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Our events


The show goes on The events season is now in full swing at CNME, and we’ve already hosted a selection of engaging CIO roundtable discussions and glitzy award ceremonies in 2018. Now in its fourth annual edition, our CIO 100 Awards once again celebrated the Middle East’s outstanding technology end-users. The winners can be found on page 32-42. Also hosted on 29th January were our inaugural Masters of Tech Awards, which gave a nod to the outstanding technology vendors that are setting the standard across areas ranging from cloud to 3D printing. The winners are ‘What’s that on page 28. uncharacteristically CNME covered Bosch’s garish CNME cover ConnectedWorld 2018 IoT conference in Berlin, where the all about’ I hear firm announced a series of slick you ask? innovations that are set to make waves in manufacturing, driverless cars and pollution reduction. More on page 12. ‘What’s that uncharacteristically garish CNME cover all about’ I hear you ask? I was lucky enough to have an in-depth interview with the world’s most famous cyborg, Neil Harbisson, who offered a range of challenging – and likely unpopular – perspectives. Neil was born colour blind, and has taken the extraordinary measure of surgically attaching an antenna to his brain, allowing him to feel colours – via musical notes. Neil not only believes that technology will become part of our bodies in the coming years, but that it will have to be if we as a species are to stop doing unnecessary harm to our host planet. Talk to us:

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Contents ISSUE 314 | MARCH 2018










CIO 100 AWARDS 2018

In partnership with Dell EMC, CNME hosted a CIO roundtable discussion which touched on the most pressing digital transformation challenges currently facing the UAE's public and private sectors.

Tried and tested Kualitatem partnered with CNME to host a roundtable on how technology decision makers can get the most from their software testing environments, and how to best launch new platforms.

20 Power of 4 Forum

24 The changing role of IT

The new age

With a fantastic lineup of speakers already confirmed, CNME's Power of 4 Fourth Industrial Revolution Forum will discuss the most pressing challenges of the digital age, including AI, blockchain, virtual reality and IT automation.

We preview the upcoming digital transformation roadshow CNME will be delivering with ManageEngine which will touch down in Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia .

44 On the money

EY's George Triplow gives his take on how technology is transforming the wealth and asset management industry, and forcing a range of specialist firms to rethink their strategy.

46 Come fly with me

Amadeus's vice president for the Middle East and North Africa region, Antoine Medawar looks at four ways that blockchain will transform the travel industry and resulting customer experience.

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Nokia 8110


eleased back in September 1996, Nokia’s 8110 was one of the first in Nokia’s high-end 8000 series of phones. It was nicknamed the “banana phone” because of its prominent curved case, which slid over the keypad when being carried and extended downwards when in use. The slider also enabled users to answer and end calls through one simple motion. The 8110 weighed in at 152 grams with a standard Lithium-Ion battery, granting users with talk time of up to five hours and standby time up to six days. It was also the first Nokia phone with a dot-matrix full graphic display, which changes the text size automatically for easy viewing. Branded an “ideal combination of size and weight, design and ergonomics, quality and features” by Nokia at the time, notable features included fax divert, a mailbox button, easy dial keys, full page scroll, automatic language selection, wake up message, 16 ringing tones, and improved use of the phone book. In a move to address the needs of the non-English speaking groups across Asia, Nokia also opted to offer an Asian language user interface on the 8110 within the first year of its release – a first in the cellular market. The phone was most famously known for its cameo in the science fiction action film ‘The Matrix’ in 1999. Neo - the ace hacker who breaks into the parallel reality of The Matrix and sets about fighting the evil electronic menace used, among other things, some futuristic communication technology courtesy of Nokia’s banana phone. Following the device’s success in the nineties, the 8110 made a comeback at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. HMD, now makers of Nokia-branded phones, rereleased the curved handset in traditional black and banana yellow versions, complete with 4G capabilities, a revamped Snake game, and an impressive 25 days of battery standby.


MARCH 2018

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CNME-Dell EMC roundtable

The new dawn In partnership with Dell EMC, CNME hosted a CIO roundtable that discussed the main challenges that IT end users are facing in making digital transformation initiatives a reality.


he Middle East’s CIO’s are in agreement – the direction for digital transformation is becoming increasingly clear in a region whose governments have prioritised technology and innovation. A collection of technology leaders participated in a roundtable 8

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discussion hosted by CNME and Dell EMC, and shared their experiences of how they are attempting to reinvent their firms’ existing business models. CIOs from a range of broad range of industries were present, including banking, logistics, broadcast media, logistics, government and law.

Property developer Deyaar’s senior IT manager Faisal Ali highlighted how the firm was reaping the benefits of choosing to opt for the use of virtual reality technology. he said. “Every year, we go to lots of trade shows, and have to take physical building models – which often break – to show prospective customers,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to rectify this, and begun working with Microsoft’s HoloLens, and that’s been a huge success. This kind of use case helps to increase technology adoption across the business.” Ali added that the biggest long-term tech issue he was most conscious was avoiding vendor lockin. “When we introduce technology, we need to think of our exit strategy,” he said. Aster DM Healthcare’s group CIO Mukta Arora displayed disdain at the industry’s relative failure to adopt digital services, but showed optimism

Today, the healthcare industry still deals with patients in the same way as they did 20 years ago – in a clinic. Mukta Arora, group CIO, Aster DM Healthcare

for the future. “Today, the healthcare industry still deals with patients in the same way as they did 20 years ago – in a clinic,” she said. “Nothing is really enabling faster healthcare delivery. We’re only beginning to look at tomorrow, and how users can avail healthcare in their offices or homes.” Speaking on behalf of an industry that has been even slower to adopt technological change, DIFC Courts’ senior IT manager Arul Jose Vigin said that he is looking to find ways that the body can enhance the courtroom experience. “The legal

industry is only just getting started with its transformation,” he said. “Small businesses have lots of restrictions, and courts have to adapt in this age to try and reduce them. We’re trying to eliminate the time that case participants actually spend in the courtroom through the use of technology.” Tristar’s group head of IT Adam Lalani put an interesting spin on the discussion, and said that a balance would have to be struck in future to order to ensure the world is not overshadowed by machines.

