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Dubai selected by UN as 'Local Data Hub' for Middle East

Dubai selected by UN as ‘Local Data Hub’ for Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region

His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai (Image credit: Government of Dubai)

Dubai was selected to be a regional hub for city data at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City and drive progress towards the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The ‘Local 2030 Data Hubs’ project will utilise high quality city data to inform and drive local progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General (EOSG) and the World Council on City Data (WCCD) are leading this innovative initiative.

The WCCD is implementing ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life, the first international standard on city data published in May 2014 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

According to a press release from the Dubai government, the General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council (GSDEC) and the WCCD are currently in discussions to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would see Dubai become the Local Data Hub for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region.

The GSDEC is going to start defining its responsibilities as the Local Data Hub of the MENASA region. It aims to get other cities in the region involved.  

The GSDEC will provide a platform for engagement and participation from a growing network of cities in the region and directly demonstrate annual progress made against the United Nations goals for sustainable development on the city and local level. In addition, it will enable the development of a portfolio of local and regional data portals, analytics, and reports to engage stakeholders and help accelerate progress.

The platform will facilitate city-to-city learning and transfer of solutions across metropolitan, national and global contexts, with the rapidly-growing network of WCCD certified cities, the internationally recognised list of cities that are certified against ISO 37120 in accordance with the WCCD certification system. Dubai earned the ISO 37120 Platinum Designation international standard in 2017.

This will also involve close cooperation and coordination with the UAE National Committee on SDGs, and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, said that the agreement between Dubai and the WCCD, under the umbrella of the United Nations is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Dubai, on a number of key long-term strategies around the key pillars of Dubai Plan 2021 pillars. Sustainability is a central pillar in Dubai’s future plans and one of the key components of Dubai Plan 2021, as Dubai seeks to ensure a prosperous future for its future generations.

He added “Data is essential for the improvement of core city functions, and future visions, which is why global benchmarks are also necessary. As cities look to become smarter and more sustainable moving forward, and in line with Dubai’s sustainability ambitions, the success of Dubai Plan 2021 is based on a holistic and studied approach, which uses data to benchmark and inform its future.”

In March, Dubai hosted the Global Cities Summit in partnership with the WCCD, which saw the participation of a number of a global and regional leaders and experts, from over 50 cities across five different continents. The Summit culminating in the adoption of the “Dubai Declaration 2017”, which established a framework for city data as the universal language driving forward three critically important agendas for 2030, inclusive cities, smart nations and a sustainable planet. Dubai will now drive of the accomplishment of goals in these areas in its areas as the Local Data Hub.

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