Smart Dubai and Its Government Partners Conclude GITEX Technology Week 2020 on a High Note


Dubai: Smart Dubai concluded its participation in the 40th annual GITEX Technology Week, held in the midst of unprecedented circumstances at the Dubai World Trade Center from December 6 to 10, 2020. Themed ‘Inspiring New Realities’, Smart Dubai’s pavilion brought together 20 government entities to showcase advanced solutions to accelerate the city’s digital transformation.

“GITEX Technology Week 2020 is taking place under truly unprecedented conditions as we face unfamiliar challenges around the world,” said His Excellency Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai, and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment. “Throughout these trying times, technology has demonstrated that it is uniquely capable of addressing these challenges. As countries went into lockdowns and social distancing became imperative, demand for remote communication, e-commerce, and payment technologies skyrocketed.”

“The UAE and Dubai proved particularly successful in that regard, reaffirming our leadership in advanced technologies,” H.E. Al Nasser added. “We have every confidence that the UAE will lead the world in bouncing back from this situation, as asserted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, in his tweet ahead of GITEX 2020, which, as H.H. predicted, was “the most important technology event of the year.”

For his part, H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, noted: “We are happy to be ending the year on a high note with another successful edition of the GITEX Technology Week, and, as always, we look forward to further cooperation with all of our partners and other stakeholders to further drive Dubai’s smart transformation, and embrace technology that positively affects people’s everyday life, boosting our efforts to establish Dubai as the world’s happiest and smartest city.”

“This gives us great hope for the year ahead, where are confident that we will not only bounce back from the difficulties we experienced this year, but we will also come out of it with added resilience and determination to fulfil our mission and transform Dubai into a world-leading smart city of the future,” H.E. Lootah added.

Smart Dubai launched a number of new projects this GITEX, beginning with the ‘Dubai Registers’ initiative, which seeks to build a network of accurate, reliable, and interconnected data records for a sustainable and happy city. The approach is to collect the latest and most accurate data – including reliable data available on Smart Dubai’s Dubai Pulse platform – and store it as digital registers to ensure effective interaction between the government and its citizens, residents, and visitors. Smart Dubai also introduced the ‘Leadership Dashboard for Government Resources’, which seeks to aggregate financial, contractual, and human-resource-related government data, offering decision makers a holistic view of their organizations and allowing them to make informed decisions based on real-time data.

Another notable launch this year was the ‘Future of Work’ report, which explores the potential developments expected to take place and transform the nature of jobs, and the evolving structural changes in the way humans work and source talent. Smart Dubai also released the Arabic edition of its popular book ‘Digital Nation: How the United Arab Emirates is building a future based on tech innovation’, the first-of-its-kind 160-page book exploring the digital transformation of the UAE, published in collaboration with authors Dr Saeed K. Aldhaheri and Ranjit Rajan. 

Rounding up the list of new releases showcased at GITEX 2020, Smart Dubai’s Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) comes as a continuation of the current government service bus (GSB), allowing users to easily onboard, search, and discover services. Integrated with the UAE PASS program, the portal helps liberate information and make it accessible to authorized consumers in a self-service fashion. Finally, the City Simulation Dashboard, showcased for the very first time this GITEX, is a data-powered dashboard designed to help estimate the potential growth or decline of COVID-19 cases in Dubai based on simulations showing how policy changes may affect the mobility of people across different venues in the emirate.

Furthermore, Smart Dubai’s display at GITEX 2020 introduced visitors to updates and developments to its established strategies and services. Most notable among these is the Dubai Paperless Strategy, launched to digitize internal and external government transactions, rendering them completely paper-free. By October 2020, the Strategy had already led to savings of more than AED 1.09 billion, 11.6 million hours of labor, and 30,804 trees that would have otherwise been used to produce paper. The DubaiNow Application also made significant strides this year, processing 2.8 million transactions worth AED 1.5 billion from January to November 2020. This brings the total number of transactions processed through DubaiNow over its lifetime to 11.7m, with a total value of more than AED 6.1bn. 

The UAE PASS initiative, which is the first secure national digital identity platform allowing citizens and residents to access online services across various sectors in the UAE, as well as to digitally sign and authenticate documents and transactions, is now usable for services from 103 entities around the UAE. Smart Dubai also showcased updates on its Dubai Pulse platform and its Data Governance program.

Last but not least, Smart Dubai showcased updates to its Government Resources Planning Systems (GRPS), the integrated, secure, and unified system of centralized back-office solutions offered by Smart Dubai and implemented by more than 70 Dubai Government entities. The GPRS consist of 40+ systems and helps manage over 71,000 government employees.