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UAE Investment Workshop 2021: Opportunities in Smart City and I.T.

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

According to the global Smart City Index, Singapore is the smartest city in the world for the third year running. At the same time, Smart City/I.T. solutions is one of the most important field for the UAE underpinned in the Dubai 2040 Plan and the Economic Vision 2030 strategy in Abu Dhabi. The UAESBC will bring together experts and leaders in this key sector from both the UAE and Singapore in our flagship event the UAE Investment Workshop series which is held annually in conjunction with the National Day of the United Arab Emirates. In this Golden Jubilee year of UAE's nationhood, the event is set to serve up an interesting virtual session highlighting the innovative trends and opportunities in the Smart City and I.T. sector.

Details of the event are as follows:

Theme: UAE Investment Workshop 2021: Opportunities in Smart City and I.T.

Date: Tuesday, 7th December 2021

Time: 2pm to 4.30pm, Singapore Time / 10am to 12.30pm UAE Time

Registration: CLICK HERE to access Zoom registration form


1.45pm SG / 9.45 am UAE Webinar Goes LIVE with Video Montage

2.00pm SG / 10.00am UAE Welcome and Introduction by Emcee,

Ms Amanda Williams, General Counsel

Borouge (UAESBC Corporate Sponsor Member)

2.02pm SG / 10.02am Opening Address by

His Excellency Jamal Al Suwaidi

Ambassador, UAE Embassy in Singapore and

Patron, UAE Singapore Business Council

2.05pm SG / 10.05am UAE Presentation and Q&A on Megatrends in Smart City Solutions

by Mr Eugene Seah, Managing Director, SmartCity Solutions,

Surbana Jurong

2.25pm SG /10.25am UAE Presentation and Q&A on Opportunities in Smart City and IT

in Abu Dhabi by Mr Salvatore Lavallo, Head of FDI,

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

3.05pm SG / 11.05am UAE Presentation and Q&A on Digital Dubai: Building the Digital

Capital of the World by Ms Aisha AlBokisha,

Smart City Strategy, Digital Dubai

3.25pm SG / 11.25am UAE Q&A Panel Discussion with Singapore SMEs in the Smart City

and IT sector namely:

Ms Excell Chua, Enterprise Sales Director, uHoo

Mr Leon Lim, CEO & Founder,

Mr Abhijit Shanbhag, President & CEO, Graymatics

Mr Tan Kim Leng, Managing Director, KDi Asia

Moderator: Mr P Ramakrishna, CEO, CIO Academy

4.25pm SG / 12.25am UAE Closing Address by Dr Brian Shegar, President,

UAE Singapore Business Council

4.30pm SG / 12.30pm UAE END


Guest of Honour:

His Excellency Jamal Al Suwaidi

Ambassador of the UAE to Singapore and

Patron of the UAE Singapore Business Council

Prior to his accreditation as Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Republic of Singapore, His Excellency Jamal Abdulla Al Suwaidi served as the Deputy Manager in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE since 2019 and as the Head of the Political Content & Media Section at the Office of the Minister from 2015 to 2019.

Before joining the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in 2013, Ambassador Al Suwaidi worked in the maritime and telecommunications sectors in the UAE. Ambassador Al Suwaidi holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Sharjah. He is married and has two daughters.

Special Guest:

Dr Brian Shegar

President, UAE Singapore Business Council and

CEO, ME-Asia Consultancy

Brian Shegar's career covers 40 years of leadership in international banking experience with focus on South East and South Asia, Asia Pacific and Middle East. He successfully established and led the operations of Midland, NedBank and Emirates NBD in various locations in the Asia Pacific region including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Dr Shegar's involvement in the GCC began in 2006. He established and ran one of the Middle East’s largest banks, Emirates NBD, in Asia Pacific including the regional branch in Singapore and Rep Offices in China and Jakarta.

Upon retirement from Emirates NBD in 2018, Dr Shegar established ME Asia Pte Ltd as a consultancy to assist Singapore and Asian companies in their business development aspirations in UAE and the Middle East. That same year, he was instrumental in establishing the UAE Singapore Business Council to promote greater business connectivity between UAE and Singapore and was elected President. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Board of CASS Business School (covering UAE and Singapore), Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Gulf Economics, Trade and Finance and a Past Honorary Fellow of the NUS Middle East Institute.

Dr Shegar holds a BSc Degree in Banking and International Finance and an MSc Finance from the CASS Business School of City, University of London. He also has a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Western Australia Business School. He has also presented papers and spoken at numerous seminars and conferences.


Mr Eugene Seah

Managing Director, Smart City Solutions

Surbana Jurong

Mr Eugene SEAH joined Surbana Jurong Group on January 1 2017, as Senior Director, Group CEO’s office to spearhead and oversee the Group’s special projects, in particular Group initiative on Sustainability, BIM and Productivity. He oversees the Key Account Management team and is also a Director on the Boards of Threesixty Cost Management and Threesixty Contract Advisory.

Eugene is highly experienced in Quantity Surveying and often injects sustainability value management and green approaches into his work to achieve to project efficiency. He is a Green Mark professional and is knowledgeable in sustainable buildings. He is also an Accredited Adjudicator under Singapore Mediation Centre and a registered Mediator in the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers.

Eugene is now working on enhancing productivity in Design and Construction and researching on Computational BIM, VR/MR and other productivity enhancement topics for the Surbana Jurong Group.

