Smart Dubai launches first-of-its-kind book on the digital transformation of the UAE at Gitex 2019

October 01, 2019

Smart Dubai has collaborated with authors Dr Saeed K. Aldhaheri and Ranjit Rajan to publish a book on the digital transformation of the UAE, aptly titled, Digital Nation: How the United Arab Emirates is building a future based on tech innovation.

The 160-page book, launched today at the 39th GITEX Technology Week, will take you on a journey through the UAE’s ongoing digital transformation, driven by harnessing disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital innovation.

H.E. Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai said, “At Smart Dubai, one of our key priorities is establishing Dubai and the UAE as a global benchmark for smart transformation. We consistently look forward to partnering with projects such as the Digital Nation to expand our regions’ knowledge-sharing efforts with the world. I am confident the Digital Nation will act as an important guide for other cities and nations planning their respective digitisation strategies”

The book offers insight into the groundbreaking vision and innovative plans, experiences, successes and challenges of the country along this journey. The story of how the UAE pursues its digital vision and strategy to execution has lessons for leaders, executives and innovators around the world in this era of digital transformation.

Digital Nation talks about how the current achievements are based on several decades of concrete successes on the economic and social fronts. Featuring interviews with over twenty senior leaders from the private and public sectors, including those from Smart Dubai, RTA, Etisalat, Dubai Future Foundation, IBM, Dubai Police, Emaar and more, the book showcases the UAE’s triumphs and challenges as it leads the charge towards a digital future.

Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner and Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, said: “We are thrilled to produce this exciting new book that will inspire the UAE’s youth to pursue a career in technology. This book will offer great insight for all readers into the future of this country.”

Radio presenter and host of Dubai Eye’s Business Breakfast Richard Dean said about the book: “Digital Nation parachutes the reader straight into the inner circle of the UAE government. There’s the bigger picture including the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, plus deep dives on key subjects, from digital policing to fintech finance. A must-read for anyone doing business in the UAE.”

Subsequent to the launch, the book will be available across all major bookstores in the region and on

About Smart Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, launched the Smart Dubai Initiative in 2013 with a vision of making Dubai the happiest and smartest city on Earth.

The Smart Dubai Office was formed in 2015 to oversee Dubai’s smart transformation and accomplish the leadership’s vision. Collaborating with government and private-sector partners, Smart Dubai is consistently adopting latest technological innovations to provide more efficient, seamless, safe and personalised city experiences for residents and visitors.

Since its establishment, Smart Dubai has launched a series of initiatives and strategies to achieve its vision and help Dubai become a global benchmark for smart city development. Key initiatives launched by Smart Dubai include the Dubai Data Initiative, Dubai Blockchain Strategy, Dubai AI Roadmap, Dubai IoT Strategy, Digital Wealth Initiative and most recently the Dubai Paperless Strategy.

About the Authors

Dr Saeed Khalfan Aldhaheri is a veteran of the UAE technology industry with over 30 years of experience in driving technology adoption in various public sector organisations. He has been the Director General of the Emirates ID Authority, a member of the scientific advisory committee of the UAE Space Agency, an Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on information technology, a Professor at the UAE University and the Vice President of the Emirates Information Technology Society. Currently, he is an Advisor to several public sector organisations in the UAE, and assessor of various excellence programs and awards, including the GCC e-government Award. He is also the Chairman of SmartWorld and a board member of the Emirates Safer Internet Society. Dr Aldhaheri holds a bachelor’s degree from the United Arab Emirates University, UAE, a master’s degree from George Washington University, USA, and a PhD from Drexel University, USA.

Ranjit Rajan is a thought leader on the impact of digital transformation on economies, businesses and the tech industry, with a specialisation on the emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa. In a career spanning two decades, he has advised governments and policy makers, leading businesses, and global and local tech companies on technology-driven transformation. Based in Dubai, he is currently a senior executive at International Data Corporation (IDC), a leading global technology analyst firm. He has authored numerous reports and frequently speaks at technology conferences. Rajan holds a bachelor’s degree from Cochin University of Science and Technology, India, and a management degree from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, India.