The UAE will play a pioneering role in creating and launching a true smart city, said Rami Kichli, VP of the Gulf and Levant region at Software AG.
“If you look at the three ingredients that are imperative for a true smart city, they are the innovation DNA, an appetite for change, and the ability to act fast on a long-term vision; and, no one ticks the boxes like governments in our region,” he said.
Speaking to Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview, he noted that over the last two years alone, plenty of acceleration and pioneering has been witnessed on all fronts – legislation in tech, country-wide implementations of the latest technologies, country-wide agreements, and consolidation of entities for the purpose.
“The UAE and the larger region is rapidly preparing and accelerating their smart city endeavors,” he said. “For instance, by the end of 2021, we will witness the Paperless Vision in its complete form. Another example is the launch of Invest in Dubai where businesses can now be registered with 100 per cent ease and through online process only. Running from one department to another is a passe’. Both these initiatives are the brainchild of the Dubai Digital Authority from Smart Dubai.”
He also noted that leading technology vendors such as Software AG should play an active role in supporting the communities they operate within. “We hold a certain level of responsibility towards ensuring that our technology is utilised in a way that benefits and advances the nations in which we operate as well as improves people’s lives in the process. The other side of the coin is that governments and leaderships are instituting visions that pave the path for change and innovation. We feel fully aligned with this vision and long-term strategy backed by innovation and foresight.”
Software AG has worked with over 150 government entities in the region and more than 50 in UAE alone including Smart Dubai, GDRFA, Dewa, and du.
“As a company with the latest technologies, we want to put it to effective use, going across public safety to smart cities,” said Kichli. “Governments here have the appetite, and that makes it exciting to work closely with them and tailor solutions for the needs and peculiarities of the region. With the role that we are playing with central entities and strategic partnerships that we have established across the board in the public sector over the last decade, in the future we aim to be working with each and every government entity with no exceptions.
Alignment with national priorities in the UAE and rest of the region, he said, is to provide top in class, best in the world services to its constituents’ happiness. Constituents include citizens, residents, tourists, businesses, visitors, and students, who are affected across the board with different touchpoints in their journeys.
“Some of our successful implementations across different departments over the years include a partnership with the Dubai Digital Authority and the paperless strategy that is already seen to interconnect Dubai-wide government entities and key private sector systems to harness and deliver digital innovation towards a paperless environment,” he revealed. “The initiative is powered by Software AG’s multi-function iPaaS webMethods technology towards creating a paperless and digitized government that fosters smart living in 2021. While this may seem like a two-way partnership, more than 50 government organisations are partnering to make this happen towards a common goal of making Dubai a happier place to live in.”
Another includes the TDRA UAE’s Mabrouk MaYak initiative. Led by the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Authority (TRA), the initiative is a service that significantly reduces processing time and travel for customers completing the necessary documentation for the registration of newly born UAE Nationals.
Software AG’s Business Process Transformation and Management Platform also powered Abu Dhabi Customs’ recently concluded automation journey optimising business operations and processes of customs functionalities in global trade. The transformation advances and escalates service levels in line with best practices and international standards.
I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE’s retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WC Times staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)