Middle East, News

Dubai Data: Open data worth 10.4 billion AED annually

Younus Al Nasser, CEO of Dubai Data
Younus Al Nasser, CEO of Dubai Data

Dubai Data has released findings from the ‘Dubai Data Economic Impact Report’, which estimates that the opening and sharing of government and private sector data will potentially add 10.4 billion AED gross value added (GVA) impact annually to Dubai’s economy by 2021.

The report was commissioned to international audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG.

The study provides the Dubai Government with insights into the potential economic impacts of opening and sharing data and includes a methodology for more rigorous measurement of the economic impacts of open and shared data, to allow regular assessment of the actual impacts in the future.

Opening government data alone will result in a GVA impact of 6.6 billion AED annually as of 2021, equivalent to approximately 0.8-1.2 percent of Dubai’s forecasted GDP for 2021.

Transport, storage, and communications are set to be the highest contributor to this potential GVA of opening government data, accounting for 27.8 percent, or AED 1.85 billion of the total amount, followed by public administration (23.6 percent or AED 1.57 billion); wholesale, retail, restaurants, and hotels (13.7 percent or AED 908 million); real estate (9.6 percent or AED 639 million); and professional services (8.9 percent or AED 588 million). Finance and insurance, meanwhile, is calculated to make up 6.5 percent (AED 433 million) of the GVA, while mining, manufacturing, and utilities (6 percent or AED 395 million); construction (3.5 percent or AED 230 million); and entertainment and arts (0.4 percent or AED27 million) account for the remaining proportion.

This economic impact will be realised through the publication, exchange, use and reuse of Dubai data. The Dubai Data Law of 2015 mandates that data providers publish open data and exchange shared data. It defines open data as any Dubai data which is published and can be downloaded, used and re-used without restrictions by all types of users, while shared data is the data that has been classified as either confidential, sensitive, or secret, and can only be accessed by other government entities or by other authorised persons.

The law pertains to local government entities, federal government entities which have any data relating to the emirate, individuals and companies who produce, own, disseminate, or exchange any data relating to the emirate.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, said, “At Smart Dubai, we are not looking to simply keep pace with data-related projects taking place around the world, we are, instead, seeking to play a pioneering role in this sector, and setting the precedent and the example for cities around the world to follow. Our vision relies on gathering, securing, and disseminating open and shared data. This strategy stands to galvanise research and development, as innovators around the city work to find new applications for the data, offer better integrated services, and improve overall governance. Dubai is taking the lead on the open and shared data front with the bold and comprehensive Dubai Data initiative.”

The study identifies several stakeholders involved in the use and reuse of open and shared data. These stakeholders – some of whom are qualified as “data creators” – play an important role in the process of generating the economic impacts.

They include: data enrichers, who combine open data with their own sources and/or knowledge; data enablers, who do not profit directly from the data, but do so via the platforms and technologies they are provided on; data developers, who design and build application programming interfaces (APIs); and data aggregators, who collect and pool data, providing it to other stakeholders.

Younus Al Nasser, CEO of Dubai Data, said, “Abiding by the Dubai Data Strategy, we, at Dubai Data, continuously work to drive the publication and exchange of all relevant data to integrate and harmonise the services provided by federal and local government agencies, and improve their decision-making process, enabling them to effectively process data, develop policies, and implement strategic initiatives. We put this study together for that specific objective; we consulted numerous stakeholders across a spectrum of government entities, such as the Dubai Statistics Centre, the Department of Economic Development, the Roads and Transport Authority, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Dubai Health Authority, and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.”

The report goes on to examine the broader economic impact of open and shared data, including enhanced transparency, trust in government, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

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