Ambitious roadmap for Dubai
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai, shares her thoughts in an interview with Suchitra Steven Samuel. Excerpts:
Smart Dubai was launched to carry out the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in transforming Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world.
"To that end, we've gradually rolled out over 137 initiatives and 1,129 smart services that give the city's inhabitants access to its cutting-edge facilities using smart, interconnected systems," says Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai, in an interview with Khaleej Times.
Smart Dubai's mandate is to implement Dubai's Smart Transformation Agenda, a five-year strategy covering the 2017-2021 period that outlines an ambitious roadmap for all components of the city: government, companies, society, individuals, resources, and infrastructure.
"We have been making strides in our mission to implement the Dubai Smart City Project, providing advanced infrastructure and connecting it to city-management systems across high-speed networks. We are committed to supporting the emirate's push to establish a smart economy across key sectors, such as trade, tourism, financial services, and ICT, all the while working to ensure the global competitiveness of the Dubai economy," she adds.
Smart Dubai's portfolio of services and initiative is an all-encompassing collection of projects and programmes that serve to accelerate Dubai's transformation into the ultimate smart city.
These include strategies such as the Dubai Paperless Strategy, Dubai Digital Wealth, Dubai IoT Strategy, the Smart Dubai Strategy 2021, the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, and the Dubai Happiness Agenda, in addition to Smart services including Dubai Now, Dubai Careers, Smart Employee, 'Rashid', Dubai ID, UAEPASS, and Dubai Pulse, among others.
She noted that Dubai has registered progress and success on all fronts, with positive results across its entire portfolio of services. "A wealth of statistics and reports have been compiled since then to measure that progress, reflecting our reliance on objective, reliable data to quantify our progress and truly evaluate our success.
"One particular metric I am partial to is the happiness score. After all, happiness is our end goal at Smart Dubai; technology is our means to achieve it. Smart Dubai's vision is to make Dubai the happiest smart city on the planet, and we've managed to raise the city's score on the happiness index to 90 per cent in 2016. We are now aiming for an ambitious 95 per cent by 2021."
Smart Dubai has launched more than 130 initiatives since the beginning, about half a dozen, including the Happiness Agenda, AI Principles and Ethics, and Dubai Blockchain Strategy, have gained prominence.
Dr Aisha further shared her thoughts about the factors underpinning the success. "Over the past three years, we have launched several city-wide strategies - the Blockchain Strategy, the Dubai AI Roadmap, the Dubai Data Initiative,
"the Dubai Paperless Strategy, and most recently, the Ethical AI Implementation principles and guidelines. To accomplish these strategies, we first and foremost have embraced a collaborative approach, bringing all entities from the government and private sector on board, ensuring these strategies are not only executed across one industry sector, but across all city dimensions," she notes.
Dr Aisha adds: "Furthermore, we have worked with both the government and the private sector to determine the most feasible legislations and policies for the respective implementation of data sharing, and Blockchain and AI use cases.
"Guided by the forward-thinking vision of our leadership, we were able to bring all stakeholders together on one table, working towards one goal together - this has been the biggest reason of our success. Providing the infrastructure, roadmap and guidelines to the city will give confidence to entrepreneurs as well, spurring innovation across all sectors."
With Expo 2020 just a year away, Smart Dubai is having an impact on such a major global event. The Expo 2020 Dubai expects to attract 25 million unique visitors, ensuring these visitors have the safest, most seamless, efficient, and most importantly, the happiest experience when interacting with the city is one of Smart Dubai's major goals.
"Today, we have laid down the infrastructure for emerging technology development, we have identified use cases, and drafted the respective policies and legislations for implementation.
"In the period beginning now and leading up to the launch of the Expo 2020 Dubai, we will be working with all our government and private-sector partners to ensure that all our use cases, pilots, and Proof of Concepts (POCs) are fully live to guarantee all visitors to Dubai have the best experience possible during the Expo," Dr Aisha concludes.