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Dubai enterprises gear up for rapid Blockchain adoption

A seminar on the use of Blockchain has confirmed that Dubai is making good progress towards achieving its goal of becoming the first government in the world to adopt the technology by 2020.

CIOMajlis brings CIOs from public and private sector companies in the UAE together to share international best practices and explore business solutions in line with the UAE’s Innovation Strategy.

“Private sector enterprises, which stand to gain due to potential synergies with the government, are also gearing up and looking to become early adopters of Blockchain. Those first to market with this technology will definitely have first mover advantages,” Dan Frankel, Blockchain City Adviser to the Emirate of Dubai, ConsenSys, told CIOs at a recently held CIOMajlis seminar.

CIOMajlis is an initiative by Smartworld, an Etisalat and Dubai South joint venture company, focused on bringing CIOs from public and private sector companies in the UAE on a common platform to share international best practices and explore business solutions in line with the UAE’s Innovation Strategy and the government’s goal to make it the world’s most innovative country by 2021.

Explaining the potential benefits that embracing Blockchain can bring, Frankel said that banking transaction costs could be reduced by $15-20 billion a year by 2022, and as it removes costs of intermediaries, manual processing, re-work and processing errors, it could generate a potential savings of as high as 75 per cent.

He added that Blockchain technology will transform every major market by significantly reducing infrastructure costs, fraud and fee, thus driving the growth of global market share at an unprecedented rate. The first industries that will be transformed by Blockchain will include financial services and real estate, technology, media and telecommunications, energy and resources, consumer and industrial products.

Ahmed Al Mulla, chairman of CIOMajlis, said that Dubai is a “frontrunner” in adopting the most advanced technologies, aiming to be the first government to adopt Blockchain technology by 2020. He added that related government initiatives will provide “significant commercial opportunities” for the private sector in the UAE.

Al Mulla added that there is currently a global shortage in programmers and developers in this field, and noted the need to provide qualified human resources to apply Blockchain technology in both the public and private sectors in the future.

Frankel said that to facilitate availability of trained manpower in Blockchain technology, ConsenSys will launch, ‘ConsenSys Academy’, a highly selective and immersive online blockchain training program that prepares developers to enter this rapidly growing technology field. The graduates will be flown after graduation to Dubai to receive their certificates and offered jobs in the Dubai Blockchain initiative.

Forecasts suggest that the global Blockchain market will grow from US$210 million in 2016 to over US$2.3 billion in 2021.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, launched the Dubai strategy on Blockchain technology with an emphasis on discovering and assessing the latest innovations for creating smoother, safer and more efficient user experiences.

The adopting of Blockchain technology will save over AED5.5 billion per year, because of its simplified document processing.

ConsenSys Systems was appointed as the official advisor to the Dubai Blockchain project, which will be working with government officials and IBM, the main strategic partner of the project.

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