Dubai Mandates Blockchain-Only Government Documents By 2020

A major conversion to a paperless public sector on the cards in the UAE

Posted 6 October 2016 by

'Dubai' by Chithra Unni on FlickrDubai has just announced a strategic plan today to go completely paperless, with all government documents secured on a blockchain basis by 2020.

The initiative is part of Dubai’s push to become a global leader in blockchain tech, and is being framed as a key to increased government efficiency by creating a new “digital layer” for the city’s transactions.

“Users will only need to log in their personal data or business credentials once; it will then be updated and verified in a timely manner through the blockchain network in all government and private entities including banks [and] insurance companies,” promised Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.

For example, once the documents have been moved to a blockchain, the organisers of the public sector blockchain push believe the project will create business opportunities for the private sector, with real estate, banking, healthcare, transportation, urban planning, smart energy, digital commerce, and tourism expected to benefit.

Plus, the Dubai government estimates its blockchain strategy has the potential to generate 25.1 million hours of economic productivity each year in savings, while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions.

The plan will be built on “three pillars” of government efficiency, industry creation and international leadership, said stakeholders.

“The Emirate is constantly working to foresee the future and keep up with the fourth industrial revolution and all the prospects of increased efficiency that come along with it,” said the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the event.

The two bodies driving the move, Dubai Future Foundation and Smart Dubai, said they believe sharing blockchain with other countries could lead to easier ways for travelers to cross borders with certain pre-approved forms of identification and pre-authenticated digital wallets and payments.