Thursday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Transport & Communications (MoTC) and Fira de Barcelona, organisers of the Smart City Expo World Congress, to host the event annually for two more years.
The agreement was signed by Reem al-Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society at the MoTC, and Ricard Zapatero, International Business director at Fira de Barcelona. Commenting on the occasion, al-Mansoori said: “We are delighted to successfully host the first edition of the Smart City Expo Doha, which has exceeded our expectations. We are happy to partner with Fira de Barcelona in achieving this milestone and happy to announce that the event will now be held annually for the next two years.
“Qatar launched the Smart Qatar (Tasmu) initiative in 2017 with a promise to make Qatar a 100% smart country within seven years. We are happy to say that we are now at 44% and every year we are offering a lot of smart solutions, innovations and technology and a market that is evolving around smart solutions. We believe that the years ahead hold a lot of promises for this initiative and we look forward to welcoming everyone again next year.”
The two-day event, held on October 30 and 31, was inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, and it attracted the participation of several dignitaries, including four ministers. The sessions involved 78 facilitators, including 47 international speakers from 24 countries and 31 local speakers.
Zapatero added, “We have been developing the Smart City Expo in many countries around the world and have had many editions, but the discussions in Doha are the most relevant we've had till date. It is the most significant and best in terms of the quality of organisation, participation, speakers and the overall product. We are happy to collaborate with the Ministry of Transport & Communications and are delighted to welcome Qatar to the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona.
"We promise to do our best to promote Qatar as one of the best places to look to when people are talking about smart cities as Qatar has not just become part of the Smart Cities initiative but a trendsetter.”