Smart Dubai: Blockchain Case Study for Government in the UAE

An initiative spearheaded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which seeks to make Dubai the happiest
city on earth.

Blockchain Powering the City of the Future

Smart Dubai seeks to make Dubai the happiest city on earth. Participation from all city stakeholders — residents, visitors, business owners, parents, and families — is a cornerstone of the strategy. This goal will be carried out by leveraging a wide range of technologies including blockchain, AI, IoT, and by focusing on three strategic pillars: government efficiency, industry creation, and international leadership.

Collaborating with private sector and government partners, Smart Dubai was established to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors.

To achieve its strategic pillars, Smart Dubai aims to introduce initiatives and develop partnerships to contribute to its Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Governance, Smart Environment, Smart People and Smart Mobility dimensions.

“Adopting Blockchain technology Dubai stands to unlock 5.5 billion dirhams in savings annually in document processing alone — equal to the one Burj Khalifa’s worth of value every year.”

– Smart Dubai

The Goal

Dubai aims to be the “first city fully powered by blockchain by 2021.” The Dubai Blockchain 2020 Mandate, spearheaded by the Smart Dubai Office, establishes a roadmap for the introduction of blockchain technology in Dubai. Its goals include: achieve efficiency by using blockchain in 100% of applicable government services, creating and enabling blockchain ecosystem for startups and businesses, and to become a global thought leader by piloting cross-border blockchain cases.


The Enterprise Ethereum Solution

The Smart Dubai Office issued an RFP, and from the multitude of viable candidates, ConsenSys was chosen as a partner. In just two months of ideation, the team performed a high-level tech analysis with governmental agencies, IT teams, business process owners to define core requirements and decided on the first use cases: energy, real estate, medical, etc. ConsenSys then performed an analysis of the core infrastructure needs required to support the blockchain mandate. This analysis resulted in the creation of a Blockchain Platform as a Service blueprint, while simultaneously making a case for a blockchain-enabled digital identity. From there, UAEPass pass was created to integrate with blockchain networks. Finally, ConsenSys built a sandbox environment on Ethereum and held a series of 40-60 workshops for agencies to start prototyping and testing.


Results Achieved

Blockchain Platform as a Service

For the acceleration and facilitation of blockchain solution prototyping, the Blockchain Platform as a Service was created in partnership with telco Du to give all government entities the freedom to build on a shared framework based on their business needs. The BPaaS is a fully managed, scalable, secure platform with low-cost access through a pay as you go model. BPaaS has officially been recognized by the Smart Dubai Office as to become one of the main official tools to support government entities’ prototyping activities.

The Smart City University

Developed in cooperation with the Dubai Future Foundation, the Smart City University is blockchain-powered decentralized learning platform that supports the development of digital skills. Smart City University aims to increase the percentage of digitally skilled talent in the UAE to 10 percent by 2020, by sidestepping the rigid and siloed traditional institutions route.

Individuals may create personalized educational paths, including hands-on work projects, relevant reading materials, conferences, in-person and online workshops that work toward digital certifications.

Paperless Strategy

Smart Dubai is going paperless. Dubai is in the process of digitizing the 1 billion sheets of paper that are produced each year by  digitizing all services, including visa applications, bill payments, and license renewals. These previous records will now be securely transacted using blockchain technology.

Learn more about Smart Dubai