“Hundreds of years ago, when people lived by candlelight, they had more time,” he said. “Nobody can tell me that giving me a smartphone has given me more free time. Technology can invade too much into the essence of being human.” Also speaking at the discussion were DMCC IT director Abdalla Al Ali, Gulftainer IT manager Vinay Sharma, Dubai First IT director Sivakumar Venkatraman, Al Sahraa Group CIO Ahmed Askar, OSN IT director Ronald D’sa, Sharjah Islamic Bank CIO Saleem Ahmed and National Bank of Oman. MARCH 2018



CNME-Kualitatem roundtable

Tried and tested On the sidelines of CNME’s CIO 100 Awards 2018, a collection of the Middle East’s top IT decision-makers from a variety of industries came together to discuss the vital role of software testing in digital transformation.


ith the pressure continuing to mount on IT departments to implement fresh technologies and innovative applications to deliver improved business outcomes, the need to ensure these implementations are properly tested before they are rolled out has never been greater. With so much at stake, quality assurance and application security – to name a few – have now become integral to any business’s digital transformation strategy. In an in-depth roundtable discussion, hosted by in partnership with software testing firm Kualitatem, a collection of the Middle East’s top 10

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CIOs touched on their own experiences when embarking on this process. Abdul Rahman Jaroudi, head of IT at Ajman Bank, kicked things off by saying that he is from the school of thought that “doesn’t believe in testing outside of the organisation,” based on his personal experiences. “We have done some externallyled testing outside of the bank in the past, and we always ran into a range of challenges when it came to the tests being brought back into the organisation,” he said. Nakheel CIO Ahmed Al Ahmed sympathised, having faced similar issues himself. “It boils down to what you’re going to test,” he said. “In many cases, testers are keen

to wait until the end of a project’s development before thinking about what it is they’re going to test – when in fact, this is wrong. Instead, it should be pre-planned, and the testing should begin at the initial stages of the application’s development.” Nitin Bhargava, CTO at Mashreq Bank, said that security, performance and infrastructure testing are generally left until the end because “businesses believe they need the full construct before carrying out tests.” “Today, testing is a measure of poor quality,” he said. “This is why we must move to agile, so that we can test every step of the way before we ship it out.” However, he also added

that automation is key within this testing process. Shailesh Mani, CIO of Flemingo International, spoke of the problems he has encountered as project manager of various testing initiatives. “The testers are often the ones that have been most involved in the project, and are therefore the ones that know most about it,” he said. “But this can often lead to problems, as while 90% of issues tend to come to the surface during this phase, there is always at least 10% of potential scenarios that go amiss.”

Vijay Jain, group head of IT at Truebell, discussed the challenges that organisations face when the testing process is carried out by various siloed departments. “The traditional project methodology is often such that we have system integration testing and acceptance testing that sits with IT, then user acceptance testing that sits with the business. That model has to change,” he said. “It needs to be more of a collaborative effort from the beginning. When it comes to user acceptance testing, it’s crucial that the IT department are also involved, as otherwise new innovations may not be grasped in the same way, and what exactly needs to be tested

may not be fully understood by other departments.” Ahmad Al Emadi, CISO at Dubai Municipality, gave an interesting spin on the conversation by highlighting the role of security testing when deploying new applications. “For us at Dubai Municipality, we’re dealing with a mass majority, and if things go down, we get a call demanding our director in Sheikh Mohammed’s office,” he said. “But all too often, organisations believe that leaving security testing to the end of the testing process will suffice – it won’t. While there are benefits to this method, there are also severe cons, and we have recently implemented changes to ensure that security and quality assurance testing

All too often, organisations believe that leaving the security testing to the end of the testing process will suffice – it won’t. Ahmad Al Emadi, CISO, Dubai Municipality

is integrated throughout the application testing process.” He went on to add that the biggest risk most organisations face nowadays is operational systems going out of date, and “Microsoft is not even patching them.” Zubin Sutaria, information systems manager at Drake & Scull, Sayed Rahman, head of IT at SEWA, and Aliasgar Bohari, IT director at Zulekha Hospital also participated in the discussion. MARCH 2018



Bosch ConnectWorld 2018

The new Connect Daniel Bardsley reports from Bosch’s ConnectedWorld 2018 conference in Berlin, where the firm announced a range of eye-catching innovations around driverless cars, pollution prevention and smart gloves.


n the factory floor of old, a supervisor may have stood sentinel over a group of operatives to ensure they did their work properly. Today, electronics can be used to monitor the performance of staff members, as well as to train them. German electronics and engineering company Bosch is launching its Intelligent Glove (iGlove), which can be used to measure the hand movements of operatives in connected manufacturing. Using technology similar to that found in cameras and mobile phones to detect which way up a 12

MARCH 2018

device is, the gloves use Bluetooth to transmit information on movement to a computer or a smartphone. If the system detects that a particular operation has been performed correctly, a screen shows a green icon; if not, a red image is displayed. “You can teach the system a standardised move, and the system can decide if the standardised move has been followed,” said Cord von Hoersten, vice president, automotive electronics, Bosch Automotive Products. “If you give the operators these gloves, the information is much more detailed and you don’t spend hours with a stopwatch [observing

staff]. It’s much more accurate.” The iGlove helps organisations test how accurately a staff member is carrying out a particular process, allowing for much faster training. The iGlove may also be useful for measuring how performance at a task drops off with time, indicating when staff should swap roles. Meanwhile, a driver will have to do little more than press a button for a car to travel between two major cities almost entirely autonomously once Bosch’s new system launches in 2020. Vehicle Motion and Position Sensor (VMPS) technology will first be offered in high-end cars in Europe and North America – but the intention is to ultimately make it available worldwide, including in the Middle East. To determine the vehicle’s location, the system will use satellite positioning systems including GPS and Galileo (global navigation satellite system or GNSS), but this will be subject to the input of a correction service within the vehicle that receives input from ground stations. There are around 1,000 of these in

Europe and North America, provided by a separate supplier. “The benefit is that it gives you an absolute position – it’s not a relative position for autonomous driving,” said Nico Radike, who works on chassis systems control and passive safety and sensors for the technology. “With a relative system, you have to check localisation from the street with radar and cameras.” Radike said the system offers accuracy down to 0.5 metres – compared to what he described as between 5 and 15 metres for a solely GPS-based system. “In 2020, it’s on the market. At the moment we’re testing and in 2020 it starts series production,” said Radike. “You have the high accuracy you need for self driving … It’s for the highway pilot on the autobahn, the motorway. You can start in Berlin and the system will drive you to Munich.” Bosch also has a pilot project for an on-board navigation system with Mercedes-Benz. Its Community-based Parking will be able to receive information on where spaces are available, and is due to be launched this year. “In future, Mercedes drivers won’t have to worry about parking. You will cut out the waste of looking

When you have something like this which is predictive, you can look into the future.

for parking spaces,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of MercedesBenz’s parent company, Daimler. The technology could, however, be used with any brand of vehicle, all of which will share the same information. It is based upon having cars linked to the cloud and each transmitting information about where there are spaces, with the usefulness of the system growing as the number of vehicles involved increases. Each car – equipped with connectivity hardware and sensors

