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Opening Shop? Dubai Government Launches Blockchain Business Registry

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:07 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:07 PM

Dubai’s government is turning to blockchain technology to pave the way for foreign investments and businesses to come into the city-state Emirate.

In an announcement  on Tuesday, the city’s Department of Economic Development (DED) has unveiled a joint blockchain endeavor alongside the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, labeled the ‘Dubai Blockchain Business Registry’. The project, developed in collaboration with the Smart Dubai office and notable long-time technology partner and early blockchain developer IBM, will ‘improve ease of doing business in Dubai and facilitate foreign direct investments’, the government’s media office said.

The sweeping blockchain-powered project aims to streamline the process of establishing and operating a business in Dubai, enable efficient digital trading of licenses and documents covering all facets of a business and, crucially, ensure regulatory compliance with Dubai’s rules.

The registry will see its first pilot in the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), a 4-square mile integrated free zone technology park backed and incentivized by the government, to enable sharing of license information over the blockchain.

In a major endorsement of the decentralized technology, the project will act as the core technology powering Dubai’s Unified Commercial Registry (UCR), ‘to store and update company registration by DED as well as the free zone authorities in Dubai’ the announcement added.

As reported previously, Dubai has already developed a blockchain platform that will record the city-state’s entire land registry by the year 2020.

Both of these projects are part of the city-state’s broader ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’, an initiative that aims to establish Dubai as the world’s first city to be fully powered by blockchain technology by 2020, including the city’s government.

“Having 100% of all applicable Dubai government transactions run on Blockchain is the first pillar of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, and ongoing collaboration with government and private sector entities is crucial to our success,” revealed Smart Dubai director-general Dr. Aisha Bin Blshr.

Notably, she confirmed progress in a number of other blockchain-powered use cases across the city, stating:

The launch of the Commercial Registry Project is testament to our drive towards making Dubai run on Blockchain by 2020. We are working on over 20 more use cases with several entities across the city, and hope to launch these later this year.

Launched in late 2016, the Dubai Blockchain Strategy revealed its first promise as a part of the city’s focused pivot to adopting blockchain technology by stating its intent to execute all transactions and government documents on a blockchain by the turn of the decade.

Dubai Marina image from Shutterstock.