Mr Salvatore Lavallo

Head of Foreign Direct Investment

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

Salvatore Lavallo is the Head of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) at the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO).

Salvatore and his team have been managing some of ADIO’s most successful partnerships and initiatives across key sectors, including ADIO’s partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and ADIO’s support of nearly USD 150 M to agriculture technology firms. He has been at the forefront of ADIO’s deals negotiations and client outreach mandates.

With over 12 years of experience in Economic Development, Salvatore started his career with

Invest in Bavaria before founding Trail of Seeds – an NGO promoting culturally inclusive development around the world. He then worked in development consulting with McKinsey and Company, Dalberg Global Advisors, and the Tony Blair Institute.

Salvatore also holds the distinct honour of having travelled to every country of the world – one of the youngest ever to do so – as part of his “193Journeys” project where he shared images and stories with over 110,000 social media followers. His project was featured in Conde Nast, CNN, Vogue, the New York Post and more.

Salvatore holds an International Baccalaureate from the United World College as well as a B.A. in Culturally Inclusive Development from New York University where he was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar for Devotion to Service and the President’s Service Award.

Mrs Aisha AlBokisha

Smart City Strategy

Digital Dubai

Aisha Taib AlBokisha is a Smart City Strategy Executive at Digital Dubai, responsible for enhancing the city’s digital experiences and digitalizing life in Dubai. Aisha is also a member of the Digital Wellbeing Council in the UAE.

Aisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Quality and Strategic Management received with Distinction with Honors, and was also recognized as a Distinguished Student in college.

Panel Discussion Moderator:

Mr R Ramakrishna

CEO, CIO Academy

P. Ramakrishna (Rama) has been involved with the tech domain for the last 35 years. Rama was formerly with Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority, his last held position was Director of IDA’s Industry Development, responsible for national initiatives to nurture the tech industry ecosystem. He was also an advisor for several Asian countries to help develop their national digital transformation masterplans.

In 2016 Rama became the CEO of CIO Academy Asia, instrumental in building executive-level peer-learning communities involving tech best practices and insights.

Rama is also the co-author of 'Intelligent Island: The Untold Story of Singapore's Tech Journey' which chronicles the development of Singapore's tech industry over the last 3 decades.


Mr Tan Kim Leng

Managing Director, KDi Asia

Kim Leng oversees business development and operations for the Singapore-based consultancy he founded.

Over the last 20 plus years, he has led consulting engagements in e-government, strategic ICT management, strategic planning, process management and knowledge management, all based on the Adaptive Path framework he created and is now used by both KDi Asia and KDi America with their clients on three continents.

In addition to private and public sector engagements in Singapore, his international experience includes Tanzania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Mauritius and the Bahamas. As a highly sought after trainer and advisor, Kim Leng has led many executive workshops addressing senior executives from leading Singapore institutions and for senior executives from the ASEAN region and beyond.

He is an adjunct lecturer for National University of Singapore’s Institute of System Science, Singapore Civil Service College, as well as an Institute of Adult Learning council member for the Singapore Training and Adult Education Manpower Skills and Training Council. In Africa, he is an e-government advisor to Tanzania’s President.

Mr Leon Lim

CEO & Founder,

Leon is a serial tech entrepreneur, and has spent the last 8 years in the Technology and AI space with 2 exits attained so far. Having been a former principal French Horn of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and playing music since young, Leon is well acquainted in the area of sound, which he then intelligently fused his experience with his interest in tech to develop sound-based AI solutions at

Ms Excell Chua

Enterprise Sales Director, uHoo

Excell Chua is the Enterprise Sales Director of uHoo. One of her main duties is to develop and maintain strong business relationships with global property developers and asset managers with a special focus on smart buildings.

Excell brings with her more than 20 years of solid sales & marketing track record gained from real estate, media and IT sectors in Asia Pacific, America, Middle East and Europe.

She was also previously connected with PropertyGuru Group as an International Business Development Director where she gained insights from many global real estate developers and property professionals who are ambassadors of green buildings.

Dr Abhijit Shanbhag

President & CEO, Graymatics

Abhijit Shanbhag is President and CEO of Graymatics. The passionate entrepreneur was born and raised in Mumbai. There he received a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology. Wanting to enhance his existing skill set, he moved to the US where he progressed to complete a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (signal processing) at the University of Southern California. Following his studies he took on a role as Staff Systems Engineer at Qualcomm Incorporated, which was followed by a Staff Engineer position at Ericsson Wireless Communications.

Shanbhag founded Scintera Networks, a leading fabless semiconductor company, in 2001 and became the CTO. Scintera Networks was unique in that it developed the industry’s first programmable RF signal processor. Mr Shanbhag retained the role of CTO until 2009, and, seeking a new challenge, progressed to serve as a Board Member until 2014. The company, which was growing rapidly, was later acquired by Maxim Integrated. In 2009, Mr. Shanbhag helped found 5 different stealth-mode companies in various fields, one of which was Graymatics in 2011. He remains the President and CEO of Graymatics to this day.


Ms Amanda Williams

General Counsel, Borouge (UAESBC Corporate Sponsor Member)

Amanda Williams, originally from Tampa, Florida, began her studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sciences-Politiques and La Sorbonne, in Paris France. She obtained her law degree at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She joined Borouge in August 2018 as General Counsel.

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