Government, UAE

Smart Dubai launches ‘Data First’ challenge

Smart Dubai has launched “Data First, The City’s Data Challenge”, a six-month-long challenge that brings together Smart Dubai’s government and semi-government data partners to underline the importance of collaborative efforts in data management, collection and insight generation.

H.E. Younus Al Nasser and H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr
(left) H.E. Younus Al Nasser and H.E Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr

The Challenge seeks to recognise the entities that have made the most contributions in terms of providing their respective entities data to the Dubai Pulse platform.

The announcement was made at Data First’s official launch event on Sunday, July 14, 2019, at Bvlgari Hotel Jumeirah. The Challenge seeks to highlight the great value that data will bring to the emirate, encouraging all stakeholders to multiply their efforts in terms of gathering and presenting data, which, in turn, allows Dubai to produce more innovative use cases to support the leadership, as well as government and private entities, in their decision-making process.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, said: “Data has always been an important element in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, who has always believed that to successfully utilise emerging technologies and capitalise on investment opportunities in that sector, we need to first identify and supple the right datasets.”

“Following H.H.’s lead, we, at Smart Dubai, recognise the tremendous value that data can bring to Dubai, and the momentum it provides for our plans to transform the emirate into the happiest and smartest city in the world,” H.E. Dr Aisha added. “With that in mind, we are delighted to be launching the ‘Data First, The City’s Data Challenge’ among all our data partners from government and semi-government entities, to emphasise that ‘Data’ is the ‘First’ and most crucial element of our smart city transformation plans, and we look forward to awarding the three entities that have exhibited the highest levels of compliance with the Dubai Data framework and policies.”

Meanwhile, H.E. Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai, CEO of Smart Dubai Data, noted: “Smart Dubai is on a mission to carry out our leadership’s plans and ambitions for a smart city of the future. We have been working with entities across the emirate to collect and organise city data, in line with the Dubai Data Law announced in October 2015, which called on all government and semi-government entities in Dubai to share their data with Smart Dubai. With the cooperation and support of all of our partners, we have identified and categorised more than 400 data sets on the Dubai Pulse platform – the digital backbone of the emirate’s smart transformation.”

“Dubai Pulse and Data First will act as global benchmarks for how the pooling of urban data can improve government efficiency, boost private enterprise and fuel smart city innovation.” H.E Younus Al Nasser added.

The “Data First” challenge was launched to increase city data availability, enhance governance and improve compliance, and nurture a strong data community by enabling a smart data ecosystem. The challenge will recognise the three entities that have made the most significant progress in accordance with five key criteria: Compliance with the Dubai Data Law (from July 2019 – Jan 2020); attendance of Smart Dubai data events (which enhances ecosystem engagement); collaboration on data requests from other government and semi-government entities; increase data availability on Dubai Pulse by participating in ingestion cycles; and support for a data-driven culture through internal and external workshops and awareness programmes.

Sara Al Zarooni, Head of Data Compliance and Engagement, Smart Dubai, delivered an extensive explanation to the many government and semi-government entities invited to the event. Al Zarooni explained the criteria and application process in detail, and highlighted the importance of understanding, as a city, the number and value of data sets and the constant need for government entities to be compliant with Dubai Data Law.

The participating entities’ application process kicked off following the announcement of the challenge at the July 14th launch event; the next step covers the period from July 2019 – Jan 2020, and will see the Smart Dubai Data (SDD) team monitor all candidates’ status in a tracking matrix against the set criteria. The three winners will be awarded at an event in January 2020, which will bring together Director Generals and Data Champions from all participating entities.

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