Dubai’s official government introduced the “Dubai Plan 2021” that aims to transform the city into a leading global smart city over the next few years.
Dubai’s government introduced a plan to make the city “smart” using innovative technology, digital tools and smart policies. The Dubai Plan 2021, worth approximately $7 billion to $8 billion, provides upgraded economic and social services for the citizens, transforms government services into data-based smart solutions and envisions the development of the city’s infrastructure. Dubai’s smart city strategy includes over 100 initiatives, including a plan to transform 1000 government services into smart services. The strategy aims to foster collaboration between public and private entities to achieve six main smart targets: smart life, smart transportation, smart society, smart economy, smart governance and smart environment.
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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister of Dubai recently issued a number of new laws, including the Dubai Open Data Law, that enables sharing non-confidential information between government agencies and stakeholders to complete the legislative framework that will give rise to Dubai as a smart city.
In order to transform Dubai into a leading global smart city, the government also plans to offer ubiquitous internet connectivity through high-speed fiber optic and high bandwidth Wi-Fi networks. 5000 newly deployed Wi-Fi hotspots will be providing a free internet connection to the 50 billion devices expected to be connected all over the city.
Thus far, the dependence on digital technologies, open data and overall connectivity has raised numerous concerns about privacy infringement and security risks. To address these concerns, the Dubai government is creating privacy governance policies, in order to safeguard the privacy of the citizens and protect end-devices from attacks and malfunctions.
In spite of the privacy and security concerns, the Dubai Plan 2021 strategy has great potential. Access to wireless connectivity, social acceptance of technology and society’s willingness to live in a tech-driven environment are just a few of the key facilitators in the process of transforming Dubai into an interconnected, smart destination.