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Smart Dubai Covid-19 report emphasises the importance of a holistic response

The report, compiled by the Happiness Agenda team, will help to inform the post-Covid 19 strategy and is focused on the three areas of services, employees and corporate operations.

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Smart Dubai has published a report entitled Covid-19: City Experience Resilience and Impact Report, which explores the impact of the global pandemic and outlines its effects on smart services.

 

It highlights the concept of a resilient city that relies on a sustainable and holistic vision to overcome any future crises.

 

Post-Covid-19 strategy

 

It is designed to help formulate a post-Covid-19 strategy and was compiled by the Happiness Agenda team at Smart Dubai, in collaboration with smart city specialists and with 20 government, semi-government, and private sector entities represented.

 

The study focused on three different subjects: employees, corporate operations, and services provided to customers and employees alike.

 

The report claims that the Dubai Government demonstrated a high level of resilience in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the services being offered to residents and visitors saw an improvement. The study went on to highlight the challenges and opportunities brought about by the exceptional circumstances.

“Given that the impact of the crisis is still at a very dynamic stage, we evaluated its effects through accurate studies into the methods that cities employ to cope with global changes"

Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, pointed out that the Covid-19 outbreak has led everyone to view challenges differently and to think of ways to transform them into opportunities, building a brighter future for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

 

She said: “Given that the impact of the crisis is still at a very dynamic stage, we evaluated its effects through accurate studies into the methods that cities employ to cope with global changes.

 

“We have released this report, complete with 34 takeaways and eight clear recommendations that we hope will support policy-making in the post Covid-19 era to improve quality of life, and happiness of Dubai’s residents and visitors.”

 

The report concluded that the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak on services in Dubai was limited. Organisations reported that their infrastructure and services were effective and adequately prepared for digital operations and providing services online, while others managed to digitise any remaining offline services quickly and provided them for immediate use online.

 

Online work culture

 

In the remote work section, the report revealed that the safety of employees was a top priority for introducing such systems. Meanwhile, the positive outcomes of remote work included the added flexibility that employees found in their new working conditions, as well as increased productivity and concentration.

 

Furthermore, remote working has created new opportunities in terms of office space designs, which means that future office plans are bound to change, allowing for more flexibility and efficient use of space.

 

Overall, a new, online work culture has emerged within institutions, one where call centres bridge the gap and tend to people who need someone to help them. Digital transformation was seen as a challenge, but urgent demand prompted organisations to accelerate innovation in order to provide all services over the internet.

 

Participants in the report identified new opportunities brought about by recent transformations, including more flexible work options for mothers and women in general, in addition to time and cost-saving processes. These opportunities have emerged as a direct result of the recent developments in infrastructure, and of the digital services provided by government, semi-government, and private sector entities in Dubai.

Digital transformation was seen as a challenge, but urgent demand prompted organisations to accelerate innovation in order to provide all services over the Internet

The report offered a set of key recommendations that underlined Dubai’s preparedness to shift from a traditional work environment to working remotely, seamlessly and for an indefinite period of time. The new work culture section of the report reveals that entities’ focus is now placed on productivity and output, whilst also ensuring their employees lead a balanced life, both physically and psychologically.

 

The report concluded that adopting empowering technologies is fundamental for a resilient smart city (such as UAE Pass, the national digital identity). As for digital transformation, the study stressed the importance of working on sustaining and improving digital services and infrastructure.

 

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