– passes on information regardless of whether its driver is looking for a space, while algorithms collate the encrypted data and turn it into a digital parking map and parking predictions. Bosch is also proving a hit in the environmental tech space, and says it may have a pollution-solution with its Micro Climate Monitoring System, a method of assessing current pollution levels and forecasting how air quality will change. So how should rapidly expanding cities such as Dubai monitor pollution levels and plan their development to try to ensure air quality improves? Using IoT and cloud, the system uses sensors to connect over multiple networks and employs monitoring devices that are said to be a fraction of the size of traditional ones. It monitors pollutants including particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone. Somil Gupta from Bosch’s business development digital solutions division in the Nordics, said the technology is predictive because it is able to highlight patterns and trends, helping to understand how air quality is varying over time. It builds an air quality model that indicates what is causing pollution and when, allowing action to be taken, such as sending pollution alerts to hospitals and schools, or making changes to work times. “In Dubai, you could restrict ships coming into the port at certain times, so you have a different set of options,” said Gupta. It might be used to predict air quality several hours ahead, so that traffic can be rerouted to reduce problems. Or it can predict air quality years from now. “If my city is growing 6 percent per year, what will be the level of pollution and how will it impact my air quality then and what can we do now so it doesn’t happen?” he said. MARCH 2018



Neil Harbisson

Cyborg Neil Harbisson: why grey matters The world’s fascination with Neil Harbisson is never-ending. From a colour-sensing antenna that is connected to his brain, to a dial that will soon allow him to detect the earth’s rotation – and time – Harbisson is the global champion of cyborg rights. Visiting Dubai. he sat down with James Dartnell for a one-on-one interview and explained why space isn’t black, robots will remember us in 300 years, and embedding technology in ourselves will save the planet.


MARCH 2018

Neil Harbisson,


n inescapable irony shapes Neil Harbisson. Born colour-blind, his greyscale vision defined him in his formative years. Now, 15 years after receiving a foot-long antenna that protrudes from his grey matter, Harbisson is able to experience colour in a way that none of us can imagine. The colours Harbisson now feels are anything but dull.

MARCH 2018



Neil Harbisson

The greyscale remains, but is now supported by a symphony of yellows and reds transmitted by his Internetconnected “organ”. He is unequivocal in his belief that the world should embrace – and will be forced to adapt to – those who identify not only as owning technology, but consider it is as a part of themselves. “My trans-species identity started long before becoming a cyborg,” he says. “The only species I connected with were those that saw in greyscale. Humans told me that I had a problem, or that I was disabled, but I didn’t agree. If you look at other species, it’s not a disability or a problem, but an advantage.” Seeing in greyscale actually grants Harbisson certain superhuman capabilities. “It gives me night vision, I can see longer distances because colours don’t interfere, I can memorise shapes more easily, and detect camouflage more easily,” he says. Determined not to be influenced by society’s norms, Harbisson set about collaborating with scientists and researchers in 2003 to find a new way that he could broaden his senses – even by the most unconventional means. “I wanted to find a new way of experiencing colour without changing my sight,” he says. “If you look at 16

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The more we design ourselves, the less we’ll need to design the planet.

nature, insects have antennas that work 360 degrees, and aren’t limited to human vision.” Harbisson’s antenna features Internet connectivity, which allows him to connect to – among anything else on the wide web – NASA’s international space station, which allows him to experience the colours of space. This, he says, is the most beautiful colour combination he has ever experienced. “Space is not black, it’s extremely colourful, but they are colours that we don’t see,” he says. “When I sense colours that are outside this planet, there are lots of ultraviolets that I don’t sense here.” Ultraviolet rays – which Harbisson says he has experienced in Dubai – have the ability to penetrate the

skin, and can even kill. That doesn’t bother him, however. “Sensing it, while my body is here but my sense of colour is in outer space – I like it,” he says. “We’ll see the Internet as a sense more often, and it will allow us to explore space without physically being there.” Since its installation, the general public’s fascination with Harbisson has understandably been incessant. While progress has been made in his mission to improve cyborg rights – his British passport photo now contains his antenna – which rules did not traditionally permit – there is still a long way to go to eradicate the stigma that surrounds his own personal identification. The rise of wearable technology may have helped to change the attitudes of swathes of the public who would have initially been nonplussed, but, to the majority, he still remains a mystery. An outsider. “Some people think I’m wearing an antenna. I’m not wearing one, I have one,” he says. Harbisson believes that changing the misconceptions around himself and other cyborgs are a question of looking beyond our own existence. “Humans inherently compare themselves with themselves,” he says. “If you break this bubble of human and start comparing yourself with other species, being blind, for example, is not a problem. There are many species that are completely blind and can live freely and independently. I like breaking this bubble, because we then no longer see disabilities as problems. I like seeing us as being aligned with other species.”



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Neil Harbisson

Harbisson is currently working on the development of a “solar crown” organ that will encircle his head, and feature a point of heat that will take 24 hours to do a full circle around it, allowing him to feel the rotation of the earth. Remarkably, this will give him a sense of time. “In the long-term, when my brain gets used to the rotation of the earth, I want to see if I can modify my perception of time,” he says. “If I want a situation to last a bit longer, I’ll be able to programme the heat to go slower or faster, so I feel time is stretching or getting quicker. I want to put Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity into practice to see if we can modify our perception of time if we have an organ for it.” Looking beyond that, he even believes this could affect his perception of his own age. “In the long term, this could allow to me feel as if I’ve lived 150 years, so that I feel I’m living longer than my body is.”

Space is not black - it’s extremely colourful, but it has colours that we don’t see.


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His antenna continues to illicit a broad range of emotions from strangers. “In society, if you stand out a bit, or aren’t trying to blend in, it usually creates a social reaction, generally a negative one. The antenna creates reactions like laughter, confusion or fear.” As with so many of the world’s ills, the greatest challenge that Harbisson faces in his quest for acceptance is ignorance. However, the average person on the street cannot ignore the compelling arguments he offers for why incorporating technology into the human body is practical, selfless and sustainable. “The more we design ourselves, the less we’ll need to design the planet,” he says. “If we want to think about the future of earth, one way to be environmentally conscious is to change our own temperature. At night, we could use night vision instead of artificial light. We’ve cheated and changed the planet, so we should cheat with ourselves, and not with the planet. It’s affecting other species in a way that’s unfair. I think in the 2020’s we will see more people with new organs and senses, and society will get used to it. Hopefully they will see it is more ethical to do this.” In the interim, the way that humans treat artificial intelligence systems is another area that fascinates and concerns Harbisson. He is encouraged by the world’s attitude to them, and believes that they, like cyborgs, will have to be given the respect they deserve. “I think AI will be classified and treated as a new species, and it is already happening,” he says. “With Sophia [the intelligent robot developed by Hanson Robotics] having a nationality and passport, that’s already giving AI specie status. I don’t think it’s a publicity stunt, and

it’s a good way to make governments reflect about what is happening.” Harbisson’s attitude towards AI is borne out of the idea that it will be an invaluable partner to mankind in coming centuries. “We will develop feelings towards AI, which will live longer than us,” he says. “In 300

