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22 June 2024

Dubai Municipality launches ‘Artificial Intelligence Roadmap’ to boost efficiency in strategic projects within different sectors

By E247
Dubai Municipality launched its ‘Artificial Intelligence Roadmap’ as part of the Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, to boost the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by attracting top AI companies and international talent, ultimately contributing to enhancing the overall quality of life in the emirate. The new roadmap focuses on using cutting-edge technologies in qualitative and strategic projects linked to various key activities of the municipality. 

The municipality unveiled its new roadmap during its participation in ‘AI Retreat 2024’, an event organised by the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with the National Program for Artificial Intelligence. The event, which witnessed the participation of over 1,000 decision makers, experts and officials from the government and private sectors, aimed to shed light on the key opportunities provided by AI at the local and global levels, especially by offering prompt solutions and contributing to the advancement of basic strategies for their integration in various sectors.

His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said that the AI Retreat 2024 reflects the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan to boost the competitiveness and leadership of Dubai as a preferred global destination for futuristic technologies. The event offers new avenues to explore the wide range of opportunities provided by AI technologies, expedite the discovery of their true potential, and harnesses innovative solutions that bolster Dubai’s leadership as a futuristic city. It also provided a platform to facilitate direct communication between the leadership and the government and private sectors, and for sharing best practices and discussing key challenges.

Boost for D33 objectives
HE Al Hajri said: “The launch of the ‘Artificial Intelligence Roadmap’ marks a vital step to recognise the possible uses of AI in municipal works and to ensure a transformative future that elevates Dubai’s status as a pioneering global city in future innovations. Furthermore, it supports the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 focusing on consolidating Dubai’s position among the top three economic cities globally, boosting the productivity of the economy by 50 per cent by innovating and adopting cutting-edge digital solutions and contributing AED 100 billion annually to Dubai’s economy from digital transformation efforts.”  

His Excellency added: “Through this Roadmap, we seek to leverage all technological developments and accelerate the integration of AI in all assignments supervised at the emirates level in alignment with its ongoing efforts to create a robust digital system and offer an innovative system that ensures readiness to meet future needs. Furthermore, it seeks to deliver a dynamic environment elevating the emirate’s resilience and contributing to making it more sustainable, pioneering and appealing while providing the highest quality of life for the population.”

HE Al Hajri elaborated that the municipality’s roadmap for AI seeks to dedicate AI tools to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness, lower harmful emissions, boost sustainability and reduce dependence on labour. Furthermore, it aims to improve the standard of work through qualitative projects in facilities or systems supervised by Dubai Municipality including integrated waste management and sewerage systems, construction, and agriculture, besides public and beach facilities.

Integrated waste management
Dubai Municipality launched a project, which will integrate AI capabilities within the sewerage system to boost the efficiency of the network and treatment plants. Furthermore, the project is designed to lower energy and labour expenses and harmful emissions. It will also contribute to realising the national environmental sustainability and clean energy goals. 

The municipality also introduced the ‘AI-Powered Waste Management System’. This project involves creating integrated waste management systems that employ AI to facilitate various tasks including waste collecting, sorting, recycling and redirecting it away from landfills. This project comes in line with the strategic plan for decreasing waste generation, increasing recycling and processing rates, and managing waste.

Reimagining agricultural techniques
For the agriculture sector, the roadmap outlines the ‘Modern Generation of Agriculture Using Modern Technology’ project. It seeks to increase the rate of adoption of advanced agricultural technologies, AI and specialised robots. These advanced technologies will be integrated into agricultural practices to nurture plants and seedlings in Dubai Municipality’s nurseries and seamlessly carry out maintenance work. 

Currently, the municipality is leveraging an automated system to grow flowers along with using a robotic arm specially developed to nurture new saplings from plant cuttings. The municipality aims to deploy more robots and focused agricultural devices to increase plant cover without human intervention. Furthermore, the robots will aid in transporting larger varieties of plants into nurseries, which facilitates safer and quicker completion of work. 

The use of contemporary agricultural technologies in promoting increased plant cover and upkeep will boost the production capacity of the municipality's nurseries. Furthermore, it will simplify the procedure of taking care of green areas and lower the cost of producing plants in comparison to conventional methods. This highlights Dubai Municipality’s unwavering commitment to deploying the latest agricultural methods available across the world. 

Building and construction 
The municipality also launched the ‘Using Artificial Intelligence to Detect Building Violations’ project, which seeks to address the challenges linked to violations occurring during building construction inspections. Instead of relying on manual inspection techniques, it leverages innovative automation solutions, drone, geospatial analysis and AI.

Public facilities and beaches
For public facilities and beaches, the municipality has introduced the ‘Smart Lifeguard Assistant on Beaches’ project, which involves ‘Proactive Intelligent Monitoring of Drowning Cases on Beaches’. This system employs AI capabilities to identify risk factors on beaches and identify behaviours that call for immediate assistance for swimmers facing difficulty. It notifies relevant staff members, allowing them to take proper preventive measures.

The municipality is also working on new projects to build public beaches, and this system will be implemented soon. Furthermore, various other innovative projects will employ AI to keep track of visitor counts, crowd control, and beach monitoring.

The AI Retreat 2024 is the first event under Dubai’s annual plan to boost the adoption of AI applications. It includes open conversations between the government and the corporate sector, a review of the annual plan, and the involvement of experts to establish the groundwork for speeding AI adoption and shaping Dubai’s digital future. This is in line with Dubai’s rapid adoption of AI technology, further strengthening its position as the city best equipped for the future.