Come 2017, and Dubai will proudly wear the crown of being the smartest city in the world. Although several cities are competing for this recognition, what will it take Dubai to retain the lead in the years to come? That the ambitious city has taken rapid and giant strides towards achieving that goal says volumes about not just its vision and ambition, but also its executive machinery that enables it to transform such dreams into realities.
It was less than 2 years ago that the visionary strategy to transform Dubai into a ‘Smart City’ was launched, on March 5, 2014.
“While we are confident about achieving our goal, through increased cross-government collaboration and solid public-private partnership, the challenge going forward will be to continue to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation,” acknowledges Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director-General of Smart Dubai Office.
“It will require Dubai to constantly re-invent itself by aligning its governance system with public needs in an era when every aspect of our lives will be defined by the digital landscape. We hope that our experience will help influence similar digital transformations to enhance quality of life across the region,” she said.
Today, after almost three years since the first step of Dubai’s journey towards building the smart city, a recently established Smart Dubai Office is now leading the way towards building the “smartest” city in the world. Its strategic pillars include six dimensions: economy, governance, environment, living, mobility and people. Underlying all of it was its mission to accomplish a model of sustainable development that would create public value.
In addition, a new study by the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) explores further on what the city needs to do to ensure it remains one of the ‘smartest’ cities in the world to live and work in, while raising the quality of life of its people and ensuring public happiness. The report, titled ‘A Smart City for Public Value: Digital Transformation through Agile Governance – The Case of Smart Dubai’, outlining the city’s progress and what lies ahead was launched at the just concluded World Government Summit.
Analysing the enablers and challenges in Dubai’s digital transformation, the report states: “By the beginning of 2016, Dubai’s smart city project, which started almost three years ago, had a complete set of legal infrastructure and organizational structures in place to help it in the remainder of its challenging journey.”