Smart Dubai is showcasing a range of its hi-tech, smart-city strategies and initiatives at its pavilion at GITEX Technology Week 2018, which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from October 14-18. Smart Dubai is collaborating with 59 Government and private-sector entities in Dubai, who will be joining the exhibition under the Smart Dubai umbrella and showcasing smart government services that help spread happiness among Dubai’s citizens, residents and visitors.
Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, said: “Since its inception, Smart Dubai has launched a host of innovative and advanced strategies that embrace emerging technologies to drive the emirate’s smart transformation and firmly establish Dubai as the happiest and smartest city in the world.”
“Our leadership has envisioned a smart city of the future that caters to its citizens, residents and visitors’ every need. With that in mind, we have called on all public and private entities to join hands in driving Dubai’s smart transformation. This synergy has materialised today as our partners join us at the Smart Dubai pavilion this GITEX,” Dr. Aisha added, lauding GITEX Technology Week as a leading annual technology event bringing ground-breaking developments to an international audience of smart-city experts.
One of the most notable and ambitious of Smart Dubai’s projects is the Dubai Paperless Strategy, which seeks to fully eliminate all internal and external paper transactions within government departments by 2021. The ambitious strategy will see the government stop issuing or requesting paper documents from customers, while government employees will stop issuing or processing paper in all operations. It is set to be implemented in 43 Government entities and 200 service centres, helping upgrade as many as 1,600 Government services and 124 applications.
Eliminating paper transactions will economise over one billion pieces of paper used in the Dubai Government every year, saving 130,000 trees, while also saving customers more than 40 hours a year that would otherwise have been spent on paper transactions. The cost savings of a paperless Dubai will be able to feed 4 million hungry children around the world.
Smart Dubai’s futuristic strategies are rooted in, among other things, the advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy, for its part, seeks to make the Dubai Government the 1st in the world capable of conducting 100% of all applicable transactions via an online encrypted database by 2020. It revolves around three main pillars: Increasing government efficiency; strengthening industrial activity (by spurring the growth of a Blockchain-based economy); and Securing Dubai’s global lead in the sector.
Going a step further, Smart Dubai launched the Payment Reconciliation and Settlement System, developed in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Finance as a Blockchain-powered upgrade to its financial system. The new system allows transactions to be performed accurately and in real time, economising time and effort as the DoF’s current “manual” procedures are time-consuming and could take up to 45 days.
Another advanced technology that has spurred innovative services at Smart Dubai is artificial intelligence, where Smart Dubai has been active in implementing the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI), launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.
Covering highly strategic sectors (namely education, energy, transportation, space and technology), the Strategy uses AI to cut transaction-related annual costs across UAE Government departments by half. The Federal Government currently processes 250 million paper transactions per year, spending 190 million hours on them. For its part, Smart Dubai debuted its AI-powered advisorRashid, which uses AI to offer official and reliable answers to customers’ questions regarding the necessary procedures, documents, and requirements to conduct various transactions across all industry sectors – ranging from starting a business, visa processes, getting a driving license and many more. As of 2018, Rashid can answer questions via live chat on 26 topics related to Living in Dubai, with sub-categories covering over 3,000 intents.
Furthermore, Smart Dubai introduced a new feature allowing participating government entities to update information about their services themselves to ensure all information on the platform is constantly updated. Rashid has been embedded into the websites of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, the Dubai Now platform, Dubai.ae website, and Dubai Now App, where it can be seamlessly accessed – in addition to having its own website.
The Internet of Things has also powered pioneering initiatives at Smart Dubai. Following H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s launch of the Dubai IoT Strategy to build the world’s most advanced IoT ecosystem, Smart Dubai debuted the Crowd Management Project as the first technical project under the IoT Strategy. It can predict sporadic bursts of crowds in a particular place, alerting relevant authorities to ensure the safety and security of the people.
Smart Dubai’s Pavilion at the GITEX Technology Week 2018 will serve as a platform for 59 entities – 45 Government departments and 14 private companies – to showcase their latest services. The exhibitors also include start-ups AID Tech, Watopedia, Pulses, Fliptin Technologies, Ensosoft and Docswallet. The pavilion is sponsored by DarkMatter (Diamond sponsor); Emirates Auction (Platinum); IBM, Dell EMC, and du (Gold); and Network International, Huawei, and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) – Dubai (Silver).