Dubai is headed the digital way, and HH Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has high-tech clearly on his radar. This is heart warming for every Dubai resident and visitor – not just those of us in the digital spectrum. It remains to be seen if Dubai will be an entirely wifi connected city like Santa Clara in California. But it sure is a step in the right direction.
Shaikh Mohammad announced a project to transform Dubai into a “Smart City”, linking the emirate’s government services and the public through the use of smart devices accessed freely using high-speed wireless internet connections. With the proliferation of smartphones, the access to broadband on the rise, and the proposal to have free wifi across many city points, this is a digital vision being made alive in the here and now.
Gulf News said “Smart City’s main aim is to provide better connections and increase cooperation between the emirate and its residents. It promotes the use of government facilities using the largest possible number of smart applications”. “As a smart city, government departments will be inter-connected to provide faster services and information to all citizens and guests. We strive to create a new smart concept in running cities,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
The project’s main foundation is anchored on fibre optic networks that facilitate access to high-speed internet in main public areas. Fibre optics are strands of very thin optically pure glass that carry digital information over long distances at extremely fast speeds. Gulf News added ” Because of the available infrastructure for connectivity, every smartphone user will be able to access up-to-the-minute information on weather, traffic, entertainment, tourism, flights, dining, emergency services and much more, any time, anywhere. Businessmen and investors can also take advantage of the open access to smart services delivered by ports, customs and bourses.”