Dubai government agencies to adopt Blockchain technology

Smart Dubai is a city-wide initiative to transform Dubai into the world’s smartest and happiest city.

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Dubai government agencies will soon start pilot projects based on Blockchain technology, with a series of services set to go live from early next year.

Smart Dubai announced on Tuesday that it would design and build a shared Blockchain platform. It will be developed in conjunction with IBM and ConsenSys for both government entities and private companies to use to pilot and implement such projects.

Smart Dubai is a citywide initiative to transform Dubai into the world’s smartest and happiest city.

“Blockchain is still a very nascent technology,” said Dr Aisha bin Bishr, the director general of Smart Dubai Office, speaking on the sidelines of a Smart Dubai press conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

“We’re taking the responsibility here in Dubai to make sure that we shape this nascent technology and make it happen in a way that really suits [the] city’s needs.”

The platform will underpin the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, announced in October by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, which will result in all government entities using Blockchain technology by 2020.

The move to Blockchain, involving the use of highly secure distributed electronic ledgers, is expected to improve the delivery of basic government services, saving over 25 million productivity hours per year.

#SmartDubai holds press conference to kick-off city-wide implementation of #Blockchain technology with partners @IBMMEA & @ConsenSysLLC

From next month, Smart Dubai will conduct workshops on the use of the technology with government, semi-government and private organisations in Dubai, with pilot projects expected to be launched shortly after. Such projects are expected to begin to go live from 2018.

The Dubai Land Department, Dubai Municipality, Dewa and the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai are expected to launch the earliest pilot projects, Dr bin Bishr told The National.

Dubai Customs, Dubai Trade and government-owned ICT firm Dutech are already working with IBM on Blockchain ledger projects, it was announced last month.

“This effort will position Dubai as the pre-eminent Blockchain-powered government,” said Wesam Lootah, the chief executive of Smart Dubai Government Establishment.

“Smart Dubai looks forward to work closely over the coming months with all government entities to identify and prioritise the services and user experiences that would yield the most impact from the application of Blockchain technology.”

Dr bin Bishr said the emirate’s Blockchain strategy will include regulations regarding its implementation.​

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