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Power of drones will build smart cities

on Nov 20, 2018


Rabih Bou Rashid
Rabih Bou Rashid

In the last few decades, GCC governments invested in the development of infrastructure to recalibrate their economies and in the past five years created greater non-oil sources of income. The vision of economic growth in these countries developed a multicultural platform that made an impact on their population demographics while attracting foreign knowledge, labor and investments.

With one of the highest rates of population growth in the world, the GCC population has grown more than ten times during the last 50 years. The local population reached 52.6 million at the end of 2015 and is projected to see a 12 million increase by 2030 reaching a total of 64.9 million people that reside in the region. The biggest spike in population growth is expected to take place in the KSA followed by the UAE, Oman, and Kuwait.

Nominal GDP across GCC countries, which was US$341.6bn in 2000, is expected to increase to over US$2trn in 2020. 

While the economic forecast is very positive, it requires a lot of work when it comes to creating a firm infrastructure that can accommodate the estimated population increase.

GCC governments put plans and visions towards building smarter cities that can accommodate a growing demand in power, food and water supplies. 

Growing demand in real estate and city infrastructure units will need to be accommodated via improved transport lines. Such measures are already being taken care of through the establishment of Etihad Rail project that is designed to manage the development, construction, and operation of the UAE's national freight and passenger railway network. 

According to the Etihad Rail website the railway network will be built in phases to link the principal centers of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network linking the six countries of the GCC: The Kingdom of Bahrain, The State of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE.

To promote sustainable growth in the Gulf region it is important that governments introduce energy efficiency measures, invest in clean fuel and renewable energy supplies, improve water efficiency, invest in new water desalination capacity and identify agriculturally viable land areas. 



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