Smart Dubai Director Sees Blockchain as Key to Connected Cities

The head of Dubai's smart cities drive spoke on how she believes blockchain can help drive the city’s modernization efforts yesterday.

AccessTimeIconMay 31, 2016 at 10:57 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 6, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. UTC
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The head of the Dubai government’s Smart Dubai initiative provided new details on how she believes blockchain can help drive the city’s modernization efforts in a speech at industry conference Keynote 2016 yesterday.

In remarks, director general at the Smart Dubai Office, Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, spoke broadly about her organization’s plans to help make Dubai the best connected and "happiest" city in the world. Further, Bin Bishr discussed how blockchain fits into this larger strategy, while touching on her work with the Global Blockchain Council (GBC), the public-private tech initiative of which the Smart Dubai Office is a member.

In line with these goals, Bin Bishr sees blockchain as a technology that could power the Internet of Things (IoT) and ultimately help streamline the delivery of government services to smartphone devices.

Bin Bishr told the audience:

"Blockchain technology is one of the most elegant and advanced technologies for cross-business efficiencies. We believe blockchain will have an important role in boosting productivity, increasing the competitiveness of Dubai and securing our economic infrastructure."

Bin Bishr went on to characterize blockchain as a missing piece that could help her government, and those around the globe realize their visions for more connected cities by allowing the massive amounts of data that will be required to be better managed, while enabling benefits for end-users.

This March, for example, Smart Dubai announced the Smart Dubai Platform, a technology described as the "digital backbone" that would power the city. The effort is being built with local telecom giant du, and it is this union of IoT, cloud services and big data that Bin Bishr suggested she sees blockchain playing a role.

"With blockchain, we believe that decentralizing the decision-making will add a lot of value, [allowing residents] to transact in a personal and seamless manner [and] creating a more efficient economy for all," she said.

More specifically, Bin Bishr said that her organization is investigating how blockchain tech can be used to create identity solutions that would reduce the "pain" that users now experience when transferring authenticating data.

Overall, the conversation showcased how the Smart Dubai Office plans to leverage blockchain tech as part of a wide variety of new technologies for the benefit of the city.

Image via Pete Rizzo for CoinDesk

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