Dubai on fast track to becoming world's smartest city

Dewa is the first utility in the world and the first government organisation in the UAE to use ChatGPT to enrich its services

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Tue 15 Aug 2023, 3:53 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Nov 2023, 4:28 PM

With its steadfast commitment to innovation, Dubai is on the fast track to becoming the world's smartest city. The driving force behind this remarkable journey is the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. His Highness has set in motion a unique digital transformation journey that aims to make Dubai a global leader among smart cities.

At the centre of this vision is a commitment to elevate the quality of life of Dubai’s people and turn it into the world’s best city to live, work and visit. By embracing advanced new technologies and fostering a culture of constant improvement, Dubai strives to create standards of wellbeing that rival that of the world’s leading cities.


One of the key government organisations leading the emirate’s charge to actualise this vision is the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Right from the launch of Dubai’s digital transformation strategy, the utility provider has been at the forefront of delivering world-class smart services that cater to the growing needs of Dubai's population. DEWA was one of the first government organisations to receive the 100% Paperless stamp from the Digital Dubai Authority in 2021, after it completed the digital integration of more than 70 projects with over 30 government and private organisations.

Shaping the future of utility customer services

Harnessing the power of the latest disruptive technologies, DEWA has elevated its digital services and crafted a new exceptional customer experience. The Authority provides all its services through diverse digital channels, including its website and smart app, which are available on Apple, Android and Huawei platforms. DEWA also provides several services through Rammas, its virtual employee available through the DEWA’s website, Facebook page, Google Home, robots, WhatsApp Business and Amazon’s Alexa.


Earlier this year, DEWA became the first utility in the world and the first government organisation in the UAE to use ChatGPT to enrich its services. Last year, the Authority also became the first local government organisation to provide its services on a Metaverse platform.

Emphasising the organisation's dedication to consolidating Dubai's position as a global digital leader, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said: “DEWA continues to work to achieve the digital vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We also seek to be a major contributor to achieving the Dubai Economic Agenda D33’s goal of turning the city into one of the top 10 digital economies in the world.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa

"We are on a relentless quest to provide high-quality digital services, driving continuous improvement and reshaping traditional business frameworks through innovative models to create a smoother and richer customer experience. By engaging stakeholders and fostering local and international partnerships with technology leaders, our ultimate goal is to be one of the world’s most future-ready utilities. Moreover, as a pioneering sustainable institution, we are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Our journey towards sustainable development is geared towards preserving the environment, safeguarding natural resources, and securing a better future for the coming generations, echoing the spirit of the UAE's Year of Sustainability."

Digital DEWA: advancing innovation, efficiency and sustainability

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s digital arm Digital DEWA is at the centre of its ambitious digital strategy. Launched in January 2020, Digital DEWA has four pillars: Solar Energy; Energy Storage; Artificial Intelligence (AI); and Digital Services. The subsidiary is mandated with leveraging advanced technologies to create a sustainable and smart utility, and optimise energy and water resources while enhancing customer experiences and services.

The backbone of Digital DEWA’s operations is its subsidiary the Moro Hub, a state-of-the-art data centre and innovation hub that provides data hosting and managed services not only for the Authority but also public and private sector entities in the UAE and the region. It also offers advanced digital infrastructure and solutions, including cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things and AI technologies to support various digital initiatives and nurture service excellence.

Digital DEWA has orchestrated a remarkable transformation of the Authority's Customer Service Centre into an interactive digital hub. Operated by Moro Hub, the centre helps customers complete their transactions smoothly on multiple channels, apart from providing a wide range of services and solutions through its 24x7 AI-powered Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Customers can apply for electricity, water and green charger services through the IVR system.

Further, DEWA’s constantly updated digital database ensures personalised attention, particularly for customers with specific needs such as people of determination and senior citizens. The platform also serves as an information hub for all services offered by the Authority. The centre also provides the Ash’ir service round the clock for speech and hearing-impaired customers, and the Hayak service, an online text and video-chat service on DEWA’s smart app and website for customers to communicate directly with its call centre staff.

DEWA Customer Care Centre was ranked as one of Dubai Government’s top three call centres in an assessment conducted by the Dubai Model Centre in partnership with Digital Dubai Authority as part of a wider evaluation by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Programme for Government Services.

Pioneering digital initiatives for sustainable living

DEWA’s digital transformation has enabled it to encourage sustainable practices in the community. Committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the Authority actively promotes awareness of environmental preservation and the need to reduce the carbon footprint in line with the goals of the UAE's Year of Sustainability.

DEWA’s ‘Smart Living’ initiative enables customers to monitor and manage their energy consumption through digital dashboards. Its features, such as ‘My Sustainable Living’ programme and high-water usage alert service provide personalised reports and prompt detection of potential leaks to reduce waste.

Further, the organisation's interactive voice response (IVR) tool offers customers a comprehensive survey on electricity and water consumption. DEWA's commitment to sustainable practices extends to campaigns like ‘Make Smart Summer Choices Your Habit’ aimed at empowering customers to make intelligent decisions to manage electricity and water consumption. The campaign encourages customers to benefit from smart apps, understand consumption patterns, and access customised tips to reduce waste and adopt sustainable practices.

Customer Happiness Centres: digitally empowering the community

While DEWA has transformed the digital experience for its stakeholders, it has also redefined the experience at its physical Customer Happiness Centres by converting them into self-service centres. These centres leverage AI and robotic devices to enable customers to complete transactions independently while also providing video call assistance from Customer Happiness Officers.

DEWA has five Customer Happiness Centres, including: Head Office Customer Happiness Centre, Al Quoz Sustainable Building Customer Happiness Centre, Future Customer Happiness Centre – Burj Nahar, Future Customer Happiness Centre – Ibn Battuta Mall, and Future Customer Happiness Centre at Dubai Municipality – Al Twar Centre.

In a significant recognition of its commitment to providing top-notch digital customer experiences, DEWA scored 100% in the prestigious International Digital Customer Experience Standard (IDCXS: 2022) certification. The Authority is the first organisation worldwide to adopt and implement the standards and requirements of this new certification.

Overall, DEWA’s customer care set an outstanding service quality level of 96.22% in 2022. Responding swiftly to customer needs, DEWA maintains an average speed of answering calls in just 15 seconds. DEWA also achieved 98% in the Dubai Government's Instant Happiness Index 2022, which is managed by the Dubai Digital Authority.

One of DEWA's remarkable strengths lies in its diverse team of qualified and trained staff, proficient in various languages, including Arabic, English, Hindi, French and Urdu, among others. This multilingual capability ensures that customers from different backgrounds receive personalised and attentive service.

Artificial Intelligence Technologies

DEWA started using AI in 2017 by developing a roadmap to enrich the experiences of its customers, employees and other stakeholders. It is now working to enhance its services with Generative AI. DEWA was also the first utility globally and the first UAE government entity to use ChatGPT technology to improve its services.

DEWA started the pilot use of ChatGPT since April 2023 on its website through Rammas, DEWA’s virtual employee, to enhance customer experience. ChatGPT contributes to enhancing DEWA’s capabilities due to its superior ability to interact with users and better understand their needs. It also enables DEWA to improve the ability of Rammas to learn, understand and analyse customer enquiries based on available data and information to respond promptly and accurately.

Rammas services are available round the clock in Arabic and English through DEWA’s website (http://www.dewa.gov.ae), its smart app, its Facebook account, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, robots, WhatsApp Business at (046019999), and DEWA’s Instagram channel through the ‘Message’ feature.

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