The first Saudi International Conference on the Internet of Things (IoT) took place from the 28th to the 30th of January 2018 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Participants took part in presentations, workshops, and exhibitions.

The conference was attended by professional engineers, information technologists, and engineering students from disciplines related to communications. The panel comprised engineers, leaders, executives, and developers. The emphasis was on presenting the audience with the most up-to-date technologies and those that will have the greatest impact on health care, energy resources, the public sector, and real estate. The focus of the conference was the redefining of communication and its impact on business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The attendees were at an advantage, as they had a peep into IoT technology before the wider public did.

The conference highlighted IoT’s great potential that IoT has to broaden the relationships between companies, developers, and people in the IoT field. It was aimed at raising awareness of smart manufacturing and presenting the audience with the latest digital security technology. It was hoped that this conference would help take Saudi Arabia to the next level in smart technology.


Dr. Abdullah AlMutari, the chair of IEEE ComSoc, addressed the audience on “Innovation through the Perfect Marriage of IoT, Big Data, and Cloud Computing,” putting special emphasis on their relationships. Dr. AlMutari conceptualized 5G and its role in IoT. He also elaborated on IoE and identified factors that will make IoE a reality on a massive scale.





Prof. Muhammed Khurram, the vice chair of IEEE ComSoc, was a keynote speaker and engaged the audience on the topic of “Trust in IoT: Challenges and Solutions.” He emphasized that security is a key consideration in the development of IoT products, and he focused on challenges and recommendations for gaining the confidence and trust of consumers. He noted that the IoT model depends on internet connectivity and the accumulation of intelligence. The opportunities for businesses and countries to present themselves with IoT are countless. But even when IoT products are beneficial, consumers still face the insecurity of sharing their personal information through devices. If consumers are to trust IoT devices and applications, it is of paramount importance that measures be taken to ensure the security of these devices and the protection of personal information. The successful implementation of IoT therefore depends on developing trust among consumers. Prof. Khurram said that for IoT products and applications to succeed, security requirements must be taken into account.


Dr. Imed Ben Dhaou, the vice chair of IoT ComSoc, addressed the audience on “Intelligent Transportation Systems and Smart Grids.” The point of the smart grid is communication through information technology. It is a system of systems, including transmission and distribution systems, distributed microgrids, market services, bulk-power generation, advanced metering structures, and feeders, to name but a few. The latest research has been used to construct a modern smart grid while taking security and communication solutions into account. This presentation addressed the challenges and opportunities of using the IoT as an ICT technology and its potential impact on the development of the smart grid. As its name suggests, the smart grid is expected to develop into an intelligent utility grid that is sustainable, green, secure, and efficient.

The trend in the transportation sector is the introduction of electric and hybrid electric vehicle (PEV). Additionally, to render the transportation efficient, secure and profitable, intelligent transportation system has been proposed as the enabling technology. In ITS, vehicles communicate to each other and communicate with the infrastructure through the dedicated short range communication, DSRC, . In his presentation, Dr. Ben Dhaou, described the new business opportunities brought by ITS. He also described various IoT based solution like smart charging, vehicle to grid communication and parking management system using IoT.


An event that must be mentioned is the first face-to-face meeting of the Saudi Chapter of the IEEE ComSoc which was held in Riyadh at the international convention & exhibition center on January 28, 2018 from 11:00am to 12:30pm.   This meeting was called by the Chair, Dr. Abdullah AlMuttri.  The purpose of the meeting was to establish an agenda for points of discussion for the activities for the year 2018.

The following members of the Chapter were present at the meeting:

Dr. Abdullah AlMuttiri (Chapter Chair); Prof. Mohammed Khuram (Vice Chair); Dr. Imed Ben Dhaou (Vice Chair); Ms. Yasmin AlHowail (Secretary and Treasurer).

We were honored to have the presence of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Abdullah Alswaha at the conference. The conference conceptualized the applications of IoT and highlighted the most important aspects of what IoT is about to the attendees.  The first Saudi conference on IoT was a great success and we now look forward to another successful conference with presentations on cutting-edge technology that can drive forward the world of technology.