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As Dubai is establishing itself as the happiest and smartest city on earth, it is certain that innovators and technology providers from India will have a windfall of new opportunities. This is because right partnerships and collaborations are the keys that drive the smart city idea.

“Smart and dynamic growth through collaboration between government entities, private companies, academia and citizens is essential to achieve greater happiness,” Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment Younus Al Nasser told ET Now.

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Smart cities, according to Al Nasser, create an abundance of opportunities for digital innovation. “They help in building new economic ventures,” he noted. Rather than being a need, experts now see smart cities a necessity thanks to the rapid pace of urbanisation and ballooning population. Dubai’s population, for instance, has grown at 1,000 per cent during the last 40 years. What is more, the city’s population is expected to double by 2027 and this would render Dubai one of the fastest growing cities on the planet. The phenomenon of expanding urban landscape also throws up new challenges which if not tackled could derail the quality of life. Thus, Dubai with its task cut out to accommodate growth, is continuously building infrastructure offering a better life to its residents.

“We look at challenges as an opportunity to transform people’s lives. Our focus has always been to look at how technology and innovations can be used to sort out city’s problems,” asserted Al Nasser. Digitisation over the past few decades, he added, had created lots of digital wealth. This wealth is acting as the fuel for the future and it would work well only when one uses the power of emerging technologies. “But, we need to remember that a robust governance model is critical to harness the power of data,” Al Nasser reminded.

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Spearheading the city’s transition to data economy, Smart Dubai plays a major role in framing policy decisions, guidelines, manuals and standards for data exchange leveraging the power of innovation such as data science and data visualization.

The dashboard created by Smart Dubai partnering with Dubai’s Covid Command and Control Centre is worth recalling here. It helped in monitoring the infection spread, presenting and analyzing data and building prediction models, enabling effective interventions.

Smart Dubai is collaborating locally and globally with various stakeholders and it has supported several startup competitions over the past few years and it has been trying to build small and medium companies to foster technology innovation.

Al Nasser is, in fact, bullish about collaborating with more Indian companies in the days to come. “Indians have played a key role in building the nation since its foundation and Dubai Government is working with several vendors and suppliers from India.” Al Nasser noted.

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Dubai’s resilience and the way it handled Covid-19 has impressed the business community in India and many of them are mulling expansion to Dubai and beyond. Goel Ganga Developments – a Pune-based real estate company - which used to have an office in Dubai for over a decade is one such entity.

“We have been closely watching Dubai and its economic trajectory. We see lots of new opportunities as Dubai builds further on the pillars of sustainable solutions. We are eager to collaborate and get back to the city once again,” said Director Marketing Goel Ganga Developments, Ms.Gunjan Goel.

Disclaimer: This article is a part of featured content series on Business in Dubai

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