Dubai is getting some high-flying help in developing smart cities by landing technology guru Veresh Sita

As reported by IDG’s CIO magazine, Emaar Properties recently wooed Sita away from his Chief Information Officer role with Alaska Airlines.

He will now take on the role of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) with Emaar, one of the United Arab Emirates’ largest real estate developers.

Sita assist Emaar in developing digitally sophisticated residential and commercial properties using such cutting-edge technology as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).

“We’re focused on transforming Emaar into a world class leader of digital and customer experiences,” said Sita.

This will culminate in the building out of “digital smart cities” that Sita explains will combine virtual and physical spaces seamlessly while anticipating the needs of its citizens.

“Imagine a city that embodies the convergence between a community of people and artificial intelligence, interacting together,” he said. “My current focus is to create customer experiences that are as iconic as the physical spaces that Emaar develops.”

Dubai Creek Harbour is a shining example

An example of Emaar’s future focus is Dubai Creek Harbour. Upon its completion the project will be among the world’s most digitally advanced residential developments.

As CDO, Sita will help enhance this and similar projects with emerging technology like robotic process automation, IoT, virtual and augmented reality, AI and machine learning.

Emaar’s move to up its digital game by hiring Sita is another reason why Dubai was recently crowned the Gulf region’s top smart city.

Instrumental in the city’s smart city leadership is the Smart Dubai roadmap. As part of this plan, Dubai aims to deliver 1,000 services via 100 initiatives by 2017.

Some smart city highlights from Dubai include: a smart mobility initiative for traffic control; improved power and water consumption through a smart grid program; smart health services; and mobile-enabled e-Government services.