By Ala'a Al-Bawab, Regional Sales Manager at Cisco UAE.
When His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai announced the Dubai Smart City initiative in 2013, it was a mesmerizing vision to transform Dubai into one of the most connected and “smartest” cities in the world.
Now one year later, the Smart Dubai vision is rapidly becoming a reality and gaining momentum every day. To this end, Cisco demonstrated our commitment to supporting Dubai's vision with the announcement of a raft of customer wins with the UAE and Dubai public sector during October 2014.
We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Design District (d3) to explore potential joint opportunities in deploying new smart services and applications based on our Smart+Connected City (S+CC) solutions and ICT vision.
d3 is a purpose-built creative community dedicated to promoting and enabling emerging local talent, while providing a home to established international design, luxury, and fashion brands.
Serving as the greenfield pilot site of Dubai's Smart City project, d3 will showcase cutting-edge ICT to enable to support innovation in the creative fields. Cisco Smart and Connected Real Estate solutions will be implemented in 11 buildings by 2015. We'll also help develop a digital master plan for d3, and explore the creation of a technology experience center.
Driving innovation in government services, the Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, recently launched '24/7,' an innovative round-the-clock service point developed on the Cisco Remote Expert for Government Services (REGS) platform.
This sleek pod, which would look right at home in a sci-fi film, combines Cisco TelePresence video conferencing, a touch screen monitor, and document scanner. Inside, Dubai citizens can do their business registration and licensing transactions, and interact with government agents via TelePresence if further assistance is required.
As a result, 24/7 helps project the best of modern government by taking the point of service closer to citizens, while making more services accessible for longer hours. This will also help to reduce traffic flow to city centers, and enhance government transparency and Dubai's reputation as a place to live and do business. The first installation will be in the Dubai Mall, and will be expanded to other locations convenient to where people live, work, and shop.
Further empowering citizens to operate in a smart and connected economy, we also announced a partnership with the UAE Ministry of Interior to launch a Cisco Networking Academy program at the Ministry's Training Center. The MoU will enhance the Ministry's electronic services, ensure customer satisfaction, and provide a comprehensive curriculum for delivering ICT education to prepare trainees for careers in the 21st century global economy.
By forging these strategic partnerships with key public sector stakeholders in the UAE and Dubai, we're helping to enable the Dubai Smart City pillars of smart living, smart economy, and smart tourism, and boost Dubai's global competitiveness against fellow Smart Cities.
Dubai Smart City is about much more than measuring happiness. A report authored by Cisco Consulting Services recently calculated that Dubai Smart City can achieve a value at stake of AED 17.9 billion (USD 4.87 billion) by 2019.
This value will come from Dubai Smart City leveraging the power of the Internet of Everything to lower costs, improve productivity, increase revenue, and improve citizen benefits for the public and private sectors.
As a result, we will be able to harness more value in our daily lives by achieving things faster, more cost effectively, safely -- and ultimately lead happier, more productive lives.