Bahrain Smart Cities Summit 2024 opens

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister, has affirmed that Bahrain has made advanced steps towards providing a digital infrastructure for its present and future cities, commensurate with the goals of the comprehensive development process, led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and supported by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, regarding the shift towards smart and sustainable cities that incorporate the quality of life standards.

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking while opening the Bahrain Smart Cities Summit 2024, organised by the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture, in cooperation with Smart Way Consulting, under the theme “Smart Cities: The AI Frontier”.

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla indicated that based on the royal directives to develop an integrated national plan that would ensure full readiness to deal with the requirements of digital economy, the kingdom’s Telecommunications, Information Technology and Digital Economy Strategy (2022-2026) aims to provide a high-quality infrastructure that would reflect positively on the efforts being made to consolidate the concept of “Smart Cities” locally, by providing cities with the necessary technology that achieves sustainability and ensure optimal use of resources, environmentally and economically.

The deputy premier asserted that the Ministerial Committee for Development Projects and Infrastructure had tasked the Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture Ministry to prepare a comprehensive strategy to develop and apply the smart cities’ standards and specifications.

He stressed the importance of holding such specialised conferences in discussing the latest developments, enhancing the kingdom’s status as a regional and Arab centre for smart cities, as well as exchanging expertise and shedding light on successful local and global experiences.  

The Deputy Prime Minister expressed thanks and appreciation to the Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture Ministry and all the organsiers, wishing the participants every success in coming up with practical outcomes that would contribute to carrying on adopting smart city solutions and gradually implementing them.  

Wael bin Nasser Al Mubarak, Minister of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture, expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to the Deputy Prime Minister for inaugurating the seventh Bahrain Smart Cities Summit, commending his continuous support for municipal work in the kingdom.

He underscored the importance of Bahrain Smart Cities Summit, being among the specialised conferences hosted by Bahrain in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and transformation into smart cities, noting that it provides an opportunity to benefit from international expertise and incorporate them in pioneering local  experiences in this regard, which will reflect positively on the urban development process, currently witnessed by the kingdom, under the leadership of HM the King, and the follow-up of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

Minister Al Mubarak pointed out that the plenary sessions would pave the way for identifying ways to integrate successful international experiences with local initiatives and studies to bring about a quantum leap in the kingdom’s progress in the fields of smart sustainable cities and AI.

Then, the Deputy Prime Minister honoured the Summit sponsors, as well as the winners of the its awards among public and private entities.

The laureates included:

–      Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) won the award for innovative use Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things in Smart Cities for its smart electricity network project.

–     Information and e-Government Authority (iGA) won the “Advancements in Food Security and Agritech” award for its Botanical Atlas Project.

–     Diyar Al-Muharraq Company won the “Community Engagement and Inclusion” award for the Diyar Al Muharraq Project.

–     The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning clinched the “Smart Real Estate and Sustainable Building” award for the Salman City Project.

–     The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain (RCSI Bahrain) won the “Renewable Energy and Sustainability Initiatives” for its solar energy project.

–     Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) won the “Excellence in ESG Implementation” Award for the private sector.  

–     The “Excellence in ESG Implementation” Award was also granted to Interior Ministry for its Excellence in Human Resources Management Project, and the Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry for its Towns and Villages Development project and platform.

The Deputy Prime Minister also opened the summit’s accompanying exhibition, including 10 booths from public and private entities.

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