Saudi Arabia’s entertainment authority provides $18.6m to support SMEs

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RIYADH: King Abdullah Financial District Development & Management Co. has signed a deal with Orange Business, the enterprise division of Orange Group, to design, build and run an advanced smart city platform that will seamlessly integrate with KAFD’s existing digital infrastructure. 

This strategic partnership aims to incorporate advanced technologies including artificial intelligence and data analytics into the existing platform, enhancing the smart city experience within the area, known as Saudi Arabia’s premier business district. 

The agreement was signed on Sept. 4 at a ceremony hosted by KAFD, which was attended by more than 50 guests.  

The development of KAFD’s digital infrastructure aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, as the Kingdom strives to enhance livability and competitiveness within its business districts. 

Gautam Sashittal, CEO of KAFD DMC, said: “The increasing wave of urbanization across the world is set to uncover a $517 billion market for smart city solutions with an annual growth rate of 25 percent, a fact that plays into KAFD’s objectives of building a future-proof and business-friendly hub in Riyadh.”   

He added: “A major step in that direction, our partnership with Orange Business will further strengthen our drive to become a global pioneer in smart urban development.”  

Under the new agreement, Orange Business will deliver a range of services to KAFD, including the Orange Smart City Platform, capable of managing big data, data analytics encompassing descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, and governance. 

“The commissioning of the Smart City Platform is a clear signal of our commitment to elevate what is already a world-class district to the next level of smart city evolution – what we call the cognitive city,” said Sahem Azzam, senior vice president of Middle East, Africa, and Turkiye of Orange Business.  

He added: “This is driven by the collection of data and leveraging AI and data analytics to provide deeper user insights as a basis for new use cases, revenue streams, and innovative services for the city’s population. It will also optimize city operations – making them better, faster, and safer.”  

The press statement added that Orange Business has been involved in developing smart city projects in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East for more than a decade.  

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