Business as usual or complete disruption and reassessment of the role of government and its relationship to its constituents.
The U.A.E. and Dubai, in particular, have chosen to adapt at every turn-point, and for 40-plus years this choice has served us well.
Transformation in practice In response, Dubai launched a citywide “Dubai Blockchain Strategy” in October 2016, with the objective of executing all applicable transactions using blockchain by 2020.
The most applicable services are those that would benefit the most from the implementation of blockchain technology due to their need for third-party elimination, transaction ledgers, smart controls and automation.
The strategy establishes a roadmap for the introduction of blockchain technology to Dubai and the creation of an open platform to share the technology with cities across the globe.
We designed it essentially around three pillars that connect government, private sector and the global community because of our strong belief in the power of collaboration:
1. Government efficiency – implement blockchain technology in applicable government services.
2. Industry creation – support the creation of a blockchain industry through providing an enabling ecosystem that empowers start-ups and businesses.
3. Global leadership – lead the global thinking on blockchain technology and become the hub for blockchain knowledge, networks and skill development.
The first pillar of the Dubai Blockchain strategy is government efficiency. Dubai aims to use blockchain to enable a paperless digital layer for all city transactions, converting millions of documents – covering everything from visa applications to bill payments to license renewals – into digital, blockchain-secured form.
In 2017, over 20 government use cases have been identified and designed, with many progressing into proof-of-concept phase. These cases include daily life experiences such as purchasing or renting a property, registering a student in school, obtaining medical treatment, and more.
Dubai intends to first pilot these use cases on blockchain before it proceeds to full implementation in 2018 and beyond.
The second pillar of the strategy is industry creation. Smart Dubai aims to create an enabling ecosystem for citizens and startups to create new businesses using blockchain.
In May 2017, the Smart Dubai Global Blockchain Challenge saw 21 startups fly into Dubai from 19 cities to pitch their best and brightest blockchain ideas, several of which are now being piloted around the city.
The third pillar of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy is international leadership.
The strategy aims to position Dubai as a global thought leader in blockchain, through both formal and informal cross-border collaboration.
Dubai’s adoption of blockchain technology at a city-wide scale is a testament to its commitment to positively transform government from a service provider to service enabler.
While major cities across the world reluctantly approach blockchain technology, Dubai has sought to be the success story that the world could emulate – in both the use of the technology itself and in achieving our happiness objective.
We believe blockchain technology, with its built-in efficiency, accountability and security, holds a key to achieving our vision.