‘Dubai govt to issue its last paper transaction in 2021’

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Dubai / WAM

The Dubai Government will issue its last paper transaction by 2021, said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, while attending Smart Dubai’s ‘Future-Now’ event at the Dubai Design District. He instructed the Smart Dubai Office to oversee the ambitious goal.
During the event – which celebrates three years of success for Smart Dubai and its affiliates –Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed launched the Smart Dubai 2021 initiative, which represents the next step in Dubai’s smart and sustainable development, as well as the ‘Dubai Pulse’ platform, which will host all of the emirate’s data and form the backbone of its shift towards smart development.
“When Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the Dubai Smart City project three years ago, he wanted to change the meaning of the term ‘technological advancement’ by creating an unprecedented model that integrates technology with our goals of ensuring the best standards of living, wellbeing, and happiness for the people of Dubai,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said.
“Today, we mark the beginning of a new phase – ‘Smart Dubai 2021’ – that revolves around challenging ourselves and surpassing our own previous achievements. We are looking to build a truly smart city – one that will use technology as the key to a balanced and happy life.”
He added, “While we’ve already seen a great shift towards digital government transactions, I believe that the future of government will be entirely paper-free. The government of the future will set plans and strategies to ensure the best possible standard of living for people and to save them time and effort. In 2021, we will celebrate the very last paper transaction in Dubai, and Smart Dubai will see to it that we achieve this mission.”
The Crown Prince of Dubai launched the ‘Dubai Pulse’ platform, describing it as the “backbone of Dubai’s transformation and shift towards smart technologies”, and ordering all government departments to begin populating the platform with their data as of today.
“Throughout history, information has been key to our lives as human beings, allowing us to communicate with others – be they individuals or communities,” said Sheikh Hamdan. “Today, in the era of Big Data, it is essential to have a central platform to house all of the government’s data – a platform that taps into the potential of artificial intelligence to spread happiness among people. This is the only option for countries that want to remain relevant and build infrastructure that meets the needs of the future. This is why we launched ‘Dubai Pulse’.”

