It’s amazing how science and technology have come into the picture with a wave of revolution that was unimaginable just a few years ago. The world seemed like it had reached its peak of inventions when the mobile phone was discovered in the past century and later on the computer. Right now as we view into the future, it’s outstanding just picturing all the possibilities that could be brought about by the vast internet of things. There is nowhere better to view this 21st Century revolution than in Dubai.
Dubai Smart City stemmed from His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum who had the vision to transform and fully technologize Dubai by 2021. The vision is well on course even as the city plans to host 25 million visitors worldwide in the Expo 2020 Dubai. The plan is to ensure that by the time the globe realizes the 2030 vision, Dubai will be well ahead and above the rest of the cream. It’s not a competition, however; it’s a developmental vision that every citizen of Dubai should associate her/himself with. Now without further ado, let’s have a look at the Dubai Smart City and all it means to us as a people.
Introducing Dubai Smart City
Take a moment of silence and picture this: you wake up one morning when you’re supposed to travel outside the country, but sadly your daughter has acquired some illness that has her bedridden. You cannot cancel your flight, but you also need to give attention to your child who always comes first to you. So you prepare the both of you, and you decide to take her to the hospital as your wife tags along. At the hospital, you find no lines at all and you are immediately welcomed by the doctor who accesses all her medical files at the touch of a button! Phew, that must have been a relief – at least there are lesser questions by the medical attendant since the medical history almost says it all.
At the hospital, it takes less than 20 minutes for you guys to be served and she’s already smiling as you’re coming out of the hospital; it seems the injection actually worked! All she has to do is finish up with her dosage. You are pleased since you experienced no traffic on your way to the hospital and also absolutely none as you’re headed to the port. Your flight is due in 30 minutes and it takes you just about 15 to reach the airport. As you bid your family farewell and hand over the car keys to your wife, you check your watch and realize you still have 11 minutes.
You leisurely walk into the airport, get searched as you hand over your documents and walk straight into your plane. Jeez, that was fast! No lines at the waiting bay and you still have 4 extra minutes to settle down on your seat as you get acquainted with the change of setting. Alas, it’s departure time!
This is what Dubai Smart City is all about – a comfortable convenience that will save on so much time and money too. Talk about less congested and safer roads, faster service delivery, quicker access to data, improved infrastructure generally and even a seamless end-to-end connectivity among so many more.
The vision here is simple, sophisticated and very much attainable – we seek to make Dubai the happiest city on earth. Well, if you’ve traveled around the world, you might conclude that there are happier places to be, but come on! Which place in this galaxy can you really compare to home? Dubai Smart City seeks to be recognized worldwide as not only benefitting from the deeply invested technological hub but also prove that the systems are workable and benefitting everyone from every sector. This includes the government as well as the general public.
Impact of the Vision
Who is set to benefit most as a result of a technologized Dubai City? Well, the vision broadly classifies the impact of the 2021 Dubai Smart City on three particular areas:
- The Customer Impact: The Happiness Agenda was primarily formulated to benefit the Dubai consumer. Everyone will be classified as either a producer or a consumer in the city – the producers also get to purchase services. Since the consumer is the one driving the economy, it’s only fair to implement goals that will transform their lives. So, be it the government, businesses or even private individuals who are in need of services, the impact falls squarely on them.
- The Financial Impact: Who said going through a technological revolutionary phase has to be costly? After analyzing the economic costs it would take to achieve ultimate happiness, the 2021 strategy formulated simpler, cost-effective ways to achieve all the goals. This creates a financial benefit the city at large as there will be numerous financial saves while still realizing complex digital innovations which will tantamount to further future expenditure cuts.
- Resource & Infrastructure Impact: At what costs to the environment, in general, are we likely to incur as we pursue our digital transformation? Well, again, a course has been chartered that will ensure the city environment is fully supported and sustained as we fully dive into this inevitable digital transformation.
The belief with the visionaries is that all the above three areas mentioned above will be positively impacted even as we harness the technology to realize a digital industry in Dubai.
Assessing the Objectives of Smart Dubai 2021
It might seem impossible to attain a 95% happiness level by 2021 but residents of Dubai are already seeing the vision becoming a reality. It’s important to comprehend exactly what we intend to achieve to reach this level of happiness. Having created objectives for the Dubai Smart City project has made it much easier for individuals and businesses to attach themselves to the vision. It’s also made the government better placed to work towards the end goals.
