The Smart Dubai Office, a government initiative directed by the Crown Prince of Dubai, is incorporating blockchain technology into its online payment portal, DubaiPay. Government is doing this for real-time reconciliation and settlement of transactions. This is one of the major steps towards Dubai’s main purpose of becoming the world’s first blockchain-powered government in 2020.

Dubai’s Government is presently working on 20 use cases for blockchain technology to enhance its current operations. Dubai’s government has made strategic collaboration with IBM and Consensys as advisors to help them and Smart Dubai further with their goals.

SDO developed a partnership with the Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF), and then the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) released the system on this Sunday with a press release labeling it a “blockchain-powered upgrade to its financial system’(Dubaipay)’.

Existing DoF procedures are dependent on staff members physically checking payments obtained from various portals to manually settle the transactions before settling them. This comprehensive process involves a fee deduction before the remaining sum is transferred to the specific overseeing authority, overall taking 45 days.

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Talking with GlMira Sultan Obaid Abdul Rahman, Smart Dubai Government’s director of smart services-enablement department said that he plans to increase the government’s efficiency “‘by transferring all transactions to the blockchain network’ wherein the DoF will be tasked to keep an eye on reconciliations, settlements, disputes, refunds, and other payment-related matters.”

The DubaiPay Portal consists of 40 entities, along with 27 government and 14 non-government agencies, linked to the platform. The portal has obtained Dh13 from 9.4M transactions, which is 17% more as compared to last year.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has finally tested the ‘Payment Reconciliation and Settlement System’. The two government agencies are the first to join the blockchain platform, have completed 5 million transactions.

Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, who is the Smart Dubai’s general director stated, “Blockchain is one of the most promising of these [new smart] technologies, attracting more investments every year.”

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Wesam Lootah, who is the chief executive of Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) said, “We, at Smart Dubai, consider technology to be a means for us to help improve people’s quality of life and spread happiness among them. Correctly applied across various key sectors, we believe Blockchain has massive potential to achieve our emirate’s ambitions for a fully-fledged smart transformation.”

Apart from this, Blockchain Technology will be implemented in government agencies such as Dubai Police, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai Customs, Dubai Municipality and various other government bodies in the near future.

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