August 2017

Smart Dubai to Co-Chair the UN’s ITU Working Group on Data Economy, Commercialisation and Monetisation

Smart Dubai, the government office leading Dubai’s smart city transformation, has been selected by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to co-chair the global Working Group on Data Economy, Commercialisation and Monetisation.

The announcement was made at the ITU’s meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 17-19, 2017, where the Union – as the UN’s main body handling information and communications technology (ICT) – launched the broader Focus Group on Data Processing and Management, which includes under its aegis the Working Group Smart Dubai was selected to lead.

The Focus Group is a global initiative that seeks to address a spectrum of well-defined topics around data management, covering various aspects, such as use cases and success stories involving data; frameworks for managing, securing and optimally utilising data; data sharing; architecture; security and privacy; as well as the overall data economy and its impact on the economy in different sectors.

“This nomination by an influential UN agency to spearhead efforts and projects relating to the data economy is a testament to Smart Dubai’s success in establishing a solid data governance and management in Dubai,” said SDO’s Director General Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr. “This comes on the heels of the UN’s recent decision to select Dubai as a regional hub for city data in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region.”

“Smart Dubai has launched the most iron-clad, comprehensive data initiative in the world and we’ve made great strides in implementing it,” Dr Aisha added. “We now offer Dubai’s residents and visitors an array of smart, data-based services and platforms that make their lives and work easier and more enjoyable. This plays into our strategic objectives to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, and will also help us assume a thought-leadership role in data management on a global scale.”

Heading the Working Group on Data Economy, Commercialisation and Monetisation, Smart Dubai will work to address all aspects, challenges and opportunities related to the data economy, including value creation, stakeholder mapping, data policy and sustainability implications.

“We are honoured to have been chosen to help promote the data economy worldwide,” said Younus Al Nasser, CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment. “We are always on the lookout for opportunities to share our expertise in data management and to advocate for the data economy. Dubai has had a successful track record with initiatives that seek to source and manage city data, such as Dubai Pulse, which facilitates data exchange between individuals and organisations across the public and private sectors, as well as the Smart Dubai Platform, which compiles all of the city’s smart services, Big Data, Cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), and allows strategic partners and government entities to update and customise them.”

“The ITU’s decision to place their faith in us to co-chair the Group reflects the growing confidence in Smart Dubai’s approach data management and cutting-edge smart technologies, as well as a global interest in emulating our practices,” added Dr Okan Geray, SDO’s Strategy Planning Consultant, who will be leading the Smart Dubai’s representative at the Working Group. “The Smart Dubai Office will work with global experts to outline various business models and regulations for commercialising and monetising data.”

Five different working groups have been assembled to carry out the Focus Group’s projects. In addition to Smart Dubai’s Working Group on Data Economy, Commercialisation and Monetisation, the four remaining groups will tackle Data Use Cases, Requirements and Applications/Services; Data Privacy Management (DPM) Framework, Architectures and Core Components; Data sharing, Interoperability and Blockchain; and, finally, Security, Privacy and Trust (including Governance).