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  • Writer's pictureVoraka Magazine



Article Published on 18 March 2024 by Gloria Poletti |


Dubai, renowned for its iconic skyline, is in the midst of a transformative journey outlined in the ambitious Dubai 2021 plan, aiming to emerge as a leading modern smart city. This article explores the various initiatives undertaken by the Dubai government, spanning infrastructure enhancement, digitalization, adoption of clean energy, promotion of sustainable transport, and delivery of efficient services. At the core of this transformation lies Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's vision to propel Dubai into the forefront of futuristic smart cities. From automated police stations to AI-monitored transport systems, Dubai's smart city blueprint is reshaping conventional urban models.

Moreover, the integration of advanced technologies such as 3D printing and artificial intelligence underscores Dubai's commitment to innovation and sustainability. This paper also discusses the economic and environmental implications of Dubai's smart city endeavors, highlighting its potential to set precedents for urban development globally. Furthermore, the assessment of success through indices like happiness reflects Dubai's holistic approach towards enhancing residents' well-being. By aligning economic growth with social welfare and environmental stewardship, Dubai aspires to offer a pioneering model of a thriving smart metropolis.


Dubai's skyline is famous for its tall buildings and busy streets, showing a mix of old and new. But it's not just about looks - Dubai is working to become a "smart city." This means using technology to make life better for people who live there. The Dubai 2021 plan is like a map that shows how they're going to do this. It's led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has big ideas for the city.

This paper explains all the different things Dubai is doing to become a smart city. They're building new things like roads and buildings, but they're also using digital solutions to solve problems in creative ways.

Infrastructure and Digitalization

Dubai's metamorphosis into a smart city is epitomized by its emphasis on robust infrastructure and digital integration. With over 100 projects slated for completion by 2028, the government's agenda encompasses a spectrum of initiatives spanning transportation, energy, and service sectors. The advent of automated police stations and the digitization of public services exemplify Dubai's commitment to efficiency and convenience. Furthermore, artificial intelligence permeates various facets of urban governance, from optimizing transport systems to enhancing administrative efficacy.


Dubai's commitment to sustainable transport solutions is epitomized by the landmark Dubai-Abu Dhabi Hyperloop project. Stretching over 151 kilometers, this ultra-fast transit corridor represents a paradigm shift in intercity connectivity. With an estimated cost of $6 billion (€5.2 billion), the Hyperloop promises to drastically reduce travel times between the two bustling hubs. Notably, the completion of the initial 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) segment marks a significant milestone in this transformative endeavor.

Furthermore, the city's transportation strategy encompasses the expansion of metro lines, aimed at alleviating congestion in a metropolis now teeming with over 3.5 million inhabitants and more than a million vehicles. By modernizing and enhancing transport infrastructure, Dubai not only enhances quality of life but also stimulates economic growth.


The economic ramifications of Dubai's smart city initiatives are elucidated in the comprehensive white paper titled “The Role of Smart Cities for Economic Development,” authored by ABI Research. Projections indicate that by 2026, the most advanced smart cities worldwide could generate economic benefits totaling $20 trillion (€17 trillion). This wealth creation stems from a multitude of innovations integral to smart city development, including sustainable infrastructure and climate-compliant initiatives. As cities assume a pivotal role in global energy consumption, Dubai's commitment to enhancing building efficiency emerges as a linchpin in emission reduction efforts. A report from the Coalition for Urban Transition underscores the potential impact, estimating that by 2050, optimizing building efficiency could curtail urban emissions worldwide by 30%. 

Measuring Success: The Happiness Index

Beyond economic metrics, Dubai's smart city narrative is underscored by a commitment to enhancing residents' well-being. The adoption of a happiness index as a barometer of success epitomizes Dubai's holistic approach towards urban transformation. As evidenced by an uptick in residents' happiness amidst ongoing initiatives, Dubai exemplifies the symbiosis between economic prosperity and societal welfare.


Dubai's ascent towards smart city status represents a paradigm shift in urban development, characterized by innovation, sustainability, and social inclusivity. Through visionary leadership and concerted efforts, Dubai is poised to emerge as a global exemplar of urban excellence. By prioritizing economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and residents' happiness, Dubai not only redefines its own landscape but also sets precedents for smart cities worldwide. As Dubai continues its journey, it beckons as a beacon of hope and inspiration for cities embarking on their own paths towards smart urbanization.


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