DAFZ fully supports H.H. Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of Dubai becoming a leading ‘Smart City’. The concept is one of the most exciting approaches to 21st century urban development, which optimises the management of a city’s assets and public services through the integration information, communications technology and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).
Dubai’s evolution into a Smart City officially began in 2013, when His Highness decreed that government services should be accessible through smart devices. He also called for the widespread adoption of advanced smart technologies to make life in Dubai easier, happier, safer and more productive for citizens, residents and visitors.
At DAFZ, we uphold Dubai’s mission to deliver efficient, seamless and impactful experiences to all through the strategic use of innovative and smart technologies. Innovation is at the heart of our corporate values, and we have continuously adopted advanced technologies and tools as part of our ongoing Innovation Strategy.
We have focused on a number of pillars that are anchoring global efforts to build smart cities. These include:
- Energy, technology and innovation
- Smart society and collaborative city
- Governance and economy
- Sustainable built environment
- City resilience and security
All of our Smart Transformation initiatives are overseen by a dedicated DAFZ Smart City Committee to ensure that they align with Dubai Government’s own Smart City Agenda.
We strive to be an early-adopter of new technologies. Back in 2001, we developed the Tas’heel customer portal, an online one-stop-shop for clients looking to establish their companies in DAFZ, which was a gateway for all of their requirements after registration. In 2017, we further enhanced the Tas’heel customer portal through the introduction of a CRM system.
Our Smart App is now available on all leading mobile platforms. Serving potential and existing customers, DAFZ staff, tenant employees, third party service providers and the public, both the portal and the Smart App are integrated with Dubai Government’s Happiness Meter to measure customer satisfaction and happiness levels.
In 2014, we transformed DAFZ into a wireless smart zone, becoming one of the first free zones in the world to integrate free Wi-Fi connectivity and smart services across the entire zone for our visitors, customers and employees.
The following year, we signed an MoU with Dubai Smart Government (DSG) to strengthen cooperation in providing support to government smart services. This initiative was in line with our mutual efforts to implement the directives of the Dubai leadership to transform the emirate into a smart city.
Our mSupplier Portal was also launched in 2016 to make our procurement processes more efficient. The protal offers existing and prospective suppliers a secure, web-based platform for self-service business transactions. The portal offers a 360-degree view of the supplier journey, from registration through to evaluating supplier performance after delivery, and payments.
We have strengthened our smart infrastructure at DAFZ through an ongoing series of Smart City projects and customer initiatives. These include the Smart Data Centre, Building Management System, Automatic Numberplate Recognition and the DAFZ Eye app, which enables customers to submit instant reports on any concerns regarding the free zone. We have also launched our hi-tech Business Centre, Smart Gate Pass and Smart Traffic Management Systems.
Currently, our ongoing smart projects include Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning, Smart Access Control, a Centralised Parking Management System, Advanced Training Centre and a hi-tech auditorium, to name just a few. We are also evaluating potential initiatives to further enhance our leadership in smart capabilities, relating to open data, enterprise mobility and 3D printing.