Smart Cities Forum

Monday 17th January

10.30 | Visit Exhibition

13.30 | Welcome Address

Dr. Nabyl Chenaf

Dean of the Architecture School

American University in Dubai

13.35 | Future-proofing city planning

Panel Discussion

How will the needs and wants for residential and commercial space change in line with the way people work? If workspaces are becoming more flexible, and working from home more prevalent, how will residential space be rethought? What will this mean for office space, particularly if larger companies adopt a hub and spoke office space approach? And what will this mean for government efforts to create smart buildings, communities and cities?

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Dr. Nabyl Chenaf

Dean of the Architecture School

American University in Dubai

Ross McKenzie

Executive Director

RMA Advisory

Louise Collins

UAE Country Director

Project & Development Services, JLL

Lutz Wilgen

Senior Design Manager

Masdar City

14.20 | Regenerative architecture – where does it fit within smart city planning?

Panel Discussion

The focus for building has been sustainability, but should it go further, with communities and governments embracing principles of regenerative architecture? This discussion will explain regenerative architecture, why it will become more important for net zero plans, and how it can link with nature even in extreme climates.

Confirmed speakers: 

Riyad Joucka

Owner - Lead Architect

Middle East Architecture Network

15.00 | Urban greening: Benefits towards a low carbon future

Case Studies

15.00: Case Study 1: Reducing heat islands – greening to make cities more liveable

In addition to reducing particulate matter, urban greening will help cool heat islands in built-up areas and prevent flooding where heavy rain occurs. This discussion looks at how to put in place ‘desert friendly’ urban greening that recognises the local climate and provides tangible benefits to a city.

Vasushree Mohta

Design Director

Master Planning, Middle East, Atkins

15.15: Case study 2: Urban greening: Benefits towards a low carbon future

Sebastien Miller

Public Realm Manager

Masdar City

15.30: Audience Q&A

16.00 | Close of Day One

Tuesday 18th January

10.30 | Meeting sustainable energy & water from the needs of a city


H.E. Eng. Ahmed AlKaabi

Assistant Undersecretary

Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, UAE

10.40 | Changing transport infrastructure in urban environments

Keynote Panel Discussion

A key pillar in the electrification of the energy transition is to reduce the number of petrol- and diesel-based vehicles used, and to encourage greater use of clean, mass transit. But most companies and people are invested still in their current approach. How do we accelerate change, increase clean personal transport, put in place reliable mass transit and crack the last mile when public transport is used?

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Virginie Seurat

Vice President


Morsi Berguiga



Kyle Weber


EV Lab

Roger Cruickshank

Senior Director & Atkins Acuity Lead,

Middle East, SNC-Lavalin Group

Nadeem Shakir

Technical Director - ME Transport

Planning Leader, Zutari

11.20 | Driving an electric car to the other side of the world


In 1,222 days, Wiebe Wakker drove 100,450km through 34 countries from the Netherlands to New Zealand in his electric 'Blue Bandit', with the aim to educate, inspire and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

Presented by:

Wiebe Wakker

Sustainable Adventurer

Plug Me In

11.40 | Is micro-mobility the answer to the last mile challenge?

Panel Discussion

Some aspects of micro-mobility can be quite divisive, but is it the answer to the last mile challenge? If the use of micro-mobility is to rise, what must municipalities and governments put in place for its smooth operation in spaces that will also include vehicles and people. This panel will discuss some of the options around the last mile challenge and how to increase micro-mobility use in a safe, sustainable way.

Confirmed speakers:

Jonathan Spear

Policy and Strategy Advisor, Transportation

Atkins Acuity

Jaideep Dhanoa

Co-Founder and CEO


Ahmed Samir Elbermbali

Managing Director

Clean Energy Business Council

Moderator: Rob Jones

Forums Director

World Future Energy Summit

12.20 | The hydrogen transport economy

Panel Discussion

What is the future for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (EVs)? Will light vehicles become more popular, or has battery EV now got too much of a market hold? For hydrogen, is the future fleet vehicles such as taxis and buses, which need to be on the road for much of the time, and heavy vehicles? And if so, how does this change planning for infrastructure?

