THE CITY OF TOMORROW
As smart technology propagates around the globe, the movement within modern cities to apply these innovations to the most pressing problems has given rise to the concept of a smart city. Dubai, primarily known for architectural marvels and luxury living, is an inspiring alchemy of profound traditions has ambitiously adopted a distinctive approach to evolve into a smart city and set the standard for smart cities worldwide.
The Smart Dubai initiative was introduced in 2014 to establish Dubai as the smartest city in the world by 2017, and has chosen happiness as the measure of success of its smart city endeavors. Dubai was already ranked seventh on the Happiness Index in 2014, and the impact the city can create with the goal of driving happiness is immense. Aligned with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision, technology plays a vital role as an enabler to achieve this goal.
The initiative aims to encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve targets in six strategic pillars: smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance, and smart environment, each of which will leverage the strong ICT infrastructure the city is currently developing. Supporting the smart city initiative is the commitment to open data and a governance system that will enable cross-functional collaboration in the pursuit of seamless urban services.
Within these six dimensions, the strategy includes the implementation of over 100 initiatives in areas such as transport, communications, infrastructure, electricity, economic services and urban planning, and a plan of 1,000 services to transform the government and the private sector to get “smart.” Smart Dubai is collaborating with 11 strategic partners to achieve the vision: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), The Executive Council, The Dubai Health Authority (DHA), The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai Police
Force, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Smart Government (DSG), The Department of Economic Development (DED), The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), and Dubai Design District (d3).
Strategic Advisor to the Smart Dubai Office, Xische & Co. introduced us to some of the very ambitious initiatives: been rolled out to over 30 government entities and in use at service counters, websites, and kiosks wherever customers interact with these entities. Over 2 million votes have been received so far, and every vote is captured in the Happiness Meter Index, a powerful dashboard that can show participating entities the happiness score at every single touchpoint. The Happiness Meter is currently also offffffered completely free of charge to the private sector as well to provide a greater insight into happiness levels across the city and various industries.
Dubai Data Initiative
Dubai has recognized the need to share data and has developed a legislative framework to support its smart-city strategy. The Dubai Data initiative is led by the Dubai Data Establishment and decreed by the Dubai Data Law of 2015. The initiative does not aim to collect the most extensive amount of data, but to drive the greatest value from data, empowering all data stakeholders. This particular initiative is where all kinds of data is accumulated and create value from it, be it Open Data which provides unrestricted data to everyone, Shared Data which provides only restricted data to restricted organizations or individuals, Big Data which are extremely large data sets that are analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, etc., or Rich Data that combines data from difffffferent systems to analyze. Dubai Data will stimulate a new data economy for the city, unlocking opportunities and ultimately enriching quality of life for all Dubai stakeholders, including government departments, private organizations, investors, residents and visitors. By sharing all data, residents and visitors of Dubai can make smarter decisions, be it when deciding something small as which road will have the least traffic to go to Dubai Mall, or which business sector has potential and that is where one should invest in. Open Data also allows developers to create apps that also provide solutions.
Smart Dubai Platform
Recently, the Smart Dubai platform was announced, which will be developed in partnership with du. The platform will be the engine of Dubai’s smart city transformation. It will unite infrastructure, data, city services and applications for the first time. Electronic data sensors will be installed in everything from Dubai streets and parking lots to building entrances and public parks to create a digital mosaic of human activity from which trends can be identified to help plan for the future. The platform will facilitate the exchange of open and shared data between the public sector, private sector and individuals, creating new opportunities for engagement, contributing to the smart city future of Dubai. Meaning that whoever you are, you can benefit hugely from the data, insights and services that the platform is providing and enabling. Smart Dubai is the first city to have designed its own platform from the ground up, rather just take a solution ‘off the shelf ’ from a provider.
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority - Smart Streetlights
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is the first location within the UAE illuminating itself through smart streetlights. The smart streetlights are based on sensors which were provided and programmed for their functionality through DSO’S telecom partner du. When it gets dark outside, the smart LEDS will run at 25% of their full illumination power until an object approaches. Once a sensor detects the object, the streetlight will react by increasing local illumination. In using a network of smart streetlights DSO will become a pioneer within the UAE in smart lighting infrastructure and energy efficiency. Further benefits of these smart lights lie within the collection of data on energy use, and other parameters of the streetlights and their direct surroundings. By having a centralized command center to supervise the lights and other infrastructure pieces through the Internet of Things sensors, DSO is able to tune, control and manage the overall consumption within the district, resulting in improved costefficiency compared to any other street illumination in Dubai.
Roads & Transport Authority - Virtual Grocery
RTA in partnership with Etisalat is introducing a virtual supermarket service at the key metro stations. The first of which is currently live at the Mall of Emirates Metro Station which is also in partnership with trolley.ae, an online grocery shopping service. Buyers can choose products from their chosen store through interactive screens placed at the stations, and complete transaction using a secure payment method. The user can select the optimal delivery time for them and location. The items will then be delivered to their homes via a service provider and RTA partner. This will not only save travelers a lot of time but will also reduce traffic on the roads, and also is great when users don’t want to carry heavy groceries on the metro.
What is the current status on implementing the Salama initiative? Salama is DHA’S effort in improving health care services in UAE, enabling the local and federal governments in preparation for a national unified medical record database as per His Highness’s direction to have one record per patient across the UAE. Overall Salama’s completion status currently is at 36%.
What are the next initiatives from DHA utilizing the central database to create more seamless and efficient solutions in the health sector? One of the core initiatives of DHA is the Communicable and Infectious Disease Management system which is being developed for Dubai with the solution architecture that is scalable to expand and cater to rest of the UAE; making it a central database for disease management and this program is also planned in phases. The system can be integrated seamlessly with the Salama (EMR program of DHA) and other Health Information Systems of government and private entities. The most important factor of this initiative is the regulation to share the data within the Emirates which shall require more coordination and support.
How are the smart apps, smart operations, and smart centers integrated? How do they enhance the patient’s journey? The smart apps (citizen apps- diabetes apps, pregnancy apps with wearable devices) are integrated with DHA’S CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and also to its existing call center. DHA is also working on having a unified call center solution for catering to all DHA facilities (hospitals, specialty centers, primary health care centers, medical fitness centers, health regulation dept., shared support services) which shall be integrated to the existing health information system, Salama program, CRM, website, chat, patient and customer flow management system. DHA is already implementing patient and customer flow management system which tracks the entire patient and customer journey (end-to-end) and the operational KPIS shall help in reducing the overall waiting time, increasing patient and customer happiness index meter.
Dubai Police has introduced several great initiatives using wearable technology. What has the success rate been towards them? Will Dubai Police be introducing more wearable technology initiatives? Wearable technology has not matured enough to have a high success rate for implementation. We were early adopters of Google Glass explorer program with great ideas and implementation. However, the technology lacked key functionality for us to consider it successful. However, it is our strategy to always adopt and innovate the latest technology regardless of its implantation risk. On the other hand, the Dubai Police smart watch App has achieved an acceptable success rate and adoption.
What seamless, efficient, and impactful services is Dubai Police planning to introduce? We would like to introduce an effective model to engage the community with Dubai Police services. We have many ideas for services that we believe is efficient and useful, however, community engagement is the key for becoming effective.