UN World Data Forum 2018 Highlights Smart Technologies to Build the World’s Happiest City

Wednesday 24 October 2018
Hessa Al Balooshi, Director of the Smart Services Department at Smart Dubai
Dubai - MENA Herald:

The introduction of technology to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth was a main focus at the UN World Data Forum 2018, which ran from October 22-24 at Madinat Jumeirah. Government department Smart Dubai hosted two sessions on the second day of at the forum, highlighting the initiatives it was taking to place Dubai and the UAE in the forefront of the world’s most advanced and connected nations.

Speaking at the session ‘Dubai Pulse: The Backbone of Dubai’s Digital Transformation,’ Matar Al Humairi, Assistant Chief Executive Officer at Smart Dubai, explained how His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, launched the Dubai Pulse initiative in 2017 to empower Dubai’s smart city transformation.

“In Smart Dubai we believe in public and private partnerships. In this project we have an agreement with du, the telecom operator, to operate Dubai Pulse. Dubai Pulse’s main objective is to improve the quality of life in the city, such as cost-effectiveness and by having seamless and impactful experiences,” said Al Humairi.

Al Humairi explained that Dubai Pulse connects the city’s infrastructure over a common network and data layer, enabling - among other things - the overall quality of life for citizens to be improved. He said that a number of government agencies and private sector companies have moved their entire workload to Dubai Pulse and saved operational costs.

Al Humairi cited three examples of Dubai Pulse in action. Its Senior Safety Services increases the safety of senior Emiratis by sending an alert to an operations room in the event of an elderly person falling, its Open Data City Flow dashboard monitors the movement of people and allows for a better understanding of Dubai’s population, and its Food Inspection Dashboard measures the quality of air and water in restaurants, thereby reducing the need for manual on-site inspections.

At a separate session on day two of the forum, Hessa Al Balooshi, Director of the Smart Services Department at Smart Dubai, discussed the award-winning DubaiNow app, which has had nearly one million downloads since its launch.

Speaking at the ‘DubaiNow: 60 City Services, 1 Application’ session, Al Balooshi explained that the DubaiNow app was a project that was very close to her heart. She highlighted that it is the first unified access point for all government and city services on a single platform, helping people manage bills, track visas, renew trade licences and register cars.

“The DubaiNow app has more than 62 smart services provided by 28 government and private sectors. We have classified all these services under 11 categories, with the most popular being bills and utilities. The great thing is about DubaiNow is how easy and seamless it is. We have added a dashboard on the app with a summary of all the services available. It will show you fines, your remaining Salik balance and also keep track of your children’s vaccinations. Imagine all this information is on one dashboard,” said Al Balooshi.

“We have already won eight awards locally regionally and internationally and are just shy of one million downloads since we launched. We have had six million transactions through this platform with over 300,000 active users. Our aim is to make Dubai the happiest and smartest city on the earth and we are looking to make people’s lives easier by providing such innovative services. With the guidance of our great leaders and with the passion of people behind the Dubai government, we are very close to our dream. This is just a glimpse of what DubaiNow is - the future holds so much more,” she added.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the second edition of the three-day UN World Data Forum attracted more than 2,500 data and statistics experts from around the world to discuss the role of data in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The event followed the inaugural forum, which was held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017.

Related News