Find anyone who lives in an urban area, ask them what they like about their city and somewhere on the top of the list of the most recurring themes will be the smartness of the city. Smart people don’t want to just have smartphones, the want to live in smart cities.

So what is a smart city?

A smart city will use technology to make sure that services that it provides are easily accessible and user-friendly.

A lot has been said and written on the topic perhaps the best way to go about understanding it is by watching one in existence.

Dubai has implemented unique strategies towards achieving the goal. The bottom line of these strategies is communication, cooperation, and integration.

Its strategy was driven by many initiatives that were designed to help transform all services that were offered by the government to be smart.

Dubai smart city is aimed at a smart society living smartly in a smart economy with governance that is also smart. The project hopes to touch on every possible area of the life of the people of Dubai.

The plan, to be finished in 2018, aims at helping Dubai to grow exponentially and to have the capacity to handle this growth.

This project is far bigger than individual projects such as building the Burj Khalifa. This is because it calls for the participation and contribution of so many people and has objectives that touch on so many things.

For Dubai to be able to achieve its vision of a smart city, it will need to align the main sectors involved in its realization to this vision. These sectors include transport and infrastructure, electricity and urban planning.

All over the world, the concept of a smart city is fluid due to the loose definition of the same. This has meant that different governments can, within the confines of the definition, formulate what a smart city will mean for them. For example, for some, it is a city that is carbon neutral. This means that you can have many smart cities in the world but they will not look the same.

For Dubai, the smart city will also be a hub for innovation. The global innovation indexing system puts Dubai at the 46th place. Their target is to scale up this ranking and ascend the innovation pinnacle.

In the UAE, government agencies are required to reduce their expenditures by 1 percent which would be spent on innovation. This propels Dubai further towards its goal. It involves innovation prizes to reward the leaders in the field and to make use of public and private participation.

Their smart city concept also factors in the contribution of other nations encouraging exercises such as benchmarking.  It will ask of the designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and everyone else involved to have the courage to defy the status quo. It’s not hard to expect this from a country that holds more than 100 Guinness world records.