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UAE Government launches Blockchain Strategy 2021

UAE Government launches Blockchain Strategy 2021

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched
a ‘UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021’, aiming to conduct 50% of government
transactions at the federal level using blockchain technology by 2021.

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of
Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, unveiled the strategy
in presence of the Deputy Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future
His Excellency Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, and a number of ministers.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, “The adoption of this
technology will reflect on the quality of life in the UAE and will enhance
happiness levels for citizens.”

“This technology will save time, effort and resources and
enable individuals to conduct most of their transactions in a timely manner
that suits their lifestyle and work,” he added.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said that the adoption of
blockchain would help the government prepare for future challenges and
contribute to saving AED11 billion (US$3 billion) spent annually on document
transactions and documents, 77 million hours of work, reduce government
documents by 389 million, and save 1.6 billion kilometres spent driving.

The strategy includes four pillars focusing on: 1) citizen
and resident happiness; 2) government efficiency; 3) advanced legislation; and 4)
global entrepreneurship.

The government will use training courses, events, workshops
and reports to build its standing in blockchain and support university courses
specialising in the field and related subjects like encryption.

In September 2017, the UAE Government launched
the UAE
Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
, aiming to strengthen the
UAE's position as a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to
increase its contribution to the national economy by means of advancing
innovation and future technologies. Blockchain is part of the toolkit under
this strategy.

Dubai Blockchain
Strategy

In December 2016, the Dubai government announced the
Dubai Blockchain Strategy, establishing a roadmap for the introduction of
Blockchain technology for Dubai and the creation of an open platform to share
the technology with cities across the globe. The vision is to transform Dubai
into the first Government in the world to execute all applicable transactions
on the Blockchain by 2020. E

It is estimated that adoption of Blockchain technology can
save Dubai 5.5 billion Dirham (US$1.5 billion) annually in document processing
alone. Several government agencies in Dubai have significant progress in the
area.

In April 2017, the Smart Dubai Office has signed
a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Avanza Solutions to implement a
citywide blockchain based payments platform. In June, the Government of Dubai signed
an agreement
 with a UK-based startup, ObjectTech, to develop digital
passports for seamless entry at Dubai Airport, combining biometric verification
and Blockchain technology.

In October 2017, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) became
the world’s first government entity to implement all of its transactions
through blockchain technology. DLD has created the Blockchain system using a
smart and secure database that records all real estate contracts, including
lease registrations, and links them with the Dubai Electricity & Water
Authority (DEWA), the telecommunications system, and various property related
bills.

In late October, the Dubai Internet of Things (IoT) strategy
was launched,
seeking to build the world’s most advanced Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem
in the world’s smartest city to improve people’s lives. Blockchain plays a key
role in the final phase of the strategy which will witness the full integration
of IoT policies and the first ROI (Return on investment) of the strategy.  The
first phase involves coordination of efforts and activities to implement IoT
policies across government departments. In the second phase, the focus is on
Integration and Conversion, seeks to harmonise efforts. The third phase
will focus on optimization.

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