Shaikh Mohammad at the launch of the Smart Dubai strategy at the Dubai World Trade Centre on March 5, 2014. Shaikh Hamdan and Shaikh Maktoum are with him. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: “Today we launched our strategy for transforming Dubai into the smartest city in the world in the upcoming three years. It [the strategy] includes 100 initiatives, and transforming 1,000 government services to smart services,” His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted following the launch of the Smart Dubai strategy on Wednesday.

The strategy for transforming Dubai into a smart city was rolled out in the presence of Shaikh Mohammad and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Smart Dubai comprises six key thrusts: smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance and smart environment, Shaikh Hamdan said. He added, “Mohammad Bin Rashid not only wants to develop services ... but wants to change the way people live in Dubai.”

Key thrusts

The project will encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve all the targets in each of the six focus areas.

“Our goal is for the entire city’s services and facilities to be available on smartphones ... we want to provide a better quality of life for all,” Shaikh Mohammad tweeted.

At the launch, members of the Higher Committee of the Dubai Smart City project — which was formed on the orders of Shaikh Mohammad last October — represents some of the main government departments involved in the project.

Senior officials from those departments spoke about their agency’s roles in the collective transformation.

Shaikh Mohammad said, “Our ambition is for this project to touch every individual in our country — every mother in her home, every employee at his work or investor in his project or child in his school or doctor in his clinic. Our goal is a happier life for all and we ask God to help us achieve this.”

Database integration

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Director of Shaikh Mohammad’s Executive Office and Chairman of the project’s Higher Committee, said that the next stage will involve the integration of all systems in all organisations — public and private — in all aspects, which will be their biggest challenge.

He added that their second challenge is raising awareness and changing people’s perception towards smart services and launching more high-quality services that change people’s lives for the better.

He saiod the strategy relies on three basic principles: communication, integration and cooperation.

Boosting communication between residents of Dubai and Dubai’s institutions and facilities will occur by fostering access to all information and data.

This will be possible when there is integration of databases to make them available to everyone via “my window to Dubai”, which offers a live broadcast of the data instantly through a virtual Dubai, with all its institutions, available on the internet.