Part of Dubai's legacy as a city of advancement is tied to the digital transformations it has undertaken in the past few years. 

This week, Smart Dubai announced that the emirate has emerged as the "Digital Capital of the Middle East" for 2019, adding that this status is endorsed by leading global reports on smart cities. 

Throughout 2019, the emirate expanded efforts it has been making to digitize all operations and services of Dubai Government. The city has also been outranking global nations when it comes to digital changes it's implementing. 

Earlier this year, the emirate emerged as the first in the Arab world and 12th globally on IMD's World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019, climbing up five places compared to 2018. 

Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum took to Twitter to express his pride over the official announcement.

"Several global indicators have designated Dubai as the 1st in digital transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. And with great pride we say that today, Dubai has also surpassed major international cities in this smart transformation drive," he wrote in one tweet. 

"Now, we will relentlessly strive to achieve more in our mission to propel Dubai into becoming a global digital leader," he added in another post. 

The royal also highlighted several projects that have led the emirate into an age of digital transformation that's on another level. 

In the past few years, the emirate launched over 130 smart initiatives, here's a closer look at a few of the most recent ones: 

1. Paperless Dubai

Launched by Smart Dubai in 2017, this initiative will see the emirate's government go completely paper-free in 2021. 

Government departments will work together via smart systems implemented across the nation. Both internal and customer transactions will be digitized.

2. The BlockChain initiative

Launched under the governance of Sheikh Hamdan, the Dubai Blockchain Strategy is the result of a collaboration between the Smart Dubai Office and the Dubai Future Foundation. 

The initiative aims "to continually explore and evaluate the latest technology innovations that demonstrate an opportunity to deliver more seamless, safe, efficient, and impactful city experiences."

The strategy also comes as part of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's vision to make Dubai the first city fully powered by BlockChain by 2020. 

3. Smart Cities Global Network

Source: Smart Dubai

This network is made up of a number of smart-city stakeholders and aims to digitally connect cities. 

It's a global platform that allows for the exchange of views, insights, and ideas on the best ways to build smart cities regionally and globally. 

4. The Dubai Data initiative

A collaboration between Smart Dubai and the Dubai Department of Economic Development aims at predicting digital trends "that can help strengthen the emirate's retail sector."

The joint venture is part of the government's Private Sector Data Engagement Strategy "which is designed to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors on data."

5. The Artificial Intelligence Lab

The UAE has been leading the way with artificial intelligence (AI), which is set to play a central role in the country's Centennial 2071 project. The nation is ranked as the first in the Arab world when it comes to adopting AI in all aspects of life. 

Dubai plays a huge part in this feat and has been at the center of several AI initiatives including its one-of-a-kind AI Lab

Established in partnership with IBM, the lab provides a rising number of partners, essential tools, and the market support needed for the implementation of AI services and applications within their respective fields.