What you MUST KNOW about Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020

What you MUST KNOW about Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020

Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020 was a vision shared by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum at the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy back in 2016. We are in 2019 and naturally, the blockchain enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath for the strategy to unfold .

If you are one of those, looking to demystify the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020, you have landed at the right place! Click To Tweet

Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020 : Breaking it Down

Blockchain : Where the future lies

It is a collaborative effort between the Smart Dubai Office and the Dubai Future Foundation. It aims at making optimal use of technological innovations to make Dubai a smart city. The implementation of the strategy will involve interfacing of three important elements. These are : Government Efficiency, Industry Creation and International Leadership. [1] The aim of this project is to deliver a seamless, safe, efficient, and impactful experiences.[2]

According to Dr. Aisha Bent Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai –

Dubai has long been a trailblazer in embracing avant-garde technologies – most notably those of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. [3].

Implementation of the blockchain strategy will catapult Dubai to become the first global leader powered by an innovative technology. It will also usher in new economic opportunities and make Dubai a leader of the future economy. Needless to say, the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020 will have an impact on all the sectors of the society.

Dr. Aisha Bent Butti Bin Bishr - Dubai has long been a trailblazer in embracing avant-garde technologies – most notably those of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Click To Tweet

Dubai : The True Innovation Hub

Over the last few year, the pace of development in Dubai has been unprecedented. Owing to its location, Dubai has always enjoyed an unbridled access to the emerging markets. These factors have contributed towards making Dubai a major trading hub in the world.

The investments and commitments made by the Government of UAE towards encouraging technological advancements has made Dubai a natural choice for tech entrepreneurs from world over[4]. Innovative financing solutions offered by the Government, coupled with a unique taxation regime have also bolstered the progress of technology and innovation in Dubai.

Given that Dubai is a major technological hub, the proactive adoption of blockchain technology by the government is hardly surprising. In fact, the efficiency and transparency offered by blockchain technology has made it an obvious pick for Dubai to help it remain as a major trading hub and foster innovation. Embracing blockchain technology will also aid in attracting lucrative investments. [5]

How blockchain is shaping the future of Dubai: Case Studies

Dubai : Scaling New Heights
Dubai : Scaling New Heights

In its quest to become the first blockchain city of the world, Dubai has already commenced the implementation of blockchain technology across government and private sectors. Set out below are some of the interesting cases of adoption of the blockchain technology:


In September 2018, the online payment portal of Smart Dubai called DubaiPay adopted the blockchain technology. This integration allows the reconciliation and settlement transactions to be performed in real time, thereby increasing efficiency in the system[6]. According to Mira Sultan Obaid Abdul Rahman, Director of smart services-enablement department at Smart Dubai Government, prior to the transfer of transactions to the blockchain process, payment and reconciliation was a time consuming process. Reconciliation and settlement would take up to 45 days from the day a user made a payment [7]. With the adoption of blockchain, every transaction can be monitored real-time with increased efficiency.

Emirates NBD

Emirates NBD has collaborated with India’s ICICI Bank to pilot the first blockchain-based network for international remittances and trade finance [8]. The adoption of blockchain technology which brings in place, an electronic ledger system, makes the business of international trade finance virtually paperless. It also enables a real-time tracking of the transactions and allows remittances to take place instantaneously [9].

Emirates NBD has also succeeded in integrating blockchain technology into its chequebooks. The ‘ChequeChain’ system prints a unique QR code on the cheque leaflets. This code enables every transaction to be registered on the blockchain platform. This enables the bank to validate the authenticity of the cheques at all times and monitor the entire life cycle of the cheque with ease [10].

The group chief operating officer of Emirates NBD , Abdulla Qaseem has been quoted to say that “this initiative will significantly strengthen our risk and security management processes, particularly through the reduction of cheque fraud.” [11]

DIFC Courts

Smart Dubai has joined hands with DIFC Courts to launch the world’s first court of blockchain. The integration of blockchain into the judicial system will pave a new era for legal systems around the world, particularly by introducing greater efficiency and transparency in the system. It will also streamline the judicial process to a great extent [12].

According to Amna Al Owais, who is the chief executive and registrar, DIFC Courts “..By harnessing blockchain technology, Dubai will be firmly positioned at the forefront of legaltech and judicial innovation, setting the standards for countries and judiciaries to follow.”[13]

Majid Al Futtaim

Majid Al Futtaim is collaborating with Smart Dubai to explore synergies and further strengthen the vision of the government to provide a seamless and impactful experience for the residents of Dubai as a part of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020. As part of the MOU, Majid Al Futtaim will collaborate with Smart Dubai in four critical areas: data enrichment, policy, education, and innovative technology. Both organisations will work together to enhance and improve raw data, while finding ways to make data a more valuable asset [14].

The press release by Majid Al Futtaim carried a quote from Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding , who said that : “The world is changing at a rapid pace and our business is undergoing a digital transformation that ensures we are at the forefront of the change and able to deliver greater value to our customers. This transformation is enabled by an infrastructure of data intelligence, innovative partnerships and world-class talent. With this in mind, we are extremely proud to be the first private sector company to sign an MOU with Smart Dubai to advance the Emirate’s data and analytics capabilities.”[15]


[1] Dubai Blockchain Strategy

[2] Smart Dubai

[3] Ushering In the First Blockchain Powered Government

[4] What Makes Dubai A Tech Innovation Hub?

[5] Smart Dubai launches blockchain-powered Payment Reconciliation and Settlement System

[6] Smart Dubai integrates blockchain into DubaiPay

[7] Smart Dubai integrates blockchain into DubaiPay

[8] Emirates NBD and ICICI Bank: Blockchain Pilot Network

[9] Emirates NBD and ICICI Bank: Blockchain Pilot Network

[10] Emirates NBD registers cheques on a blockchain

[11] Emirates NBD registers cheques on a blockchain

[12] Dubai to launch world’s first blockchain court

[13] Dubai to launch world’s first blockchain court




About the author

Financial advisor to UHNWI, private entities, family offices, and companies. Certified Anti-Corruption Manager from The American Anti-Corruption Institute

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