Mapillary at GISWORX 2016, Dubai


“In Dubai, everything has to be the biggest!" -- Overheard at GISWORX 2016.

View from the Palm Altantis Monorail, Dubai.

The energy and ambition behind urban development in Dubai is palpable the moment you step off the plane. Last week, thanks to the hospitality of GISTEC, Esri’s official distributor in the UAE, I attended GISWORX 2016 to present our smart street imagery solution and to learn about the role of GIS in Dubai’s explosive growth:

3D is coming (or already here)

The chatter at the sessions and expo was around 3D content and tools -- due in part to the forward thinking project managers at GISTEC and the influence of Garsdale Design, a thought leader in 3D GIS.

3Dgis Kiran Kumar, GISTEC, kicking off GISWORX 2016.

Driven by competition and collaboration

Development in the region may indeed be driven by having the smartest cities, the tallest buildings, the biggest theme parks — but at the conference what struck me was the collaborative spirit between municipal agencies, private companies and the municipalities.

A drive through the Dubai Design District.

Focus on the new combined with commitment to the old

Showcasing heritage sites and traditional architecture came through as a strong theme in all the presentations and workshops around new technology.

Lovingly preserved old Dubai in the Bastakiya quarter.

For me, the opportunity to the meet the warm, tight knit GIS community in the UAE, combined with the time I had to explore Dubai on my own, made for a memorable trip.

A walk through the old souk in Bur Dubai.

On my last night in Dubai I crossed the Dubai creek in an Arba to the sounds of the gentle whirring of the motor and the ambient calls to prayer. I felt entirely at home and at peace.

The Dubai creek at dusk, from an Arba (river boat).

At the GISWORX Gala, some one advised me not to leave Dubai without going on the desert safari.

Camel riding on the desert safari, by user seb1204.

Not this time unfortunately, but I'll be back. إن شاء الله


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