When my brain gets used to the rotation of the earth, I want to see if I can modify my perception of time.

years, AI’s like Sophia will have memories, and will be able to talk about history in a way that currently isn’t possible. We will value them because of their knowledge. It’s starting now and it’s good that we create situations where they are given nationalities.” Back in the present, Harbisson views the Middle East’s leading city as one that will embrace the kind of change that he wants to see. “I feel

that I am in the future when I am in Dubai,” he says. “There’s a lot of research and advancements, and I’m really pleased by the forward thinking on offer here.” The UAE, meanwhile, renowned for its addiction to smartphones, could well be ripe for a wave of unprecedented change. The general public’s addiction to devices, Harbisson says, now renders us, on some level at least, at one with technology. “Most people are psychological cyborgs but don’t realise it,” he says. “Twenty years ago, people would have said ‘My phone is running out of battery,’ but now they just say ‘I’m running out of battery’, as if they were the smartphone. This first-person mention is already a sign of a psychological union, which is not far away from a biological one. People who are already psychologically united to technology won’t find it hard being biologically united to it.” For now, Harbisson, the cofounder of The Cyborg Foundation, the international organisation that defends cyborg rights and supports people who want to become cyborgs, is committed to changing attitudes about his kind. “Society needs to understand that some people have senses and organs that are not traditionally human. Trans-species identity already exists, and needs to be recognised by society. If governments and bioethical committees accept these identities, they should also accept that we should be free to add senses and organs, and to decide what senses and organs we want to have as a species.” MARCH 2018



Power of 4: Fourth Industrial Revolution Forum

CPI Media Group will host its inaugural Power of 4: Fourth Industrial Revolution Forum on Wednesday 25th April at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. A selection of fantastic speakers have already been confirmed for the Forum.


PI Media Group is delighted to announce a selection of the technology experts who will grace the upcoming Power of 4 Fourth Industrial Revolution Forum. The inaugural Power of 4 Forum will take place on Wednesday 25th April at Emirates Towers in Dubai, and will discuss the challenges around some of the most transformative technologies that are heralding a new industrial age. Homing in on artificial intelligence, blockchain, IT automation and virtual reality, Power of 4 will hear from some of the Middle East’s savviest technology end-users about the best strategies to transition into the age of smart technologies and machines. A range of technology leaders have already been confirmed to speak at the event. Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority chairman HE Dr Rashid Al Leem, who was named Ambassador of Knowledge for the UAE in 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is set to open the conference.


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Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s director of IT Alia Al Hammadi will speak at Power of 4, and she will discuss the innovative ways that technology is allowing ENEC to hit its target of producing 25% of the UAE’s energy needs by 2020. Jon Richards, co-founder and CEO of, and one of the UAE’s youngest and most successful entrepreneurs, will feature on the artificial intelligence panel discussion with Dubai World Trade Centre’s director of IT Farid Farouq, who is charged with managing technology for a facility that attracts more than 3 million visitors per year. Dubai is renowned for its love of leisure and hospitality, and homegrown two-for-one app The Entertainer has become the go-to digital platform for a whole host of enticing offers. Chief Information Officer David Ashford will discuss how the firm, which now operates in 15 countries, is bringing more exciting digital offers to customers through its back-end IT automation. Logistics firm Tristar has been a regional pioneer for its use of blockchain technology, and group head of IT Adam Lalani will share his story of success on the blockchain panel discussion. He will be joined by Meraas Holding’s senior director of IT Ajay Rathi, a mainstay of Middle East technology who has proven himself to be one of the region’s outstanding digital leaders over the last few years. Also offering his take on the subject is regional Blockchain expert and CEO of Blockobi Johnny Huntington. A fascinating discussion on virtual reality is also set to take place, with Herbert Fuchs, chief information officer of construction firm ASGC – responsible for iconic landmarks Business Central Towers, City Walk and the


Adam Lalani Group Head of IT, Tristar

Ajay Rathi Senior Director of IT, Meraas Holding

Alia Al Hammadi Director of IT, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation

David Ashford Chief Information Officer, The Entertainer

Faisal Ali Senior IT Manager, Deyaar

Farid Farouq Director of IT, Dubai World Trade Centre

Herbert Fuchs Chief Information Officer, ASGC

Jon Richards CEO,

HE Dr. Rashid Alleem Chairman, Sharjah Electricty & Water Authority and UAE Knowledge Ambassador

expansion of Dubai International Airport – joined by leading property developer Deyaar’s senior manager of IT Faisal Ali. CPI Media Group’s publishing director Natasha Pendleton said,

“The world is now in the midst of one of the most substantial technological shifts in history. It is imperative that organisations learn how to adapt to the digital age, or risk watching more agile competitors leave them behind.” MARCH 2018



CNME-ManageEngine roadshow

CNME, MANAGEENGINE TO SPOTLIGHT IT’S ROLE IN DIGITAL FUTURE CNME and ManageEngine are set to host a Middle East technology roadshow from 5th-7th March, which discuss the changing role of IT in the era of digital transformation, with conferences in Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.


PI Media Group is delighted to announce confirmed lineups for its upcoming technology roadshow held in partnership with ManageEngine. The three-day event will feature conferences in Kuwait City, Manama and Riyadh on 5th, 6th and 7th March respectively. Under the theme ‘the changing role of IT in the era of digital transformation’, the roadshow will explore innovative ways that organisations can transform their technology operations. The Kuwait City leg of the conference, which will take place at the JW Marriott hotel, will feature a presentation on ‘How a CDO can impact IT transformation’, delivered by National Bank of Kuwait


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chief digital officer Tariq Al Usaimi. Al-Usaimi joined NBK in 2016 to lead the Bank’s digital strategy. He is responsible for converting traditional analogue businesses to digital ones using the potential of modern online technologies, mobile applications, analytics and data. Prior to joining NBK, Tariq was CIO at Kuwait Credit Bank, and

was responsible for transforming the bank into an all-digital bank. He will be followed by an industry-specific presentation on the digital

transformation of aviation and logistics, delivered by Rami AlHaddad, group IT director of National Aviation Services. In his role as IT director, Rami Al-Haddad ensures the overall direction of technology is aligned with NAS’ business priorities. Establishing a service orientated, customer-focused IT function to improve efficiency, quality, customer service and growth has been a major part of his role at National Aviation Services. In Manama, Bahrain, meanwhile, digital transformation expert and Gulf Air’s ex-director of IT Dr Jassim Haji will discuss the importance of digitising back-end technology processes at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. GARMCO’s senior group ICT manager Khalid Jalal will follow Dr Haji, with a presentation on ‘lessons learned’ from leading digital transformation initiatives.

Tariq AlUsaimi is responsible for transforming National Bank of Kuwait into an all-digital organisation.

