Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that data is a key pillar in the strategy to realise the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform Dubai into one of the world’s smartest cities. He said the city’s ability to enhance the efficiency of its services and facilities through smart solutions is a key indicator of its readiness in executing His Highness’s vision for preparing the country for greater successes over the next 50 years.
“With the technology and digital revolution transforming the world, data management has become a key driver of the new economy. Being a pioneer in implementing advanced data management is a key element in our strategy of leading the new economy taking shape across the world,” Sheikh Hamdan said. “Investing in data management is critical for Dubai to achieve its vision of becoming the happiest city in the world and enhancing the UAE’s global competitiveness. It also has a big role in increasing the decision making capabilities of government entities and developing policy and strategic initiatives to achieve the highest levels of efficiency.”
Sheikh Hamdan also said Data First, The City’s Data Challenge is a strategic step in Dubai’s journey towards the future, which requires the city to implement new ‘fourth industrial revolution’ tools and solutions. His Highness said the initiative gauges the real contribution of each entity in Dubai’s digital transformation. The Crown Prince called on the Smart Dubai team to further enhance the Dubai Pulse platform to meet the requirements of the next 50 years.
Sheikh Hamdan’s remarks came on the occasion of the announcement of the winners of Data First, The City’s Data Challenge. The Challenge recognises entities that have made the most significant contributions to fostering a data ecosystem in Dubai. Participating entities were evaluated against five key criteria: Compliance with the Dubai Data Law (from July 2019 – Jan 2020); participation in Smart Dubai Data workshops (which enhances ecosystem engagement); collaboration in response to data requests from other government and semi-government entities; increase in the availability of data sets on Dubai Pulse by participating in ingestion cycles; and support for a data-driven culture through internal and external workshops and awareness programmes.
In tweets posted in parallel to an award ceremony organised by Smart Dubai at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Dubai, His Highness announced the highest scoring teams and entities in Data First, The City’s Data Challenge. Roads & Transport Authority won the Leading Entity in Data Award – Large Entity, while Knowledge and Human Development Authority won the Leading Entity in Data Award – Medium and Central Entity
The Smart Dubai team showed a video highlighting the progress made by the Dubai Data Champions across the Emirate of Dubai. The video was created to encourage entities that have displayed strong commitment to fostering a data ecosystem in close partnership with the Smart Dubai.
Her Excellency Dr. Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai, said: “Today, we reap the fruits of our close cooperation with leading government entities across the Emirate of Dubai, who have worked diligently with us to ensure they are in full compliance with the Dubai Data Policies. Our wise leadership has placed high priority on the sector, calling for the establishment and administration of data platforms, populated with data from government and private entities to support the city’s smart-city transformation.”
“Government entities and Semi Government Entities performed outstandingly well in the Data First Challenge, which asserts that they indeed meet the requirements of the year of preparation for the UAE’s 50th anniversary initiative, titled ‘2020: Towards the Next 50’, announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” Her Excellency added. “Moreover, their progress also contributes to forecast Dubai’s future opportunities and create a happier life for its residents and visitors.”
HE Dr Aisha applauded the efforts of leading entities in the Challenge and urged other entities to multiply their efforts in the field.
His Excellency Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director-General of Smart Dubai and CEO of Smart Dubai Data (SDD), said: “Data First, The City’s Data Challenge highlighted the deep understanding government and semi-government entities in Dubai have about the importance of data and its potential to expedite Dubai’s plans to transform into the smartest and happiest city on earth. The winners of the Challenge have exhibited commendable levels of compliance with the Dubai Data Framework and Policies, populating the Dubai Pulse platform with pertinent data – and our journey is just the beginning.”
“Everything we have achieved so far is another step towards the future,” His Excellency added. “With its efforts in the data sector, Dubai has set an example to be emulated globally. This challenge will help improve government efficiency, and adhere to the highest international standards in data collection and presentation. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on projects and investments, further promoting innovation in Dubai.”
“The results achieved by the winning entities in the Challenge will motivate other departments to better comply with Dubai Data Policies, helping create a data-driven ecosystem and increasing the availability of data to achieve governance and strengthen partnerships among various entities,” HE Al Nasser noted.
Smart Dubai launched the six-month-long Data First, The City’s Data Challenge in July 2019, to encourage its data partners to expedite their efforts to collect and share data. The Challenge enabled the Emirate of Dubai to provide more innovative use cases and support smart decision-making at the leadership level, as well as across government agencies.
Winners in Round One of the Data Challenge
Roads & Transport Authority won the Leading Entity in Data Award – Large Entity, while Knowledge and Human Development Authority won the Leading Entity in Data Award – Medium and Central Entity. Winners of the Data Team Awards included Knowledge and Human Development Authority for Data Compliance, Dubai Health Authority for Performance Development, and Dubai Municipality for Achieving the Highest Percentage As Per KPIs. Winners of the Data Champion Awards included: Dr. Mohammed Al Redha from DHA, who was named Best Data Leader; Khoula Al Haddad from DEWA who was named Best Data Administrator; and Tammam Ali from DLD who was named Best Data Specialist.
The Challenge was held over a period of six months, during which the Smart Dubai Department held four workshops to help participating entities accelerate their progress towards realising the award’s criteria. In the first workshop held in August 2019, 52 representatives from 35 entities that accepted the Challenge, were introduced to the criteria of the competition.
In the second workshop held in September 2019, participating entities submitted reports detailing their accomplishments. A team of experts from the Smart Dubai Department discussed each report individually with the entity that submitted it.
In the third workshop held in October 2019, the progress made by three of the participating entities was showcased. The entities had worked to enhance data exchange, with a focus on fostering a positive data culture. The fourth and final workshop, held in November 2019, brought together data teams from participating entities to discuss ways to produce better results, and discuss each entity’s experience. Obstacles were highlighted and solutions to overcome them were proposed at the workshop.
The Data First, The City’s Data Challenge initiative was launched to incentivise government and private entities to multiply their efforts to administer, collect, and share data on the Dubai Pulse platform as part of the larger goal of supporting decision makers and building a strong data-driven society.