A pioneering conference coming to Dubai this March 2019 will explore how smart lighting solutions – driven by the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the lighting sector – are on the way to the UAE as the country pursues its aim of developing smart cities.

The one-day conference focussing on IoT lighting – the first of its kind in the region – will be part of the expansive knowledge programme of Middle East Electricity, the world’s largest annual power industry trade platform. The conference will debut on the show’s first day on March 5, 2019, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) with experts from the Middle East, South America, Europe, India, and the USA probing the advances possible from leveraging IoT within the lighting sector and its ability to transform lifestyles.

Smart street lighting is emerging as a key theme with speakers predicting its impact on the MENA region as the role of lighting evolves from merely illuminating highways to providing social, environmental and operational cost benefits.

Speaking ahead of the event, Scott Fennelly, director of transportation at UAE-based Solutions Mobility Consultants, believes the benefits for the Emirates are multi-faceted.

“Further enhancements to already innovative smart street lighting solutions can assist in developing truly Smart Cities,” explained Fennelly. “These solutions will improve the environment and the sustainability of cities, provide added benefits for the public, and reduce the costs associated with maintenance for various authorities and developers.”

The conference opens with a talk on how IoT lighting will help establish the UAE as a global smart city, by creating ITS highway via lighting systems. Necessary legal frameworks for data sharing will also be discussed. These plans will be outlined by Eng. Ammar Majed Safi, the Senior Electrical & Development Engineer & Innovation Team Member at the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

In addition, a panel of experts will explore strategies for planning, launching and maintaining a public space IoT lighting system and endeavour to pinpoint where the best initial applications for the Middle East would be, including lighting as a platform for wireless connectivity (LiFi).