First IoT exhibition opens to explore what lies ahead for information technology in KSA

1 / 5
Visitors at the first Saudi International Exhibition & Conference for IoT in Riyadh. (AN photos by Ahmed Fathi)
2 / 5
A session in progress at first Saudi International Exhibition &Conference on IoT. (AN photo by Ahmed Fathi)
3 / 5
An IOT session on Future of growth & productivity industry in progressat RICEC. (AN photo by Ahmed Fathi)
4 / 5
5 / 5
Updated 29 January 2018
0

First IoT exhibition opens to explore what lies ahead for information technology in KSA

RIYADH: The first Saudi International Exhibition and Conference for Internet of Things (IoT) opened Sunday, representing a major step in supporting Saudi Vision 2030, which has allocated a great deal of support to the IT sector and affirmed full support for creative and innovative thinking to motivate the Saudi youth.

The event is at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center and its manager Fahad Algarni told Arab News: "Internet of Things is emerging now and Saudi Arabia is taking the lead in the region with this mega event for enabling infrastructure or increasing the infrastructure capacity for the Internet in line with Vision 2030, which is the first step in digitizing the nation.”

This further complements the government plan to expand the broadband Internet services to 70 percent of the remote areas by 2020 and to all citizens subsequently, thus becoming a digital nation with an efficient Internet connectivity, and reaching the cornerstone for the IoT, he added.

“This conference and exhibition today started with the aim of introducing and exploring the latest IoT innovations and technologies. For the next three days it will be the place where the techno community will gather to explore what lies ahead for the future IoT industry in Saudi Arabia,” Algarni added.

It will also serve as the starting point for lots of deals, negotiations and contracts for better engagements and future collaborations between participating companies. This conference and exhibition will from now on be an annual event with exponential growth, he said.

Earlier, Ahmed Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), opened the conference and emphasized in his opening address that anyone can utilize this innovative IoT from using these devices in health care, transportation and communication to other areas of life with immense help for quick data collection, analysis and monitoring in real time.

The CSC chairman also stressed that it is useful for a range of purposes such as seeking an appointment with a doctor, calling for an ambulance and for various other daily requirements at a faster pace.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
0

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”