With a ready infrastructure and an agile approach, DEWA is one of the most innovative government entities in the region. In this exclusive interview, Dr. Ali Rashed AlSuwaidi, chief innovation officer of DEWA, explains their latest innovations, the potential of metaverse for improved service delivery and their commitment to sustainability.
Can you share the latest innovations that DEWA deploys and which digital projects are being highlighted here at GITEX?
At the DEWA stand, we are showcasing more than 30 projects that are related to digitalization and digital transformation. I would like to shed light, particularly on the internal DEWA app that is being revamped and launched during the event. Also, we are giving a glimpse of the new DEWA application for customers.
We’re also presenting a lot of use cases that we are building and using at DEWA, like the IoT sensors through InfraX, alongside other subsidiaries. In addition, we are introducing DEWAverse, which is the first local government entity based in the metaverse.
Can you further explain the relationship between DEWA and the metaverse? And from your perspective, what is the potential of the metaverse and how will it change your service delivery?
When the pandemic hits, we actually don’t have any choice but to transform into working from a distance and adopting digital services. In DEWA, we were prepared for this since 2014, and we are able to adapt because our infrastructure is ready. And even during the pandemic, we are ready to move and work from home instantly. Hence, there is no effect on business continuity.
For the metaverse part, DEWA was adopting a lot of virtual reality technology before the metaverse became a trend. For instance, we started with smart glasses and the HoloLens. After launching today’s metaverse, we will transfer some of the services that we're providing our customers, employees and other stakeholders into this platform. For customers, we will give them the experience of trying our services virtually rather than coming to the customer happiness center. You can simply enter or live this experience from home and interact with an agent to finalize any queries. Besides the innovation labs – where employees can come together, brainstorm, come up with new ideas, prototype and take it further by scaling out – the DEWAverse gathers people in one platform so that they can access it anywhere.
How will DEWA continue to be at the forefront of technological innovation in line with UAE’s digital transformation journey?
DEWA started this journey a long time back, even before the other government entities. We started it to see what the benefits of these technologies are. Definitely, in the future, we’re going to adopt new technologies to make the stakeholders’ experience easier and make them happier, moving forward to reach our strategic goal of becoming a globally-leading innovative corporation that provides smart, innovative solutions and services.
The technological journey will progress, and hopefully, in the near future, you will see the latest solutions adopted in DEWA, driven by the stakeholders’ interests and empowered by their hands.
What is DEWA’s commitment to remaining sustainable and advanced?
DEWA is committed to achieving sustainability goals, either at the local, regional or global levels. Going further down the technology road or adopting the latest technology will align with this objective. What we are using here today, in terms of technology, will support us in our internal operations, which will lead to more efficiency and reliability. And that will reflect back on the generation side, on the transmission side and on the distribution side. It is one cycle that tackles one part and affects the other, leading to long-term sustainability and a reduced carbon footprint.