Dubai launches first global network of World Council on City Data (WCCD) Local Data Hub

- Hamdan bin Mohammed: Building cities for the future requires innovation, modern technology, and data

Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that Dubai is steadily moving towards becoming a global centre for sustainable infrastructure in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which seeks to create a healthy environment that ensures the happiness and safety of citizens, residents and visitors. HH Sheikh Hamdan said that sustainable planning is key to realising this vision.

His Highness’s comments came during the launch of the first global network of World Council on City Data (WCCD) Local Data Hub, covering the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions, in line with an agreement signed with the World Council on City Data in May 2019. The launch of the initiative reinforces Dubai’s leading role in developing sustainable and smart cities for future generations.

Commenting on the occasion, HH Sheikh Hamdan said: “The newly launched Local Data Hub cements Dubai’s leading position in sustainable planning, as data is critical for planning and developing sustainable cities and projects. This is a great opportunity to boost economic growth and encourage the adoption of more sustainable solutions for a better future.”

The hub aims to achieve the United Nation’s sustainable objectives of the 2030 Agenda. It also aims to strengthen the role of the cities and communities – the drivers for future growth and development.  The initiative was led by the ‘World Council on City Data’ the global leader in standardised city data - creating smart, sustainable, resilient, and prosperous cities.

The first Global Cities Summit was hosted in Dubai in October 2019. Several cities from the MENA and South Asia regions alongside United Nations speakers and academics participated in the Summit – marking the first step towards achieving the goals and objectives of the ‘2030 Agenda’. 

Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals Her Excellency Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy said: “There is always a direct relationship between data and sustainable smart cities. Urban development plans that aim to build sustainable communities contribute greatly to attracting investments and creating employment opportunities.”

“Dubai continues to invest in state-of-the-art smart tools that help in achieving social, environmental and economic goals. These tools are built on advanced technologies as well as the availability of accurate data. As data is what smart cities rely on to overcome social and economic obstacles that may stand in the way of achieving sustainable development for all,” added HE Al Hashimy.

Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai (TEC) His Excellency Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti emphasised that the Local Data Hub is a testament to Dubai’s pioneering position in the sustainability space.  He said that the initiative is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to ensure economic growth and development through establishing the necessary foundations of a smart and sustainable city; instilling a mindset centred around sustainability; encouraging phenomenal environmental work; creating a platform to exchange expertise and best practices; and building robust relationships with local, regional, and global stakeholders.

His Excellency said: “Today cities are the centre of economic growth, innovation, and social well-being. Cities accommodate more than 55% of the planet’s population  and contribute with more than 80% of the global GDP. Nations around the world are focusing on great minds and talents, as they began to realise that the main source of wealth is innovation as opposed to natural resources”

“Stemming from Dubai’s pioneering global position as an innovator, the Government adopted a strategic planning methodology underpinned by data for its decision-making policy. Claiming the prestigious ISO 37120 certification was a testament to that – making Dubai the first city in the world to receive this certification. Today, and in partnership with WCCD, Dubai is a key player in the development of the Data Hub which comprises more than 60 cities from five continents,” he added.

The WCCD is engaging with more cities from different continents to take part in this initiative, including Los Angeles the USA and The Hague in the Netherlands.

Commenting on the event, WCCD President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney said: “We highly appreciate the role of The Executive Council and the city of Dubai in promoting normative data, which in turn is critical to achieving the United Nation’s sustainability objectives, particularly in improving sustainable planning for cities as well as identifying visions and requirements for future demands. Dubai’s remarkable success in strategic planning and sustainability was the main reason behind our collaboration, which is built on knowledge, best practices, and knowledge exchange. The collaboration will elevate Dubai’s competitiveness in various safety and happiness international indices.”

Hosting the first WCCD Local Data Hub allows Dubai to lead the promotion of this initiative and encourage regional cities to participate; create an open data sharing network; and issue periodic reports to showcase the progress towards achieving United Nations’ sustainability objectives.

In 2017, Dubai hosted the Global Cities Summit with the participation of WCCD. Local, regional, and international leaders alongside representatives from more than 50 cities from five continents participated in the Summit. The summit marked the launch of the “Dubai 2017 Declaration”, which urges countries who signed to adopt comparative data as a universal language to achieve three major sustainability agendas by 2030. The Local Data Hub is Dubai’s main step towards achieving these goals.

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