January 2015


Image Credit: http://www.vtmideas.com/2016/05/ideas-mot-ung-dungphan-mem-la-mot-oi.html

The first three sessions of 2015’s forum focused on ‘Smart Cities’, the emergence of ‘Big Data’, and the ‘Internet of Things’ respectively. This session, titled ‘Enabling Smart Services’ was centered on how to facilitate an environment which would enable all of these components to successfully gel with one another. The key to this is to build a strong digital infrastructure.

According to Osman Sultan, CEO of Du, the key purpose of a strong digital infrastructure is to ‘enable services’, and to do so, requires not only the right technology, but also the political willingness to fully embrace smart cities. The Dubai government has demonstrated this by establishing Smart Dubai Office (SDO), and the Higher Committee for Dubai Smart City to oversee the implementation of the Smart City vision into reality.

Peter Reynolds, Director of Future Cities Catapult, referenced UK’s Digital ID as one of many services that should be emulated in Dubai to serve as part of the foundation of the city’s digital infrastructure. MyID, a secure electronic identity developed by Smart Dubai Government (SDG) was launched at GITEX technology week 2013, to enable access to all smart services provided by Dubai government entities on smartphones or the Internet through single sign-on access, using the Emirates ID card.

Some policy recommendations have been derived from the key themes discussed:
1. Making Digital Infrastructure Development a priority, it is the foundation upon which smart services can be produced.
2. Greater collaboration amongst Government Entities, so entity’s can synergies their strengths to produce more substantial smart services
3. Greater Private Public partnerships, so government could leverage the resources and insights that private sector vendors could provide toward developing the city’s infrastructure.