Middle East Bets Big On IoT, Smart Cities


Just like any other country in the world, Middle East nations too are sure about the potential and future of internet of things and smart cities. It can be corroborated from a recent Gartner report that says the governments in these countries have started to embrace the trend and around $11.5 billion in IT spending is anticipated in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2016.

Interestingly, “most of the investment is focused on industries beyond the oil industry,” revealed Gartner analyst Moutusi Dey Sau. .

These investments make it evident that the Middle East countries are trying their best to build a diversified industry portfolio and have thus, started to look beyond the oil industry. While elucidating on the reason behind this emerging focus of Middle East country governments, Sau said that this attempt to diversify by MENA governments is seeing increased IT spend in such areas as IoT and smart city initiatives.

She further says that these governments are investing in other areas too, which includes software, data center systems, devices, telecoms and wider IT services.

One can blame the global oil prices that hit an all-time low in the recent past behind this current stream of investments in technology and focus on diversifying their industry portfolio. And the trend is expected to continue in days to come. If Gartner is to be believed, MENA government might spend $3.1 on mobile network services this year, and Saudi Arabia will be amongst the biggest investors. Gartner is also foreseeing mobile spending growth beyond the Persian Gulf states, which are the MENA region’s traditional IT powerhouses.

According to Sau, “Saudi Arabia is a fast-growing market and is projected to be a $1billion [mobile] market by 2020.” She further adds, “Changing consumer behavior, fast adoption of technology, spread of digital transformation are all reasons for North Africa leading the IT spending in this region.”

She also foresees more software spending by  Middle East and North Africa region in the coming years.

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