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Dubai named UN city data hub for region

Hub designation will help drive local progress towards the UN’s 2030 sustainable development agenda

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Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of the Dubai Executive Council
Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai has been named the Local Data Hub for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region by the United Nations.

In a statement, the Government of Dubai Media Office said work is already under way to prepare Dubai as the regional city data hub.

The General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council and the World Council on City Data (WCCD) are currently in discussions to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would confirm the designation, the media office said.

As part of a global network of growing cities, Dubai’s hub will be part of a portfolio of local and regional data portals, analytics, and reports to engage stakeholders and help accelerate progress, and also serve as a dedicated platform for city-to-city learning and ‘solutions transfer’ across metropolitan, national and global contexts, with the rapidly growing network of WCCD certified cities, the media office said.

Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary-General of the Dubai Executive Council, pointed to the importance of the agreement between Dubai and the WCCD, under the umbrella of the United Nations, which confirms its position as it works to create a sustainable environment for future generations in Dubai and around the world.

Al Shabaini said the hub designation is in line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on a number of key long-term strategies that aim to improve a number of key Dubai Plan 2021 pillars and help achieve the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

“Data is essential for the improvement of core city functions, and future visions, which is why global benchmarks are also necessary. As cities look to become smarter and more sustainable moving forward, and in line with Dubai’s sustainability ambitions, the success of Dubai Plan 2021 is based on a holistic and studied approach, which uses data to benchmark and inform its future.

“In March, Dubai hosted the Global Cities Summit in partnership with the WCCD, and with the participation of a number of a global and regional leaders and experts, from over 50 cities across five different continents, culminating in the adoption of the “Dubai Declaration 2017”, which established a framework for city data as the universal language driving forward three critically important agendas for 2030, including a commitment to inclusive cities, smart nations and a sustainable planet. Dubai will now ensure that this is followed through as Local Data Hub.”

Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, director-general of the Smart Dubai Office, said in a statement that the selection is exciting given Dubai’s efforts to ensure the city is equipped with smart technology to meet the future.

“As the government entity tasked with ushering in an era of smart technology in the emirate, we are elated with the UN’s decision to select Dubai as a regional hub for city data in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region,” said Bin Bishr.

“This underlines the progress that Dubai has made in its smart transformation, which is now commanding global attention. We are confident that our newfound status as regional hub for city data will provide us with further momentum to carry out our plans and strategies to turn Dubai into the smartest and happiest city on the planet. Furthermore, this accolade will help us spread our success to the rest of the MENASA region, hopefully leading them by example to achieve their own smart transformation.”

Younus Al Nasser, CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, said: “Dubai has launched a series of comprehensive and integrated initiatives to mine and manage the city’s data. The Dubai Data Establishment has worked tirelessly to build sound city-wide data infrastructure in Dubai.”