Dubai has turned to technology to bolster food security in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed, chairman of the emirate's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, spoke of the need to safeguard supplies against future challenges as he launched the Food Security Dashboard of Dubai.
The crucial resource, developed by a local government team with the backing of authorities such as Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Economy and the Dubai Port, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, utilises artificial intelligence and data analytics to track key indicators of strong food security.
The hi-tech system spearheaded by Smart Dubai monitors the supply index, stock availability, local production, consumption levels, and the cost of vital commodities in the emirate.
Sheikh Mansour said food security is a key to the supreme committee's mission to protect the public, particularly in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis which has gripped the globe throughout 2020.
"As the world faces the challenges posed by the recent Covid-19 pandemic, our team continues to develop and adopt innovative ideas and employ technologies to foster food security in Dubai," said Sheikh Mansour.
"Our ability to rapidly analyse data and apply artificial intelligence are testament to Dubai's ability to execute its plans and strategies in a way that meets the country’s needs, while ensuring high levels of food security and supply and enhancing food access for all members of society at reasonable costs and in a sustainable manner.
"This dashboard supports the national leadership’s vision to anticipate future challenges and invest in their solutions by harnessing technical capabilities, and ensuring we have the capability and flexibility to tackle challenges smoothly.
"We are proud of our team which has developed this dashboard in record time, and for solidifying our commitment to excellence."
By collaborating with different parties, the dedicated Smart Dubai team and its government partners have brought to life an artificial intelligence-based mechanism that monitors the availability, consumption and prices of food supply.
"The platform is the result of concerted public and private sector efforts, which aim to achieve food security in Dubai, and across the nation," said Dr Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai.
"However, the true value of technology comes into play when governments use it to improve people’s lives.
"The coronavirus pandemic is the perfect example which puts this theory into practice. Our investment over the past years has enabled us to successfully engage in remote work and virtual learning, and the current situation has proved Dubai’s ability to make use of technology effectively in times of crisis.
"This dashboard, alongside the Emirate’s digital transformation efforts, enhance the government’s and the community’s strong readiness to face the future, while supporting the leadership’s vision to make Dubai the happiest and smartest country in the world. We strive to enhance residents’ wellbeing and prosperity in everything we do, and food security is one of our top priorities."