Dubai was last night crowned the Mena Smart City of the Year at TMT Mena 2015 awards ceremony.
Six Middle East and North Africa (Mena) cities were in the shortlist for coveted award: Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, King Abdullah City, Kuwait City and Tunis.
Smart City investment strategies are integral to the growth of telecom, media and technology companies and living standards for citizens across Mena.
Dubai’s win clearly shows the advances made by the emirate ever since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a strategy to transform Dubai into a ‘Smart City’ in March last year.
The strategy features six key pillars and 100 initiatives on transport, communications, infrastructure, electricity, economic services, urban planning. Under the strategy, 1,000 government services are set to go smart by 2017.
“Our country is today ushering in a new era for the improvement and development of quality of life through this gigantic project which got underway through an unprecedented public-private partnership to make a new reality for all and change the concept of city which the human being lives in so as to live with him through his smart phone and who will be its key pivot,” Sheikh Mohammed said while launching the strategy on March 5, 2014.
“Our ambition is that this project touches the life of everyone in our country, or every mother in her house, or every employee in his work, or every investor in his project, or every child in his school, and doctor in his clinic. Our goal is to bring about happiness to all. May Allah help us in achieving this end,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The Vice-President has been a keen promoter of the UAE’s Smart Government strategy, and steadfastly follows as well as drives the process. Just yesterday, through his Twitter handle, the VP reminded government officials of the forthcoming deadline for appraising the implementation of Smart Government services.
Sheikh Mohammed posted the screenshot of his May 22, 2013, tweet when he announced the Smart Government initiative, and said: “This is a picture of a tweet from two years ago. I would just like to remind government officials that in a month, we will be reviewing results of their work in achieving this goal.”
While launching the Smart Government initiative in 2013, Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE ranked seventh as the world’s best provider of e-government services.
“We have succeeded in promoting a modern concept of a creative e-government, and today we are proceeding towards a government which will provide its services via mobile phone, building on the fact that we have the best communications infrastructure in the world with nearly 14 million mobile phone subscribers, and an average of two mobile phones for each person,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Our role as a government is to make people's life more easy and achieve happiness for them. Our duty is reach out to all categories of society regardless of their e-status and e-culture, and offer them the best public services,” Sheikh Mohammed stressed.
Dubai’s Smart City strategic plan is based on three basic ideas: communication, integration and cooperation. These ideas will enhance communication between the residents of the city and its institutions and facilities through easy access and information sharing of data about the city among themselves to keep them informed about government entities, schools, hospitals, roads and transport, sensor systems, buildings, energy and others.