Dubai Plan 2021: 6 Smart City moves at Gitex

October 19, 2016 1:40 pm

* Dubai to provide free WiFi across the emirate by the end of 2017

* du launched the Middle East and North Africa’s first media Cloud services

* Huawei and DEWA in a strategic partnership to enhance cooperation in technical and scientific fields

The emirate of Dubai, under directives by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is on an aggressive drive to become the world’s leading Smart city by 2021.

This plan will be carried out by the Dubai Smart Government initiative, part of the larger Dubai Plan 2021, an ambitious strategy that drives all aspects of advancement for the emirate, with progress measured across six distinctive themes: The People, The Society, The Experience, The Place, The Economy and The Government.

“The Smart Dubai initiative support[s] the emirate with advanced innovative technologies such as open data platforms. All of these are tools that will change the concept of living, not just in Dubai but around the world,” Her Excellency Dr Aisha bin Bishr, director general, Smart Dubai Office, said.

“We see these advancements inside institutions, but not on the level of an entire city as a whole. This is what drives my passion, day and night, to get these tools to work for us and serve us,” she added, elaborating on the development of the Smart city plan and its contribution to the larger vision of the emirate.

During the 36th edition of Gitex Technology Week, a leading ICT gathering in Dubai from October 16 to 20, Smart Dubai revealed experiences and partnerships that reflect on the progress of the initiative and its involvement with the progress of the emirate as a whole.

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Below are a the 6 top highlights:

1. Free WiFi for all – and LiFi?

Dubai is aiming to provide free WiFi across the emirate by the end of 2017 under the WiFi UAE plan, an initiative launched last year under Smart Dubai. This will come through Smart city telecom operating partner, du.

Meanwhile, Gitex visitors can now experience real-time Light Fidelity (LiFi), a visible light communication system that transmits and delivers network through light-emitting diodes (LEDs), or – in simpler terms – a visible WiFi connection.

LiFi was delivered by du and its LiFi technology partner, Zero1, as the current speed of growth of wireless data traffic will mean radio frequency will not provide sufficient resources by 2025, according to the telecoms operator. Hence, the alternative of LiFi is being explored and rolled out.

2. MENA’s first media Cloud services

du launched the Middle East and North Africa’s first media Cloud services, making it the first telecommunications provider to do so.

The Cloud services aim to simplify media management for broadcasters, content producers and providers.

During Gitex 2016, the Abu Dhabi Media Company carried out a live broadcast on du media Cloud services, making it the first in the region to do so.

3. DEWA, Huawei collaborate to make Dubai Smarter

Global ICT solutions provider Huawei and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced a strategic partnership Tuesday to enhance cooperation in technical and scientific fields. Such partnerships are aligned with DEWA’s efforts to achieve goals set for their contribution to the Smart Dubai initiative.

4. Smart tourism

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) unveiled several technological advancements, supporting Dubai’s journey towards becoming a leading, global Smart city. Among these is a new, paperless Smart inspection system for visitors to the emirate, automating inspections of tourism establishments in the city.

5. Smart transport

Car-booking service Careem showcased driverless electric pods for the mass-transit systems of the future, as the emirate aims to make 25 per cent of all trips in the emirate Smart and driverless by 2030, as instructed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.

6. DubaiNow

Last but not least, summing it all up, Smart Dubai launched an online portal, DubaiNow, a unified services platform that brings, through a simple mobile app, more than 55 Smart services by 24 government and private entities, creating a seamless and efficient user experience for the residents of the emirate.

Gitex is not over yet and more highlights are expected by its more than 4,000 participants. With all regional and global industry players present, the Dubai government, through its numerous entities and departments, is taking a lead at laying out elements of the Smart life of the future.


AMEinfo Staff
By AMEinfo Staff
AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.