Two women pass the world’s first functional office building made using 3D printer technology, in Dubai Image Credit: AP

Dubai: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) revealed the top 25 tech innovations used across government departments and ministries in the UAE.

The Government Innovations from the UAE Report is part of a series of reports on monitoring government innovation, underscoring the keenness of the UAE government to support innovative ideas and promote the culture of government innovation, in addition to improving the community’s quality of life.

The launch of the report also highlights the centre’s efforts and initiatives aimed at promoting experiences in all areas of innovation and sharing them with the rest of the world. It also monitors and documents innovations implemented by various international governments to support the global efforts to improve the quality of government services, to promote the culture of innovation, and develop initiatives and solutions for current and future challenges based on the UAE’s future vision.

Huda Al Hashimi, Chief of Strategy and Government Innovation at the UAE Government, explained that the report highlighted the government’s aim to promote the culture of innovation in all areas of government work, in implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The main purpose, she pointed out, was to create an environment of national government innovation and transform ideas into concrete realities, which will support the process of development and shape a better future.

“The report is in line with the government’s approach to sharing its experiences with the rest of the world, and to benefit from them in terms of developing related practices and establishing effective solutions based on experimenting, testing and touching people’s lives. [This] will positively affect government action and consolidate the country’s position and competitiveness, as well as its stature as a global open lab for innovative experiences,” added Al Hashemi.

The 25 innovations implemented in UAE

1. Noor Abu Dhabi

 The Dh3.2-billion Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant 01
The Dh3.2-billion Noor Abu Dhabi solar plant, located at Sweihan in Abu Dhabi, is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Government and a consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp and China’s Jinko Solar Holding. Image Credit: Supplied

Noor in Arabic means light, aptly named for the project that produces approximately 1.2 GW of power that can cover the demand of 90,000 people.

Noor Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest single-site solar project. It covers an area of 7.8 square kilometers and features more than 3.2 million solar panels, producing 1177 MW of DC power. The project enables increased production of renewable energy and reduces reliance on the use of natural gas for electricity generation, resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of 1 million metric tons per year, which is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road.

2. Ajman integration framework

The Department of Digital Ajman developed a unified communication platform to help exchange data between participating parties smoothly.

The Department of Digital Ajman developed a unified communication platform for all its anchor points that help local authorities in the Ajman government and federal agencies, as well as the private sector, in the process of providing services in an integrated and coherent way.

It also helps exchange data between the systems of participating parties smoothly and easily. This enables customers to get the services within one digital gate. As a result, the platform created a “big picture” window for the integration map of 29 entities, which can serve 100,000 transaction per hour over 140 integration points.

3. Self-service kiosk

The Ras Al Khaimah Public Prosecution Department implemented a smart kiosk to provide customers with access to services within minutes. For illustrative purposes only.

The Ras Al Khaimah Public Prosecution Department (PPD) invented a device to provide all customers with an access to the services they want within a few minutes from anywhere in the emirate. The solution is an advanced kiosk formed by a printer, a scanner, an ID placeholder, a fingerprint reader, a camera and a full HD screen. Customers can use their UAE Pass and personal credentials to access the kiosk.

If a customer wants to access a service in a kiosk, they have to choose the language, enter the Emirates ID card and their fingerprint for identification. A customer should also enter the case number and type, if applicable, after which the services can be accessed via the interactive screen. The whole process takes from 15 to 30 minutes, including the fee payment and confirmation phase.

4. 3D printing for congenital heart anomalies

Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi use 3D printing to create highly accurate models to prepare for complex surgeries Image Credit: Supplied

Three-dimensional (3D) printing for congenital heart anomalies is a joint application of cutting-edge medical imaging technologies and emerging techniques of 3D design and printing in a clinical setting. The project provides examples and guidance that can be applicable in other fields of clinical medicine, helping transform the way surgery will be performed in the future.

3D modelling and printing greatly supports advances in individualized medicine and surgery providing surgical solutions drawn from 3D models to patients previously deemed inoperable. In congenital cardiac surgery, 3D models and printed prototypes offer advantages of better understanding complex anatomy, hands-on preoperative surgical planning and emulation, improving communication within a multidisciplinary team and patients. The solution often adds important new anatomical findings and prompt alternative operative scenarios.


