Dubai Customs Unveils Blockchain Platform to Boost Trade Efficiency

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  • Dubai Customs has launched a blockchain platform to reduce supply chain friction and enhance data transparency
  • The blockchain solution has simplified tamper-proof data sharing and reduced documentation in local supply chains
  • Announced on July 8, this initiative has been part of Dubai’s strategy to become a leading smart city and global trade hub since 2021

Dubai Customs has launched a cutting-edge blockchain platform aimed at reducing supply chain friction and enhancing data transparency. The blockchain solution is expected to simplify tamper-proof data sharing, reduce the amount of documentation required for local supply chains, and save significant time and effort. The initiative, announced on July 8, is part of Dubai’s broader strategy to establish itself as a leading smart city and global trade hub, a plan it announced in 2021.

Dubai’s Smart City Plans Take Shape

Dubai’s Smart City 2021 plan is an ambitious initiative aimed at transforming the city into a leading global smart city through the integration of advanced technologies across various sectors. The strategy focuses on enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors by digitizing daily services such as healthcare, education, transport, and public utilities.

By leveraging innovations like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things, Dubai seeks to create a seamless, efficient, and interconnected urban environment. Key components of the plan include providing free high-speed Wi-Fi across the emirate, ensuring cybersecurity, and digitizing 90% of daily citizen services to minimize physical interactions with government offices.

Additionally, the Smart Dubai 2021 strategy aims to boost the city’s economic competitiveness by fostering a robust digital economy, involving supporting entrepreneurship, enhancing research and development, and promoting smart industries. The plan also emphasizes sustainable development, targeting a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy.

Blockchain Playing an Integral Part

Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, talked up the new platform and its connection to Smart Dubai 2021:

This innovation reflects our vision to make Dubai a global hub for trade and logistics. We believe that adopting modern technologies like blockchain will significantly contribute to improving the business environment and enhancing Dubai’s position as a major center for global trade.

The platform aims to streamline numerous procedures, expediting commercial transactions and customs clearance, thereby enhancing efficiency in the business environment. Dubai has been at the forefront of blockchain adoption in various sectors, with Dubai Customs implementing a blockchain-based platform in January 2020 to facilitate cross-border e-commerce.

Blockchain technology has long been promoted as a solution for real-time monitoring of items in supply chains, preventing fraud, and counterfeiting. However, despite its potential, widespread adoption faces challenges. For instance, in November 2022, IBM and Danish logistics firm Maersk discontinued their blockchain supply chain platform, TradesLens, citing a lack of global industry collaboration as a significant barrier.