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Siemens exec: Qatar taking steps toward ‘smart city’ future

Fatih Sakiz, Siemens Qatar CEO, says the Gulf state is beginning to invest in digitalisation

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Digitalisation will be the next step forward in Doha’s evolution into a smart city, with moves already being taken towards achieving that goal, the CEO of Siemens Qatar has said.

Speaking to Big Project ME, Fatih Sakiz said Qatar is currently in “the phase of electrification and automation”, with significant investments being made in these two areas. The next step is to invest in digitalisation, he explained.

“[It’s about] making use of these automated point networks to become smarter. There’s a general consensus in the market to move in that general direction,” Sakiz said during a phone interview.

He added that smart buildings – for example, large residential and commercial building complexes, transportation hubs like airports and ports, healthcare facilities, cultural villages and shopping malls – were areas that also required state-of-the-art management systems.

“You need security as well as safety, especially fire safety. Plus, for infrastructure, there’s a wide range of transportation systems all around the country, and it’s developing very quickly. At a certain point in time, you have to optimise these transmission networks.”

Sakiz pointed out that Siemens has already begun working with Qatari authorities on digitalisation, through its Smart Metering project, a huge initiative that will be implemented across 15,000 points across Doha.

“This Smart Metering project aims to enhance the user experience for water and electricity, while also bringing better control and understanding to both Kahramaa [the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation] and the users, about the consumption of water and electricity, which are scarce resources in the country.

“For these types of projects, we’re expecting to see further expansion, beyond basic infrastructure investments, like power networks. We also expect further investment in power generation, and of course oil and gas.”

He added that the Siemens research and development centre in Qatar would continue to work closely with universities, private and local companies, and state institutions, to help define the way forward.

“It’s about looking at how we can make the solutions and technologies that are provided in Qatar more digitalised, more futuristic and state of the art. That’s what we’re doing in our centre here in Doha, together with many different stakeholders,” said Sakiz.

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