The FEDLIMS system is an end-to-end platform used to integrate all processes and services of the forensic department at Abu Dhabi Police directly to customers.

Adopted in the Ministry of Interior, the FEDLIMS system provides paper-free precise security measures. It also includes a unit to develop the efficiency and capabilities of all personnel working at the department; to provide the perfect training programs that fit the needs of all Forensic Evidence Department’s sections and branches.

FEDLIMS is as a customised electronic laboratory information management system for technical and management operations related to forensic processes. It is used to manage digitally 207 types of tests within one automated laboratory system. It can be used to collect requests from all police stations across the UAE, where it is currently providing a full range of services to Abu Dhabi and limited services to other emirates.

It is an end-to-end platform to integrate all processes and services of the forensic department directly to customers. The program includes a number of subsystems, the most important of which are the quality system, storage management system and the system for monitoring the competence of workers, in addition to all administrative and technical processes for forensic evidence checks. The system has helped to reduce around 34,000 hours of work within six processes, leading to Dh8.6 million savings per year.

6. UAE Pass

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UAE Pass app Image Credit: GN Archives

UAE PASS is the first national digital identity, for all citizens, residents, and visitors. Allowing you to access services across different sectors in the UAE, as well as digitally sign documents.

7. Crime mapping

Image Credit: Social Media

Criminal Map is a solution that is used to visualize data, analyze and assess criminal behavior over geographic space, while delivering statistics based on city, crime, nationality, gender, age and education level. Examining where crimes occurred determines which areas attract offenders and where unknown offenders may reside.

The solution adopts AI and big data to analyse over 10 thousand cases in the electronic criminal system to build heat maps for analysing risks and tends, decision-making, following the chronology of the procedures, creating statistics and crime prevention. The solution helped build more than 33 reports submitted to Attorney General and gave more control in managing the workload in all prosecutions. More than 12 precautionary measures were taken based on supplied data. Also, the rate of theft crimes reduced from 2,220 in 2018 to 1,823 in 2019.

8. Abu Dhabi locker/My wallet

The AD Locker, as part of the Abu Dhabi Government Services ecosystem TAMM, provides a platform that consistently combines different kinds of information across the government entities, including user documents and payments. It is a centralised platform that pools user’s information and documents in once place.

It collects up to 50 different types of digital documents, provides a platform to carry out more than 70 payments and follows up the status of around 350 services provided by Abu Dhabi government entities. To retrieve and re-use user documents, it uses blockchain as part of the distributed ledger concept that eliminates bureaucratic, time-consuming paper work. Using digital documents eliminates allows to pull the necessary information and makes the necessary updates accordingly.

Through AD Locker, a user can update, cancel or renew documents with no need to visit a government entity. A user can see real-time updates and solve his enquiries on AD Locker. It sends immediate notifications after changes and can trigger a follow up action if needed.

9. Attestation digital platform

How to notarise a document
Notarizing documents in the UAE can be carried out on a digital platform.

The solution represents a digital platform with a comprehensive list of all Judicial Department services that can be automatically filled into the pre-approved templates submitted by customers instead of open text spaces for manual submission. It also allows to use the Emirates ID card to automatically fill in the sections of the forms related to personal information.

10. Dubai’s blockchain initiative

blockchain generic
For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Agency

Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) blockchain-based solution is a collaborative effort of the relevant entities to streamline the process of setting up and operating a business, roll out digital exchange of trade licenses and related documentation for all business activities, and ensure regulatory compliance across Dubai’s business ecosystem.

The Innovation Project is phased to cover all key stages of customer journey in obtaining the business license including “Operations Commencement” during the post setup stage as well as all critical requirements related to operating a business. The project is integrated and synchronized with existing registration systems of participating licensing entities and connectivity to other blockchains.

The flexible design of the blockchain network enables a consortium member to join the network based on their infrastructure hosting preference. Currently the innovation has the information about the Company Registration, Trade Name, Business License, Business Activities, License Members, License Address, and Contract Details.

11. Electronic family book

Family book
Family book Image Credit: Supplied

12. Portable computer system

Abu Dhabi City Municipality established a complete system for transferring different surveying data between the office and the field and vice versa.

