Being dubbed as a City of Future and one of the main trade centres of the world, Dubai is planning yet another transformation change in its governance process. The government has set a target of being the world’s first blockchain powered government by the year 2020. This will include processing of all visa applications, license renewals and bill payments which account for over 100 million documents annually.
Blockchain has emerged as a potential technology for future after the sensational rise in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum. According to Smart Dubai Office (DSO), which is conducting the surveys to identify the sectors and services that can be brought under this technology domain feels that successful implementation can save up to 25.1 million man-hours or $1.5 billion per year. A major part of the saving is possible from moving to a paperless government.
The real estate market has also not escaped the blockchain boom. The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has rolled out a blockchain-powered system to secure financial transactions and record all the contracts electronically. The system will connect all the stakeholders including the homeowners to property-related billers.
Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of DLD, in a press statement said: “Our aim is to unite all real estate and department services on a single platform, this initiative is still in a stage of infancy. In the near future, we will see many partners joining blockchain to improve their client services, including banking, mortgages, and utilities and maintenance operations.”
The government’s strategy to bring in blockchain technology in the governance process will also attract a significant investment into the country. Currently ranked fourth in the list of biggest inflows from HNIs, it will help to increase the transparency of the system and build confidence.
Earlier this year, the government has partnered with a U.K. based startup ObjectTech to bring blockchain-based security at Dubai International airport and develop digital passports to do away with manual checks. Dubai Customs and Dubai Trade are also testing the technology for trade finance operations in partnership with IBM.