The 600 largest cities in the world are expected to generate 65 percent of global GDP growth through 2025—the impact of IoT technologies can be substantial states McKinsey Global Institute.

With the Internet of Things World Forum rapidly approaching, I wanted to preview this year’s IoTWF Experience tours – which have been one of the most popular activities at the previous World Forums.

Dubai, already one of the most technologically advanced cities, is transforming into one of the smartest digital cities in the world.  The IoTWF walking tours will illustrate many of the solutions that are going into this digital transformation as Dubai embraces the Internet of Things.


This digital transformation accelerated in October, 2013 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled a smart city initiative aimed at creating a smarter living environment and smarter economy for the citizens of Dubai, and the destination for a smart tourism experience for visitors.

This year, the Experience tour will include many examples of Smart Living, Smart Economy, and Smart Tourism either deployed or in tests in Dubai.  All of the stops on the Experience tour feed information back to the Command and Control Center – another stop on the Tour and the heart of the transformation – where information can be correlated and actions taken.

Some of the digital experiences in the tour will be familiar to anyone who has followed the Internet of Things space in the last few years, but at an advanced level.  For example, we’ll see smart street lights that are not only Wi-Fi-connected but are also equipped with multi-purpose sensors. These sensors allow for adaptive lighting control (dimming, advanced scheduling) based on detected occupancy of the parking lot or street parking.  These sensors also enable visitors to see parking space vacancy and be led (using an app on their phone) to available spaces – quite the smart living advantage for citizens and visitors alike.  With these sensors, administrators will be able to get real time parking data, utilization analytics, and have real-time monitoring to determine both maintenance needs of the spaces and poles as well as public safety alerts.

An experience on the tour that will help build a smarter economy is an advanced ATM machine.  The Wi-Fi connected ATMs can detect skimming devices, alert local law enforcement, and activate IP Surveillance cameras in the area to monitor and track the potential criminals.

Attendees will meet IoT enabled Smart Police Officers – another example on the Experience tour.  Police will support the smarter economy and keep tourists and locals alike safe using enhanced IP enabled surveillance and sensors. This enhanced surveillance includes both the on-person and vehicle mounted cameras which can relay live video tracking information on suspicious vehicles while providing tactical information back to the Command and Control Center. With these, decisions can be made that integrate & correlate live information on police cars, police personnel, their status, and other sensor information.

Smart lighting, smart ATMs, and smarter safety are just a few of the superb examples of IoT in action that will be on display during the IoTWF Dubai Experience tour. In addition to the aforementioned smart examples, we’ll see smart cross-vertical solutions in transportation, environmental and energy monitoring, safety & security, banking, aviation, and education.  This should be the best year yet for this popular part of the World Forum.  Are you going? What would you like to see? Share in the comments.

If you haven’t yet registered for the IoTWF, request an invite today.





Jaishree Subramania

No Longer with Cisco