Written by: Alex Jenkins
On: 4 Apr 2019
As one of the most progressive cities in the world, it was only a matter of time before Dubai snagged the title of ‘Most Innovative City’ in the Middle East. In addition, the Emirates also won the number one spot for Smart City Applications, as smart solutions not only facilitate businesses but also to make the lives of residents easier and more convenient. Dubai stands at the helm of this effort to the point that it is now considered to be the smartest city in the world.
Smartphone Usage Is the Key to Smart City Vision
The driving force behind Dubai’s rise to smart status lies in the proliferation of smart technology in the Emirates. This is based on the latest facts and statistics. According to the Global Smartphone Penetration Index, 8/10 residents have either a smartphone or some sort of smart technology at their disposal. In fact, they are also the biggest consumers of mobile data in the world.
The extensive use of digital technologies has allowed Dubai to become a smart city and implement a variety of ICT services for healthcare, transport, and other industries. This, along with the introduction of the city’s Data Law in 2015, ensures that the data shared from the public and private sector improves connectivity and innovation.
This move improved the decision-making processes across a series of verticals, which in turn drove innovation across a range of sectors.
Dubai Plan 2021 and Smart Dubai
Dubai Plan 2021 was proposed in 2007, and it described the future of the city while keeping the people that made it what it is today as its foundation. The plan was proposed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the smartest city in the world, and it has largely fulfilled that vision. The aim was to improve lifestyles by improving how people interacted with the environment along with social and economic services.
The initiative led to the formation of several innovations, not least of all was Dubai’s Smart City efforts. The aim was to make the city the smartest and the happiest in the world by focusing on five areas:
To ensure the plans come to fruition, the government has worked with over 60 private and government sector organizations to bring together tech experts and IT managers, who can implement robust blockchain strategies, create sophisticate AI pathways, and ultimately make the city paperless.
This has lead to an increase in connectivity that has had a positive impact on the following sectors:
Law and Order
All police cars patrolling the streets of Dubai are connected with not only with multi-radio technology, but also with Wi-Fi. In other words, all officers have access to real-time data for perpetrators and other subjects they pursue. Besides personnel location, this also includes heart rate, exact coordinates, GPS feed, and video feed.
Lighting and Parking
Dubai residents can now locate and even book parking spots and get information on directions to get there. Plus, lighting systems are designed to be adaptive to preserve energy.
Waste management services can now keep track of bin capacities, route optimization options, and also respond to requests for urgent removal quickly.
Commuters can now get real-time information on current bus routes, locations, occupancy figures, as well as expected time of arrival at destinations. This data is accessible via mobile apps and/or at enclosed bus kiosks.
In other words, as per the Smart City agenda, happiness can be achieved if it can be measured. The initiative has proven to be successful as far as the stats go. According to studies, 95% of residents will be happy living in the city.
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