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Smart Dubai publishes first data progress report

The Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing have made the most progress with using data to aid Dubai’s transformation to become a smarter city.


Smart Dubai has published its first report on government entities’ progress with using and sharing data, and complying with Dubai’s data policies.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, had urged government entities to populate the Dubai Pulse platform with pertinent and useful data at the inaugural Future-Now event in 2017, and to do this in accordance with the Data Policies Law.

The report measures eight key criteria in its evaluation: designating a data team; determining governance practices; data inventory; prioritising pertinent data; classifying data; setting data release plans; data cataloguing; and uploading data onto the Pulse platform – Dubai’s data hub.

Further, it reveals the number of open and shared datasets per entity. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) came in first, completing all the required criteria for data compliance and contributing a total of 23 open datasets. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and (DTCM) registered a total of 21 and two shared/open datasets, respectively, also checking all the boxes for data compliance.

Creating competition

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO), said: “Guided by the forward-thinking vision of its leaders, Dubai has set out on a mission to guide and organise data exchange in both the public and private sectors. Since then, Smart Dubai has witnessed successive and significant milestones on that journey, from the launch of the Dubai Data Establishment and the issuance of the Dubai Data Law, to the unveiling of the Dubai Data Policies and, today, the first data compliance report to measure our progress.”


“This report emboldens government entities to continue their efforts,” Dr Aisha added. “It creates a positive competitive environment between various state entities, compelling them to commit to aggregating data, classifying it, and populating the Dubai Pulse platform. Smart Dubai is aiming to develop and mature data practices in government entities, in an effort to prepare authorities in the emirate to embrace Fourth-Industrial-Revolution technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of things). Our ambition is to create a new economic sector based on data, which is the key to Dubai’s future aspirations and plans for becoming the happiest and smartest city on earth.”


Rooted in data


H.E. Younus Al Nasser, SDO Assistant Director General and CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, commented: “The smart cities of today are rooted in data – aggregating, classifying and regulating data is paramount, seeing as it is the engine of the future, and the progress and prosperity of cities will depend on it.”


Data skills


Smart Dubai has set up data teams in each government entity, electing data leaders to coordinate with the Dubai Data Establishment and develop Dubai Pulse.


Smart Dubai is also collaborating with the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) to develop the skills and knowledge of data personnel across government entities through its Data Compliance Course, which has so far had four classes and a total of 141 graduates across various government departments.

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