Open data to drive smart cities, says Open Data Committee chair

Dubai Open Data Committee sets basis for data sharing to improve smart city

Tags: Roads and Transport AuthoritySmart citiesUnited Arab Emirates
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Open data to drive smart cities, says Open Data Committee chair Open data will help different stakeholders to develop solutions for smart cities.
By  Mark Sutton Published  June 8, 2015

Dubai is proceeding on target to create an open data environment, according to Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, RTA, and chairman of the Dubai Open Data Committee.

Speaking today at the IoTx conference in Dubai, Al Madani, said that committee delivered its three main targets - the strategy for open data and sharing data; the draft law for open data, and the roadmap of how it will be implemented - by the deadline of the middle of last month.

"It is a very essential part of any smart city journey to have an open data policy, and to provide its data. It is very important that this data be made available to the public, so that people can come up with new ideas and services," Al Madani explained.

"We are working now with the government to see when the law will be finalised and signed; in addition to that we have delivered data classification; we have delivered the primary registry for the city."

Al Madani said that Dubai's open data ambitions will go beyond just opening up of certain government data bases, but instead will look to create data sharing between government entities, the private sector, and other stakeholders in smart cities.

"When we started working on this, many governments around the world started with open data as a government trend, it was just the government opening its data. The approach that we have taken is a little bit different, first of all we are opening data, and we are also asking the private sector to open it's data, so that the law that will come out will tackle not only government entities but also private entities, mandating them to open certain data that is beneficial to the city, the advancement of the city and the happiness of the people," he said.

"The second differentiation is that many cities around the world when they looked at open data they just looked at what data they could open, they did not look at what data they could share. There is a huge need for Dubai to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for Dubai to be the smartest city in the world, not just a smart city.

"To achieve that we needed to have collaboration between different parties. It is not really open data, that is a part of it, we have also introduced shared data, these are data that will not be totally open but that can be shared between different entities, that need this data for the good of the city."

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