The Dubai Department of Finance (DoF) has partnered with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) to launch a blockchain-powered payment system.
According to Zawya, a local news site, the new platform, “Payment Reconciliation and Settlement,” which was officially launched on September 23, would be used to harness government entities, such as the Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and many others.
More so, the system would afford the Dubai DoF and SDO the opportunity to provide a more accurate and transparent governance process, as well as to enable real-time payments within and between government structures.
The ‘old system’ like it is tagged, takes time to process transactions which is time-consuming, requiring up to 45 days to complete any given operation.
The new system is reportedly already in use by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), with a total number of test transactions amounting to more than five million.
Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General at the SDO, commented that blockchain is “one of the most promising of [emerging] technologies.”
It will be recalled that in 2017, the SDO group was honored at the Smart Cities Expo and World Congress in Barcelona, acquiring the City Project Award from among 308 other teams for their Dubai blockchain Strategy.
The Smart City project was reportedly introduced by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of the Dubai Emirate Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in 2013.
Supported by the government, private sector, and institutional partners, the organization’s goal is to provide a smart ecosystem for cooperation between government entities and residents and visitors.
Smart Dubai is not the only government-backed initiative that intends to employ major emerging technologies such as blockchain in the country.
In April of this year, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister launched the “UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021” initiative, with a goal to achieve the position of a global leader in adopting the technology.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in July, announced its partnership with Smart Dubai to develop a “Court of the Blockchain.” The organizations said its aim is to explore the potential of the technology in addressing the shortcomings of the UAE’s legal system, for example by introducing blockchain-based verification of court judgements.