Dh4.3bn in ‘smart’ Dubai savings

The Government of Dubai has recorded a total of Dh4.3 billion in savings across 12 years as a direct result of its smart initiatives and services plan launched in 2003.

Wesam Lootah, CEO, Smart Dubai Government and Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Director-General for Smart Dubai Office (Supplied)

An independent new statistics report further calculated ‎the Dubai Government savings as Dh5.6 for every Dh1 spent under the Smart Government Dubai (SDG) umbrella over the same period, with plans in place to achieve double-digit cost-to-savings average by year 2021.

These figures were revealed as part of the ‘Smart Dubai Government Shared Services Impact Report’, a third-party study that analysed the entity’s service portfolio to determine cost savings to Dubai Government, as a result of shared smart services.

Smart savings

Wesam Lootah, CEO, Smart Dubai Government, the technology arm of the Smart Dubai Office, revealed the results of the new report, saying: “The vision of a smart city cemented in year 2003 has seen the emirate save Dh4.3 billion through the SDG plan over 12 years.

“This figure breaks down further into Dh358 million in annual savings between 2003 and 2015 and Dh29 million in monthly savings.”

He continued: “If we calculate the cost-to-savings ratio, Dubai Government saved Dh5.6 for every Dh1 invested by SDG over the same period.”

Lootah further explained the majority of the savings were recorded in the government resource planning services, which saw an investment of Dh384m over 12 years, with savings recorded at Dh1.2bn.

The impact of SDG’s plan also saw Dubai Government’s Infrastructure Management Department saw Dh1.1bn in savings for Dh212m worth of expenditure.

Other departments that saw cost benefits included the Smart Services arm, which saved Dh443m in comparison to the Dh163m spent; while GITEX saw Dh45m in savings compared to the Dh20 spent.

These benefits have been measured against SDG’s four pillars of a lifecycle, including hardware, software, implementation and operation.

Private sector integration

Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Director-General for Smart Dubai Office, told Emirates24|7, the next step in rolling out the Smart Dubai phase was to further integrate the private sector.

“The Smart Transformation agenda is gearing towards its next phase, which is to include the private sector in achieving benefits for the whole city on a consumer level,” she explained. “We are on track to achieve this by end 2016.”

Quizzed further and Dr Bishr explained: “Certain services such as MyID that was launched in conjunction with the Emirates ID Authority last year, have already benefited thousands of end customers, with Emirates NBD being one of the first private entity to integrate this into their smart application.”

The MyID service was launched at Gitex Technology Week last year, which allows end users to incorporate a single login for Dubai Government’s services, enabling them to access more than 250 e/smart services provided by government entities with access through smart phones or the internet.

Dr Bishr further added they were open to proposals from other entities across the private sector, which could be integrated into the fabric of the SDG.

She continued: “We are working towards a double-digit cost-to-savings ratio by 2021 and this can only be achieved with the integration of government entities and the private sector.”

However, even as we work towards a Smart Dubai, are end consumers catching on at the same rate?

Dr Bishr added: “It would be very optimistic to quantify this and say one in every three people in the emirate of Dubai would be utilising the SDG services and initiatives that will be rolled out. But, having said that, we are laying the groundwork to achieve just that.”

Other figures…

The Smart Dubai Government Shared Services Impact Report was compiled over six months, which saw a variety of operational statistics utilised to complement the results.

The SDG further revealed, a total of Dh9 billion have been collected in e-payments in 2015, across seven million transactions over a 12-year period, starting in 2003.

This witnessed a 24 per cent year-on-year growth, with 34 entities enrolled in the Smart Dubai plan.

Dubai Now, which works as a unified hub for most services, saw 22 entities enrolled, recording four million transactions, 50-plus services and 130,000 downloads.

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