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office, Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr said, “Despite what Dubai achieved today in terms of smart city development – which is still a distant dream for most cities around the world, including in some of the most advanced countries – we are just getting started. We are still at the beginning of a new journey to a smart city worthy of the Government of the Future, the UAE Centennial 2071, and the Mars 2117 Project, among other national initiatives. We are proud of what we have achieved since our inception; we have succeeded because of our productive collaboration with strategic partners in the public and private sectors as we edge closer to achieving the Smart Dubai 2021 strategy.”
“We’ve set our priorities, guided by the words of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as he launched Smart Dubai back in 2013, when he said that there is no single model for progress, rather there is constant innovation and development,” Dr. Aisha continued. “We have lived by these words ever since, applying them as we push ahead with our constant pursuit of innovation in our strategies and operations, as well as in the quality of the solutions and technologies we have adopted and developed. ‘Smart Dubai 2021’ is our action plan for the near future, as we work to transform Dubai into a fully smart city with smart government services that make people’s lives – and business dealings – easier.”
Assistant Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment Younis Al Nasser said, “The shift towards smart technologies in recording and processing data is the foundation for success in the era of Big Data. Following the launch of the Dubai Data Establishment, the natural progression was the launch of ‘Dubai Pulse’ to act as a digital safe for all of Dubai’s data so that leaders and stakeholders in all sectors across Dubai can find what they need to make informed decisions. The platform compiles all government data in one place, where the right information can be provided for the right people whenever they should need it.”
“‘Dubai Pulse’ will enhance operational efficiency by reducing data access costs,” Al Nasser added. “It will facilitate the exchange of open and common data between public and private institutions and individuals, which will eventually contribute to the complete digital transformation of the Emirate of Dubai. The platform will enhance our ability to innovate, in addition to ensuring the optimal use of data by aggregating it in a single platform, analysing it, using it to support and expedite decision-making.”
CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment Wesam Lootah said, “The rapid pace at which our world is evolving forces us to look past the innovations of today and to work towards solutions for the future. This is what we are striving for today as we launch ‘Smart Dubai 2021’. Over the past three years, we have established the strategic pillars of Smart Dubai, which fit with the vision of our leadership and improve the lives of the people of Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said that a smart government doesn’t wait for the people to come to it, instead, it goes to them. This is our motto today as we launched hundreds of initiatives and more than 1,000 services.”
Lootah added, “Smart devices have become indispensable to modern human life, and artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be shaping human life from now on. We’ve already begun to see this all around us. We are working to put all of Dubai’s potential at the disposal of the people – which they can access through their smart devices. This is not restricted to transactions or access to data, it goes beyond that to improve the quality of life, healthcare, and education.”
Smart Dubai 2021 is the next step in the process of transforming our city into one that invests in technology and implements it to improve people’s lives and make Dubai the happiest city on earth. The four-year plan covers infrastructure, legislation, and applications that the Dubai Smart Office and all of its affiliates have succeeded in achieving over the course of the past three years. This strategy is Dubai’s gateway to the next level of smart transformation, in line with the requirements of the Dubai 10X Initiative and the UAE Centennial 2071.
‘Dubai Pulse’ is another achievement for Dubai, placing the emirate ahead of other developed cities around the world. The platform compiles all data available to both the public and private sectors. The new platform provides access, for the first time, to live and up-to-date data about the city.
It includes three layers of data: the first will be free of charge and caters to the public, while the second offers a thorough analysis of the data (in exchange for a fee) to be used for academic, professional, commercial, and economic purposes. The third and final layer includes data accessible exclusively to Dubai Government entities.
Three years ago, Smart Dubai set out to fully transform Dubai into a smart city, launching 100 initiatives and 1,000 smart services.
The services allowed the people of Dubai to access the city’s facilities using smart, interconnected systems. We also distributed sensors around the city to provide information, high-speed Internet access, and real-time services for all residents in public places.
Smart Dubai drew inspiration from a quote by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who during the launch of the project, said, “Our goal is to improve the quality of life as we aim to harness technology for the establishment of a new reality in the city of Dubai, a different life, and a different development model.”
Smart Dubai is making strides in its mission to implement the Dubai Smart City Project, providing advanced infrastructure and connecting it to city-management systems across high-speed networks. This ensures Dubai’s sustainability and competitiveness by deploying smart technologies across all sectors of the emirate, improving life experiences and providing happiness to the residents of Dubai and its visitors.
This adheres to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, who has called for placing the happiness and wellbeing of UAE citizens and residents at the core of government policy.
Smart Dubai’s ambitions remain high, using technology as a tool to achieve the goal of increasing the happiness of everyone in Dubai. Dubai’s residents and visitors can benefit from 137 smart initiatives and 1,129 smart services.

Smart Dubai’s achievements offer Dubai’s residents and visitors 137 smart initiatives to benefit from, as well as 1,129 smart services, making their experiences safer, more efficient, seamless, and effective.

Smart Dubai celebrates these achievements with its partners at the “Future-Now” event, where it will announce the next phase of the Smart City project, which will expedite Dubai’s efforts to achieve H.H. Sheikh Mohammed’s forward-thinking vision.

Working together with its strategic partners, Smart Dubai has developed an ambitious plan that is set to wield an immense positive impact on the city, its people, the economy, and the environment, and preparing Dubai to embrace the future now, not tomorrow.

The Smart Dubai Office is leading the city’s complete shift to smart technologies, using cutting-edge innovations to increase efficiency and improve services, and bringing Dubai closer to achieving its vision of being the happiest city on Earth.

It is working with partners from the public and private sectors to implement an ambitious roadmap that takes all components of the city into consideration – including: government, companies, society, individuals, resources, and infrastructure – to achieve six objectives: High-quality, connected digital government; technology-based competitive global economy; efficient and seamless services; streamlined smart transport solutions; a sustainable environment enabled by smart technology; and an agile city that offers smart living.

The Smart Dubai initiative implements the tactical directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has called for spreading happiness among the people of Dubai – be they citizens, residents, or visitors. To that end, the Smart Dubai Office taps cutting-edge technologies to offer services efficiently, seamlessly, and securely, and to achieve an exceptional quality of life.

Dubai’s Smart Transformation Agenda is a five-year strategy covering the 2017-2021 period. It outlines an ambitious roadmap for all components of the city: government, companies, society, individuals, resources, and infrastructure.

