Emirates News Agency – Smart Dubai expands partnership on retail sector data project

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DUBAI, 17th June, 2020 (WAM) — 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 announced 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 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.

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.

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.”

Meanwhile, Farid Faraidooni, Deputy CEO – Enterprise Solutions, EITC (DU), noted, “As the Strategic Partner for Smart Dubai, we aim to fully utilise 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.”

Samer Soliman, Managing Director for Network International’s Middle East operations, said, “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.”

“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,” he added.

Smart Dubai is looking to expand the project to develop a more thorough profile of visitors who frequent shopping malls in the emirate, including their spending patterns and payment-method preferences.

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 allows data to be shared reliably and in keeping with international best practices.

A steering committee overseeing the project is headed by Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai and Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General, Dubai Economy. The steering committee also is responsible to ensure complete privacy of all individuals and entities data.

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