The city of Dubai is mostly known for its luxury living, high-priced cars, and architectural art. After launching its Dubai Now platform, the Smart Dubai Office has also revealed that they are working together with the United Nations (UN) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to develop the Smart City Index. With the Smart City Index, they aim to develop a global index for smart city initiatives.

Dubai Smart City

The vision of making Dubai a smart city came from his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The aim of this initiative was to make Dubai the happiest city on earth with the use of technology. To achieve this, the local government has established collaborations with both the public and private sector.

Smart City Dubai, was ultimately created to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for both residents and visitors. Furthermore, the city aims to introduce strategic initiatives and develop the needed partnerships that help to contribute to its Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Governance, Smart Environment, Smart People and Smart Mobility dimensions.

The vision behind Smart City Dubai is to optimize all its resources for maximum efficiency and the capability of integrating services seamlessly into the daily lives of citizens and visitors. Furthermore, this smart city project focusses on doing this in a way that they can protect both their people and the information collected.

Introduction of an Award Winning App: ¨Dubai Now¨

As the city is progressing into its smart city strategy, they have opted to introduce an app Dubai Now. This award-winning app offers citizens a set of service packages built to meet their needs. Citizens have access to over 11 categories of access service anytime and anywhere. The category of these services are Payment and Invoices, Public Transportation, Security and Justice, Health, Car Driving, Visas, Education Services, Islam Service, Housing and Public Services.

As said by Dr. Aisha bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office:

“Smart Dubai Government is working to make Dubai the world’s smartest and happiest city and has developed a unique plan for the city based on technological and smart innovations across four pillars and six strategic dimensions.”

“We have set a benchmark from the world’s 10 smart cities to enhance smart services in the emirate to ensure comprehensive happiness of the community. The integrated services platform – Dubai Now, Smart Dubai Platform and the Happiness Index are the most important initiatives and services that we have developed and launched.”

This app, allows the user to customize its list of smart services according to their preferences. The user can opt to add services to their favorite list or deleting it. As noted, the local government pays a lot of attention to the development of smart cities.

After the launch of the Dubai Now platform, the Smart Dubai Office revealed its collaboration with the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The collaboration with these two parties focuses on developing a global index for smart city initiatives.

Global Index for Smart City Initiatives

Undoubtedly, the efforts of Dubai in becoming a smart city have not gone unnoticed. A couple of years ago, the city started working along with the ITU, which is a United Nations-run agency for information and communication technologies. This collaboration included discussions on how to improve the standards being set to define a blueprint for all smart cities around the world. This has ultimately lead to the Smart City Index initiative.

With the creation of this program, the UN and the ITU hopes to create a global outline of what it takes to become a smart city. Moreover, this can also help to encourage the different communities around the world to look the possibilities of smart cities.

Over the next five years, the three parties will discuss different key initiatives that have been proposed. All of it is aimed to help improve the initiatives that are already in place. Furthermore, they also aim to ensure that Dubai remains the ITU’s pilot city for the Smart City Index program.


Due to the government’s great focus on making its city smarter and its end goal to become the happiest city in the world with the use of technology, it can be said that it is a great city to pilot a Smart City Index program. Ultimately, the initiative of these three parties should lead to more clarity on the smart city subject. By having a global index for smart cities, governments will get more insight on the qualifications of a smart city. Furthermore, this should also work as a stimulus for cities to start their smart city journey.