Dubai: Dubai is making great strides in becoming the world’s smartest city — where life is easier and services are seamless, safe, efficient and impactful, using smart technologies — through government-driven initiatives. But other sectors of society will have to do their share as well, officials said.
In less than a year, by 2017, Dubai aims to establish itself as the world’s smartest city that provides unparalleled quality of life for its residents and visitors through smart technology. These involve six key thrusts — smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance and smart environment.
Dubai has been transforming itself into a smart city over the past two decades, Wesam Lootah, CEO of Dubai Smart Government, said. But this journey does not involve the government alone.
“In 2013, yet again we had a new goal of ushering in a new era of smart solutions with the goal of transforming government services to become smart and available through this very personal channel — the smartphone. However, transforming the government alone is not enough,” Lootah said during the fourth Power to the Cloud conference organised by Schneider Electric on Sunday.
“The city is not just the government. There’s the private sector, the individuals, the community. So it’s important for us to collaborate and to transform as a city,” he added.
Over the last two years, since the vision was announced, Smart Dubai has introduced the city-wide Happiness Meter, the one-stop app Dubai
Now, as well as Dubai Data, and the Smart Dubai Platform, among others, to make Dubai a happier and smarter city today.
On the energy and water side, smart initiatives have been in place since last year, said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). These include Shams Dubai where homes can be connected with roof-top solar power, smart applications and smart meters to promote smart consumption, and the Green Charger or electric charging stations for electric vehicles.
All these initiatives pool together information, patterns, and trends from end-users and electronic data sensors to be installed across the city to produce data-driven decisions to make the city the smartest there is.
Lootah said Dubai aims to make every service in the city as seamless as possible so that even paying a fine is “relatively pleasant”.
But the “smartness” of a city must translate into all the aspects of city life, including in the private sector and in communities.
“It starts at the public level. That’s exactly what Dubai is doing — setting the right priorities, the right stream and the right regulations,” Benoit Dubarle, president of Gulf Countries and Pakistan at Schneider Electric and speaker at the conference, told Gulf News. “The direction is provided by the public sector but then the build-up is done by private companies.”
Asked how Dubai is faring in its vision to be the world’s smartest city, Dubarle said: “I think, Dubai is already one of the smartest cities in the world. The simple answer will be yes, it will achieve its vision, depending on what key performance indicators will be put in place.”