The Portable Computer System is an innovation that enhances daily surveying processes by automating all stages of office and field work activities, which further increases productivity and time efficiency. It also enhances current processes by means of adopting the latest state-of-the-art software and hardware, allowing to perform daily duties more efficiently

13. Chatbot for tenancy contract services

In order to decrease the effort, cost and time needed to manage a Tenancy Contract, Al Ain Municipality developed a chatbot that is based on an AI platform containing all data related to the service of registration of rental contracts and general information.

The virtual agent can handle multiple user queries at the same time with no time lag. The bot can collect authorization remotely by, for example SMS, and update user data through integration with federal authorities.

14. My Rights game app

A child playing video game at home. Picture for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: GN Archives/Ahmed Ramzan

My Rights is a mobile application game that is based on international human rights standards for children and laws of treatment of children in the UAE, focusing on three aspects: right for education, right for health, and right for security. It targets children 4-12 years old and educational institutions. It is direct and simple, which makes it attractive. It is designed to allow a child to learn gradually as they pass different stages of the game.

Children currently spend a lot of time on smart devices, which are more influential in building their personalities and enhancing their knowledge in comparison to traditional learning methods. Thus, it becomes easier to deliver Community Development Authority (CDA) messages by providing good content for a child, cultivating the basic values of human rights and presenting them in a way that is entertaining.

15. Smart rehab lab (robotic therapy laboratory)

The Smart Rehab Lab is the first integrated project in the Middle East where 11 robotic devices are taking the responsibility for providing most of the rehabilitation services needed by people of determination. The lab serves around 100 clients from different age groups (as of March 2020), providing intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy services with help of high tech, AI and robots.

It provides the required exercises with the support of stimulating VR games. The patient is evaluated and treated with the help of smart therapeutic programs and automated limbs that mimic the patient’s limbs (arms and legs) in all joints and movements. Each movement is tracked by devices that synchronise with the computing systems that use AI to adjust the training in real time based on responsiveness of the patients.

16. Dugong and seagrass research toolkit

Dugongs can be found in the UAE Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

The dugong and seagrass research toolkit is an initiative by the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) that provides an easily accessible online decision-making tool to guide the selection of specific dugong and seagrass research recommendations to adopt in specific circumstances. The toolkit is openly available online to multiple researchers and organisations with mandates for coastal and marine research and conservation, considering the threats and human community factors.

It supports researchers in the process of setting and refining their objectives, while considering overall conservation management goals and budgetary restraints, as well as factors such as time scale, spatial scale, technical capacity and specific challenges on the ground.

17. Hayat app

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: As many as 59 requests from organ recipients were made from five organ transplant centres across UAE when the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s app for organ donation launched its patient registry during Arab Health 2020. PHOTO Suchitra

Hayat is a free application that can be downloaded on smartphones on iOS and Android platforms. It has a vast database of organ donors and potential recipients throughout the UAE, which is linked to the licensed public and private hospitals throughout the country.

The app uses AI and blockchain to store the data of people wishing to donate their organs after death and use it when appropriate in the most effective way. The application also allows registered users to receive the latest news about the overall state of organ donation in the UAE and various related activities.

18. Donation cards

Zakat charity
File photograph of aid being delivered by the Emirates Red Crescent. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: WAM

Donation cards aim to replace traditional donation channels that are widespread in Dubai. The traditional way of donating money is through physical desks and donation boxes in supermarkets, malls, government buildings.

The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) introduced cards that are placed near supermarket cashiers, allowing customers to buy them as another consumer items bundled within their grocery purchases. In addition, each card has a very specific typology and does not represent a generic donation to the charity, instead helping to allocate a donation to a specific cause. The donation is settled directly by the supermarket to the charity, without triangulating the money through IACAD or other organizations.

19. Distributed acoustic technology

First look: Dubai Metro Route 2020 opens to public
Dubai Metro was launched in 2009 and the first metro worldwide to utilize the distributed acoustic technology in its system.

The Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) was the first Metro worldwide to utilize the distributed acoustic technology in metro systems with the fiber cables that have sensitive vibration sensors. The technology uses optical fiber to act as both the sensing element and the transmission medium along the 80-kilometer metro railway.

