|Not just all about ME but all about Mobile as Dubai gets Smart.|
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Friday, 4th April 2014
I am writing this in my room at Lanson Place overlooking what may not be a very attractive view but yet what is to me quintessentially Hong Kong; foggy morning, tall narrow buildings packed next to each other like sardines, the constant hum of a city that never sleeps.
This is the weekend in particular when the city will not sleep – the Rugby Sevens – and last night walking around in Wanchai and Causeway Bay, well, you can tell the beer will not stop flowing either.
I just flew in from Dubai on the red eye on Emirates. I was fortunate to get an upgrade to first class and so my eyes weren’t that red when I landed. Note to ME: First is great, but don’t get used to it.
I am struck by the contrast between Dubai and Hong Kong – how everything is so much smaller in Hong Kong and everything is just big, bigger and biggest in the former. I think this applies not only to the physical but also in ambitions and dreams – but then Dubai has always had ambitions and dreams bigger than anyone else.
A day before we opened our WIT Middle East, the UAE launched what it claims is the world's first store for smart government applications through Android and iOS platforms.
The store features over 100 smart applications developed by local and federal agencies and has been launched in partnership and coordination with Google and Apple.
This is all part of the “Smart City” initiative launched in March – you’ve heard of “mobile first” strategies for businesses, well this is a “all about mobile” government project which will transform the emirate. The ambition is that 1,000 government services will go smart in the next three years.
When he launched the initiative, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said, “Our country is today ushering into a new era for the improvement and development of quality of life through this gigantic project which got underway through an unprecedented public-private partnership to make a new reality for all and change the concept of city which the human being lives in so as to live with him through his smart phone and who will be its key pivot.”