Smart Dubai Office Rolls Out New Payment System Powered By Blockchain

The UAE is set to begin using a payment system built on blockchain technology, with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO)'s launch of their "Payment Reconciliation and Settlement" system.


The UAE is set to begin using a payment system built on blockchain technology, with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO)’s launch of their “Payment Reconciliation and Settlement” system, developed with the help of the Dubai Department of Finance (DoF).

UAE embraces blockchain technology

Zawya, a Dubai-based news outlet, stated September 23 that the DoF and SDO signed a partnership deal that will see them collaborate on a new payment system powered by blockchain technology.

The news outlet further reported that the government had been working on the platform for a while, before officially launching it last Sunday.

The blockchain project is tailor-made to strengthen financial transparency among government institutions including the Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The project will now see DubaiPay, an online payment portal, utilize blockchain technology to facilitate real-time payments and transaction settlements, both within departments and across government structures as well.

The program will help maintain the visibility and traceability of funds as well as provide immediate resolutions to financial disputes.

Many advisors within the government’s Ministry of Finance say the current transaction process between various departments is time-consuming, citing that it often takes up to 45 days to complete some transactions.

The intention of the project is to leverage the blockchain’s permanent record of all financial transactions, making it easy to verify and resolve issues, as well as reduce processing times.

According to Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, the Director General at the SDO, adopting a blockchain solution aligns with the government’s longstanding ambition to be among the trailblazers in the implementation of emerging technology.

She said that the payment solution would undoubtedly help increase efficiency within government, “by transferring 100% of government transactions to the Blockchain network”.

It is reported that two institutions, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), have already used the system in carrying out over five million successful transactions.

Dubai continues to take a leading role in blockchain adoption in the region, and this is another step the on the road to make the city a world leader in technological advancement.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the ruler of the Dubai Emirate, announced the launch of the Smart City project in 2013, aiming at transforming Dubai into a modern, technology-driven city.

The Smart City project received widespread support from both the government and the private sector, and its success has driven the government to leverage emerging technologies in other initiatives.

UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021

The UAE government’s position on the value of blockchain gained even more traction in April with the launch of the “UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021”.

The Dubai government reportedly commissioned a massive project that funds experts working on over 20 different use cases within the blockchain technology space.

It is an initiative whose primary goal is to cement the tiny nation’s place as a leading player in the adoption of blockchain technology. A culmination of this massive project would be to see the country have the first blockchain-powered government in the world.

To help achieve more within the ecosystem, the authorities have sanctioned partnerships with tech giant IBM as well as start-up Consensys.

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