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Futurist Keynote, Dubai: The Future of Urban Mobility 2040, GITEX



The rate and pace of change is accelerating, and in the next two decades the transportation industry will change more than it has in the past thousand years.


Last year I was writing about the goings on and unveilings, for example, of Dubai’s first robocop that took place at GITEX 2017, and this year I headlined on the main stage right alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who as if he needs any introduction, was the founder of the modern internet, and it was quite a ride.


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Firstly, a big thanks to the organisers of GITEX for inviting me to be this year’s keynote at GITEX 2018 technology week held at World Trade Center in Dubai – the 38th event in the series, and one of the world’s largest future focused expos with over 150,000 visitors from 120 countries and over 4,500 companies, including some of my very own customers, represented. And while there’s no video of the session, here’s a copy of the presentation that I transposed into video without sound for now, so you can get a feel for it, and some photos and write ups by the local press.



Opened on October 15th by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, every square inch of the halls 1.3 million square foot of real estate was covered with stands and exhibits from almost every tech company on the planet, from China and the US, to Nigeria and South Korea, and the event didn’t disappoint. It bought visitors face to face with the latest advances and thinking in AI, blockchain, and robotics, cloud and digitisation, to name but a few areas.


Not as good as being there, but enjoy!

During my session I was asked to take the audience on a journey through time and space, literally, and shine a light on the Future of Transportation up to 2040, which is an especially pertinent topic as the UAE prepares to diversify its economy away from oil, and prepare to welcome upwards of 50 million tourists a year as part of its Vision 2030 program. From the death of the car, and the rise of flying taxis, and the development of autonomous battery-less pods and vehicles that design then 3D and 4D print themselves, to the electrification of the industry, trains that travel at 2,500 miles per hour, and travelling from one side of the planet to the other in just 30 minutes, we discussed it all.


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Then, when it was over, I had to come back down to reality, as I often do, with a bump, and tackle the traffic jams along Sheikh Zayed road on the way back to Dubai International Airport, and then face the gridlock that is the M25 in London as I made my way back home and started preparing for my next keynote at Credit Suisse in London’s Landmark Hotel.

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