In line with a plan to transform itself into ‘the world’s largest laboratory for the governments of the future’, Dubai is aiming to become the world's first ‘blockchain-powered’ administration. To that end, the city’s Smart Dubai innovation unit is joining forces with IBM to migrate an array of government processes to blockchain systems by as early as 2020.
While Big Corporate IBM is onboard here, Dubai recognises that it may be the little guys who can make this happen and is bringing start-ups onboard the blockchain initiative early on. And Dubai reckons a blockchain-as-a-service platform could be up and running by as soon as next year.
The Dubai Customs and Dubai Trade units will be among the first to lean on blockchain tech, using the solution for shipment data so that stakeholders can receive real-time information about the state of goods and their shipment status. Also onboard are local comms provider du and Emirates NBD Bank.
“Our collaboration today with leading Dubai organisations across different sectors in trade finance and transportation will showcase how Blockchain will revolutionise the way businesses interact with one another and with their customers and suppliers,” says Amr Refaat, gm, IBM Middle East & Pakistan.
Back to that government lab target – Dubai announced its Dubai 10X initiative last month, saying it was embracing disruptive innovation to actively shape the future and place itself ‘10 years ahead’ of all other cities.
And Dubai is home to the upcoming Dubai South – ‘The City of You’ – master-planned metro which aims to sustain a million-strong population, as well as create 500,000 jobs.