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This is an excerpt from the first installment of our Future Cities series, where we look at how inventive development projects, ambitious tourism goals, and smart city initiatives are paving the way for Dubai to build the city of the future. View the article and video here.

With the announcement of the Smart City and Initiative 2021 plans, Dubai is moving the needle towards becoming one of the world’s best-connected cities, enabling its residents and visitors to become more deeply ingrained in the cityscape and better connecting them with its government.

It’s customer service for the 21st Century, with mobile technology fueling seamless interactions. With this, citizens will get direct access to all government services and pay public utility bills like water, electricity and telephone through a single portal.

It’s a rare stance for a government to take. Unlike many governments, Dubai’s is breaking traditional silos and centralizing activities for ease of use.

“As with all cities around the world, as Dubai’s population escalates and as we welcome more and more tourists, there is increased demand on utilities, increased traffic, increased impact on the environment, even more queues,” says Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism. “A ‘Smart City’ tackles these potential issues by fully embracing modern technology, and in particular leveraging the smart phone in everybody’s hand or pocket, in order to run as efficiently and sustainably as possible. Most importantly a ‘Smart City’ is a city that constantly looks at how to embrace technology to enhance the quality of life for residents and the experience of the city for visitors.”

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Future Cities is a collaboration between Skift and MasterCard, exploring how major destinations are preparing for the new age of urban mobility. From connected infrastructure to smart technologies, this series looks at how global cities are creating seamless and personalized experiences for visitors and residents. 

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Tags: dubai, tourism