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No paper transactions for Dubai government beyond 2021

“I believe that the future of government will be entirely paper-free” – His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum


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“The Dubai Government will issue its last paper transaction in 2021,” asserted Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, as he attended Smart Dubai’s ‘Future-Now’ event at the Dubai Design District, instructing the Smart Dubai Office to oversee the ambitious goal.

During the event – which celebrates three years of success for Smart Dubai and its affiliates – HH Sheikh Hamdan launched the Smart Dubai 2021 initiative – which represents the next step in Dubai’s smart and sustainable development – as well as the ‘Dubai Pulse’ platform, which will host all of the emirate’s data and form the backbone of its shift towards smart development. 

“When Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the Dubai Smart City project three years ago,” HH Sheikh Hamdan said, “he wanted to change the meaning of the term ‘technological advancement’ by creating an unprecedented model that integrates technology with our goals of ensuring the best standards of living, wellbeing, and happiness for the people of Dubai. Today, we mark the beginning of a new phase – ‘Smart Dubai 2021’ – that revolves around challenging ourselves and surpassing our own previous achievements. We are looking to build a truly smart city – one that will use technology as the key to a balanced and happy life.”

His Highness added: “While we’ve already seen a great shift towards digital government transactions, I believe that the future of government will be entirely paper-free. The government of the future will set plans and strategies to ensure the best possible standard of living for people and to save them time and effort. In 2021, we will celebrate the very last paper transaction in Dubai, and Smart Dubai will see to it that we achieve this mission.”

Furthermore, His Highness launched the ‘Dubai Pulse’ platform, describing it as the “backbone of Dubai’s transformation and shift towards smart technologies”, and ordering all government departments to begin populating the platform with their data as of today.

“Throughout history, information has been key to our lives as human beings, allowing us to communicate with others – be they individuals or communities,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan. “Today, in the era of Big Data, it is essential to have a central platform to house all of the government’s data – a platform that taps into the potential of artificial intelligence to spread happiness among people. This is the only option for countries that want to remain relevant and build infrastructure that meets the needs of the future. This is why we launched ‘Dubai Pulse’.”

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office HE Dr. Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr said: “Despite what Dubai has already achieved today in terms of smart city development – which is still a distant dream for most cities around the world, including in some of the most advanced countries – we are just getting started. We are still at the beginning of a new journey to a smart city worthy of the Government of the Future, the UAE Centennial 2071, and the Mars 2117 Project, among other national initiatives. We are proud of what we have achieved since our inception; we have succeeded because of our productive collaboration with strategic partners in the public and private sectors as we edge closer to achieving the Smart Dubai 2021 strategy.” 

“We’ve set our priorities, guided by the words of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as he launched Smart Dubai back in 2013, when he said that there is no single model for progress, rather there is constant innovation and development,” HE Dr. Aisha continued. “We have lived by these words ever since, applying them as we push ahead with our constant pursuit of innovation in our strategies and operations, as well as in the quality of the solutions and technologies we have adopted and developed. ‘Smart Dubai 2021’ is our action plan for the near future, as we work to transform Dubai into a fully smart city with smart government services that make people’s lives – and business dealings – easier.”

Assistant Director General of the Smart Dubai Office and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment HE Younis Al Nasser said: “The shift towards smart technologies in recording and processing data is the foundation for success in the era of Big Data. Following the launch of the Dubai Data Establishment, the natural progression was the launch of ‘Dubai Pulse’ to act as a digital safe for all of Dubai’s data so that leaders and stakeholders in all sectors across Dubai can find what they need to make informed decisions. The platform compiles all government data in one place, where the right information can be provided for the right people whenever they should need it.”

“‘Dubai Pulse’ will enhance operational efficiency by reducing data access costs,” HE Al Nasser added. “It will facilitate the exchange of open and common data between public and private institutions and individuals, which will eventually contribute to the complete digital transformation of the Emirate of Dubai. The platform will enhance our ability to innovate, in addition to ensuring the optimal use of data by aggregating it in a single platform, analysing it, using it to support and expedite decision-making.”

CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment HE Wesam Lootah said: “The rapid pace at which our world is evolving forces us to look past the innovations of today and to work towards solutions for the future. This is what we are striving for today as we launch ‘Smart Dubai 2021’. Over the past three years, we have established the strategic pillars of Smart Dubai, which fit with the vision of our leadership and improve the lives of the people of Dubai. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said that a smart government doesn’t wait for the people to come to it, instead, it goes to them. This is our motto today as we launched hundreds of initiatives and more than 1,000 services.”

HE Lootah added: “Smart devices have become indispensable to modern human life, and artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be shaping human life from now on. We’ve already begun to see this all around us. We are working to put all of Dubai’s potential at the disposal of the people – which they can access through their smart devices. This is not restricted to transactions or access to data, it goes beyond that to improve the quality of life, healthcare, and education.”

Smart Dubai 2021 is the next step in the process of transforming our city into one that invests in technology and implements it to improve people’s lives and make Dubai the happiest city on earth. The four-year plan covers infrastructure, legislation, and applications that the Dubai Smart Office and all of its affiliates have succeeded in achieving over the course of the past three years. This strategy is Dubai’s gateway to the next level of smart transformation, in line with the requirements of the Dubai 10X Initiative and the UAE Centennial 2071. 

‘Dubai Pulse’ is another achievement for Dubai, placing the emirate ahead of other developed cities around the world. The platform compiles all data available to both the public and private sectors. The new platform provides access, for the first time, to live and up-to-date data about the city. It includes three layers of data: the first will be free of charge and caters to the public, while the second offers a thorough analysis of the data (in exchange for a fee) to be used for academic, professional, commercial, and economic purposes. The third and final layer includes data accessible exclusively to Dubai Government entities.

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