Smart Dubai strategy 2021 calls for the intelligent use of ICT to transform the city’s core components, which include: the government, companies, society, individuals, resources, and infrastructure. The Strategy seeks to digitise 100 per cent of government services and eliminate the need for physical visits to customer service centres.

Led by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai has successfully positioned itself as a strategic global trading hub and a vibrant international city. To achieve its ambitious plans, Dubai implemented major policies focusing on key economic sectors such as trade, tourism, financial services, and ICT. The latter has been a major source of innovation, prompting companies to adopt high-performance ICT solutions to deliver their goods and services, as well as to manage internal operations.

Dubai Plan 2021’s Smart City Strategy aims to consolidate the emirate’s achievements to enhance the global competitiveness of Dubai’s economy. The strong infrastructure, targeted investments, competent workforce, and organisational reforms have guaranteed Dubai a very strong economy that is integrated into the global economy through wide-reaching supply chains.

ICT has played a major role in this success and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future as the digitisation trend continues throughout the world.

The Dubai Smart City Strategy 2021 aims to benefit from the emirate’s economic success, strengthen it, and enhance productivity in its key sectors. The Strategy had indeed identified labour productivity as one of the key drivers of sustainable economic growth.

Furthermore, it seeks to optimise the use of ICTs by cooperating with the public and private sectors. ICT currently plays a major role in various sectors globally and has played a key role in promoting innovation in these sectors. Economists have noted the impact of successful ICT processes in enhancing labour productivity.

In this context, the Smart City Strategy 2021 is set to increase productivity through the implementation of sector-specific solutions, developed in cooperation between all parties. This, in turn, stands to lower the cost of living and energy, curtail road traffic, and significantly reduce the city’s environmental footprint.

Smart Dubai is committed not only to transform Dubai into a smart city, but also to make it the happiest and brightest city in the world with the most intelligent infrastructure, seamless services, and efficient operations.

Benefitting from the experience of major cities around the globe, Smart Dubai set out to implement the most comprehensive city plan in the world – one that includes a smart transformation in all sectors. To that end, the “Dubai Pulse” data platform was designed to be the digital heart of Dubai, catering to the needs of every sector in the emirate.

“Dubai Pulse” is the first stage of the planned Smart Dubai Platform, the digital backbone of the city. The platform acts as an interactive data board for the city of Dubai, accessible to the public, the business sector, and all decision makers. It publishes up-to-date information about various metrics related to the city including traffic, transport, the economy, social welfare, healthcare, and education, in addition to innovative entertainment and tourism services, such as smart restaurants, aviation services, and traffic systems.

The platform also facilitates the management of economic services, provided to investors and businessmen using smart stock-exchange services, ports, and customs, among other smart services. The smart sensors distributed throughout the city will ensure these services are provided seamlessly, allowing all residents to connect with their city.

The Smart Dubai City strategy 2021 calls for a data-driven government, where data will be used as a strategic asset to the benefit of the public, as well as the government itself, as the Dubai Open Data Law increases operational efficiency by reducing data-access costs.

The Smart Dubai Platform was launched in March 2016, with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du) as a strategic partner. It is the central operating system of the city, providing easy access to services and data for individuals, as well as public and private organisations. It stands out from similar projects around the world; many major cities have built ICT platforms, but these platforms were limited in scope and restricted to specific services. The Smart Dubai Platform, meanwhile, comprises civil services, the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud services, Big Data, and digital ID technology.

Under directives from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), the Foundation – along with the Smart Dubai Office – launched the Dubai Blockchain Strategy with the goal of making the Dubai Government the first in the world to conduct 100 per cent of its transactions via an online encrypted database by the year 2020.

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy revolves around three main pillars: First, increasing government efficiency by transferring 100 per cent of government transactions to the Blockchain network; second, strengthening industrial activity by creating a new Blockchain-based business model; and finally, securing Dubai’s global lead in terms of adoption and implementation of Blockchain networks and transactions.

In a bid to realise its goal of turning Dubai into a fully digital city by 2020, the Smart Dubai Office recently launched its own initiative – in collaboration with IBM as strategic partner and Consensus Corp as consultant – to implement Blockchain technology, in tandem with the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020.

