Lord Mayor of London joins Deloitte for smart cities event in Dubai

18 January 2019 Consultancy-me.com

The Lord Mayor of London has dropped in for a discussion on smart cities hosted by Deloitte in Dubai during his tour of the Middle East.

Sworn in at the end of last year, the current Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin has kicked off his ambassadorial tenure with a visit to the Middle East, taking in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. A senior advisor to Barclays and former partner at PwC, the long-time banker was in the region to explore cross-national collaboration opportunities for innovation in the financial services sector, hinting at some intriguing developments to come.

With financial technology and green and Islamic finance high on the agenda, Estlin during his trip to the Gulf met with the Emir of Kuwait Sabah Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah along with the Kuwait Investment Authority and Minister of Finance – celebrating the 120th anniversary of the UK-Kuwait agreement and $4.4 billion worth of mutual investments last year – before moving on to Abu Dhabi and Dubai for meetings with Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

The Lord Mayor also dropped in for a smart cities event hosted by Deloitte in Dubai, attended by a range of senior executives from the local infrastructure sector. The ‘Shaping tomorrow’s cities today’ event, moderated by Deloitte Middle East Construction Leader Cynthia Corby (who was recently named by Forbes as among the most influential women in the region), looked into how innovation and digital technology will help to drive efficiency and social inclusion in the cities of the future.Lord Mayor of London joins Deloitte for smart cities event in Dubai“We were honored to host the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Peter Estlin as well as key players in the Emirate’s infrastructure industry who shared valuable insights on how to shape tomorrow’s cities,” said Corby, with speakers at the event including Ahmed Al Khatib, Vice President of Real Estate Development for Expo 2020, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths, Arup’s Middle East Planning Leader Joanne Carmichael, and Deloitte Infrastructure Consulting lead Paul Hirst.

“With Industry 4.0 and other major technological and infrastructure developments occurring globally, building smart and agile cities is a must in today’s evolving business landscape,” Corby continued. “We hope that the views provided by our speakers shed light on this important topic and how ongoing investments in infrastructure and capital projects should focus on an integrated approach from the outset with a focus on whole life cost of the assets.”

In addition to the smart cities event, Estlin paid a visit to the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) financial technology hub Fintech Hive (which is being developed with support from Accenture), from where he tweeted of ‘intriguing prospects for collaboration’. Estlin was also received by Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the DIFC – which has recently been given approval for a massive expansion.

“Deloitte hosted an excellent panel and we had a productive discussion on the collaboration possible between the City of London and Dubai in terms of developing cities with world-class infrastructure, strong digital capabilities and a focus on social inclusion,” Estlin said of the future cities event. During his trip, the Lord Mayor was accompanied by representatives from the London Stock Exchange, FTSE Russel, Standard Investment Bank, and Fintech investment firm Motive Partners.