Dubai, 14 August 2019 – Smart Dubai hosted the second meeting of the Dubai Future Council for Blockchain at its offices in the Dubai Design District (d3) on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, bringing together local and global decision makers from various government departments and private companies with a vested interest in smart city technologies.

Chaired by Smart Dubai’s Director General Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, the Council was formed by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and held its inaugural meeting on April 2, 2019. It is part of the ‘Dubai Future Councils’ initiative, launched at the beginning of 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and Chairman of DFF’s Board of Trustees, to find innovative solutions for strategic sectors and forecast their future over the next 50 years.

“Dubai has long shown its readiness to lead the way in embracing advanced technologies and embedding them in services and initiatives that improve people’s wellbeing and establish Dubai as the world’s smartest and happiest city,” said H.E. Dr Aisha. “Blockchain is one of the most promising technologies to appear on the world stage in recent years and Dubai has already made remarkable accomplishments in the sector, launching a Blockchain strategy and hosting international Blockchain conferences that bring together influential international experts.”

“The ‘Dubai Future Councils’ initiative is another milestone to be added to Dubai’s journey towards excellence and future leadership Aisha continued. “The Council establishes Dubai as a global Blockchain capital, offering a prominent platform for decision-makers from various local and international government and private sector entities to explore futuristic, Blockchain-based solutions for the challenges facing the smart cities of the future.”

H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, serves as Vice Chair of the Dubai Future Council for Blockchain, which also brings together Dr Abdulla Kablan, Tech Entrepreneur, Blockchain and AI Expert; Dr Marwan Al Zarouni, Senior Director of Information Services at Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), and CEO of the Dubai Blockchain Centre; Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive – DIFC; Asim Janjua, Design and Innovation Expert; Joseph Lubin, Co-Founder of ConsenSys; Kamran Shahin, Vice President and Head of Blockchain Product Development & Innovation for Mastercard MENA; Ola Doudin, CEO at BitOasis; Miguel Rio Tinto, Group CIO at Emirates NBD; Muhammed Mekki, Founding Partner at AstroLabs, Olivier Leblan, Group Chief Information Officer at Chalhoub Group; and Faisal Al Hawi, Smart Dubai’s Product Manager for Blockchain and Trust Services, serves as the Council’s Coordinator.

“Blockchain technology is undoubtedly one of the most prominent breakthroughs of the past few years with a massive potential to transform many aspects of everyday life for individuals, organisations and governments alike. And unlike other places around the world, the UAE – and Dubai, in particular – have embraced Blockchain early on,” noted H.E. Wesam Lootah. “The Dubai Future Council for Blockchain, who just concluded its second meeting today here at our Smart Dubai offices, is yet another accomplishment in that regard. We look forward to working with all member entities at the Council to implement ground-breaking Blockchain initiatives and accelerate Dubai’s transition into a full-fledged smart city of the future.”

At its second meeting, the Dubai Future Council for Blockchain presented and approved three initiatives for 2019, the first of which will be a report on Dubai’s Cryptocurrency Positioning. The report presents a comprehensive study of the cryptocurrency landscape, offering recommendations to enhance Dubai’s position as a prominent centre for this burgeoning sector. Compiled in collaboration with various stakeholders in the UAE and scheduled for an October launch, the report explores cryptocurrency applications to boost the emirate’s services and economy taking into consideration all relevant aspects of regulations. 

The second initiative is the Dubai Blockchain Implementation Policy – a document that explores guidelines needed to be followed when implementing Blockchain applications across Dubai, developed in collaboration with government and private sector entities and counter-reviewed by global stakeholders. The policy is set to be launched at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona in November, covering three main criteria: foundational capabilities on blockchain, governance, and operations.

The third and final initiative is the Future Landscape Report for Blockchain in Dubai, which focuses on a number of prominent sectors in Dubai, forecasting what they could look like in the near future as they embrace Blockchain technology. This report will be developed with global stakeholders including WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre.

Furthermore, the meeting’s agenda included agreeing on the working groups formation for each of these three initiatives, as well as setting high-level delivery plans for each of them.

The Dubai Future Council for Blockchain is made up of 13 members from various government and international entities. It is set to hold four meetings per year to outline plans and form task forces to carry out the duties commissioned by the Council, as well as to follow up on existing Blockchain initiatives and plans.