Data is ‘oil of the future,’ Dubai government summit told

Mohamed Al-Gergawi, UAE minister for cabinet affairs and the future
Updated 11 February 2018
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Data is ‘oil of the future,’ Dubai government summit told

DUBAI: Data is the “oil of the future,” Mohammad Al-Gergawi, UAE minister for cabinet affairs and the future, told the opening session of the World Government Summit in Dubai.
A packed audience heard the minister set out the agenda for the three-day event, which has attracted 4,000 leaders from the worlds of business and economic and public policy. Digital communications giants such as Google and Facebook would soon know more about individuals than governments do, Al-Gergawi said.
“By 2045, we will be able to transfer and upload the contents of the human mind to a data center. Governments must be prepared for these coming changes. The aim of this summit is to find answers and set priorities to meet these challenges and opportunities.”
The theme of the summit is “shaping future governments,” and Al-Gergawi detailed the challenges policymakers will face in health, artificial intelligence, crypto currencies and their impact on global finance, climate change and the issues of digital connectivity.
Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, who also spoke at the opening session, harked back 10 years to the onset of the global financial crisis, which he said threatened a series of other crises in economies, in societies and between generations.
“We avoided a complete breakdown of the financial system, but there was a cost. The world’s debts now add up to 200 per cent of global GDP,” he said.
Schwab said most experts, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund, were forecasting two years of  “sound, comprehensive growth,” but he said financial markets were still addicted to low interest rates and cheap capital.
There were still risks of a social crisis, he said, with levels of inequality and an unfair system of wealth distribution, as well as a generational crisis. “The world’s education systems do not satisfy the requirements of the 21st century.”
He highlighted global risks such as geopolitical issues, inequality, cybersecurity, gender parity and failures of leadership.
The pace of technological change was increasing all the time and adding to the pressures on policymakers, Schwab said. “Never before has the speed of change been so fast as in 2018. But also, never again will the speed of change be so slow as it is in 2018.”


DP World signs solar deal with ‘green champion’ SirajPower

Updated 4 min 17 sec ago
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DP World signs solar deal with ‘green champion’ SirajPower

  • The 22-year lease agreement announced on Tuesday will see UAE-based SirajPower initially deliver 15MW-worth of panels to Jafza
  • The deal forms part of DP World’s solar program which aims to ramp up use of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources across its facilities

LONDON: Global ports operator DP World has signed a deal with UAE-based SirajPower to install solar roof panels at its facilities in the Jebel Ali Freezone (Jafza) and National Industries Park as part the company’s efforts to reduce its energy consumption and cut costs.
The 22-year lease agreement announced on Tuesday will see UAE-based SirajPower initially deliver 15MW-worth of panels to Jafza.
The deal forms part of DP World’s solar program which aims to ramp up use of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources across its facilities. It follows the launch of the UAE’s first green storage and warehouse facilities at Jafza in June this year, with some cool storage facilities now entirely run on solar energy while other warehouses are becoming more energy efficient.
In late 2016, DP World announced the start of the construction of the largest solar rooftop project in the Middle East, with the commissioning of 88,000 rooftop solar panels across its Dubai facilities.
“Creating a sustainable business model through the implementation of green technologies is a core focus for DP World, and one of our key initiatives is our ground-breaking solar power program that will generate enough energy to power 4,600 homes on completion,” said Mohammed Al-Muallem, CEO and managing director, DP World, UAE region.
DP World has reduced its CO2 emissions intensity by 24 percent since 2008, Muallem added, in a statement on Tuesday.
SirajPower hopes the DP World deal as a springboard for regional growth, said Laurent Longuet, the company’s CEO.
“We witnessed a rapid growth in only three years and our plan now is to expand our offering to other emirates and countries in the GCC, as well as making a foray into the residential market to truly become the regional green champion,” he said.
SirajPower said it would open a branch in Jafza to support the installation of the new units. Construction is expected to take 18 months, the company said.
In 2015, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) launched the Shams Dubai solar initiative aimed at encouraging individuals and businesses to install PV panels to generate electricity and connect them to the Dewa network. The program supports government targets for Dubai to generate 25 percent of its energy needs from solar by 2030.
SirajPower has won contracts for 50MW-worth of the solar rooftop projects implemented under the Shams program to date.