Gitex Global is the world’s largest tech and start-up event and gathers more than 5.000 companies and more than 100.000 visitors from 170 countries. As a hub between Europe, Asia and Africa, the Dubai-based venue offers an insight into the various start-up ecosystems, innovations and technology-driven revolutions of digitalisation. In the interview series „Gitex Global 2022“, experts, founders and investors share their insights and take a look into the digital future.
VC Magazin: What are current technology priorities for the Digital Dubai authority?
Al Mansoori: We are not talking about technology, we are talking about services, to find out what services exist in the city and how they can be adapted. The most important thing in Dubai is to revise our own service and try to make it so that you feel like you are living in the best city. Centers should be available round the clock. So there is some automation permission and business logic that we can use to handle services very quickly. And the most important thing is that the services are delivered in a way that you have enough time to enjoy your life and Dubai. Which is why we follow a paperless approach. So there are a lot of things that the system reads from an internal system without you having to bring paper. We also have a set of measurements for the service journey. So we can make sure that the service is up to standards and that the different needs are met. Our age is different, youth is different, people are different, people have different disabilities and different nationalities. So these kinds of challenges are what we are always revising to provide the best service in the world.
VC Magazin: You have set yourself big goals and, according to media reports, want to become the start-up capital of the world. What key Digital Dubai initiatives will aid this?
Al Mansoori: We have a number of initiatives. First, we changed the policy very quickly. We consult with the government from time to time, ask companies about their well-being, and constantly adapt to new technologies, such as blockchain. We started using blockchain technology a long time ago, including Metaverse. In Dubai, there are different lifestyles, we have one of the largest telecommunication infrastructures in the world, as far as ranking as a city. According to the index, we are number one in infrastructure, number four in technology. So the challenge is to provide, to listen, to adapt and to be ahead of the game. That’s the way people move to a city, to gain experience, to take different approaches, and business will come naturally as long as you have the right infrastructure.
VC Magazin: What kind of start-ups in Dubai are making an impact on the city’s digital journey? Which start-ups impressed you the most?
Al Mansoori: This is what Dubai Future is investigating. It looks at start-ups and their services. I am impressed by Careem and sellanything for example, which both started from Dubai. There is also Souq, which is now part of Amazon. So there are a lot of start-ups that started from here and you can see a lot of companies that have their own existence here as representatives. So you will see a lot of people moving to Dubai from time to time because Dubai offers good connectivity. We are close to Africa, we have the Emirates airline. That kind of consultation approach, our start-ups come along with, is one of the best approaches that the city is doing.
VC Magazin: What would you like to achieve at Gitex Global 2022?
Al Mansoori: I think this gives you an indicator of how important Dubai is in technology and in digital related subjects. When you see this number of people coming to Gitex, we know there are a lot of attempts everywhere to have a technology exhibition. I visited Hannover a long time ago. You have an exhibition there, one of the biggest exhibitions I think is still there. So it is like an indicator of how to see the city from that approach. Number two is to build partnerships. Number three is to start learning from others. You can see technology providers and the challenges for that technology. If talking about retailers, we are asking about Metaverse development tools, how it can look like and which are the best companies.
VC Magazin: What are your goals or expectations for the next years?
Al Mansoori: We want to provide the best service for our personnel and create happiness indicators for our customers. We are measuring the happiness indicator from the service point of view. We are scoring 93% now and also are looking to enhance our service to make you more happy in the city. So I think visitors deserve more time to explore the city, to have more time with their family.
VC Magazin: Thank you for the interview.