Google releases study quantifying economic impact of digital maps in KSA

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Street View.
Updated 21 October 2017
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Google releases study quantifying economic impact of digital maps in KSA

A Google-commissioned study conducted by marketing research firm AlphaBeta quantified the economic impact of services like Google Maps and Google Earth by looking at the benefits and value geospatial technology brought to consumers, businesses and society in 2016 in Saudi Arabia.
According to the study, modern mapping services have the potential to unleash consumer benefits worth over SR5.2 billion ($1.4 billion) per year by enabling people to:
l Travel faster: Digital maps reduced travel time by 16 percent on average in Saudi Arabia, placing the value of time saved at SR11 billion.
l Save fuel: By reducing travel time, digital maps helped save around 29 liters of fuel per car, worth SR23 in Saudi Arabia per year, that is 2.5 billion liters of fuel, worth SR1.9 billion in total.
l Be safer: Around 41 percent of digital map users in the Kingdom state it helps them identify security facilities (such as police stations).
l Speed up shopping: Saudi consumers save over 110 million hours per year from more efficient purchasing decisions. The value of time saved is SR4 billion (based on local wage rates).
“We want to help people in the region understand what Google Maps can do for them. To do that, we need to understand maps today and the impact they have on people’s lives, which is why we worked with AlphaBeta to conduct this study. While the results reveal great benefits for consumers, businesses, and society, there remains more potential to be unlocked by geospatial technology,” said Selim Edde, head of government relations and public policy at Google.
The report also outlines three recommendations key to tapping into the full potential of geospatial services:
l Governments can enable the promotion, adoption and implementation of the emerging applications of geospatial technology and data by adopting policies that support the collection, sharing, and use of geospatial data and services.
l Academia and civil society organizations can utilize geospatial technology to improve the efficiency of their major activities. Some applications include city planning, tracking environmental pollution, and maintaining important information on health and diseases.
l Businesses could increase their investment in and use of geospatial services to enhance the value and productivity of their business, attract new customers and boost sales.


Real estate landscape to be explored

Updated 17 February 2019
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Real estate landscape to be explored

Informa Middle East, organizer of the Cityscape portfolio of events, will roll out a trio of back-to-back events across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE between March 24 and April 18.

With the specific market dynamics of each destination being explored through dedicated country events, the 2019 Cityscape series springs into action with Cityscape Egypt at the Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in Cairo. A two-day conference kick-starts the Egypt schedule on March 24 and 25, before the exhibition takes centerstage from March 27 to 30. 

Cityscape then moves to the Center for Forums and Events in Jeddah, which includes an exhibition from April 5 to 7, before a one-day workshop on April 7. Finally, a return to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) includes a three-day exhibition from April 16 to 18 with an influential agenda on the lineup at the conference set for April 16.

“It’s a packed three-week schedule with a very distinct market approach and program for each destination,” said Chris Speller, Cityscape group director. “This year more than ever, Cityscape will drill down into the specifics and varied issues affecting each market. While opportunities continue to abound across the region, each market requires very different approaches from consumers, government entities and private developers to realize them. 

“With each market at varying stages of maturity and subject to very different developmental concerns, the conference and exhibition stops in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi enable industry professionals and public investors to engage with people at the sharp end of the business, understand and seize opportunities, and network for future growth,” added Speller.

In Egypt, the conference will focus on “Energizing the Market and Reinstating Confidence” with government authorities, experts, and market influencers scheduled to spell out the country’s strategic vision to achieve real estate market maturity. 

Expecting a turnout of more than 40 exhibitors and over 8,000 visitors, Cityscape Jeddah this year looks to align with the goals of the Kingdom’s real estate market in light of its Saudi Vision 2030 economic diversification plan.

“Vision 2030 reforms are expected to attract major investment into a Saudi real estate sector predicted to double its contribution to the national economy right through this decade,” said Speller. 

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed Saudi Arabia make significant strides in attracting foreign and local investment, implementing various urban regeneration initiatives, and investing in infrastructure.”

This recent progress, when aligned with the various projects being green-lit, will no doubt transform the country into a global investment powerhouse. We believe Cityscape Jeddah will help drive investment in the Saudi sector by enhancing its standing as a crucial meeting point for regional and international leaders who can contribute to making Vision 2030 a reality.”

With a focus on “Achieving Diversification and Energizing the Market,” the Jeddah workshops will feature prominent investment panel discussions which dive into how the country’s tourism and hospitality sector agenda can impact Vision 2030. The Cityscape outings in Cairo and Jeddah will both feature dedicated editions of the Cityscape Awards, which recognize and celebrate excellence in real estate development and architecture. 

The UAE capital’s official real estate event platform, Cityscape Abu Dhabi is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The one-day conference agenda will explore the future of regulatory and technological innovation with a strong focus on the government sector’s growth strategy for the UAE capital.