DEWA strengthens role of AI to drive sustainability

Photo: WAM

The UAE leadership places great importance on protecting the environment and promoting a green economy, and placing sustainability at the forefront of its strategic priorities.

This prioritisation supports UAE Vision 2021, which aims to build a sustainable environment and a diversified and sustainable competitive economy that ensures a secure future for generations to come. The country has made great progress towards sustainability, driven by significant achievements in the adoption of advanced technologies to create a new reality and to build a leading global model for sustainable development.

The UAE has recognised the importance of Artificial Intelligence, AI, as the cornerstone for achieving sustainability goals, at a time when this advanced technology is expected to contribute to the growth of the country's GDP by 35 percent until 2031, while also reducing government expenditures by 50 percent annually, cutting down the number of paper transactions and saving millions of work hours annually.

The aim of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031 is to improve government performance, accelerate the pace of achievements, and to create innovative and productive work environments that ensure high levels of productivity. It supports key sectors in the UAE including renewable energy through utility management and smart consumption.

Inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to rely on AI to upgrade future services, sectors, and infrastructure, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, has continued its efforts to support the Smart Dubai initiative to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world.

Among its varied efforts, DEWA has embarked on an ambitious move to leverage AI technologies to consolidate energy sustainability and efficiency, through the launch of "Digital DEWA", the authority's digital arm set out to redefine the concept of a utility and become the world's first digital utility with autonomous renewable energy storage systems via the integration of AI.

Digital DEWA is based on four pillars: the launch of state-of-the-art solar technologies; the operation of a renewable energy network using innovative energy storage technologies; the expansion of integrated AI solutions; where Dubai will be the first city to provide electricity and water services using AI technologies, in addition to the Moro platform to deliver digital solutions locally and globally.

DEWA is also working on the implementation of pioneering and innovative projects, including a 250 MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta, the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region. The plant has a life span of 80 years. Meanwhile, the green hydrogen pilot project will produce hydrogen using clean energy, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa. The hydrogen produced will be stored and then used in various fields.

DEWA was one of the first government organisations to deliver all its services through multiple smart channels, in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council,], to transform the government of Dubai into a fully smart model and make it the first paperless government by the end of 2021. The adoption of DEWA’s smart services has reached 94 percent.

DEWA’s Future Centre for Customer Happiness, which uses AI and Robotics, provides world-class smart services, including smart self-service booths to help customers quickly make paperless transactions. It includes Rammas, the Tayseer bill payment service, and remote support through live chat using robots.

DEWA launched its virtual employee Rammas on its smart app, website, Facebook page, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and robots. Rammas learns and understands customers’ needs based on their enquiries while analysing these enquiries based on available data to accurately answer and streamline transactions with ease. Since its launch in the first quarter of 2017, Rammas has responded to over two million requests and queries through various channels. DEWA recently added the instant voice chat feature to Rammas in both Arabic and English, through its smart app, so that customers can get instant answers.

DEWA’s verified WhatsApp account (046019999) is another important addition to its array of smart channels that enable effective communication with customers. The step is a new milestone for DEWA, which became the first government organisation in the UAE to obtain a verified WhatsApp business account.

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