To millions around the world, 2020 is a year not to be forgotten, and Smart Dubai is no exception; 2020 marks a monumental time, for the best of reasons.

As we celebrate Smart Dubai’s fifth anniversary, we reflect on a year of perseverance, growth, and success amidst unprecedented tribulations, confirming the ethos and purpose of Dubai’s digital transformation.

Our fifth year of operations is a year of showing Smart Dubai’s resiliency in the face of adversity, a year of rising above the challenges, a year of creating new realities.

Packed with ambition, passionate about the future and striving for the best, Smart Dubai was making tough calls throughout 2020, to ensure the rapid creation of seamless digital experiences, enabling you to live an enriched life in the city you love.

As the year began with COVID-19 sweeping across the world and forcing entire cities to go under lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, federal authorities in the UAE immediately sprang into action, setting policies and implementing firm regulations.

For the citizens and residents of Dubai who were encouraged to stay at home, the first half of the year marked a period of distress and uncertainty, but for Smart Dubai it was a time to put its mantra to test - “Inspiring New Realities”,  and manifest its purpose.

Thanks to implementing one of the world’s best holistic responses to COVID-19, today Dubai is one of the few cities that are successfully going back to “normal”.

Looking back at the experience our city went through, Smart Dubai can confidently say we not only managed to ensure efficient operations under all conditions, but we also continue to make progress towards the leadership’s vision of making Dubai the happiest city on Earth under all circumstances, and that is our reality.

Moving on the Right Paperless Track

The major disruption that has hit the world did not deter Smart Dubai from making strides in the Dubai Paperless Strategy, one of the main pillars fueling the city’s smart transformation, aiming to transform the delivery of government services and execution of internal operations to be 100% digital by 2021.

On the contrary, the need to innovate contactless ways to communicate justified the Paperless Strategy and we rolled out new initiatives and upgraded applications to accelerate the paperless movement in the city and further support its goals.  

Paperless Progress

Part of its ongoing efforts to enhance government efficiency and transform Dubai the world’s happiest and smartest city, Smart Dubai is happy to report significant progress in 14 government entities from group 1 and group 2 implementing the Dubai Paperless Strategy.

Group 1 and Group 2 entities have successfully reduced their paper consumption by 64.9%, now eliminating the annual use of 169.3 million sheets of paper (out of the 261 million they normally consumed every year).

In addition; 9 entities from Group 3 have succeeded to reduce their paper consumption by 60.4%, which eliminated the annual use of 7.7 million sheets of paper (out of the 12.8 million sheets they normally consume every year).

The reduction in use of paper has led to savings of more than AED725 million to date, while also saving 7.7 million hours of labor across government sector. This, in turn, has also had a positive impact on the environment, saving 20,325 trees from being cut down to make paper.

By reducing the use of over 91 million sheets of paper which were either requested from customers or used by government entities to process services, more than 250 customer services were enhanced. Additionally, more than 500 internal processes were streamlined, reducing paper consumption by 56 million sheets.

Smart Dubai has also announced groups four and five of government entities participating in Dubai Paperless Strategy, whereby group four has pledged to cut their paper consumption by 50% by November 2020, and group five will cut paper consumption by 50% by December 2020.”

 ‘100 Paperless Stamp’: Paperless Hall of Fame

To recognize the fastest and most efficient entities in offering fully digital services, Smart Dubai has launched the ‘100% Paperless Stamp’ initiative as part of its contribution to the ‘Government Development Track’ – one of the six tracks announced by the Dubai Council, which was inaugurated at the beginning of 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

The ‘Stamp’ is awarded to government entities that have fully implemented the Dubai Paperless Strategy as a symbol reflecting their complete transition into entities that offer digital, paperless services.

The initiative recognizes entities that made outstanding efforts to implement the strategy, offering their services via fully digital mediums backed by an efficient internal digital infrastructure.

Smart Inventory System

To further drive business efficiency and ensure seamless healthcare operations during the pandemic, Smart Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) implemented the ‘Smart Inventory’ system to enhance the current inventory management system for medicines in the city,  making it paperless and more efficient.

