Sharjah embracing a digital future with Sahab Smart Solutions
The emirate is leveraging the myriad benefits of digitisation through Sahab Smart Solutions’
seamless integration of data to manage and optimise Sharjah’s infrastructure
Sharjah, February 15, 2021
Smart cities are no longer just a concept or a dream of the future. Led by progressive governments, many are already active and expanding rapidly as they leverage innovative IoT solutions as well as cellular and wireless technologies to connect seamlessly, improve their infrastructure, and build unprecedented efficiency by fully integrating their services.
This has put cities – which want to pursue development in a sustainable fashion and focus on increasing people’s quality of life as one of the main outcomes of development – on a path to innovation and digitalisation.
Sharjah, whose development goals have always been human-centric and environmentally responsible, is a leading example of a smart, digital city in the making.
Following a decree from His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, in 2017 to form the emirate’s first Higher Digital Transformation Committee, the emirate has been focused on exploring, developing, and implementing leading digital solutions to streamline services to citizens, residents and visitors across Sharjah.
Founded in 2018 by the Sharjah Asset Management Holding, Sahab Smart Solutions is the trusted technology partner of the Government of Sharjah and is today spearheading the digital transformation journey of the emirate as part of the UAE’s wider national economic development and diversification efforts.
Sahab Smart Solutions partners with Sharjah government entities to help shape the emirate’s digitally powered future and execute projects to accelerate the development of its smart city solutions.
This digital transformation of Sharjah is coming not a moment too soon. Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, businesses worldwide were realising that traditional business models were becoming unviable, given the rate of digital disruption. The pandemic just put this scenario on fast-forward mode.
Companies that were able to digitise and pivot are the ones leading the way out of this crisis, grabbing market share, and setting the pace for others. But simply rushing into it is not the answer, says Amin Al Zarouni, CEO, Sahab Smart Solutions: “It is only by investing in the tech, data, processes and people, will companies rise up to speed. They need to take the right decisions and be agile in applying course corrections based on what they learn.”
Integrating through digitisation
Sahab is committed to the full digital integration of Sharjah’s public services and works closely with the emirate’s private and public sectors to deliver world-class smart solutions covering a wide range of services such as: AI-powered applications, digital platforms, ICT solutions, data security infrastructures and smart applications for various remote operations and smart governance tools.
The entity ensures that its clients get the full benefits by educating them on the process of digitisation from business and consumer perspectives. Al Zarouni said: “At Sahab, we believe that digital transformation should begin with a transformation of the mindset. It is not just about getting access to the technology of tomorrow; it is about having a forward-thinking mindset and company culture. Digitisation is almost entirely ineffectual without the right outlook driving it to take advantage of the exponential benefits of such technological innovation. Today, going digital is the baseline of any company to remain profitable by ensuring it acquires the infrastructure to continue growing technologically.”
Past achievements and the road ahead
Over the course of the past two years, Sahab has enabled and expanded the capabilities of its clients by delivering successful solutions to address a host of challenges.
An on-going project which Sahab was recently entrusted with by the Sharjah government, entails the conception and development of a world-class digital platform for the Sharjah Government, which will bring a wide range of business and public services offered by the emirate on a unified, easily navigable and user-friendly application.
Other projects include developing a centralised services management system for Sharjah Asset Management Holding that reduced its operating costs by 20 to 25%; Sharrai, a marketplace platform with the objectives of redefining e-commerce in Sharjah, and which debuted its platform for the used car market at Souq Al Haraj, facilitating easy accessibility and interaction between buyers and sellers; a comprehensive user-friendly digital platform for Al Saja’a Industrial Oasis (ASIO) which helped it provide investors with easy access to the site plan and available provisions, streamline sales requests, exchange information, and facilitate CRM through proper monitoring and follow-up of investor requests; and Tahseel, an advanced electronic revenue collection system, for the Sharjah Finance Department.
Sahab has also developed an integrated strategy and performance management as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for Sharjah Media City (Shams); a very customisable, open-source e-platform that can cater to any learning requirement for the Sharjah Private Education Authority that has seen the delivery of more than 35 certified courses and will utilise AI to build a roadmap for learners in its next phase along with the launch of a mobile app; and an integrated digital business platform for Sharjah Civil Defense that allows the local public, including citizens, residents and companies to easily access all the services provided by the department.
Sahab is also in the process of developing of the emirate’s first e-commerce platform for Souq Al Jubail, one of the emirate’s largest fresh produce market, that will bring together the largest B2B and B2C suppliers of food products to present the widest choices from a variety, scale, cost, and volume perspective, for residents as well as bulk buyers in the emirate; as well as an innovation platform for the Innovation Committee in Sharjah.
Al Zarouni added: “Sahab offers a comprehensive range of customised solutions and services to secure the IT environment of various government and private sector organisations and business entities. It is also in the process of creating a well-structured data analytics platform that sees the convergence of IoT, Big Data and AI to enable the gathering of data, analyse the inputs, as well as generate reports to enable entities make better decisions for the future.”
Affirming Sahab’s role as one of the key architects who will support the shaping of a positive, fully digital future for Sharjah, Al Zarouni remarked: “We are looking at focusing resources on a strategic plan to enable a fully integrated smart city that will provide the very best services across the board. We intend to deliver user-friendly and seamless solutions, which will cater to every member of our society and economy.”