Dubai: The Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced a novel project that will further align retailing in Dubai with the “Smart City” initiative.

Known as “City smart Receipt,” the new project will transform shopping in Dubai by bringing in added convenience, accountability, transparency and reduced carbon footprint into retailing.

A memorandum to this effect was signed recently by, with San Francisco-based green technology firm retailGreen. The “City Smart Receipt” technology allows retailers to issue smart receipts to customers rather than paper or email receipts against purchases. Dubai is the first city to have the new smart technology.

“Both retailers and consumers will benefit from the “City Smart Receipt” initiative. It will also enhance transparency in retailing and consumer confidence. With the smart solution in place DED will be able to issue permits for promotions online without retailers having to submit paper printouts. The real time digital record of purchases will also enable us to provide more accurate reports and assessments on consumer behaviour and business perceptions,” said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.

Al Qamzi added that the local retail sector has continuously evolved in terms of choices, facilities, customer relations and awareness among consumers as well as traders while being one of the biggest attractions in Dubai and a premier driver of the economic momentum in the emirate.

Public-private partnership

“As a business dealing with a large customer population we understand the benefits of implementing this new initiative and we want to be part of this positive change happening in Dubai’s retail sector. It is another example of successful public-private partnership and will ensure 24/7, round-the-year service to consumers,” said Majid Hamad Al Shamsi, Board Chairman of the Union Co-Operative Society.

DED expects the smart receipts to make shopping easier and more fun as customers have less paper receipts to carry. Shoppers are also guaranteed of better spend analysis and smart merchandise services while the retailers can have real time reports and statistical analyses reflecting the purchasing patterns of consumers. Such information will help retailers to assess their markets better, reach out to different customers more efficiently and increase their revenue.

“The new initiative will add more value to the expanding smart applications portfolio of DED. More than 95 per cent of BRL services are now available online and many of them are progressively added on smart devices. The ‘City Smart Receipt’ will also reinforce the strong public-private interface that makes retailing and doing business in general a hassle-free process in Dubai,” said Mohammad Sha’al Al Sa’adi, Chief Executive Officer of Business Registration and Licensing (BRL) section in DED.