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Global Cities Summit 2017" launched in the presence of 50 cities from around the world


Dubai embraces world continents with a global vision and ambitious plans for the future


Dubai, 7th March 2017: With a vision of consolidating its vital role in the domain of forecasting the future and adapting a global vision and ambitious plans for the future, Dubai has embraced five continents by hosting fifty cities from around the world at the Global Cities Summit, organised by the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, in partnership with the World Council on City Data (WCCD). The summit was held at the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, and hosted an elite group of leaders, as well as local, regional and global experts.

By hosting this summit, Dubai has sought further establishment of its global position in the domain of comparative data on sustainable cities. The city is developing proactive plans by addressing a wide range of topics and important issues that will change the foundations of cities in the future.

Dubai was awarded a Platinum Designation for its compliance with the ISO 37120 international standard – as globally operationalized by the World Council on City Data -  contributing to the enhancement of its global competitiveness rank. ISO 37120 is the first ISO International Standard on city indicators and is published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), of Geneva. It is the first international standard for cities indicators and includes 100 indicators spread over 17 themes ranging from  the economy to urban development, and environment and many others.

The WCCD is also the body responsible for certifying cities in accordance with ISO 37120. Further information can be found at .

“The UAE leads the way in shaping the future and making plans and strategies for urban renaissance,” said HE Abdullah Al Shaibani, Secretary General of Dubai Executive Council, in his opening speech, highlighting the important role played by Dubai in forecasting the future.

Aisha Miran, Assistant Secretary General for Strategy Management and Governance Sector in the Executive Council, also stressed the importance of the summit by stating that the UAE, and Dubai in particular, is planning to develop a general framework to help countries around the world forecast plans and programmes in line with the vision of the future towards building sustainable cities: "Dubai is proudly taking steady and confident steps into the future, promoting its rank through  global achievements in an impressively short period, thus it has become a global hub that sets an example for cities and countries worldwide. This was reflected in hosting the Global Cities Summit in the presence of a leading group of decision makers to develop a general framework for the future that we aspire for the next generations."

Miran added: "Developing ambitious plans to achieve the goals of the Dubai Plan 2021 has always been one the key steps we take to identify at an early stage the challenges that might face us on our way to reach the ranks of the leading nations in all areas and sectors. This in turn will enhance the welfare of individuals and promote their happiness, taking into consideration all factors that are all integrated to complement the economic growth which consolidates the Emirate’s global position.”

The Global Cities Summit Sessions

On day one, the summit addressed issues of cities’ development around the world. Entitled “Cities on the Global Stage – data as a universal language”, the first session discussed the role of comparative data in developing global knowledge as a basis for planning and developing solutions. The session also listed the data analysis tools necessary to support decision making through unlimited data, reviewed a number of lessons and mutual experiences, and discussed the WCCD Open City Data Portal – how can we push innovation to move freely around the world?

The summit creates an opportunity for delegates to share experiences and lessons learned, based on standard data that allow an access to city comparisons, exchange of experiences and best practices. It aims to promote the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences by reviewing the factors that enable cities to overcome challenges and international fluctuations on the economic, social and urban level.

The second session, entitled " Data Driving Investable Cities”, highlighted the idea of cities as a favorite place for investment, and as the basis for macro-economic development — how data can lead investment towards cities?

The third session, entitled "Cities and Nations", discussed a question about post-national data stage; why countries should pay attention to the standard comparative city data. The session covered also the topic of “data as a tool to guide investment in infrastructure and how to develop smart cities and countries depending on data for inclusive development.

The first day of the summit was concluded by the last session, entitled "City data – the new resource for smart cities", which addressed a number of themes focused on examining the role of data in creating a culture of innovation in cities, and the importance of partnership between public and private sectors to build smart cities, in addition to the impact of the cutting edge technology in developing smart cities and proactive urban planning.

The Summit hosted more than 300 decision makers

The first day of the summit was attended by more than 300 decision makers from the UAE local governments, in addition to international participants from more than 50 cities, where participants praised Dubai’s distinctive experience in hosting decision makers and discussing the importance of the standard data in determining the future visions of cities. They unanimously confirmed that Dubai adopts actual plans and strategies promoting its global position on the domain of shaping future cities.

World Council on City Data (WCCD)

The World Council on City Data (WCCD), based in Toronto, Canada, hosts a worldwide network of innovative cities committed to improving services and quality of life with open city data and provides a consistent and comprehensive platform for standardized urban metrics. Comparable city data is critical for building more sustainable, resilient, smart, prosperous and inclusive cities.

As a global leader on standardised metrics, the WCCD is implementing ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life, the new international standard; created for cities, by cities. The WCCD has developed the first ISO 37120 certification system and the Global Cities Registry.

In May 2015, the WCCD Open City Data Portal was launched, utilising a set of innovative tools, to allow a standard data acquisition and compare member cities, strengthening the institutional learning process between cities worldwide, and developing solutions to cities based on accurate data. For more information, visit WCCD website through its link:

It is worth mentioning that the corresponding certificate has five designations, and Dubai was awarded the top Platinum Designation in 2014 and 2015 for its compliance with the ISO 37120 international standard, which is considered the first of its kind in the world. The ISO 37120 is designed to examine city indicators in the areas of sustainable development and employment of smart alternatives to improve the quality of life in community. This in turn boosts Dubai position to be one of the top cities around the world to win this Platinum Certification along with other destinations including London, Barcelona, Boston, Toronto and Rotterdam.