11 Jul How Technology Is Changing the Face of Dubai
How Technology Is Changing the Face of Dubai
Dubai is one of the world’s most prominent business hubs, and it owes much of its reputation to technological advances. Championed by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, technology is viewed as an enabler to make Dubai the happiest place to be on the planet.
The journey towards technological transformation started in 1999 when the first Information and Communications Technology (ICT strategy) was announced. This was quickly followed by several other launches, including Dubai Smart Government, Dubai E-Government, and the Smart Dubai Initiative, which includes the Dubai Blockchain Strategy (DBS). The aim is to make Dubai the first blockchain-powered government in the world.1
For two decades now, the city of Dubai’s digital transformation strategies have paid off. ICT has become a central part of everyday life as well as in the private and public sectors. Currently, Dubai boasts being the leader in technology users among its 2.5 million population in the UAE. This has played a significant role in improving the quality of life and creating an ample business environment.
There are countless ways in which technology is changing the face of Dubai.
Improving the quality of life
A happy society is equivalent to a peaceful society with a longer life expectancy. In Dubai, one of the most important questions has always revolved around how this kind of happiness can be achieved. Based on diverse brainstorming, digital transformation was highlighted as the most impactful way to do that.
Digital innovation is used to create efficiencies, thereby improving the quality of life. As happiness is achieved with technology, tens of billions in revenue are generated from the same; happiness breeds happiness in many ways!
The financial freedom provided by such innovations is also key to making society happy. As technology grows and more people have a sustainable source of income, they are less likely to be worried about where their next meal will come from. We cannot deny the fact that once you have met your daily needs, you are bound to be happy, something that technology helps achieve.
An interconnected city
Dubai is an ambitious program to make sure that each and everything is interconnected. The city plans to interconnect resources and infrastructure so that the allocation of resources can be aligned with where they are needed the most.
The goal currently is to make sure that traffic lights, waste distribution networks, energy, water, sewerage system, and buildings are securely connected to the Internet and be enjoined as a part of the city’s Internet of Things.
As that happens, resources get to be allocated based on where they are needed the most so as to improve the efficiency of services. There is also better management of the same resources and their shortages. For instance, it becomes possible to determine beforehand water and electricity outages. Thus, mitigating measures are enforced long before that happens.
The residents are given an upper hand in keeping watch of how they use resources like electricity and water. This allows them to make crucial decisions to minimise consumption.
The interconnectivity plays a central role when it comes to urban planning by providing timely information to the planners so that they can make the best decision regarding Dubai’s future.
Dubai is a fast moving city. People are always moving from place to place, making it vital to have a better way to get about more efficiently. Autonomous transportation has been adopted as the most convenient way to commute.
As opposed to conventional transportation means, autonomous transportation ensures that people can freely move in the city without being hindered by traffic congestion. Dubai works towards building cutting edge autonomous transportation technology that will help people get to their destinations safely, quickly, and happily.
Increasing public transportation has been adopted as part of that effort. With more people moving via public means, energy is saved and redirected to other areas where it is needed in plenty.
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Provision of government services
Access to government services is crucial. An efficient government is one which seamlessly transacts with its citizens. Technology is making it possible for Dubai residents to get government services within the shortest time possible.
There are cases where you do not even have to visit government offices for you to be served. Thanks to technology, many things can be done from the comfort of your home via a preferred channel like a website or mobile phone.
As more services are digitised, the current focus is to set up digital procurement so that small businesses and start-ups also have a chance of transacting with the government. They would be able to create digital invoices and receive payments digitally.
It would be a disservice to talk about all the positive transformations resulting from technological advancement without mentioning the economic impact. Dubai’s innovative culture and spirit of entrepreneurship have made it a major global business hub. This kind of achievement has been possible due to an approach where digital transformation is harnessed to enhance processes, delivery of services and products.
Dubai is a hotbed of talent as it continues to welcome the best talent across the world’s continents. This kind of widespread reach has played a major role in helping the city achieve its technological and entrepreneurial plans.
As more business-minded people trickle in, the economy grows more rapidly. This rapid economic growth is set to be bolstered as the city awaits to host Expo 2020. This is an event that promises enormous financial opportunities. It is estimated to add to the local community as much as AED122.6bn ($33.4bn) in addition to more than 45,000 full-time jobs each year.
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By virtue of its geographical location, Dubai easily ranks as one of the hottest places on earth. However, the city is not far away, thanks to its insistence on green technology and clean resources to meet the high energy demands.
Through proper technological implementation, the city is able to cut down on environmental pollution, hence mitigating climate change. Measures have been put in place to ensure the quality of air and water is regularly checked so as to have a healthy society.
As the whole world is battling with unfavorable climatic changes, Dubai is taking no chances when it comes to falling victim to adverse impact. The city acknowledges that its geographical position puts it at a disadvantage, but does not let this be an excuse to make things worse. The use of technology to cut down on factory emissions and better manage waste is one thing that Dubai has done much better than any other city.
Impact on education
The UAE has embarked on a wide range of technological implementations within the education sector. Currently, the Gulf State city has a project to establish 122 Innovation Libraries throughout UAE schools. These will provide an intuitive environment where students can enhance their technological skills.
The focus on technology is as a result of the continued shift in society. We live at a time when children must have a better grasp of technology if they are to excel. The education system leverages technology just the same way as other sectors of the economy like aviation and health care does.
Evolutionising health care with technology
Technology has rapidly changed the state of health care in Dubai. Smart medicine has been widely adopted with the aim of delivering virtual health care services. For instance, a patient can easily get in touch with a doctor who is thousands of kilometres away or seek an opinion from specialists elsewhere in the world.
They can even receive diagnosis via a robotic pharmacy! Dubai is making practical what used to be thought to be science fiction, all thanks to creative technological innovations in healthcare.
3D Modelling is also being used to support smart medicine. The Emirate aims at advancing the uptake of this technology in the health care sector, with full integration set to happen by 2030. The overall goal is to help surgeons increase the accuracy and success rate of their operations.
There are already cases where this has been done successfully. Dubai Hospital doctors used 3D printing technology to create a model of a kidney and tumour before successfully removing the kidney tumour in three hours as opposed to the normal five hours.
People residing in Dubai have also been exposed to a wide range of health apps. Tifli app is the most prominent of these. The DHA created Tifli app with the aim of helping parents be in the know while making decisions. You can track your pregnancy on a weekly basis up to the due date. You can also use the app to schedule appointments with doctors, view helpful videos and articles, and receive advice on conception.
As technological advances help parents, it has also been infused in smart fitness. The city’s prospective residents are required to take a medical fitness test before they can be issued with a visa to live, work or stay in Dubai. This technology has changed everything, as rather than having to wait for ages to know your results, they are transmitted electronically from various printing centers.
The impact of technology is far-reaching in Dubai. As more innovations are made, you can only expect things to get better. Already the patients’ records have been digitised, giving hospitals and clinics quick access to their patient’s data. Such capability only paves the way for more innovations.
We cannot underestimate the impact that technology has had on Dubai. From everyday life to public activities and access to government services, technology is indeed making the city a happy place to be. In the long run, more innovation is set to make things better.
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