Dr Haji led a range of initiatives to digitise Gulf Air’s operations by sponsoring the automation of paper-based legacy businessprocesses, including the sales of ancillary-services (like excess-baggage and lounge-accesses) through the

implementation of the electronicmiscellaneous-document solution. He is the mastermind behind the successful implementation of many critical, challenging and complex ITbusiness initiatives, and is a board member of the SITA-Council Khalid Rashid Moh’d Jalal Khalid Moh’d joined GARMCO as senior group ICT manager in December 2013, and has worked for Bahrain National Holding, Zurich Insurance Company, and ASRY. He is a board member at the Technology & Business Society Bahrain and a member of CIO Knowledge Club in Bahrain. The final leg of the roadshow, hosted at the Marriott hotel in Riyadh, will be kicked off with a session on ‘The digital business of the future’, delivered by King Faisal University associate professor Abdul Al Lily. Dr Al Lily is the author of the Amazon bestselling book The Bro Code of Saudi Culture: 2030 TweetSized Explanations of how the Human Body Acts in Arabia. He is a Saudi consultant on Saudi culture and a University of Oxford graduate and associate professor. Lily will be followed by GISBA Group’s principal consultant Javed Abbassi, who will discuss the role of effective GRC in the era of digital transformation. ManageEngine’s director of product management Gibu Mathew will be speaking at all three events, and will discuss how ‘AIOps’ can put IT in the fast lane for digital transformation.

MARCH 2018



ON THE MONEY Driven to transform its digital platforms to better serve its 2 million customers, Al Ghurair Exchange enlisted Raqmiyat to overhaul its IT systems and build a technology strategy for the future.


ounded in 1974, Al Ghurair Exchange has been a cornerstone of the UAE’s remittance market for the vast majority of the country’s existence. The firm currently has 24 branches across the UAE’s major malls and locations, and currently serves more than 2 million customers per year across the consumer and corporate spaces. Over the last few years, Al Ghurair Exchange’s expanding customer base had put a series of untold technical strains on the company. Syed Farooq, Al Ghurair Exchange’s general manager, realised that changes were needed behind the scenes if the firm was to fulfil its potential in the new age of technology. “Everything has gone digital and paperless today,” Farooq says. “It’s no longer the done thing for customers to visit a branch and wait. Digital services are making things easier for customers, and we’ve been looking to expand in certain areas to ensure we can capitalise on these new opportunities.” Al Ghurair Exchange developed a digital roadmap, which would include the launch of a range of mobile apps and services for its broad customer base. However, these plans were let down by the company’s dated technology, which was defined by expensive, unreliable infrastructure. Pushed to meet new international compliance standards, as well as fulfilling its mandate of digital transforming, the company looked to renovate its ageing IT environment. “Our IT setup was too old to meet our new requirements, and had 24

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created issues for us,” Farooq says. “We needed our IT to be cost-effective, to be able to deliver flexible services to demanding customers, and to deliver trustworthy, consistent security.” With the help of long-term consulting and systems integrator partner Raqmiyat, a firm with extensive expertise in digital transformation in the financial services space, Al Ghurair Exchange sought to overhaul its back-end IT systems. The firms worked closely to find a solution that could rid Al Ghurair Exchange of its IT ills, and jointly developed a sophisticated softwaredefined data centre that has given the firm a platform to meet its future digital obligations. “Raqmiyat gave us the best possible solution for our needs, and their strengths across IT consulting and systems integrator capabilities were evident throughout the entire project cycle,” Farooq says. “Their support level is outstanding, and we know we can rely on them 24/7.” Al Ghurair Exchange’s satisfaction with Raqmiyat has been reflected in the

firms’ ongoing relationship. “Their level of understand is excellent, and that’s very important to us,” Farooq says. “We will certainly be working with Raqmiyat for future projects. Whatever changes we need to introduce, they’ll be our preferred partner for our IT needs.”

Syed Farooq, general manager, Al Ghurair Exchange

Whatever changes we need to introduce, Raqmiyat will be our preferred partner for our IT needs.

In conjunction with :

Silver Sponsor:

Strategic Partners:

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Supporting Partners:


Network World Middle East Awards 2018

Network World Middle East Awards 2018 CNME is delighted to host its ninth annual Network World Middle East Awards at the Habtoor Grand Hotel on Tuesday 27th March.


MARCH 2018


NME is set to host the Network World Middle East Awards this March. The ceremony will take place on 27th March 2018 at the Habtoor Grand Hotel in Dubai. Now in its 9th year, Network World Middle East Awards has established itself as the region’s go-to event which celebrates networking excellence. Open to both users and vendors alike, Network World Middle East Awards honours IT and business professionals who have demonstrated innovative leadership around one of the most critical aspects of enterprise technology – the network. Following the tremendous success of previous eight Awards, CNME is looking for networking projects that have produced realworld results over the past year, as

well as the technology providers behind these projects. The Awards are open to companies anywhere in the Middle East. If your organisation has implemented technology innovations that produced measurable results in leading the way to greater success for your business, you could be a recipient of this prestigious award. The nominations deadline for the ninth Network World Middle East Awards has been extended to Sunday 11th March. Nominees can apply for the awards at no cost and all the nominations will be judged by a panel of judges, except for two categories. Networking vendor of the year and Networking VAD of the year categories will be decided through online voting.

This year, the CNME team has enlisted a selection of proven technology experts as its judging panel, who know just what it means to deliver excellence as an end-user. Kumar Prasoon, CIO of Al Safeer Group, has been a proven regional expert in the retail industry, and has worked to enable the firm’s networks to accommodate a sophisticated applications suite that is helping the firm gain a unique understanding of its customers. Aliasgar Bohari, director of IT at Zulekha Hospitals, has been tasked with delivering a network that can help to support the needs of patients in life-or-death situations, while Ashith Piriyattiath has consistently proven himself to be a regional digital leader as IT director at Al Masah Capital.

Masters of Tech names Middle East’s top innovators CPI Media Group and Tahawul Tech hosted the inaugural Masters of Tech Awards on Monday night at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which celebrated technology excellence across some of the world’s most innovative and critical spaces.


he Masters of Tech Awards honoured one of the most important parts of our global technology ecosystem – that of vendors and technology service providers. Tahawul Tech honoured the market leaders across 27 categories of the most critical aspects of modern technology. Flying the flag for enterprise technology were a range of categories covering both the hardware, software and services realms, and comprised the most influential technologies in the Middle East today. The first ever Masters of Tech award went to 3D systems, who was named 3D printing company of the year. 28

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The evening featured a range of enterprise technology categories, including those for accounting software (won by Sage), Big Data (Oracle), cloud computing (SAP), database and data management (Microsoft), e-government (Injazat Data Systems), e-commerce solutions (Epicor), HR solutions (Infor), hybrid IT (Micro Focus), servers (Dell EMC), POS solutions (Network International), test and measuring systems (Fluke Networks), unified communications (Avaya), and video surveillance (Axis Communications). The consumer space was also honoured in terms of devices and consumer products, with categories for drones (DigiRobotics), laptops

(Toshiba), tablets (Lenovo), portable storage (WD), projectors and displays (Sony), smart home (Samsung), smartphones (Apple) and wearable technology (Fitbit). There were also be categories involving a selection of disruptive technologies which fall into both camps, including 4G LTE (Huawei). CPI Media Group publishing director Natasha Pendleton said, “An awards process that honours all sections of the IT industry has been long overdue. Masters of Tech celebrates some of the most critical aspects of technology, and has also been established to honour technologies that are only just getting started in the Middle East, including 3D printing and drones.”

