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Dubai Government forms ‘Cashless Dubai Working Group’

Plans to shift all payments in Dubai to secure cashless platforms


The Government of Dubai has formed the ‘Cashless Dubai Working Group’ to create an action plan to shift all payment transactions in Dubai to secure and easy-to-use cashless platforms across sectors.

The initiative brings together Smart Dubai, Dubai’s Department of Finance (DOF), the Supreme Legislation Committee, Dubai Economy, Dubai Police, Dubai Economic Security Center, Dubai Chamber, and Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing to drive a secure and seamless transition towards a cashless society in the city.

The working group will be entrusted with a set of key objectives including the development of a roadmap for the transition towards a cashless society. It will launch a series of initiatives targeting all segments of the community to create the infrastructure and favorable conditions for eliminating the use of cash.

At its inaugural meeting, the working group launched the ‘Dubai Cashless Framework Report’, developed by Smart Dubai and the Dubai Department of Finance. The report seeks to promote the use of smart payment platforms for all transactions to phase out the use of physical cash. It forms part of the working group’s efforts to support the city’s full digital transition and make Dubai the world’s smartest and happiest city, in line with the directives of the UAE’s leadership and the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071 plan.

Activating a cashless payment framework is expected to stimulate thoughtful spending, raise revenue, and enhance cost-effectiveness at the government as well as private sector levels, in addition to enabling individuals to achieve financial savings.

The initiative is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and reinforces Dubai’s leadership in the regional financial sector.

Digital payments are one of the key pillars in Dubai’s smart transformation. The UAE ranks first globally in the Digital Connectivity Index of Euromonitor International, which places Dubai and the UAE in a good position to become one of the world’s leading cashless societies.

The Cashless Framework Report benchmarks four countries that have successfully led a full transition towards a cashless society. The Smart Dubai team working on the report used references from international studies to identify the benefits of transitioning towards a cashless society.

The report, which sheds light on enabling factors such as governance, technology, and culture, thoroughly assesses the immense benefits of such a transition for governments, businesses and individuals.

The report outlines the governance ecosystem, policy levers, regulatory and industry initiatives, and technology and cultural drivers that are critical to driving the transition towards a cashless society and ensuring a seamless experience for both businesses and consumers.

Smart Dubai has mapped out the cashless payment experiences expected in the future and the technology needed to enable those experiences. It has analyzed both global and domestic cultural drivers and identified areas where Dubai embodies such drivers.