Dubai – disruptive to the power of 10

February 17, 2017 in Innovation

The Dubai authorities are looking to embrace disruptive innovation as a fundamental mantra to ‘actively shape’ the future and place itself 10 years ahead of all other cities. The government reckons its new Dubai 10X initiative will deliver on that objective – the ‘X’ is a symbol for experimental, out-of-the-box, ‘future-oriented exponential thinking’ that will transform Dubai into ‘the world’s largest laboratory for the governments of the future’.

Clearly there’s no shortage of ambition, nor belief in local capabilities here. “Succeeding in becoming the best government in the world underlies the basic elements of creative disruption, allowing not only our tools and systems to be enhanced, but also our mindsets to be revamped, upgraded and open to embracing disruption,” says prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The rollout of Dubai 10X means government and quasi-government bodies need to establish fully resourced ‘X-Units’ to find ways of disrupting their own practices and of developing moonshot solutions. They are also required to create systems, processes and labs to trial ‘radically disruptive technologies’, as well as develop processes to enable them to work with disruptive companies and start-ups.

Dubai is already home to the upcoming Dubai South – ‘The City of You’ –master-planned city which aims to sustain a million-strong population, as well as create 500,000 jobs, along with the $300 million Sustainable City project. Dubai also announced late last year that it was evaluating the Hyperloop high-speed transport initiative, while it is planning a July launch for its single-passenger, auto-pilot drone.

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