Accounting Software - Sage

4G LTE - Huawei

Cloud Computing - SAP


Digital Photography & Video - Canon

e-Commerce Solutions - Epicor

Drones - DigiRobotics

Big Data - Oracle

e-Government - Injazat Data Systems

HR Solutions - Infor

MARCH 2018


Laptops - Toshiba

Hybrid IT - Micro Focus

Open Source - SUSE

Projectors & Displays - Sony

Portable Storage - WD

Servers - Dell EMC

Unified Communications - Avaya 30

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Office Print Automation - HP

Test & Measuring Systems - Fluke Networks

Video Audio Conferencing - Cisco


27th March 2018 | Habtoor Grand Hotel and Resort, Dubai UAE


Nominate now Security Advisor ME’s CISO 30 awards recognise 30 organisations (and the people within them) that have delivered ground-breaking business value through the innovative application of risk and security concepts and technologies. Winners will be recognised in March 2018 at the inaugural CISO 30 conference taking place in Dubai. Here is what you will need to complete your nomination: • The name of the project/initiative, a brief description of its objective • A more detailed narrative describing the project • Some empirical facts/metrics that demonstrate the project/ initiative’s value • Additionally, you will also be asked to provide details about key contacts in the nominated organisation Award nominations may be submitted by an organisation itself, by public relations professionals representing a nominated organisation, or by solution providers/partners of a nominated organisation. The deadline for submission is 7th March 2018. Thank you in advance for your nominations and good luck

When: 27th March 2018 Where: Habtoor Grand Hotel and Resort Dubai UAE Who: CISOs/CIOs/CTOs Chief Risk Officers GRC teams Infrastructure and technology decision makers Security evangelists and consultants For sponsorship enquires, please contact

Kausar Syed, Group Sales Direcror Mobile: +971 50 758 6672


CPI Media Group will host its inaugural Power of 4: Fourth Industrial Revolution Forum on Wednesday 25th April at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. A selection of fantastic speakers have already been confirmed for the Forum.


nformation technology and transformation leaders gathered for Tahawul Tech and CNME’s fourth annual CIO 100 Awards and Forum. Held at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, CIO 100 Awards 2018 honoured 100 individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in shaping the regional IT landscape. As IT becomes the driver of digital change in the Middle East, the region’s chief information officers have the opportunity to put themselves at the core of business decision-making. CIO 100 Awards placed the spotlight on those IT leaders who are making significant leaps in the race to digitise business. The CNME editorial team chose an elite group of IT leaders, from a pool of over 350 nominations, who are constantly striving for innovative practices and transforming their organisations to stay ahead of the curve. The awards was preceded by a forum which featured keynote presentations from CIOs who have shared insights on the evolving IT industry and how the latest technologies can transform businesses today. It featured presentations from Mubarik Hussain, Head of IT, Petroserv; Ashith Piriyattiah, Group Head- Information Technology, Al Masah Capital; and Kumar Prasoon, CIO, Safeer Group. 32

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Abdalla Al Ali DMCC

A Raheem AG Melco

Abdul Rahman Jaroudi Ajman Bank

Abdulla Al Bastaki RTA

Adam Lalani Tristar

Aditya Kaushik Interserve

Ahmad Abdulsamad Alhammadi Abu Dhabi Municipality

Ahmed Askar Al Sahraa

Ahmed Ebrahim Al Ahmed Nakheel

Ahmed Kajoor Dubai Municipality

Ajay Rathi Meraas

MARCH 2018


Akram Assaf

Alexander Raiff ADCB

Ali Mohamed Al Ali Department of Health, Abu Dhabi

Aliasgar Bohari Zulekha Hospital


MARCH 2018

Akshay Lamba Deloitte Middle East

Ali Ghunaim Canadian Specialist Hospital

Ali Saleh Mohamed Al Ali Thuraya

Alia Al Hammadi ENEC

Amit Kanchan Landmark Hospitality

Anshul Srivastav Union Insurance

Anthony Lynsdale Atlantis, The Palm

Arul Jose Vigin Dispute Resolution Authority

Aytek Aydogan Pivot

Ashith Piriyattiath Al Masah capital

Buthaina Hamad Bin Fahad Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority

Dr. Kumar Prasoon Al Safeer Group

Anthony Tomai AECOM

Dr. Jamal Nazzal Al-Karaki Abu Dhabi Polytechnic

Dr. Mohammad Khaled Al Hassan Regulation & Supervision Bureau

MARCH 2018


Dr. Mustafa Hassan Qurban King Fahd Military Complex

Faisal Ali Deyaar

Farid Farouq DWTC

Firoj Kumar Rauta Skyline University College

Gareth Sherlock Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi


MARCH 2018

Faizal Eledath National Bank of Oman

Fayaz Ahamed Badubhai Al Yousuf

Frank Watts Al Tayer Group

Fuad Al-Ansari ADNOC Refining

Girish Varote Al Zahra Hospital

Hakam Abu-Zarour Emirates Development Bank

Hamda Al Ameri Abu Dhabi Electricty & Water Authority

Hasnain Juzer Ali Saudi German Hospital

Hisham Airan Dubai Taxi

Herbert Fuchs ASGC

Juma Al Kaabi Manafth

Khalid Jalal GARMCO

Harvin Stanley Cheil MENA

Justin S. Thiraviyam Avivo Group

Khamis Awadh Abulani Rabdan Academy

MARCH 2018


Madhav Rao Lulu Group

Madhusudhan Sarangi Port of Fujairah

Mahmoud Kamal Habtoor Hotels

Manoj Kulangara Menon Spotcheck

Mario Foster Al Naboodah Group Enterprises


MARCH 2018

Madhusuthan Bahri & Mazroei

Maisam Zaidi ALEC

Manoj Vijayan Aswaaq

Mansour Al Ketbi Mubadala Investment Company

MN Chaturvedi Al Shirawi

Mohammad Shahzad RDK Commercial Investment

Mohammed Ahmed Alzaronei Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department

