Dubai is set to host the Middle East’s first dedicated annual event for ‘mobile governance’ this March, as the region prepares itself for the next stage of citizen engagement.
Set against the backdrop of a number of ‘smart government’ initiatives being rolled out across the region, m-Government 2014 will provide a vital platform for government ICT leaders to meet with global industry experts and suppliers at one venue, share experiences and develop successful strategies to implement their mobile governance programmes.
Scheduled to take place from 24-25 March 2014 at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, m-Government 2014 will assemble global government, IT and business leaders in an effort to highlight the challenges posed in establishing effective ICT programmes and provide a roadmap for success.
The Middle East region already boasts the second highest mobile phone population in the world, with the UAE having the highest smart phone penetration rate globally at 74% and Saudi Arabia following closely behind at 73%. These rates are expected to go up even higher, as more cost-effective devices are introduced to the market and the industry opens up to greater competition. Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer at Licensing Agency, Road and Transport Authority, Dubai, who will be speaking at the event said: “We are pleased to participate in this important initiative, which we feel will contribute to the UAE’s smart government goals. At the RTA, we share the vision of our country’s leadership in providing the highest quality of services to our citizens and will use this event to highlight the steps we have taken to deliver innovation, efficiency and value in everything we do.”
m-Government 2014 will bring to the fore a number of challenges government departments face in providing an increasing number of services on mobile phones. Key discussions will revolve around understanding m-government adoption and its role in citizen engagement; developing centralised programmes to spur economic growth; building a national pool of experts, entrepreneurs and innovators through successful educational programmes and new technologies that will improve productivity, reduce costs and deliver the next stage of customer service excellence.
The event has also received an excellent response from government IT leaders across the region. Speaking about their participation at the event, Hassan Al-Sayed, Assistant Secretary General - Information Technology Sector, ICT Government Programs, Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) said: “We will be speaking about the role a central body plays in building a consistent, whole-of-government approach to adopting mobile technology. At ICTQatar, we have been able to roll out a number of successful initiatives, such as Hukoomi, Qatar’s award winning e-Government Portal, Al-Meezan, which has set an example for Arab nations on how governments can enrich Arabic digital content, Customs Single Window and other platforms. We look forward to sharing these with our colleagues from around the region.”
Daksha Patel, Event Director at Niche Ideas, organisers of the event said: “Government departments across the world face similar challenges in their efforts to roll out effective IT programmes. Our conference has been designed to learn from best practices globally, highlighting international case studies that have worked, yet are tailored for the region. This will be a great opportunity for regional IT programme managers to meet with their peers internationally and provide an unparalleled learning and knowledge sharing platform.”
Over 350 attendees are expected to attend the conference from 30 countries, with speakers from the UK, France, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, amongst the international experts headlining the event. Key speaker contributions are also expected from Bahrain e-Government Authority, UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Dubai, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR) and Blackberry.