In February of 2017, the Smart Dubai Office established its own accelerator in the Dubai Future Accelerators programme; many promising SMEs are currently working with the accelerator to innovate Blockchain technologies intended for government services. In addition, Smart Dubai Office is working on the design and construction of the Blockchain platform as a service used by government entities in Dubai to implement its initial Blockchain projects.

People wonder whether happiness can be achieved, feeling it’s too broad a term. They ask Smart Dubai about the point of installing all those sensors, collecting all that data, and experimenting will these cutting-edge solutions. The simple answer is: we are doing these things to improve the performance of the city, and when the performance of the city improves, people benefit, their lives become easier, and they become happier. Happiness has been an objective for Smart Dubai since its first day.

Smart Dubai’s vision is to make Dubai the happiest city on the planet. Smart Dubai has registered many achievements over the past three years, which raised the city’s score on the happiness index to 90% in 2016. Smart Dubai is now aiming for an ambitious 95% by 2021.

Smart Dubai works diligently and ceaselessly to make everyone in Dubai happy; it conducts research and implements a happiness index to raise the level of happiness throughout the city.

In the travel and tourism sector, for example, the “Happiness Hackathon” was launched with the intention of significantly improving traveller satisfaction. The Hackathon focused on different aspects of travellers’ experience, drawing on similar studies that were conducted in other sectors. The team examined current innovations and explored the future prospects of certain technologies. Smart Dubai is verily working to expedite the future.

Smart Dubai has collaborated with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority to create a framework for corporate happiness. Smart Dubai’s efforts go beyond that, however, as it had appointed 43 “Happiness Champions” within government to work in accordance with its “Happiness Agenda”.

In order to assess the degree of correlation between happiness and the initiatives of the Dubai Smart City Strategy, the Dubai Smart Office collaborated with Gallup and Oxford University to analyse existing Gallup data and discover which measures have the greatest impact on happiness.

Smart Dubai has adopted a future-focused work ethic; it works with its public and private partners to ensure that Dubai is a safe, efficient, and influential city – one prioritises happiness and works to provide a good life for all of its residents and visitors. To this end, it has always been committed to evaluating and innovating city-wide solutions.

Dubai is a pioneer when it comes to installing and using smart platforms to facilitate access to its and spread happiness among them. This is the core of Smart Dubai’s vision and mission to make Dubai the happiest on the planet. The “Dubai Now” platform is one of the most important achievements in that regard; it provides a single, centralised service platform that meets the needs of Dubai’s population, as mandated by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The platform offers access to 55 smart services from 24 government and private institutions, making life easier for all residents and economising their time. It comes as no surprise, then that Dubai ranks high globally in all aspects of competitiveness.

“Dubai Now” provides fast, seamless, and paperless services to the residents of Dubai allowing them to finish transactions and paperwork via smartphone without the need to physically visit government centres. Smart Dubai is working to put the platform ahead of other similar applications around the world, constantly upgrading it and pushing to digitise 100% of services in Dubai by 2021.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has instructed government institutions to reach out to the public, not the other way around. With that in mind, we are constantly trying to come up with new systems, tools, and processes to make life easier for Dubai residents and visitors.

Smart Dubai continues to look ahead in an attempt to forecast the major changes to come, and work proactively to answer them. It has launched an Artificial Intelligence Roadmap in collaboration with its strategic partners to discover innovative technological solutions to make services and inquiries digital and paperless.

“Saad” is the first cognitive computing system to be implemented in Dubai. It uses the databases of various government and private entities in Lebanon to offer official and reliable answers to customers’ questions, and provides them with the necessary procedures, steps, documents, and requirements to conduct their transactions.

In the early stages, “Saad” begins observing and learning – it can distinguish and understand natural language, develop hypotheses, evaluate and learn. Then, in the second stage, the system can explain and increase its knowledge. This is all done by populating the system with data, either from the participating entities or from customers’ queries. This artificial intelligence service can handle a huge amount of unstructured data to find answers and make informed decisions, which enables specialists to focus on decision-making.

Smart Dubai and “Dubai Economy” have introduced “Saad”, the first cognitive computing service, which has been trained to answer questions and inquiries about business licensing and registration. The service is designed to be accessible to entrepreneurs, business owners, and local and foreign investors who wish to establish a business in Dubai. Smart Dubai is already at work with its partners to spread the “Saad” services across all of Dubai.

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