Living the Smart Way
Some cities in different parts of the world have already come up with strong connected Wi-Fi systems that surround such cities enabling dwellers to be connected to the internet 24/7-365. This, however, fails to beat any logic if such systems are not trusted. The rise in cyber-attacks have continually made people on the edge and more afraid to share their data. This is where Smart Dubai City comes in.
Not only does the project seek to provide all-day-long internet connectivity to users but it also aims at eliminating such threats that would cause panic and mistrust. Not only will mobile phones be connected to the internet but also other devices and systems to enable real-time tracking and updates to thus faster service delivery. Such systems include drainage systems, sewage, energy, water, buildings, waste distribution networks, roads among many more. In the case of impediments arising in a certain location, it would be much easier to track the source as well as offer direct assistance and repairs.
Residents will also be better equipped as they will get a chance to monitor all their resource consumption making it way easier to educate the users and have them lower their consumption. They will do so willingly in a bid to save their city resources, therefore a more conscious consumer in the Dubai Smart City project.
It doesn’t end there: city planning and coordination will be much easier with real-time logistics and statistics. City authorities will have much easier time allocating such resources as land, water, electricity and the likes.
A technologized Dubai will also mean a more prepared Dubai in times of natural calamities, adverse climate change as well as other man-made disasters. This will, however, call for a unified teamwork between residents and authorities.
Globally Competitive Economy
The project has to obviously touch on transforming the financial systems for it to make any economic sense. Simple applications from the digital transformations will have the Dubai’s economy competing favorably with other top world economies. Not only will the government benefit from increased revenues but also from a more participative private sector.
To reach here, the project has foreseen simplified regulations in businesses due to more credible forms of transactions, easily accessible services to the general public which will be supported through accelerators and incubators. Immaculate and reliable digital services will make it much easier for entrepreneurs to embark on different ventures without much hassle. Since this will attract more human personnel into the city, the project also identifies plans on how to train and enhance the skills of both the public and private sectors to empower them in realizing their dreams and aspirations.
Eliminate Digital Benightedness
Logic dictates that we can’t have a Smart Dubai City without first having smart people. Currently, the bigger percentage of Dubai residents is well vast with simple digital processes as a result of the already digitized state of the city. Nonetheless, further digital literacy will be necessary if occupants are to benefit from the rapid technological developments that are taking over the city. For instance, they should be able to book healthcare services online, access educational services such as school registration and payment of fees online among other services.
Once the city dwellers are empowered with such knowledge and know-how, we can only foresee an efficiently, irreproachable and a strong social community aggrandized by digital services. This will result in happier social experiences in the widely culturally diversified Dubai Smart City society.
How About Transport Systems?
Have you been lucky enough to see a self-driven car at this day and age or have you only seen that in movies and cinemas? Now, imagine a system of cars which can self-drive and also communicate with other cars. The communication through sensor technology among other systems will act to prevent accidents from occurring. No more need to put our reliance on the errs of man that have caused hundreds of millions of deaths over the years.
There will also be a lesser congestion on roads as mobility improves which will save on time. The ratio of usage of public transport will also rise in an attempt to eliminate extra cars on the roads. Smart traffic lights, smart tolls as well as smart parking will all contribute to a speedier mobility system allowing people to reach their destinations faster and safer with nothing but joy.
Since the 2021 Smart Dubai City project is making a move towards a digital industry Dubai, we are likely to have more people making lesser travels to attend meetings which can be held online. Video conferencing will have fewer people on the roads which also counts as a time saver and cost-efficient.
A Move to a Smart Environment
Happiness might be completely subjective but one cannot claim to be in a happy state when constantly attacked with sicknesses. In other quarters, people’s standards of living will determine just how happy they are. If such a people are living in a degraded environment, then it doesn’t matter how technologized the place is – happiness is quite unattainable on the larger scale.
The digital transformation is to foresee cleaner resources being employed, lower pollution on the environment as well as lower emissions. Modifications are being applied to modern day buildings to reduce cases of GHG emissions. Emissions of electromagnetic radiations and ambient noise will also be checked through established action plans to ensure safer limits. There is also a move towards an enhanced use of solar energy to boost renewable energy. On top of all that, there are electric and hybrid cars which are currently being tested and perfected to ensure a smarter, eco-friendlier Dubai City.
A Digital Government
Not only will the government take part in constituting these changes but also will be embracing such changes in its course of operation. All government services will be cashless as well as paperless to quash the need to make visits to government offices. Imagine accessing all the services you want at the comfort of your backyard as you chill out with your family! Fun, right?
