Smart Dubai, IBM Launch First Government-Backed Blockchain Platform In UAE

News | October 30, 2018 By:

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO), in partnership with tech giant IBM, has launched the first government-endorsed blockchain platform as-a-service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The SDO is the government office charged with facilitating Dubai’s citywide smart transformation, to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors. It is collaborating with the public and private sector and academia to design and implement services and elevate citywide thought leadership.

The Dubai Blockchain Platform, delivered through an IBM Cloud environment and built locally in the UAE, will help domestic and international organizations to transition their blockchain testing and development into full-production. Organizations will will be able to keep their data in-country and conduct transactions locally, which will lower operational costs.

“Blockchain provides an added layer of trust and transparency among government organizations and businesses and helps make collaboration more efficient,” said Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan. “The new IBM Blockchain-based service will enable organizations to keep their data in-country and conduct transactions locally. It also conforms to Dubai Government’s Information Security Regulation standards.”

The Dubai Blockchain Platform will also help the government integrate digitized services and experiences run on IBM blockchain into citizens’ day-to-day lives. The first project to migrate onto the platform is the Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System, which was launched last month. Through this service, a process that used to take entities approximately 45 days to reconcile and settle payments with other government entities, banks and financial institutions, is now reduced to real time.

H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG), said that as Dubai persists on its path to becoming a world leader in the industries of the future, blockchain will occupy an increasingly significant status in governments’ and organizations’ day-to-day undertakings, as well as in individuals’ everyday lives.

“Blockchain is steadily moving towards becoming a multibillion market by 2019 and we, at Smart Dubai, have successfully embedded the technology in numerous services, the latest of which was the advanced ‘Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System’, which eliminates friction from financial processes between government entities through automation and minimal human intervention,” Lootah said. “And with the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Platform today, we will be one step closer to implementing blockchain-powered services and experiences into citizens’ day-to-day lives.”

The Dubai government is aiming to go completely paperless by the end of 2021 and use blockchain for all applicable government documents by 2020.

“Dubai has been a pioneer in blockchain technology since its inception, while other major cities around the world were reluctant to embrace it for city-wide implementation,” said Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the SDO. “The Dubai Blockchain Strategy set a clear path for the emirate to have the world’s first fully digitized government by 2021. The Dubai Blockchain Platform we are launching today with IBM – who bring a wealth of insight and expertise in the advanced tech industries – drives us forward in our mission and allows us to power all blockchain applications in the city from one united portal.”