Mohammed Jameeluddin General Civil Aviation Authority

Moza Ibrahim Al Akraf Dubai Electricity & Water Authority

Nasir Al Ali Sharjah Asset Management

Mohammed Bilal Hasan Dulsco

Mohammed Sater Mumtalakat

Mubarik Hussain Petroserv

Mukta Arora Aster DM Healthcare

Neil Menezes Dubai Holding

MARCH 2018


Nikolaos Sfikas National Bank of Kuwait

Nitin Bhargava Mashreq Bank

Prakash Rao McDonald's UAE

Rami Al-Haddad National Aviation Services

Rabih Merhy Rotana Hotels

Riyad Salah Sharjah Taxi

Saeed Al Ghailani Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi


MARCH 2018

Prabhakar Posam Transworld

Ronald D'sa OSN

Saeed Al Kuwaiti Abu Dhabi Police

Saji Oommen Jaidah Group

Saket Wagh Enhance Oman

Sanjay Khanna RAK Bank

Sebastian Samuel AW Rostamani

Sayed Rahman Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority

Shailesh Mani Flemingo

Shumon Zaman Lamprell

Saleem Ahmed S Sharjah Islamic Bank

Shanu Ammunni Abjar Hotels

Sivakumar V Dubai First

MARCH 2018


Sourav Sinha Oman Air

Surendra Shetty UAE Exchange

V. Suresh Jumbo

Vignesh Unadkat Thumbay

MARCH 2018

Venkatesh Mahadevan Dubai Investments

Vijay Jain Truebell

Wisam Daoud


Terence Sathyanarayan Drake & Scull

Vinay Sharma Gulftainer

Zohdi El-Saadi IKK Group


2018 BICSI Middle East & Africa Conference & Exhibition 17-19 April │ Dubai, UAE The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre

REGISTER NOW! Early Bird rates until 12 March

Highlights of Conference Sessions Include:

Limor Schafman

Ali AlSuwaidi

Director, Smart Buildings

Vice President, MEFMA

Program, Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

Smart Facilities Management for Smart Cities

Powering Digital Transformation in Smart Cities: The Role of Smart Buildings

Steve Surfaro Chairman, Public Safety Group, Security Industry Association Envisioning Smart/Safe Cities’ Future: 2020 and Beyond

Additional Educational Sessions •

The Road to 5G - Supportive or Disruptive to Broadband Fibre Access?

Improving Day 2 Management Of Critical Infrastructure

The Evolution of the Data Centre Sector Challenges and Opportunities in a Digital World

Industry Standards in ICT Enabled Projects Reading and Applying the "Fine Print"

Panel Discussion: Creating "Mega Cities" of the Future

Email for more information

The What, How and Why of Wi-Fi Network Design


Wealth of opportunity The GCC’s wealth and asset management industry is set be transformed by robo-advice, digital wealth managers and new platforms for client engagement, according to EY.


ccording to the 3rd Annual EY GCC Wealth and Asset Management 2017 report, 49% of financial advisors in the GCC were upbeat about the prospects for robo-advice, even if only 35% of them saw it as an opportunity for their businesses in 2017. Meanwhile, 22% saw robo-advice as a threat to their business, as we see the significant development of automated advice in the region. A range of established firms have launched automated advisory and digital offerings as a response to their competitors. Some firms have launched their own robo-advisors, while others have partnered with external providers, or bought formerly independent players or have just provided small equity financing. An analysis of 24 44

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wealth and asset management firms revealed that around 60% have launched their offering via partnerships or built their own robo-advisory platforms. Digital wealth managers are predicted to overtake traditional wealth managers, meanwhile, and are predicted to dramatically increase their market share over the next few years, controlling roughly a third of the global wealth management industry in 2025. “Going forward, we can expect to see a large number of asset managers and independent advisors partnering with skilled technology firms that are able to optimise robo-advisor technology much more efficiently than they could do in-house,� George Triplow, EY MENA Wealth and Asset Management Leader, says.

Wealth managers with a new digitalised, holistic business model are expected to drive traditional wealth managers out of the market by then. Holistic wealth managers, who provide digitalised investment advice that is driven by life events and that generates true added value for clients, will see their share of the market jump from close to zero currently, to 20-30% by 2025. Software-based tools will enable these wealth managers to collect vast sums of data from different information sources and providers. “Technology has revolutionised industries all over the world, and the GCC wealth management industry is no exception,” Triplow says. “Strong client preference for digital channels and the pressure to grow revenue mean wealth and asset managers must rethink their strategies, operations and technologies. Adapting early to the new reality will open the door to profitable future growth opportunities. The leaders will be those who harness blockchain, automated advice, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation. The recent focus on cryptocurrencies in the region has set the scene for a dynamic landscape for institutions moving forward.” The global wealth management market for clients with more than $1 million to invest will grow by around a quarter from more than $55.4 trillion in 2018 to $69.6 trillion by 2021, representing an annual increase of around 4.7%. As a result, wealth managers have become more imaginative in the ways in which they maintain contact with their clients. More than two-thirds of the GCC’s advisors now have a social media engagement strategy. “Historically, there were two main groups of clients in the GCC who have investable assets: GCC nationals and high-income expatriates,” Triplow says. “However, a third group is emerging that is attractive to wealth managers and private banks: the affluent segment of upwardly mobile millennials who want to transact business in a different way and communicate with advisors in a different way. The development of digital banks is testament to this. But it also means that assumptions that hold for private banks and wealth management businesses in developed markets do not necessarily apply in the GCC region.”

Client preference for digital channels and the pressure to grow revenue mean wealth and asset managers must rethink their strategies, operations and technologies

George Triplow, EY MENA Wealth and Asset Management Leader

MARCH 2018



Travel & Blockchain

HOW BLOCKCHAIN WILL TRANSFORM TRAVEL Antoine Medawar, Amadeus’ vice president for the Middle East and North Africa gives his take on the four main areas of the travel industry that will be affected through the deployment of blockchain.


magine if a secure application let you breeze through airport customs by sharing your passport information using a fingerprint. What if you no longer had to fumble through your wallet, and just use one loyalty card to collect points from your preferred hospitality brands? We are always thinking of ways to harness emerging technologies to transform the future travel experience.

