Smart Cities

Conference Programmes

Find out more about our expert speakers or view all the session details below.  

Thursday 18th April

MC: Natasha Basu, Clear Water Solutions (Al Shirawi)

10:30 - 11:15 | Panel: Sustainable land use: Balancing human needs with environmental preservation

Developers are increasingly being asked to assume responsibility for preserving biodiversity in their projects, by promoting regenerative design in urban planning. This scene setting panel discusses how this can be achieved, who drives such change and whether it requires legislation and policies to prevent environmental destruction by new developments. 

Moderator: Camilo Cerro, Professor of Architecture and Interior Design,
American University of Sharjah  

Huda Shaka, 
Director, Gehl

Islam Kamel, Advisor - Building Regulations, Sustainability and Permits, Department of Municipalities and Transport

Dalia Hamati, 
Founder and Principal Architect, studioDA

Dima Al Srouri, 
Founder and Director, Biospheric City Lab

11:15 - 11:30 | Presentation: Achieving net-zero within the built environment by 2050 

This presentation looks at how a people-first approach to sustainable master planning would change the design, infrastructure and functionality of future cities and urban communities.  

Chris Wan, Associate Director of Sustainability and CSR, Masdar City 

11:30 - 11:50 | Fireside talk: Rethinking asset management for smart, sustainable cities

Traditional approaches to asset management are no longer viable. To truly get the best from an asset, to see its value rise and to protect investments, asset management needs to include not just a building or piece of infrastructure, but include multiple facets, such as surrounding land, roads, pipes, etc. This talk will investigate the growing importance of data-led asset performance management.

Moderator: Paul Raphael,
Regional Director - Strategic Advisory, Middle East, AtkinsRéalis 

Shane Mitchell, Director of Advisory EMEA, Parsons

Wees Abraham, 
VP - Operations / Board Member, Shade

11:50 - 12:30 | Panel: Can a city be smart without open data?

The risk of silos resulting in a broken flow of data is ever present. For a city to be truly smart, a common data environment is critical. In addition, everyone involved in planning services within a smart city need access to reliable, accurate data from a range of parties, including private and government. A true smart city requires open data. This panel will discuss how this can be achieved. 

Moderator: Dima Al Srouri, Founder and Director, Biospheric City Lab 

Oliver Kallenborn, 
Regional Data Analytics & Assurance Director, AtkinsRéalis

Dr. Harpreet Seth, Head of Architecture, Senior Director of Studies, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University 

Atif Rehman, Regional Manager - Middle East, Thinkproject

Benoit Meulewaeter, Director of Engineering, Besix 

MC: Dr. Adel AbouJaoudé, Global Director - Water Conveyance & Storage, Jacobs 

13:30 - 13:45 | Case study: Cities and the future of small-scale energy

Laurence Kemball-Cook, Founder and CEO, Pavegen

13:45 - 14:00 | Case Study: Air pollution - breathable cities through clean transport models

The health benefits that come with clean transport will have society-wide benefits. This case study will look at work that is being done to monitor air pollution.

Oriol Teixido, Middle East Associate Director - Air Quality and Climate Change, Ricardo Energy & Environment Consultancy

14:00 - 14:40 | Panel: Closing the loop: Integrating circular economy principles in smart cities 

Moderator: Neha Basheer, Member, EmiratesGBC 

Jamila Almir, Senior Advisor to the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, COP28, The Private Office of H.E. Razan Al Mubarak 

Balsam Nehme, Sustainability Director, Dar Al Handasah and Member of
the Board of Directors, EmiratesGBC

Muna Alnahdi, Head of Sustainability & Consultancy, Farnek 

14:45 - 15:00 | Case study: Leveraging digital twins for a deeper understanding of city dynamics

There has been much discussion about digital twins, what they are and if they are really bringing the expected insights where used. Are digital twins helping to make building or city operations more efficient, and if so, how? 

Wissam Hijazi, Senior Director Innovation MENA, EllisDon

15:00 - 15:15 | Case study: Intelligent infrastructure: The backbone of sustainable urban development

This talk will focus on the importance of intelligent infrastructure in the development of sustainable cities. It will cover how cutting-edge technologies in IoT, energy management, and green building practices are revolutionising urban planning and development, leading to smarter, more resilient cities.

Ismail Ozenc, Associate Vice President, Siemens Advanta Consulting

15:15 - 16:00 | Panel: A technology insight into building energy efficiency 

A key aspect of city decarbonisation will be greater energy efficiency in both existing and future buildings. Where major new developments are happening, this is often being built in. This panel will discuss some of the efficiency gains that can be achieved through building upgrades and the core technologies that will be needed to enable true change. It will also ask if the Esco model is working in the region, is its use widespread enough and look at how it could evolve in future. 

Moderator: Yasser Ahmed, VP, Buildings Gulf Countries, Schneider Electric 

Andrea Di Gregorio, Executive Director, Energy Efficiency and Renewables Office,
Ras Al Khaimah Municipality

Omnia Halawani, Co – CEO & Founder, GRFN

Tharun Thomas, Deputy Head of Energy Efficiency at Engie Solutions, and Member,
Clean Energy Business Council

Rohan Chopra, Regional Director, Sustainable Infrastructure – Europe,
Middle East & Africa, Johnson Controls