From offering citizenship to a humanoid Sophia to gaining higher traction as the blockchain capital of the world, Dubai has continued to blow our mind with its digital transformations.
With the growing technological innovations, the governments across the world have turned towards integrating technologies and techniques into their practices. However, Dubai government is leading the sphere with their unique approach to adopting and embracing the digital transformations in economy, tourism, infrastructure, healthcare, and almost every field.
The city started its technological journey in 1999 with the announcement of its first ICT strategy, followed by Dubai Internet City, Dubai e-government, Dubai Smart Government. And now, we have succeeded at becoming the center of technological innovations, and hub of the startups and established brands in the last two decades under the auspices of our Smart Dubai 2021 initiative.
Smart Dubai 2021: Transforming Dubai Digitally
Led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Smart Dubai 2021 strategy is an answer by the city to the technological developments reshaping our present and future. It is an ambitious roadmap to turn our city into the ‘smartest city in the world’ by harnessing the digital innovations in all the endeavors; by creating an unmatched environment where government, businesses, and citizens can interact with each other effortlessly while exchanging products, services, and experiences.
In other words, the project envisages a city where we all can enjoy a safe, seamless, personalized and efficient experience. The project is focusing on six strategic themes that will contribute to improved services and experiences in all the possible dimensions.
Various technological advances, varying from Internet of Things (IoT) systems to blockchains, innovative 3D printing, data analytics, hyperloop projects, self-driving vehicles, robots, drones, and artificial intelligence applications are taken into consideration in this Smart Dubai initiative for keeping us abreast with the changes and stimulating us to adopt them into our lives.
Some of the prime areas revolutionized by digital transformations in Dubai are:
In October 2017, our city introduced a project ‘One Million Arab Coders’ to help young people get ‘state-of-the-art’ programming skills and give their contribution to a renaissance in the Arab world. Apart from this, our government is also encouraging parents and students to get schooling information online, pay tuition fees online, interact with peers, and access course curricula.
In fact, our cabinet announced a federal budget of Dh51.4 billion for the year 2018, with 43 percent of the budget assigned to education, healthcare and society developments alone.
To make our commute experience exceptional, Dubai government is welcoming the concept of autonomous vehicles; aiming to make 12% of city trips possible through a driverless system. They are also focusing on increasing the use of shared transportations and public transportation up to 20% by 2021. Besides, smart parking, smart traffic lights and smart tolls are also on the card with the motive to ensure a fast and effective flow of movement in the city.
Our government is also hoping to let us hail by a flying cab or drone within next few years. They are working with eHang to build drone taxi service which will let us fly across the city with a couple of luggage bags. Also, they are welcoming the UberAIR (Uber Elevate) program which is expected to start aerial taxi services in different cities including ours by 2020.
Our city Dubai is going to be the first city in the world using Li-Fi technology for transmitting data throughout the city. Not only this, our government is intending to connect city infrastructure and resources via IoT technology – may it be water, drainage, energy, waste distribution networks, traffic lights, etc. They are striving to provide us with more reliable and efficient services, like detecting the water leakage and electricity networks issue immediately to reduce the energy waste through mobile applications. Similarly, they are working on planning and allocating land such that all the resources and facilities are offered to us in an adequate manner.
When talking about digital transformations, Dubai has already achieved remarkable economic growth as a regional hub. Our city has built strong economic sectors and established itself as the hottest destination for trading, tourism, and financial services globally; we are no more relying on oil for proving our existence. Still, our government is putting their best efforts in employing the digital advances to further boost the economic performance and productivity for sustaining our global competitiveness.
Under the Smart Dubai 2021 project, our government is simplifying regulations, offering accessible services and supporting businesses through incubators. In a nutshell, our government is exploring newer ways of providing convenient and smooth digital services to our city’s entrepreneurs and prompting them to choose Dubai for starting their businesses.
Our government is looking forward to gathering a pool of talented and skilled people through targeted programmes so as to gain required human capital to achieve their goals by 2021. Besides, our city government is seeking to revamp our economy using open data which has a potential of adding Dh10.4 billion to the economy, as per the Dubai Data Report.
Dubai Health Strategy has been introduced with the aim to make our city a global leader in the delivering world-class healthcare services, while Dubai Health Forums are organized for bringing transformations that make our city the top destination for unparalleled healthcare treatment and tourism. Our city’s government is stepping stone of bringing the highly-reputed healthcare providers, industry experts, international guest speakers, and innovations together to serve us with next-generation healthcare experience.
Our government is planning to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) for assisting in physical disabilities, obtaining a deeper study of genetics and genomics to provide appropriate medicine, etc.
Also, they are foreseeing potential in early adoption of Blockchain technology for managing health records, bill payments, and other related purposes. This way, our government focuses on achieving their goal of making our Dubai the happiest city on Earth.
Considering the above digital transformations, investment in innovation-led projects like Museum of the Future and 3D printing of building by 2030 and other initiatives taken by our government for advancements in healthcare, education, science, tourism, energy and technology sphere, there’s no exaggeration to the fact that our city Dubai is already ahead of other great cities and is forging to be the ‘City of Future’.