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27 January 2015

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government Hosts Fourth Dubai Smart Cities Forum

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), organized the fourth Smart Cities Forum under the theme ‘Enabling Smart Services’.
Othman Sultan, CEO, Du, and Scott Cain, Executive Director of Strategy, Catapult led the sessions that addressed systematic approaches in developing smart city projects to an audience of public and private sector decision makers.
In his address on Dubai’s transition into one of the smartest cities, Othman Sultan said: “To achieve the milestone, the city relied on the leadership’s vision and political will. Dubai also created specialized government bodies to translate the vision into objectives and followed that up with initiatives to articulate these objectives.”
Sultan said that a smart city offers a multi-layered eco-system, which provides residents with a smart living experience encompassing aspects such as economy, transport, power, and municipal services.
He added: “Dubai has built an impressive connectivity infrastructure that allows the transformation of government departments into smart departments to provide customers with seamless services. The process includes data aggregation and converting this data into information that can be used real time for better and informed decision making in all service aspects.”
For his part, Scott Cain highlighted the principles that support the enabling of smart services, practical tools for implementation, as well as international trends and best practices. Drawing upon Dubai’s example of shaping a smart city, he said: “All cities have three main pillars in common - strong economy, quality of life, reduced consumption of resources. Each city has it its own unique focus or path that it takes and Dubai’s uniqueness lies in building its ambitious smart city project on the principle of customer happiness.”
The presentations were followed by an open-floor discussion that covered the issues of digital identify, data and privacy protection, as well as security requirements, regulations and legislations, and collaborative models between government, private sector, and individuals.
Dr Ali Seba Al Marri, Executive President, MBRSG, said: “As Dubai makes headway in its smart transformation project, the Smart Cities Forum aims to add value through serving as a platform for dialogue and ideas. Today’s session brought together international and local perspectives on how to adapt platforms that enable transformation from traditional into smart services. Such exchange and sharing of experiences and best practices will help Dubai come up with a unique model based on best international criteria but with its own distinctive spirit that meets the local requirements.” 
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