Smart Dubai Expects to Beat Blockchain Rollout Deadline

Smart Dubai could finish executing its Dubai Blockchain Strategy this year, ahead of the original 2020 deadline, according to a senior project official.

Smart Dubai, the initiative launched by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, could integrate blockchain in the city’s public sector as early as this year, said Aisha Bint Butti bin Bishr, director-general at Smart Dubai Office. This is much earlier than the initially set deadline of 2020. 

As revealed by Aisha, Smart Dubai is engaged in 20 blockchain pilots, and the use cases will be put into practice when the results are available. The Dubai Police, Water Authority, Dubai Electricity, and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority are some of the organizations taking part in the DLT experiment. 

While delivering a speech at the Unlock Blockchain Forum on Sunday, Aisha said:

“Our deadline is 2020, but my aim for blockchain implementation is 2018. We have partnered with IBM and Consensys as both strategic advisor and consultant for this strategy. We are working with them on two parallels - one is to develop use cases and the other is to develop a plan for the whole city.”

“We are making Dubai the blockchain capital of the world,” she added. 

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy was initiated by Smart Dubai in 2016 and aims to apply the technology in different government operations. It is expected that Dubai will become the first blockchain-powered government in the world.  

The authorities hope to save 25.1 million man-hours and $1.5 billion a year with the help of blockchain.

Aisha noted:

"We are building the digital backbone of the city. The blockchain is one of the fundamental layers of that backbone. We are also looking into a framework on how to organise the government and private sector individuals around the blockchain.”

She added that blockchain should not be over-regulated and Smart Dubai would make sure the technology helps people.