Rebecca Asseh

Smart Dubai, iBM launch gov’t-backed blockchain platform as-a-service

Dubai has rolled out the first government-endorsed blockchain platform as-a-service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Smart Dubai, a government technological initiative, and IBM Corp. announced the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Platform—the first of its kind platform in the Middle East that will allow organizations in the country to test, build and launch blockchain-based products. The platform will utilize IBM’s enterprise-ready IBM Cloud, and will be developered United Arab Emirates. Once launched, the platform will be available for organizations in the UAE to test, build and launch blockchain-based products. This service will be delivered via an IBM Cloud environment built in the UAE.

In a statement, Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of the Smart Dubai Office, said, “The Dubai Blockchain Strategy set a clear path for the emirate to have the world’s first fully digitized government by 2021.” The Dubai Blockchain Platform is part of the country’s objective towards “transforming the emirate into a full-fledged smart city that tops global competitiveness and happiness indexes,” according to the official.

The new Dubai Blockchain Platform will aid in integrating digitized services and experiences into citizens’ everyday lives. The technology will also be used to run all the transactions locally, and also lower operational costs. One of the first services that will migrate to the new blockchain platform is the Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement program, which officially launched last September 23. The program allows entities to reconcile and settle payments with other government agencies in mere minutes instead of the usual 45 days.

The platform, which is powered by IBM‘s mainframe technology LinuxONE, will conform to the Information Security Regulation (ISR) standards issued by the Dubai Government. LinuxONE is capable of running more than 6.2 billion web transactions per day.

“Dubai has been a pioneer in blockchain technology since its inception, while other major cities around the world were reluctant to embrace it for city-wide implementation,” H.E. Dr Aisha noted, adding “The Dubai Blockchain Strategy set a clear path for the emirate to have the world’s first fully digitized government by 2021.”

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