Dubai's RTA to sell its data to government departments and private sector

Reuse of data will be in accordance with laws governing confidentiality

The RTA and AI data firm Evoteq exhibit new technology at Dubai's Gitex show in 2021. Photo: The National
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Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority will sell its data to other government organisations and private companies to raise new revenue.

A master plan to share the data has been finalised and it will be done according to the laws that govern data sharing, RTA said in a press release.

The infrastructure for sharing data along with 20 use cases has already been set up, the RTA said.

In data sharing, use cases are key data projects or priorities.

“This framework is a prelude to a final project for maximising RTA’s revenues by selling data to government and private entities under the provisions of the Dubai Data Law issued in 2015," said Mohammed Al Mudharreb, chief executive of the RTA's Corporate Technology and Technical Support Services Sector.

"The project includes developing an operational model to maximise return on investment from the use of RTA’s data and knowledge while protecting the exclusivity and confidentiality of data.

"By undertaking this project, RTA has become the first government entity in the UAE and the region to implement this approach."

Dubai government wants to have 100 per cent of government data on open channels and shared portals available for everyone to benefit.

Dubai Data Law is aimed primarily at ensuring that information gathered by government entities is shared with other organisations and private sector companies to maximise opportunities that will benefit the emirate’s residents, visitors and economy.

Mr Al Mudharreb said the project would adopt the same strategies of high-performing and fast-growing entities that have managed to raise money by selling data.

Mohammed Al Mudharreb is the chief executive of the RTA's Corporate Technology and Technical Support Services Sector. Photo: RTA

“It will optimise the availability of data, simplify service procedures, reduce the operating cost and support beneficiaries with the decision-making process," he said.

"It supports digital government and open data model pursued by our government.

"It will also reap benefits through forging partnerships with government and non-government agencies and offering solutions tailored to the market demand."

What is Dubai Data Law?

Al Tamimi & Co, a legal company in the UAE, says the law aims to manage data in line with international best practices, promote transparency and establish rules for dissemination and exchange.

The purpose of the law is to increase the efficiency of services provided by federal and local government entities and to provide data necessary to non-governmental organisations to support the development of the Emirate of Dubai.

The legislation applies to data providers such as federal and local government entities that possess data of people, sole proprietorships, public interest organisations, companies and associations, among others.

These entities produce, own, publish or exchange data. It is classified as either open data — that may be disseminated without restriction or under minimum constraints; or common data — which is subject to certain restrictions.

Importance of data sharing

Sharing data can lead to efficiency savings, in developing new or improved existing products or services without reinventing the wheel.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says the use, and in particular the reuse, of data across the economy underlines the importance of data as a new form of capital for 21st-century knowledge economies.

Data can be used to create significant growth opportunities, or to generate benefits across society in ways that could not be foreseen when it was first created.

Updated: July 06, 2022, 5:30 AM