Part of the Government Resource Planning Systems (GRPS), the Smart Inventory system seeks to manage the inventory of goods in Dubai Government entities, helping plan in advance and avoid any shortages.

The system allows users to process warehousing transactions and track the supply chain for government entities’ stock from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet, or any portable device. This, in turn, makes it easier for government entities in Dubai to access inventory in real time.

Keeping Connections, Staying Contactless

Since its inception five years ago, Smart Dubai has been building an advanced network of digital services and platforms, in collaboration with government partners and the private sector, to support the smart transformation of Dubai’s city-wide green and contactless experiences.

Today, we are proud to say that Dubai enjoys an active, inclusive, and fertile ecosystem where humans interact with latest technologies, data driven intelligence, and state of the art infrastructure, to make their lives better.

DubaiNow: More Services, Undisrupted Access

During our fifth year, we continued to anticipate your needs and future-proof your city experiences through leveraging solutions and emerging technologies.

As a result, Smart Dubai is serving thousands of Dubai’s citizens and residents through an array of innovative and paperless services accessible on DubaiNow, the app for all your city services, and key enabler of paperless Dubai.

This year, we have enhanced the user experience in version 8.0 by introducing a sleeker design, better performance and improved login authentication. We have added more than 15 new services to make citizens and residents’ lives easier. 

Services include recharging du Prepaid Accounts, DEWA Account Management, Salik Accounts Management, DLD Title Deed Verification, GDRFA Travel and Dependent Reports, Dubai Sports Council Calendar, DHA Visiting Doctors Directory, official COVID-19 Information and Updates, IACAD COVID-19 Solidarity Fund Donations, and much more.

The focus on real and relevant innovation drives Smart Dubai’s creation of new realities; during the lockdown months of March, April and May, Dubai citizens and residents accessed over 120 services from more than 30 government and private sector entities from the comfort of their homes, performing over 700K transactions valued at AED 359M.


UAE PASS: The First Secure National Digital Identity in the UAE

It has been two years since the announcement of the UAE PASS initiative, launched in collaboration between Smart Dubai, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, and supported by key strategic partners: Federal Identity & Citizenship & the Dubai Electronic & Security Center and all the Digital Authorities across the UAE. Since then, Smart Dubai, in collaboration with its strategic partners, has developed an integrated app-based platform to serve as the UAE’s secure national digital identity and further drive the smart and digital transformation of the country.

The app now enables all registered individuals to access more than 5000 government, semi-government and private sector entities’ services through their respective websites and apps and allows them to digitally sign and authenticate documents and transactions. UAE PASS also enables users to request a digital version of official documents issued to their name, and share them with service providers when needed.

We are now working on providing users with a seamless login experience, by piloting an advanced account verification system using facial biometrics on a group of beta testers, the feature is expected to launch publicly in the near future.

Supporting the Dubai Government Remote Workforce

When thousands of Dubai Government employees were asked to work from home, Smart Dubai quickly shifted priorities to successfully support the remote working systems for more than 60 government entities in Dubai, to serve the citizens and residents of the city, from home.

Infrastructure Readiness

Our teams continue to ensure that the Dubai Government workforce has access to platforms for virtual meetings and uninterrupted communication. These include Cisco’s Webex and Microsoft Teams.

As the entity responsible for the digital infrastructure for all Dubai Government entities, we have also upgraded the Government Information Network Bandwidth by 300% to accommodate the high demand for digital communication channels across government entities.

 Smart Employee Optimization

Highly proactive towards of the emerging needs of remote work, Smart Dubai has revamped the Smart Employee app design and features, to offer Dubai government staff an optimized user experience with a holistic and personalized dashboard catering to each user’s preferences and needs.

Smart Employee is the app for all Dubai Government employees, used by nearly 56,000 employees across 65 government entities in Dubai. The app provides services including: apply for and enquire about annual leave; request and receive digital salary certificates without the needs to visit HR, submit digital requests and track status in real time; making purchases; punching in and out for the workday through the app (without the need to use fingerprint scanners); attendance and authorization records; accessing information about salary, including salary certificates; exploring team hierarchy; searching for and contacting employees across Dubai Government entities; and several other day-to-day tasks that can be completed quicker and solely through the application.