Much of these solutions are still in their initial stages of development. We expect the adoption of blockchain applications in the Middle East and beyond to transform the travel industry heading into 2018. In particular, these applications will improve four important components of the travel business: simplified and more secure passenger identification, improved baggage tracking, more user-friendly loyalty schemes, and simplified payments between travel agencies and airlines. User-friendly loyalty schemes Today’s loyalty schemes have become an indispensable marketing tool for hotels, airlines, credit card companies and retailers. The challenge for the traveller is often the complexity of redeeming loyalty points. Although some schemes have forged partnerships allowing points to be widely redeemed, it is still true that in general, an airline loyalty point can’t be used beyond booking flights. This can Antoine Medawar, VP for MENA, Amadeus


MARCH 2018

be frustrating for travellers and is also a problem for the industry. Any unspent loyalty points must reside on an airline’s balance sheet as a liability, which can hamper capital raising and investment. Loyyal, a startup focused on applying blockchain and distributed ledger technology to improve today’s loyalty systems, is leveraging blockchain to allow travellers access to loyalty points in real-time. Imagine landing from a long flight and having points credited to an app immediately that can then be used to pay for a ride sharing service from the airport. Interoperability will increase to such an extent that a loyalty scheme for an independent hamburger restaurant could easily integrate with major schemes, reducing friction, improving the consumer experience and encouraging commerce. Improved baggage tracking Recent estimates have noted that mishandled baggage costs the aviation industry millions – if not billions – each year. The challenge isn’t a simple one to address given a bag is handled by several actors, including the airline, airport and ground handling firms on its journey from A to B, and sometimes even B to

C. Today’s systems have improved by reconciling baggage handling data directly from departure control applications. However, blockchain offers further advantages. A shared distributed ledger used by all actors within an airport and between different airports would allow for a bag and its ownership details to be automatically logged on a blockchain. This would deliver baggage data records shared between different actors and make it much more straightforward to track bags as they move with a traveller throughout their journey. Simplifying settlements in the travel value chain The travel industry operates in a valuechain based on collaboration, and therefore many areas of the industry rely on settlements between parties. Consider a hotel booking where an aggregator, OTA and the hotel need to settle cash and commission based on pre-defined agreements. Today, this is an extremely complex

process and the introduction of blockchain-based smart contracts could automate settlements in many areas of the industry. Being able to instigate a trusted execution facility between a travel provider and travel intermediaries promises reduced cost, enhanced efficiency and faster reconciliation at scale. Better identity management in travel The highly trustworthy nature of blockchain also makes it ideal for improving the way travellers are identified during their journey. Traveller IDs are required at booking, when changing a booking, at security, the boarding gate, duty free shopping and at a hotel. Imagine how much easier travel would be if you didn’t need to use a passport at all these points in the journey. It is possible that blockchain technology can deliver a much more frictionless experience for proving a traveller’s identity. These use cases confirm that

Imagine landing from a long flight and having points credited to an app immediately that can then be used to pay for a ride sharing service from the airport.

blockchain has tremendous promise to change the way we can exchange value digitally. Just as the internet’s design has allowed us to exchange information easily and quickly, so could blockchain open the door to a new iteration of computing that allows value to be exchanged between businesses, governments and individuals



Launches and releases

Brand: Samsung Product:Galaxy S9 Brand: Alcatel Product: 1T 10 Featuring a 10.1-inch IPS display and weighing 415g, Alcatel’s new tablet aims for easy portability while providing a large enough screen for it to be viewed alongside family and friends. With a 4000mAh battery, the device is designed to withstand up to eight hours of streaming, gaming or working on one charge. It also comes with 16GB of internal storage and a microSD expanded storage of up to 128GB, and operates on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo operating system. In addition, the tablet features a Kids Mode - a dedicated mode that comes with pre-loaded applications and content, such as games, kids’ camera and a drawing app. This mode also comes with a built-in parental control interface that gives parents the ability to set usage limits. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: The Alcatel 1T 10 also features an ‘Eye Care Mode’, which is designed to reduce blue light in order to relieve visual fatigue for users.


MARCH 2018

Samsung’s long-awaited Galaxy S9 and S9+ models were unveiled onstage at Mobile World Congress last month, and despite being very similar in appearance to the S8 and S8+ devices from last year, these latest models claim to bring users various enhanced features. Redesigned with a new Dual Aperture lens, users can take advantage of the device’s new and improved low light camera and super slow-mo video capabilities. In addition, Samsung has launched its AR Emoji feature, which analyses a 2D image of the user and maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions.

Samsung’s intelligence platform, Bixby, is also integrated into the device’s camera, and uses augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide helpful information about a user’s surroundings. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: The Galaxy S9 is also the first smartphone to support the new SmartThings app – Samsung’s central hub to manage every facet of the connected lifestyle at home.

Brand: Huawei Product: MateBook X Pro Huawei’s new “ultra-slim” 13.9-inch laptop has a 3K touch-enabled display, and a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. The Chinese tech giant also claims that the new device has a “spill-proof” backlit keyboard, although the exact level of liquid it can handle has not been revealed. It has an 8th-generation Intel processor and up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB memory, while the claimed battery life is 14 hours of work time or 15 hours of web browsing. It also has two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a power button with a built-in fingerprint

scanner, and comes in either space grey or mystic silver. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: It has even thinner bezels around the display than last year’s MateBook X, meaning Huawei has opted to build the webcam into the F6 key on the keypad.


Real Estate Show in the GCC






Participating Countries







+971 4 392 3232


Glesni Holland, Deputy Editor, CNME


he news that ATLAB will deploy humanoid robots into UAE autism centres is something we should all be smiling about. ATLAB’s Teach Assist robots, which operate as part of an initiative under the UAE Ministry of Community Development, have more than 60 sensors that provide a 360-degree wrap-around perception. They literally have eyes in the back of their head, so parents don’t need to worry about potential slip-ups in the classroom – and there’s no chance of being able to cheat in that Maths paper either, kids. A 3D-HD camera around its LED eyes even enables it to read the student’s gesture and pose. The robots are also equipped with an HD laser projector, enabling them 50

MARCH 2018

to display videos and presentations at 720p resolution and at a maximum 65-inch display. In addition, its chest comprises a 10.1-inch touchscreen panel and its feet and body are fitted with infrared sensors. All sounds great, right? Well, there’s more. It seems our robotic companions can also fulfil multiple roles outside of the classroom - from librarian to receptionist, managing the lending process and accounting for the number of guests entering and exiting the school on a daily basis. ATLAB’s general manager, Nilesh Korgaonkar, believes the deployment of robotic teachers will “change the way kids are taught,” and maintains this will be all the more applicable for autistic children who are more likely to be interactive with a robot than a human teacher.

But what makes this news even more encouraging is that ATLAB has sought out a technology that could make a real difference here in the UAE – and even globally. The rate of autism has grown tenfold internationally over the last 40 years, and while there are no specific statistics that demonstrate the number of autistic children in the UAE, a report in 2014 found that more than 800 children are enrolled at specialist centres across the country – all of which are operating at full capacity with long waiting lists. Either way, we’re now seeing the positive impact that robots are having in various industries across the UAE, and I, for one, hope that this open attitude continues to grow if we are to truly maximise the potential of technology for the good of society.



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ISSUE 314 | MARCH 2018


Computer News Middle East March 2018  
Computer News Middle East March 2018