Citizens are also able to contribute and access all government proceedings online thus enhanced accountability. Through the eSuggest and eComplain sites, they are able to effect changes in their administration on a unified front.
Procurement opportunities will be made available to SMEs online with invoices and payments done digitally. How about that for sleek convenience!
Fast Paced Technologies
Now that we understand the objectives behind His Excellency’s vision of a happy Dubai, it’s important to take a look too at how the different technologies are being innovated, invented and applied to lead to a digital industry Dubai. Here, we’ll have a look at how digital marketing in Dubai, social media and other technologies are set to change the present and metamorphose the future.
The journey began in 1999 when the first ICT strategy was announced. Later on, the Dubai Internet City would be launched followed by Dubai e-Government and the rest is present history. At this very minute, Dubai can boast of being the most technologized city in the region with the application of IoT increasing by the day.
About 95% of the population has access to social media and it’s even being used as a measure of happiness. Most businesses and advertising are also done online as organizations endeavor to make a breakthrough in the unlimited online market. With the improved Wi-Fi connectivity in the city, one cannot skip the chance of missing out on recent developments online.
Businesses which market themselves properly have a competitive advantage in the online market. It’s also cost-effective to SMEs which don’t have to incur outrageous advertising costs on TVs, radios and the like, which was the case a few years back. Social media marketing Dubai means consumers are also more educated and ready to speak out against shunned brands thus better knowledge on the part of the buyer.
Digital marketing Dubai is seeing more and more consumers reaching out to Google for answers. The answers could be searches for products, quick fixes or simply basic information that might be unknown to them. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. Business websites are coming up with articles based on frequently searched words as they strive to drive traffic to their sites.
Businesses that do so in the right ways end up generating a considerable flow of online users seeking basic answers to life’s questions. This gives the organization a propitious opportunity to market and sell their product or service and even maintain a loyal set of clients. It also takes your business to the next level as it boosts your brand credibility. Remember people trust Google – make them trust Google through you.
Since everyone is buying online, everyone is also making payments online with a general acceptance now as compared to before. A lot of individuals were skeptical on using online forms of payments a few years ago. Currently, trends indicate a move to digital coins which are much safer and require no middlemen. E-commerce is also set to benefit through customization which enables buyers to go deeper in terms of elaborating the details of the product they are in need of. For instance, a customer buying a shoe will be able to choose the right shoe fit, size, type, and color among other options.
This hefty reliance on online buying options has seen businesses making more sales and even other businesses popping up to offer delivery services. Not only that: customer retention is at a higher level for most businesses that manage to sell it successfully to their esteemed clients. Gargantuan data aggregation and different shopping algorithms have even made it possible for shoppers to receive pinpointed recommendations during their shopping experience. Not only does this increase the business sales, but it also enhances the business ratings in the eyes of the buyer.
Dubai Blockchain Strategy
Blockchain Strategy is probably the biggest invention – not only for Dubai but to the world in general. This would be better explained from the bitcoin point of view. Picture a system of transaction, payments and processes which isn’t in the control of one single person. A system where data uploaded cannot be reversed since it’s in the hand of the ‘system’ in general. A structure which no one person can manipulate the data once uploaded since all of it is decentralized rather than in a single location!
The blockchain technology is already in effect in Dubai Smart City and will soon be ingratiated into every system making fraud a new vocabulary. An example is seen where a writer uploads content online using blockchain technology and doesn’t have to worry about marketing or copyrights since the technology does that for him. Anyone accessing the writer’s data will be charged a small fraction enabling the artist to make a decent living as they continue with their day to day lives. Isn’t that amazing!
The applications of blockchain technology can be seen in every sector since data is created in every sphere. Blockchain will ensure there is no manipulation, duplication or even theft of information and comes in to protect the user’s data. Considering that data is a $300 billion industry, businesses can only embrace the safe technology to be on the impregnable side of things.
Dubai, What Next?
As we reach the end of our discussion, we should give much thought to the impact of a digital industry Dubai. Sure, we can talk about it all day, but are we really ready for all these changes? The Dubai Smart City can only fully be achieved by input from each of us: we all have a role to play to make this dream a reality. Businesses would do well to start implementing some of these methods earlier on in advance. This will call for an overall upgrade of employee skills as well as changing their mentality. Basic forms of artificial intelligence could go a long way to change your brand’s image and have you ranked higher. Since the future is inevitable, we can only walk towards it with self-assurance and a positive mentality.