March 2016

Smart cities for people’s happiness

Future Technology Week 2016 convened this March 29th to 31st drawing an international crowd of vendors, entrepreneurs and government leaders for an series of discussions on the role of connected technology, information technology and data shaping the future of cities.

Speaking to the role of Smart Dubai guiding Dubai’s smart city transformation, Younus Al Nasser highlighted Smart Dubai’s unique approach to smart cities with a focus on people’s happiness, not technology innovation.

Read the full text of Younus Al Nasser’s keynote speech opening the Internet of Things Expo part of Future Technology Week, Smart Cities for People’s Happiness below:

Smart Cities for People’s Happiness

Your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is my honour to welcome you to Dubai, and to the second edition of the Internet of Things Expo, part of the Future Technology Week.

Across the world, cities are changing. Today, more than 50% of the world’s population live in cities, and by 2050, the number of people living in our cities is expected to double.

Meanwhile, exponential advancements in technology are spurring a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurship, as experts estimate that by 2020, approximately half of the world’s population will have network access, with 50 billion physical objects connected to the Internet.

As city leaders, we must rethink how cities are designed from the ground up, to empower our residents and visitors for a new era, supporting access to opportunity and enhanced quality of life, enabled by smart technology.

As leaders of Dubai’s smart transformation, Smart Dubai is leading a bold new approach to smart cities with a radical focus on people’s happiness, not technology innovation, as our ultimate success indicator.

To achieve our ambitious mandate, we are pioneering an agile and collaborative approach to smart city transformation. Collaborating with strategic partners across the public and private sector, we are breaking down traditional roadblocks to collaboration, enabling more efficient city services and creating opportunities for innovation.

Since 2014, we have consistently focused on transforming Dubai into the world’s happiest city, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

We envision a city where resources are optimised for maximum efficiency and services are integrated seamlessly into daily life; a city where we protect both our people and information — creating the most enriched life and business experience possible, for all.

Our approach is founded in the belief that people’s happiness can be measured. In 2014, we launched the Smart Dubai Happiness Meter, measuring customer happiness at interaction touchpoints across the city, powering Dubai’s first happiness index, a live measurement of people’s happiness throughout the city. Data from the happiness index is helping participating entities improve experiences, boosting happiness levels citywide.

In less than one year, the Happiness Meter has been deployed across 83 government customer service centers, websites and digital transaction touchpoints, recording over 1.6 million votes from city residents and visitors.

Smart Dubai is guiding an ambitious citywide transformation on an unprecedented scale globally, spanning all city sectors and fostering economic opportunity and improving quality of life.

Together with strategic partners from 9 government entities and 2 smart districts, we are implementing a growing roadmap of smart services and initiatives spanning six city dimensions and 28 focus areas.

Guiding our citywide roadmap, Smart Dubai has designed the most comprehensive smart city blueprint globally, encompassing the whole city, not just one sector or district.

The Smart Dubai Blueprint defines the foundation for our smart city transformation, identifying best practices across all city architectural layers: from infrastructure connected through the internet of things; to open and shared data driving insights and innovation; to service enablement powering seamless city experiences; to impactful smart connected services.

Our mission is urgent, and we are not waiting. With over 150 smart initiatives and services available in the city today, recent announcements from the Smart Dubai Office are uniting our approach and fuelling the next phase of our transformation.

In October 2015, His Highness announced the Dubai Data Law, forming the framework to regulate the opening and sharing of city data from both the public and private sector.

The Dubai Data Establishment, announced this month in accordance with the Law, will oversee the implementation of the Dubai Data Law and the Dubai Data Portal, guiding the opening and sharing of Dubai’s data and driving a new era of data excellence and innovation. We are launching the world’s most comprehensive and ambitious data initiative, with the government leading the way.

And just this week, Smart Dubai announced the Smart Dubai Platform, in a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership with strategic partner, du. The Smart Dubai Platform will be the new ‘digital backbone’ of Dubai, uniting city infrastructure; data; enablement services and smart applications across all city dimensions.

The Smart Dubai Platform will be unlike any other smart city platform operating in the world today. Fully architected through an iterative and collaborative process, the Platform has been designed with the customer at the centre, benefitting everyone.

In recognition of our comprehensive new approach, we are working closely with the ITU as the Pilot City to develop and implement the first international smart city index to measure and evaluate smart city transformations, globally.

In pioneering an ambitious smart city transformation guided by people’s happiness, we are reshaping the way government services are structured to meet the needs of the customer, rather than the other way around.

We do not undertake these efforts for ourselves only, but also to make Dubai a blueprint to smart city transformation for the emerging world.

Dubai seeks to become a benchmark for smart city transformation and a blueprint for strategy, approach, and impact; creating new opportunities for global competitiveness.

Smart Dubai recognises that achieving our ambitious mandate would not be possible without the support of our valued strategic partners, across all sectors.

We are collaborating with partners in the public, private and academic sector, both locally and internationally, to learn from and share with our peers in order to accomplish our vision.

Working with partners from all sectors, Smart Dubai is enabling and unifying our citywide smart transformation, with people’s happiness our ultimate success indicator.

We are honoured to be the strategic partner for Future Technology Week 2016, and welcome each of you to Dubai.

This Forum will present a multitude of opportunities for learning and partnerships among all city stakeholders — decision makers, thought leaders and citizens who are shaping the global future of city experiences.

Together, we can realise the future of cities — empowering human connections to enhance quality of life for all. We look forward to learning from each of you.

Thank you.