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?Smart cities? investment to boost Oman's IT market

Port of Duqm plans to appoint a consultancy firm to help turn it into a "smart port". (Image source: Darren Pullen/ Flickr)

Industry experts at COMEX Oman said Omans IT market would see a boost from the investment in ?smart cities?

Smart cities is a set of initiatives aimed at improving delivery of public goods and services using IT and other technologies such as artificial intelligence and internet of things to cut costs and improve efficiency.

According to BMI Research, Oman's IT market will grow by nine per cent to about US$316.9mn by 2019 on the back of these smart cities initiatives.

Governments in the Middle East have been looking to cut spending while at the same time improve government services by using technology after their finances came under pressure from declining oil revenues.

Port of Duqm, Oman?s main port, said last year that it would appoint a consultancy firm to turn it into a ?smart port? with automated terminals, truck appointment systems, integrated port community systems among other facilities.

?Oman?s Smart Cities are rapidly moving from theory to reality. As Oman enhances its global trade routes, Smart Ports have a strong opportunity to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to ship goods through Oman,? Waheed Al Hamaid, country manager, SAP Oman, said.

?The next phase for Oman?s Smart Cities will be adopting a digital platform to connect emerging innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and Internet of Things. Oman?s Smart Cities can better predict citizen needs, and become more sustainable and competitive,? said Hichem Maya, head of industries, SAP MENA.