DUBAI: Smart Dubai announced it has onboarded a new partner in the joint Retail Sector Data Project, launched in late 2019 in partnership with Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (Dubai Economy) and other semi-government and private entities.
The project outlines a clear vision to decision makers about the changing consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns of citizens and residents in times of emergency, which allows shopping malls to provide safe experiences for people amid full safety measures.
Smart Dubai is collaborating with several partners on the current project, namely, the Department of Economic Development; Majid Al Futtaim; du from the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company; and today also announces onboarding Network International, the largest enabler of digital commerce in the Middle East and Africa region, as the newest partner.
Smart Dubai is utilising its available and ample data, which will be analysed and optimised for value in an effort to enhance experiences and services in the retail sector and spread happiness among residents. Furthermore, the project seeks to guide the sector towards making the right investments.
Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai, underlined the important role the private sector plays in utilising data to develop the retail industry – one of the key components of Dubai’s economy – which calls for continuously predicting people’s changing needs and providing innovative solutions to cater to those needs.
“Having received positive feedback from our partners on this project, and to meet the objectives of our Private Sector Engagement Strategy by enhancing data collaboration between the public and private sectors, Smart Dubai is currently in discussions with all parties to further expand the scope of the project and potentially include more new partners,” Dr Aisha explained. “The project makes optimal use of the available data and the digital wealth it represents to upgrade products and services offered by the city’s malls to the residents and visitors of Dubai. This, in turn, brings us closer to achieving our objective of transforming Dubai into the world’s happiest and smartest city.”
For his part, His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, said: “The retail sector is an important pillar of Dubai’s economy. As the government entity concerned with formulating and developing the economic agenda of the emirate by supporting various sectors, we recognise the importance of the retail sector, its substantial contribution to Dubai’s GDP, and its vital role in providing various general needs.”
“The success of our strategy to develop, organise, and promote the sustainable growth of the emirate’s economy rests on stronger collaboration between the public and private sectors to consolidate Dubai’s competitiveness on the global map,” H.E. Al Qamzi added. “Through the retail sector initiative in partnership with Smart Dubai, we aim to increase opportunities for public-private collaboration and enable business owners to launch, expand, and manage their operations more easily through improved knowledge of the market and consumer behaviour.”
Meanwhile, Farid Faraidooni, Deputy CEO – Enterprise Solutions, EITC(DU), noted: “As the Strategic Partner for Smart Dubai, we aim to fully utilize Dubai Pulse by bringing new use cases such as this project to life, the platform will become the digital backbone of the city as it moves towards becoming the smartest and happiest city in the world. Through our dedicated team of data scientists and by enabling data analytics, as well as introducing enhanced data-driven solutions through our expertise in providing informative dashboards, we are bringing useful and unique data insights and knowledge, this will result in better decision making that will improve the lives of residents across the Emirate.”
“The retail project is the first use case of its kind in the retail sector, and will contribute to improving the services provided across the vertical, as well as assist government entities and the retail industry in making informed decisions that boost the sector’s performance in the future,” Faraidooni continued. “Our partnership has already produced remarkable results in Dubai’s smart city enablement over the last five years. As a trusted advisor empowering Smart ICT solutions to accelerate the UAE’s digital transformation journey, we will continue to introduce world-class technology solutions and develop new data analytics use cases to support the planning process. By doing so, we will empower our government agencies to achieve their shared and respective visions.”
Samer Soliman, Managing Director for Network International’s Middle East operations, said: “As the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, Network International is in a unique position to support Smart Dubai’s Retail Sector Data Project. Retail is among the biggest contributors to Dubai’s GDP economy and as the UAE’s largest merchant acquirer, Network’s anonymised, aggregated ‘Merchant Acquiring Data’ will enable both public and private policy makers make data-driven decisions that boost the resilience of the city’s retail sector.”
“Insights from Network International’s datasets can help the government make informed and hyper-responsive, targeted economic policy decisions, as well as empower companies to better understand demographics, analyse spending patterns, build business cases, identify and validate new ideas, make inventory decisions based on footfall, and plan city-level marketing campaigns that map a better-informed chance of success,” Soliman explained. “The UAE payments industry is among the fastest growing in the world and we have every confidence in the nation’s vision for economic growth. Network International is proud to support Dubai’s dynamic retail sector with our data as we continue enhancing our payment infrastructure to create a best-in-class payment ecosystem. We look forward to collaborating with Smart Dubai and sharing innovative ideas to meet the changing needs of the marketplace and positively impact the economy.”
Smart Dubai is looking to expand the project with the objective to develop a more thorough profile of visitors who frequent shopping malls in the Emirate of Dubai, including their spending patterns and payment-method preferences.This will enable the development of services that better cater to requirements of residents and visitors.
The project enhances the flexibility of the retail sector with a wider understanding of demographic diversity and people’s behaviours, such as spending and visiting patterns. It ushers in a new approach where data gathered from the city serves as the basis for setting economic policies.
It allows data to be shared reliably and in keeping with international best practices, guaranteeing security of individual information, and ensuring a seamless and fair exchange of data.
The retail sector is set to enjoy several benefits from the projects, such as the ability to identify shoppers’ preferences and tendencies, as well as key goods and services they would like to acquire from shopping malls in their vicinity. This, in turn, will make it easier for retailers to make sound decisions and buildair-tight marketing campaigns.
The project sought to answer a series of questions that focused on the frequency with which people visit nearby shopping centres, their loyalty to the malls in the areas where they reside, as well as the proportion of residents in each area who visit these centres.
A steering committee oversees the project, bringing together representatives from all entities involved. The committee is headed by H.E. Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai and H.E. Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Dubai Economy. Its objectives include extracting value from shared data on the retail sector and balancing the interests of all those taking part in the use case. The steering committee also is responsible to ensure complete privacy of all individuals and entities data.
The Private Sector Engagement Strategy sets four dimensions for a fully optimised, data-driven ecosystem: Governance and Regulation; Technology and Operations; Commercialisation; and People and Engagement. The Strategy engages the private sector in Dubai’s smart city transformation and strengthens partnership and collaboration between the public and private sectors in the emirate, in line with the forward-thinking vision of the UAE leadership.