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Dubai Reveals a Blockchain Project For the Investment and Business Management

The Department of Economic Development (DED) announced the creation of a blockchain project that would substantially improve the way to do business in the region and facilitate the foreign investments.

The project was developed in cooperation with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Smart Dubai and IBM and it is called Dubai Blockchain Business Registry Project. This alliance is focused on the strategy of adoption and technological growth of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy project founded by the state, whose goal is to establish Dubai as the first city in the world to adopt the blockchain technology in large part of its everyday business and operations by 2020.

The goal is to impulse the Unified Commercial Registry (UCR), a repository constructed for storing and updating the information about the companies operating in the area. This tool would be the first repository of business licenses launched by the Department of Economic Development of Dubai that uses the blockchain technology.

According to the official announcement, the new tool will simplify the process of establishing and operating a business in the country and allow to implement the digital exchange of commercial licenses, as well as the requests and execution of the documentation related to all the commercial activities.

Sami Al Qamzi, the General Director of the Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai said: “The Unified Commercial Registry is a foundation for the business ledger, led by the Department of Economic Development to usher in the future of business in Dubai, UAE and the world. With the Blockchain Corporate Registry, investment as well as doing business in Dubai will become a seamless and smart experience, and testimony to successful innovation. The Blockchain Corporate Registry provides a template for collaboration between government departments, government-related entities and the private sector to reinforce Dubai as a hub for business expansion and entrepreneurship. We are delighted to welcome the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority on board as the first free zone entity to integrate DED’s business ledger. DED always seeks to integrate the latest technologies for added competitiveness and customer happiness across services in Dubai.”

On the other hand, Amr Refaat, the General Manager at IBM Middle East said: “IBM is proud to collaborate with DED, Smart Dubai Office and Dubai Silicon Oasis on this journey to revolutionize the business ecosystem in the UAE. Dubai is a leader in innovation with many ambitious projects that have already become a reality. With the first phase of this project already in place to form the first active Blockchain commerce registry network, there is keen interest from other public and private entities to join the network.

We see blockchain as an enabling foundation for providing seamless digital experiences to existing businesses and new investors and entrepreneurs. This initiative will enhance collaboration and efficiency among government entities and provide transparency, security and visibility in government transactions.”

Moreover, the Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, said the following about the new initiative: “As the UAE continues its transition to a digital economy, DSOA takes pride to become the first free zone to implement this blockchain project. This achievement is the result of our relentless efforts to build synergies that leverage the strengths of diverse public and private sector partners to fast-track Dubai’s journey to becoming one of the smartest cities in the world. The Dubai Blockchain Corporate Registry Project is a prime example of such collaboration at work.”

Finally, the Director general of Smart Dubai, Dr. Aisha Bin Blshr, said: “Having 100% of all applicable Dubai government transactions run on Blockchain is the first pillar of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, and ongoing collaboration with government and private sector entities is crucial to our success. The launch of the Commercial Registry Project is testament to our drive towards making Dubai run on Blockchain by 2020. We are working on over 20 more use cases with several entities across the city, and hope to launch these later this year.”

The IT department of the DED performed an extensive research and explored the best alternatives for better and more secure information and that is what Mohamed Alqaizi, the IT director at the DED talked about: “The Blockchain initiative is a result of intensive research conducted by our IT team in collaboration with DSOA, IBM and the Smart Dubai office. We studied multiple options, case studies and researches aiming to achieve the best results in facilitating business registration in Dubai. The results are promising; we built the foundation for a first-of-its-kind unified business ledger where any entity locally and globally can join, and be part of Dubai’s vision to be the Blockchain capital of the world as part of the Dubai Blockchain strategy 2016.”

Dubai is seeing a wave of adoption of the blockchain technology in the last several months. Both the governmental and private institutions have united to bring the blockchain technology to all the sectors of the industry and different aspects of the everyday life of Dubai.

For example, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is developing a blockchain project for the management of the lifecycle of the citizens’ cars.

At the middle of last month, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announce the Blockchain Strategy 2021 whose main objective is to perform one half of the federal transactions using the blockchain technology by 2021. This strategy should allow the country to save three billion US dollars per year in document management and also save 77 million working hours, among other benefits.

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