Open, shared data worth up to $2.8bn a year to Dubai

Smart Dubai report says value to city's economy of data sharing could reach AED 10 billion per year by 2021

Tags: Open dataSmart Dubai Office ( Arab Emirates
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Open, shared data worth up to $2.8bn a year to Dubai Open and shared data can impact a number of areas, says Younus Al Nasser. (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  May 16, 2017

Open and shared data could add as much as AED 10.4 billion ($2.8bn) to Dubai's economy per year, according to figures from Smart Dubai Office.

A new report from Smart Dubai, the ‘Dubai Data Economic Impact Report' attempts to quantify the value of open and shared data to Dubai across various sectors.

Speaking at the launch of the report today, Younus Al Nasser, assistant director general, Smart Dubai Office and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment, said that the report was an attempt to measure the impact of open data initiatives to the city and the UAE.

The report, which was prepared by KPMG for Smart Dubai, says that publishing and sharing of public and private sector data could contribute as much as AED 10.4bn to the economy by 2021. This value will be created by various sources, including new businesses that use the data, data aggregators and developers.

Government data alone could create AED 6.6bn in value, equivalent to 0.8-1.2% of Dubai's forecasted 2021 GDP. Broken down by sector, public administration could contribute AED 1.57bn, transport, storage and communication AED 1.85bn, wholesale, retail, hotels and restaurants a further and AED 908m and real estate AED 639m.

The benchmarking will help Dubai to prioritise the sectors that have most to gain from open data, and to drive a culture of data sharing, Al Nasser said.

The values were calculated based on global benchmarks for data impact. Better availability of data can be utilised in areas such as city planning, better services for residents and by providing businesses with more market intelligence to plan new ventures.

The study identifies several stakeholders involved in the use and reuse of open and shared data. These stakeholders - some of whom are qualified as "data creators" - play an important role in the process of generating the economic impacts. They include: data enrichers, who combine open data with their own sources and/or knowledge; data enablers, who do not profit directly from the data, but do so via the platforms and technologies they are provided on; data developers, who design and build Application Programming Interfaces (APIs); and data aggregators, who collect and pool data, providing it to other stakeholders.

Al Nasser said that the aim is for 100% of government data shared and published by the government by 2021.

Last month, Smart Dubai announced details of its city shared data platform, which will be called Dubai Pulse.

The Dubai Pulse data platform will host all of Dubai's data generated through the smart initiatives and other sources, which will act as a single, centralised live source of city data. The platform will include open data and private government data, organised into three layers of free open data, analytics for academic, professional, commercial, and economic purposes which will be available for a fee, and a third layer of data which will be available only to Dubai government entities.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office commented: "The Dubai Data Impact Report is an essential step in preparing our city to realise the greatest potential impact from data, fuelling our city-wide [effort] to make Dubai the happiest city on Earth."

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