Moderator: Stephen Severance

Head, Program Management


Stephan Gobert

Head of Strategy

Innovation & Customer Experience, Engie

Peter Harris

VP of International Sustainability


Kei Fujita

Chief Representative

Toyota Motor Corporation

Virginie Seurat

Vice President


13.00 | Visit Exhibition

14.30 | IoT and smart monitoring to improve efficiency


Presented by: 

Hani Khalaf

IOT Lead

Dell Technologies

14.50 | The role of blockchain in smart cities


This introduction to blockchain and distributed ledger technology will cover how it can be used in smart cities, and include three current leading use cases.

Presented by:

15.10 | Cybersecurity in smart cities

Panel Discussion

Examples of cyber-attacks, including state-based, are increasing and as cities become interconnected and smart, the data they hold will become more attractive. How do cities protect themselves from sophisticated attacks and what data protection needs to be in place?

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Andrew Schumer

Technical Director


Dr. Mohammad Khaled

Safe Digital Thought Leader

Independent Consultant

Dr. May El Barachi

Associate Dean, Head of the Cyber & Network

University of Wollongong in Dubai

Dino Wilkinson


Clyde & Co

Phil Mennie

Partner, Digital Trust


16.00 | Close of Day Two

Wednesday 19th January

10.45 | Welcome Address

Phillip Higgins

Business Development Consultant


10.50 | Meeting net-zero carbon targets in cities

Panel Discussion

Cities account for 66% of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions. Building and construction – when both pre-and post-handover are considered – account for 39% of carbon emissions. Of that, 28% is from energy used during a building’s operation and 11% are the emissions associated with the construction process. If cities are going to become carbon net zero in future, new ideas are required to reduce emissions. This panel will take a practical look at moving towards net zero carbon targets and set the scene for the morning’s discussions.

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Steve Griffiths

Senior Vice President, Research

and Development, Khalifa University

Riad Bsaibes

President and CEO


Greg Fewer

Group Chief Financial & Sustainability Office


11.20 | Decarbonisation: Tackling embodied carbon

Panel Discussion

As more focus turns to decarbonisation in the buildings sector, attention is turning to embodied carbon and how to reduce it. As highlighted in the previous session, 11% of carbon emissions in construction can be considered as embodied. What targets need to be in place and how should the industry approach measuring embodied carbon, because without tackling this issue, it will not meet new quotas.

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Chris Wan

Head, Design Management


Dr Yasemin Nielsen

EngD in Construction Programme Leader

Heriot-Watt University Dubai

Mario Saab

Head of Sustainability MENA


Karim El-Jisr

Chief Sustainability Officer,

Diamond Developer

12.00 | Navigating Aldar’s Decarbonisation Journey


Presented by:

Salwa Al Maflahi

Director of CSR & Sustainability

Aldar Developments

12.20 | Low carbon energy use in cities


Presented by:

Eng. Mohammed Al Taani

Secretary General

Arab Renewable Energy Commission

12.45 | Visit Exhibition

14.30 | The role of materials and technologies in promoting building efficiency

Panel Discussion

What sensor and monitoring technologies will make buildings more efficient in future, reducing their consumption and altering building management when problems are on the horizon? This panel will build on the technologies and materials that will become prevalent to meet future net zero targets, as well as the importance of running an energy audit model to increase efficiency, functionality and ongoing sustainability once a building has been handed over. 

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Phillip Higgins

Business Development Consultant


Tolga Candan

Head of Strategic Business Development

Retrofit, Sensgreen

Rachid Hamida

Technology & Performance Director


Dr Christian Tock

Deputy Director General

Ministry of Economy, Luxembourg

15.10 | Re-energising the Esco market

Panel Discussion

How is the energy services (Esco) market changing as more awareness and expectation is placed on efficiency in buildings? Governments are still committed to retrofitting buildings. So where are the market opportunities for Escos and retrofitting and where should companies focus for future revenues and growth?

Confirmed speakers:

Moderator: Phillip Higgins

Business Development Consultant


Aref Abouzahr


Ark Energy

Suhaib Almarzooqi

Business Development Manager

Abu Dhabi Energy Services

Michel Abi Saab

General Manager


16.00 | Close of Smart Cities Forum