“Our ambition is to create happiness amongst our residents, and our primary purpose is to really embrace technology innovations to improve the life of every individual living in Dubai. Our vision is to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city on earth.” Those were the words of Mr. Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai Office and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment as he gave his presentation at the 7th annual Telecom Review Summit.
His passionate address which outlined Smart Dubai’s vision to make their city the best place in the world to live in was a fascinating and revealing insight into the strategies currently in place - as Smart Dubai leaders and decision makers continue the journey towards its ultimate ambition. He also disclosed how Smart Dubai recognized they needed to take a step backwards in order to ask themselves an important question, which was: What does a smart city mean to us?
Mr. Al Nasser told a packed audience at Telecom Review Summit, “Our vision and purpose is clear, and that’s to improve the life of every individual in the city. Smart Dubai wants to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, and we can do that by embracing technology innovation. We need to make Dubai more seamless, safe and efficient which will create a happy environment, not only for residents, but also for the many tourists that visit our city. In order to transform Dubai we have to ask ourselves what does a smart city mean to us, and establish what it is we need to deliver in order to achieve this.”
He used an interesting example to illustrate his point regarding that technology itself doesn’t make you happy – that it only makes you happy because it is providing you with a service. He reiterated that while Smart Dubai recognizes technology innovation as the way to transform the city, there has to be a service at the end of it to ensure residents are happy.
“Smart Dubai realizes that technology innovation is the way forward in order to transform our city, but for example many of us use smartphones. But smartphones can only be smart if they make our lives easier and happier. We can do anything with our smartphones – we can interact with the city, pay a bill, book a holiday, make an appointment, but these are all services that are making our lives easier – it’s not the technology itself – it’s the services within that technology that ensures people are happier, and that’s what we’re trying to do in order to transform Dubai into the happiest city on earth.”
Mr. Al Nasser spoke about how digital and electronic transformation was not something new for Dubai, and recalled a period when his highness launched an innovative new government in 2000 that was tasked with a strategy to transform the UAE- and again in 2013 with the launch of Smart Dubai, declaring that it is necessary to continue the journey, because the journey has no end.
He added: “The digital transformation in the UAE is not something new, we started this process more than two decades ago, firstly in 2000, and then again with the launch of Smart Dubai in 2013. The government has been transforming the country for two decades now and it is necessary for us to continue this journey – because this journey doesn’t have an end. Smart Dubai will guide the implementation and transformation of the city and that is why we’re here today, because we are continuing a commitment to our city that we’ve had for more than two decades to transform and use technologies to the better advancement of people’s lives.”
Mr. Al Nasser concluded by saying Smart Dubai’s ultimate goal is to serve all the people of the city, and to bring all constituents on-board to ensure transformation happens all across the city.
“Our ultimate goal is to make all our constituents happy in this city, what could be a better purpose than to serve the people and the city? Our mandate is very simple, as his highness has indicated in any agenda you read he wants to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, it’s as simple as that. We can’t accept second best and we won’t. In Dubai our goal is to ensure the transformation happens across the entire city bringing all the constituents of the city on board. In addition to this, we’re mandated with 100 initiatives and 1000 services to foster the transformation. We want to make Dubai the happiest city in the world, and we won’t stop until we have completed our mission.”