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Dubai Government launches Internet of Things (IoT) strategy and Data Wealth Initiative

Photo above: Credit: Dubai Government media office

On October 22, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Internet of Things (IoT) Strategy, and the Data Wealth initiative, from Smart Dubai’s headquarters. He also awarded the Dubai Digital Certificates to outstanding government and private entities. The Dubai Digital Certificates are intended to be the benchmark against which all smart services in Dubai would be evaluated.

The launch took place in the presence of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; and HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.  

Dubai IoT Strategy

The Dubai IoT Strategy seeks to build the world’s most advanced Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in the world’s smartest city to improve people’s lives. The strategy aims to protect Dubai’s digital wealth, encourage government departments to join the emirate’s smart transformation, and achieve the objectives of the Smart Dubai Plan 2021 to transition to a 100% paperless government.

The Dubai IoT Strategy unifies the data sources for the Dubai Pulse platform, the digital backbone for Dubai’s smart city project. Dubai Pulse was launched in April 2017 to serve as a central platform for compilation of all data available to both the public and private sectors. It provides access to live and up-to-date data about the city through an interactive dashboard. All government departments were instructed to begin populating the platform with their data immediately.

As more decision makers across various sectors gain access to information and insight to support their decision via Dubai Pulse, the strategy drives productivity and efficiency in the city and transforms countless industries, providing the tools everybody needs to drive sustainable change and improvements.

The strategy is set to be implemented over four consecutive phases in the coming three years. The first phase involves coordination of efforts and activities to implement IoT policies across government departments. In the second phase, the focus is on Integration and Conversion, seeks to harmonise efforts towards implementing the IoT Strategy. Following the third Optimisation phase, the strategies will go into the final “Blockchain Journey” stage, which will witness the full integration of IoT policies and the first ROI (Return on investment) of the strategy. It covers six strategic domains: governance, management, acceleration, deployment, monetisation and security.

The Dubai Crowd initiative was also launched, as the first technical project in the IoT Strategy. It seeks to manage and organise crowds in the emirate during peak seasons to ensure safety and security. Dubai is known for the massive crowds – some of the largest in the world – that flock to the city during high seasons, such as New Year’s Eve. Under the initiative real-time data will be analysed and plausible scenarios suggested for decision makers.

Data wealth initiative

Data Wealth consists of data, data-storing and processing technologies, smart-tech transformation, paperless transaction policies and systems (e.g. Blockchain), digital signature and ID, smart living and clean energy, among other elements.

The Data Wealth Initiative consists of 121 smart initiatives, 200 databases and 1,129 smart services, and is expected to generate AED33.8 billion (USD9.2 billion) in three years’ time, as the Internet of Things reaches AED17.9 billion in value by 2020. A Data Economic Impact Report commissioned by the Smart Dubai Office estimates that open and shared data has the potential to add 10.4 billion AED (US$2.83b) to the economy every year, by 2021.

Blockchain applications in government departments add AED5.5 billion to the GDP by 2020. In December 2016, the Dubai government announced the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, establishing a roadmap for the introduction of Blockchain technology for Dubai and the creation of an open platform to share the technology with cities across the globe. The vision is to transform Dubai into the first Government in the world to execute all applicable transactions on the Blockchain by 2020. Earlier this month, the Dubai Land Department became the first government entity in the world to implement all transactions on a blockchain platform.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, “Dubai’s push to build the future today has helped establish a digital infrastructure that is now a strategic national asset in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is a fortune that all stakeholders in the Dubai Government must work together to preserve. The Dubai Digital Certificates and the Dubai IoT Strategy mark the official launch of smart living in the emirate and we have directed all government institutions to cooperate and fully implement the initiatives by the year 2021.”

Meanwhile, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed took to Twitter to officially task Smart Dubai with leading the charge to preserve the emirate’s Data Wealth, calling on all government entities to embrace the Digital Certificates as part of their operations. “Digital Certificates and the Internet of Things are essential to our plans of becoming a 100% paperless government by 2021,” His Highness noted.

Her Excellency Dr. Aisha bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) said, “We will be unveiling a comprehensive roadmap to guide the implementation of the Data Wealth initiative, the Dubai Digital Certificates and the Dubai IoT Strategy. We are thus setting the foundation for the emirate’s smart digital transformation, and taking another step towards a better life and promising future for our people.”

Dr. Aisha continued, “When we launched Smart Dubai three years ago, we sought to enable people to make use of the vast amounts of data generated every day in one of the busiest cities in the world. Today, as we launch the Dubai IoT Strategy, we provide the people of Dubai with an unmatched smart lifestyle. The Dubai Digital Certificates, on the other hand, safeguard our data wealth and provide greater safety and security. We are committed to working with our government and private-sector partners in Dubai to play our part in the UAE Centennial 2071.”

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