TBY talks to Abdulqader Obaid Ali, CEO, Smartworld, on the sector.

Abdulqader Obaid Ali

How has the company developed its expertise over the years?

Smartworld was purely focused on telecommunications but is now a system integrator for IT infrastructure. Airports are ideal for this type of work as there is a plethora of connected systems, including ticketing, security, and passenger processing. Our first project was at Al Maktoum Airport as a master systems integrator. Before we knew it, we were challenged with Terminal 1, the oldest terminal. Because the previous infrastructure work was so old and had not been maintained properly, it was a challenging operating environment. Another challenge was maintaining the terminal's operations during integration. Today, we are competing with international companies.

What are your plans for regional expansion in Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman?

If you go to a country where you do not understand the language, it is very difficult to communicate with the people there. Our business plan is not to have a huge global market share but to work within the GCC region as we share the same language and have common customs that are very important in establishing businesses.