The optical fiber sensors allow operators to detect in real-time any item drop on the rail track. Centralized notifications are enabled at the Operations Control Center (OCC), enhancing operational efficiencies. The technology serves to detect obstacles fallen on the track in real time, improving the safety level of railway operation.

It gives an operator the location and size of the obstacles, allowing for the necessary action to be taken, such as stopping the train service if required. It is also used to detect and trace the movement of any non-communicated vehicle on track. The system is also used to identify track defects, train wheel flatting or defects, leading to improved incident handling of intrusions in the railway track environment.

20. Smart HR Kiosk “HR Pulse”

Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation Image Credit: GN Archives

The smart HR kiosk is a smart device designed to provide all services and operations related to human resources for the benefit of Dubai Sports Council staff 24 hours a day, working as a ‘virtual employee’.

HR Pulse provides more than 43 services in the categories of General Information, Recruitment Documentation, Forms and Reports, HR Policies and Laws, Certificates and Personal Documents. As an example, the kiosk provides work certificates, salary, experience and no-objection documents in both Arabic and English.

All services and documents are available within 30 seconds.

21. E-Inspection Chat Bot

The e-inspection chat bot is intended to provide 24/7 support and enhance customer experience by introducing a quick and effective channel that can offer direct one-on-one communication between businesses and Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) establishments, effectively automating day to day tasks. The innovation combines leading AI and cognitive services from Microsoft.

It is applied to various use cases, including the retrieval of establishment’s details, viewing its inspection history and outcome reports, current star rating of the establishment, receiving clarifications, self-inspection, proposing inspection plans, viewing and providing documents, incident reporting, communication between DCT and the establishment, and more.

22. Al Mamzar Smart Park

Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai Municipality created a park that not only brings new colours, plant varieties and facilities, but also incorporates multiple technological elements to decrease pressure on the natural environment and improve visitors’ experience. As an example, different solutions such as smart benches, smart irrigation and smart oases are used to reduce the environmental impact.

Visitors can use a smart application to take a 3D virtual park tour and get notifications about ongoing events. They can also use VR glasses to learn how to care for plants. To provide a safe environment for children, parents can track the locations of their children using smart bands. Additionally, the park provides unmanned drones for rescuing drowning people.

23. Maqta Gateway

Maqta Gateway came out as a result of an internal innovation process of Abu Dhabi Ports. In 2016, it evolved into a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports and became a central pillar of the company’s strategy to be a leader in the development of integrated, digital, global trade.

It has served as a platform for innovation within the organisation, leveraging the Port Innovation Lab to support the development of innovative solutions and to serve as a space to interact with internal and external stakeholders. Maqta offers ports, exporters, importers, shipping lines, customs and government agencies a single point of contact and real time information at any time of the day. It is also the developer and operator of the first Port Community System (PCS) in the UAE, which is designed to facilitate trade, streamlined processes and operations within the community.

The system is currently operational in 5 ports, 54 private jetties, integrated with 20 shipping lines, and covers 100+ services from seaside to hinterland. It is the first solution in the Middle East to achieve PCS-to-PCS Integration and is integrated with three single windows and 11 ports in China, Belgium and Spain.


The cybersecurity market is seeing record investments financially, but it faces a crucial talent gap Image Credit: Supplied

The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) Strategic Transportation Evaluation and Assessment Model (STEAM) is a sophisticated multi-modal travel demand tool that uses AI and Big Data analytics to support the decision-making process in Abu Dhabi.

STEAM is the official tool for Abu Dhabi Emirate to make informed decisions about land use and development, the transportation system, and transport policy changes.

The model is used by many internal and external stakeholders to study infrastructure requirements and to plan the future of the transportation of the Emirate. This tool has been successfully used to test over Dh60 billion worth of schemes, policies and initiatives, such as whether and when to expand a road, build a tunnel, implement a toll, or build a metro.

25. The Hive

The Hive Labs is a space that takes into account several factors that subconsciously have a positive influence on the participant’s mindset to encourage a more energetic, positive and creative behaviour. These factors include room dimensions and shape, the colour choices, the furniture, the quality of light, food, aroma and planting.

Aside from the physical environment, the Hive prompted the development of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) Meeting Format Directory with certain styles of unconventional conferencing techniques to reinforce the commitment of the venue to assist clients in having better events.

Source: Sia Partners and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation