Digital Authority a game-changer Filed on June 23, 2021
Dubai is following up remarkable steps taken in smart and digital transformation to achieve the strategic goals of making the emirate the smartest city on Earth.

Digital orientation has become an essential element of the growth strategy of all organisations and authorities in the emirate of Dubai.

T he Dubai Digital Authority will speed up the transformation of government entities into smart service providers to individuals and businesses besides maintaining a high standard of cybersecurity, top executives and experts say.

The newly-established entity assigned is tasked to accelerate technological advancement and adopt the latest ICT initiatives to support social and economic prosperity of people, as well as boost the value of the digital economy by 100 per cent in the next two years to Dh200 billion. Experts said it will be a real game-changer not only for Dubai, but also for the entire Middle East region.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, said this step underlines that Dubai, which started its digital transformation 20 years ago, is moving steadily to double the size of its digital economy, which currently exceeds Dh100 billion, within two years. “This will make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. This is achieved by unifying efforts and providing world-class digital services that enhance the quality of life in Dubai to be the city of the future where facilities and services are managed through smart and integrated services. This makes the lives of citizens, residents, and visitors easier and enhances their happiness,” he said.

Saif Humaid Al Falasi, group CEO of Emirates National Oil Company, praised the initiative and underlined the importance of new authority and its crucial role in moving forward with the digital renaissance that Dubai is witnessing and following up on the remarkable steps taken by the emirate in smart and digital transformation to achieve the strategic goals of making Dubai the happiest and smartest city on Earth.

“Digital orientation has become an essential element of the growth strategy of all organisations and authorities in the emirate of Dubai. We at Enoc Group launched a growth strategy that focuses primarily on developing business through digital transformation while continuing to support our main objective to meet the growing demand for energy in Dubai and the UAE,” said Al Falasi. “Today, we confirm that we will harness all efforts to achieve and advance this strategy to be part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the world’s first digital economic capital,” he added.

Saad Maniar, senior partner at Crowe, said the digital transformation would mean that organisations will be able to improve communication, reduce costs, increase their revenue and improve customer satisfaction.

“The one downside is that it will further increase the pace of life, therefore for individuals it would be important to strike a right balance and that would be the key to overall success,” Maniar told Khaleej Times.

“Also, for the companies it would be important that they invest and unskil their human resources to enjoy the maximum benefit from digital initiatives.”

Atik Munshi, managing partner at Enterprise House, said the authority is a step in the right direction that will benefit corporates and businesses.

“With the advancements in artificial intelligence, a digital life shall be a natural outcome. The forward looking and growth-oriented government of Dubai has recognised this aspect for a long time and is planning to take the ‘first mover’s advantage’. The Digital Life launch is a step in this direction,” Munshi told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

He said Digital Life would also mean ease of doing business and other transactions and costs too would reduce. If utilised properly this can be a real game-changer not only for UAE but for the entire Middle East region, he said.

“Earlier the adoption of blockchain was announced. One very significant advantage of digital life is that geographical boundaries do not remain relevant and the user through their unique digital key can conduct transactions from across the globe 24 hours a day without limitation of office timings,” Munshi said.

Paul Bogan, Serco’s chief digital officer on the digital journey, said the establishment of Dubai Digital Authority is about improving the customers’ experience across all government services in a safe and secure way.

“Having DDA with its own judicial identity and legal authority enables the right framework for accelerating technological advancement and adopt the latest ICT advancements that support social and economic prosperity and improve the people’s living standards,” he said.

Digitising government services will also ease registration process and removes barriers, which means there’s a higher opportunity for new businesses to enter the market, and eventually nourish the economy and attract more expats, he said.

Additionally, the digital transformation programme will allow all government entities to raise their efficiency and performance levels by enabling government departments to automate their work, operations, and services, and as a result, offer a better service to citizens and residents.

“Based on analysis of a ground-breaking nation-wide survey of the UAE citizens and residents, the Serco Institute found that an astonishing 90 per cent of people described themselves as being very happy with the government services they had used in the past two years. Now, look at the next 50 years plan, the UAE wants to be seen as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and an end-to-end digital government experience is just another step forward to deliver this huge ambition,” he said. —


Muzaffar Rizvi

Business Editor/News Editor of Khaleej Times is a well-connected journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the mainstream journalism since 1997, covering the UAE's economy and key sectors. He holds a post-graduate degree in Economics and has won many awards for authentic and insightful reports on global and regional businesses and economic trends.

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