Meet the Team
Meet the Smart Dubai team members who will be leading our journey towards happiness through the Happiness Agenda: Her Excellency Dr. Aisha bin Bishr, Younus Al Nasser, Dr. Ali Al-Azzawi and Danish Farhan.
H.E Dr.Aisha Bin Bishr
Director General, Smart Dubai Office
Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr is the Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, the government entity charged with overseeing Dubai’s citywide smart transformation, engaging with leadership in the public and private sector to make Dubai a global benchmark smart city.
Prior to that, Dr. Aisha worked as Assistant Director General of the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The Executive Office role is to implement the vision of HH (to make Dubai #1 globally) as well as to be the source of the best futuristic initiatives. Part of her role was leading the Smart Dubai task force team from the time of the announcement of the Smart Dubai initiative in March 2014, to the formation of the Smart Dubai Office.
Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr represents the Smart Dubai Initiative in many communities and conferences such as City Protocol Society, smart Cities Expo as well as at the GSMA.
Younus Al Nasser
Assistant Director General, Smart Dubai Office
CEO, Dubai Data Establishment
Younus Al Nasser is the Assistant Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, guiding Dubai’s citywide effort to transform Dubai into the world’s smartest city by 2017. Younus Al Nasser is also the CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, part of the Smart Dubai Office, charged with overseeing the implement of the Dubai Data Initiative, the most ambitious data initiative globally, and fostering a culture of data sharing in Dubai.
Prior to that, he was a Director of Projects and Security Systems in Dubai Electronic Security Centre Implementing Agile and Lean Methodologies in Project Management and member of Dubai Open Data Committee which was formed in November 2014 with a Decree from H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum to deliver Dubai Data Strategy, Dubai Data Road Map and Dubai Data Law.
Dr. Ali Al-Azzawi
Customer Experience & Design Consultant, Smart Dubai Office
Drawing on his multi-disciplinary experience spanning business, government, technology and applied psychology, Dr. Ali al-Azzawi is responsible for the Happiness Agenda at SDO, including the development of the scientific and assessment models that underpin its activities. His academic and professional interests focus on the theory and impactful applications of smart technologies towards happiness on a city scale.
His working experience started with physics (BSc), electronics and computing, in an academic setting at the University of Oxford and Dartmouth College, moving to the commercial sector, installing, developing and supporting medical and research MRI equipment, taking him to various locations around the world. However, due to his strong interest in how people use technology, he undertook his PhD research at the Psychology Department and the Digital World Research Centre (University of Surrey, UK), where he has remained as a Visiting Research Fellow. These activities added to his growing list of over 35 publications in the fields of UX/CX and MRI, where Ali has also published a book on the psychology of People’s Experience with Technology, being used as a core text at some Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) graduate courses.
Dr.Ali setup and led the first government based CX Lab in the Middle East, where he also lead the research and design for the multiple-award winning app, DubaiNow, as well as the subsequent complex omni-channel government service portal & personal dashboard (DubaiNow) and the upcoming Dubai Smart City Platform.
Whilst he is not reading, sending a balloon into space, or planning the next exciting project, Ali can be found sailing, diving or flying light aircraft.
Founder & CEO, Xische & Co.
Danish is an investor, entrepreneur, strategist and father. He is the founder of hybrid consulting boutique Xische & Co. in Dubai and New York.
Danish has been one of the youngest successful start-up entrepreneurs in the Middle East. After dropping out of 3 different universities, he founded new media firm in 2001 at age nineteen, later successfully exiting in 2004. Fueled by his personal philosophy of ‘hybrid thinking,’ he founded category-busting boutique consulting firm Xische & Co. in Dubai and New York. Danish has spent fourteen years advising, building, and managing ventures for clients such as the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Dubai, Dubai Holding, DIFC, Qatar World Cup, BMW & Giorgio Armani.
Born in Libya, raised in Dubai, Danish is passionate about design, culture, technology, and entrepreneurship. He is an exhibiting artist, and a regular speaker at design and entrepreneurship events. He is a keynote speaker and visiting lecturer, and regularly blogs on topics including design thinking, entrepreneurship and business culture. When he’s not creating imaginary worlds with his sons, Danish’s idea of ‘time-off’ is playing angel investor and mentor to budding local startups in the UAE.
He is Chairman of investment boutique Xische Holdings, a privately-held group that includes an emerging technology firm, a design consultancy and a recently launched Dubai-based startup incubator.