DUBAI: Dubai, Barcelona, Helsinki and Ghent are the four cities currently confirmed to participate in the global Smart City App Hack competition. The cities will join forces to create a network of citizens who will collaborate to develop mobile apps designed to help to design and build the Smart Cities of the 21st century.
Dubai Internet City, DIC, the Mena region's largest ICT free zone, is the official partner for Dubai's Smart City App Hack project, which will connect the emirate's local app and tech ecosystem with developers from around the world. The end objective is to create products and applications that will help improve the lives of citizens.
This follows a series of events and initiatives headlined by Dubai Internet City this year, including Decode Dubai, DIC's first hackathon, and Drones for Good, an initiative launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the Government Summit 2015. DIC is at the forefront of the UAE's National Innovation Strategy and continues to look at ways to encourage innovation and creativity across sectors.
Commenting, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, said, "We are delighted to represent Dubai as an official partner for the Smart City App Hack. The competition is an excellent initiative, and will give Dubai the opportunity to showcase its creativity and innovation to a global audience. As part of the Smart Dubai vision launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, this initiative will play a major role in furthering the development of Dubai into a Smart City, connecting app developers from around the world as well as offering a platform to exchange knowledge and access to global mentors."
Together with Dubai, the following cities are currently confirmed: Barcelona (Spain), founder of the project, and Helsinki (Finland). Additionally Ghent (Belgium) is following the process as an associated city. The project is still open for participation and more cities are to be announced in the following weeks.
The Dubai Smart City App Hack will take place from May to September, and during these 5 months, developers, entrepreneurs and citizens who want to get involved in the building of a Smart City will participate in the process of creating and developing their apps and will receive mentorship from a global team of online experts who will be on hand to guide them through the process and finalise their app.
Apps will be based around the main themes that pose common challenges for cities around the world: urban mobility, energy and emissions, shopping and retail, culture and tourism, and the collaborative city.
Towards the end of the competition, each city will shortlist their winning developer, who will be invited to present and compete in the final awards in Barcelona during the Smart City Expo 2015 in November.