Harnessing Data For A Resilient Dubai

Smart Dubai is using data to solve real world problems, create social and economic benefits, and lay the foundations of a truly smart city; a resilient one.

COVID-19 Dashboard

Smart Dubai is leveraging the power of data during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, by supporting the Higher Committee for Emergency and Crisis Management and Dubai Command and Control Center for COVID-19 in developing a real-time dashboard of COVID-19 cases to analyze the current numbers and use the power of data science to project and predict future scenario of the pandemic.

The dashboard enables the authorities to better visualize the undertaken efforts to prevent and limit the spread of the disease in the Emirate and better plan capacities in the health sector.

Smart Dubai has also taken the initiative to facilitate the formulation of a post-COVID-19 strategy, as per the directions of the wise leadership, by publishing a report titled ‘COVID-19: City Experience Resilience and Impact Report’,

The report was compiled by the Happiness Agenda team at Smart Dubai, in collaboration with Smart City Specialists represented by both the Smart City Experience Specialists (focusing on city services) and Work Environment Specialists (focusing on human resources).

They represented 20 government, semi-government, and private sector entities. The study focused on three different subjects: employees, corporate operations, and services provided to customers and employees alike.

The Dubai Food Security Dashboard

In partnership with several government entities, Smart Dubai has launched the Dubai Food Security Dashboard.

The dashboard measures the Emirate’s strategic food stocks and monitors five important indicators to maintain food security, namely, the supply index, stock availability, domestic production, consumption, and the price index for all vital commodities in Dubai.

New Data-Sharing Toolkit

In partnership with globally renowned innovation foundation Nesta, Smart Dubai has launched a Data Sharing Toolkit to help unlock the value of data by creating trusted and ethical mechanisms for individuals, as well as public and private sector organizations, to share data.

The Toolkit presents a flexible decision-making tool that provides useful guidance and resources for public or private sector organizations to prepare for and design data-sharing initiatives and helps define the correct set of options to the specific context of any circumstance.

Dubai Registers

Smart Dubai has launched the ‘Dubai Registers’ initiative to build a network of accurate, reliable, and interconnected data registers for a sustainable and happy city. The project is part of the Government Development track – one of six development tracks announced by the Dubai Council in early 2020.

The initiative’s approach is to collect, organize, link and store the latest and most accurate data for the most important aspects of life in Dubai – the Emirate’s people, its economy, land and other assets. The purpose of creating these digital registers is to ensure that Dubai’s data is useful to as many as possible.


Investing in Future Tech

Smart Dubai continues to be at forefront of efforts to both embrace and regulate disruptive technologies that will potentially reshape our future, such as Blockchain and AI.

AI Self-Assessment Tool:18 New Use Cases

Smart Dubai’s Ethical AI Self-Assessment Tool has been used on 18 use cases in the emirate, including 15 initiatives by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and three AI Lab use cases developed with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and Dubai Customs.

While the AI field remains nascent to devise fixed rules or laws to govern it, our Ethical AI Toolkit helps setting clear guidelines and principles on the ethical use of AI to prevent a fragmented approach to ethics.

Blockchain Achievements

Smart Dubai has delivered on its promise of building a thriving Blockchain ecosystem in the city and establishing Dubai as the world capital of Blockchain development.

The ongoing implementation of 24 use cases across eight industry sectors, launch of the Dubai Blockchain Platform, and the Dubai Blockchain Policy are all testament to this fact.

As we celebrate turning five, we are closing the chapter of a decade that has marked giant strides in smart technology and sustainability for Dubai and positioned our city as a pioneering model of a successful and purposeful digital transformation.

We are proud of who we are and what we have achieved, and we cannot wait to give Dubai and its people more.

To get the full picture of what we have done in our first four years of operations, take a deep dive here.