Dubai Plans to be the World’s First Blockchain City

Dubai, a global hub for trade, wants to incorporate the blockchain into daily economic life. The country believes blockchain technology could put them on the cutting edge of simplified record-keeping, as well as the transportation of goods worldwide.

Blockchain incorporation into the society there, which joins an across the board effort to place Dubai on the cutting edge of how cities are run, will exist alongside Dubai’s advanced transportation infrastructure and near-zero taxes.

The world’s largest corporations, such as IBM, Microsoft and dozens of big banks, are exploring uses for the blockchain like sharing and tracking information on transactions and contracts.

Dubai cites the many blockchain-focused private businesses appearing in the city as a reason for taking the step towards a blockchain world. Dubai wants business activity to become easier in their country thanks to Bitcoin’s underlying technology.

“We want to make Dubai the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020,” Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, the nation’s innovation office, told The Wall Street Journal. “It is disruptive for existing systems, but will help us prepare for the future.”

Dubai is the first country in the world to move forward with blockchain in such a way. Smart Dubai began a citywide implementation in March, working to educate the private and public sectors about blockchain by conducting workshops and working to determine the best way to integrate blockchain technology. Smart Dubai plans the blockchain implementation for later this year after pilot projects are completed. Smart Dubai will also rollout a shared Blockchain-as-a-Service platform.

Blockchain could play a role in the future as Dubai attempts to become a city of the future. Dubai wants 25% of its fully driverless road transport to use AI by 2030. Rooftop solar power will be mandatory in the nation by 2030 as the nation plans to reach 25% of its goal to generate 75% of the city’s energy with solar power by 2050.

The city has also become known for its  “Smart Palm Trees,”  – 3D-printed copies of trees with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) that are community tech hubs throughout the city. The city has also begun building the first 3D-printed skyscraper, and is already home to the first 3D-printed office.

A blockchain economy could underscore this futuristic vision. “We have a very clear objective to make Dubai the capital of the blockchain industry,” Ms. Bishr tells WSJ. “By 2020 we’ll have 100% of applicable government services and transactions happen on blockchain.”

The group chief information officer at Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, Ali Saywani says: “The aim is to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts that will help reduce complex documentation for the tracking, shipping and movement of goods.”

Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, a government office tasked with facilitating innovation in the emirate, adds: “We have a very clear objective to make Dubai the capital of the blockchain industry. By 2020, we’ll have 100 percent of applicable government services and transactions happen on blockchain.”

Experts have suggested blockchain could increase financial inclusion throughout the Middle East.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified: March 4, 2021 4:56 PM