UAE Digital Economy Council showcases national efforts for global leadership in future economy
During the virtual meeting of the UAE Digital Economy Council, chaired by Al Olama, the committees presented their work within the national initiatives to enhance the country's global leadership in the future economy.
Al Olama emphasised the need for a comprehensive vision encompassing all fields, success factors, and opportunities to boost the digital economy. This includes robust digital infrastructure, blockchain-based digital transaction solutions, and e-commerce. Implementing this vision will create an integrated system that accelerates the growth of the digital economy sector.
The council reviewed the latest developments in the work of the Digital Economy Tax Statistics committee, chaired by Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance. The committee includes members from the Department of Economic Development, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, and the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Its goal is to expand the adoption of digital technologies, connect electronic transactions, and collect data on the digital economy, enabling data-driven systems.
The e-commerce committee, chaired by Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, discussed the latest updates on providing opportunities for startups and attracting global companies to the UAE through the implementation of modern trade law using technological means. The committee involved relevant entities such as Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) and the economic development departments in the UAE. Their aim is to make the UAE a global hub for the digital economy and enhance the competitiveness and proactive development of e-commerce laws in the country.
Furthermore, the committee discussed the current global situation in the field of e-commerce, noting the global increase in e-commerce sales from US$4.28 trillion in 2020 to US$5.4 trillion last year. The committee emphasised the importance of showcasing success stories in this field and enhancing the growth potential in e-commerce, which includes the development of digital payment systems, increased demand for digital services, and digitisation of government services to solidify the UAE's position in e-commerce.
The technological infrastructure and blockchain Committee, chaired by Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), discussed developments in activating and supporting the adoption of emerging technologies in the UAE in priority sectors, working on building supportive policies and introducing blockchain technologies, the Internet of things and Generative AI including ChatGPT in various initiatives, in strengthening the digital wallet system and increasing the inclusiveness of digital ID for the various segments of society.
The Financial Technology Committee, chaired by Saif Al Dhaheri, Assistant Governor in the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), showcased the committee’s initiatives, which included “know your customer” mechanisms, financial technology services licences, instant payments platform (IPP), local card system, and digital currency.
The Digital Economy Statistics Committee touched on the digital economy methodology, which is being updated in cooperation with members of the Council and local authorities in the country, in addition to its international adoption by international organisations.
The meeting was attended by council members: Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy; Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the TDRA; Saif Al Dhaheri, Assistant Governor at CBUAE; Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Director-General of Economic Affairs at ADDED; Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism; and Hanan Ahli, Deputy Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.
Amjad Saleh/ Muhammad Aamir
The UAE Is A Preferred Destination For Companies Seeking To Write Their Own Success Story
The Chinese International Federation of Entrepreneurs organized the summit, in the presence of His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Zhang Yiming, Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, and Liu Xiaoming, former Chinese Ambassador to Egypt and Britain.
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama stressed in an opening speech to the summit that the UAE has become a preferred destination for entrepreneurs and companies seeking to write their success story and move towards new horizons, through the incubating and stimulating environment it provides for entrepreneurship and the establishment of emerging companies in the sectors of the future economy and the digital economy, pointing out that The organization of the summit in the UAE reflects the pioneering position it has reached, as a center for making the future of the economy.
He said that the UAE’s vision to build a prosperous, sustainable and ever-evolving economy is based on consolidating its position as a center for startups and entrepreneurs, developing legislative and regulatory frameworks that support the development of these sectors and enhancing their role in shaping the future economic system.
Lead by example
For his part, Zhang Yiming, the Chinese ambassador to the country, said that the UAE is an oasis of peace and a fertile land for creativity and opportunities. Accelerating, the UAE has become the first destination for Chinese investments.
He added that the Chinese-Emirati cooperation has become an example to follow in the region, so that the UAE has become a key word in search engines in China in the recent period, and has also witnessed the influx of business delegations from China to explore opportunities, and many Emirati investment agencies have opened branches in China.
Liu Xiaoming, former Chinese ambassador to Egypt and Britain, said that China has entered a new era and embarked on a new journey, and there are many opportunities emerging in it. He added, “Our relations are closer than ever. So far, China has established comprehensive strategic partnerships, or strategic partnerships, with 12 Arab countries and the League of Arab States.
The summit focused on the sectors of financial services, technology and renewable energy, and the attendees participated in main sessions, round table meetings, bilateral meetings and field visits, aimed at inspiring the participants and promoting building cooperation frameworks and exchanging knowledge in various industries and paving the way for companies to invest, conduct trade and technology activities between China and the Middle East and North Africa, while the Chinese International Federation of Entrepreneurs called on the participants to join the dialogue and contribute to the fruitful exchange of ideas to advance cooperation between China and the Arab world.
DEWA hosts the First Industry Exchange Day in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, for the 1st time in the world
H.E. Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, emphasized the UAE’s position as a prominent global hub for fostering fourth industrial revolution solutions and leveraging them to drive comprehensive digital transformation. This strategic pursuit aligns with the visionary objectives of the leadership, which prioritizes the establishment of a thriving digital economy. The UAE's success in this endeavor is reinforced by an advanced digital infrastructure, including a supportive regulatory and legislative framework that fosters and catalyzes the growth of the digital economy.
During the session discussing the UAE's vision for the digital economy, His Excellency highlighted the country's ongoing commitment to drive the process of digital transformation. This commitment is demonstrated through strategic focus on several crucial areas, including skill-building, fostering digital capabilities, promoting innovation, fostering entrepreneurship, and supporting digital startups. These efforts aim to facilitate the widespread adoption of digital foundations across various segments of society, alongside a focus on enhancing digital literacy. Recognizing the rapid advancement of technology and the transformative potential of artificial intelligence solutions, digital literacy stands as a key priority in the current era.
H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama added that the UAE government reinforces its strategy by creating partnerships and establishing cooperative frameworks with governments and institutions worldwide. This aim at facilitating the exchange of success stories, knowledge, and experiences. Recognizing that knowledge-sharing serves as a fundamental catalyst for the success of initiatives, the UAE places great significance on these collaborations in fostering readiness for future.
In his opening speech, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer commended the World Economic Forum for organising the first Industry Exchange Day, which is part of the strategic cooperation between DEWA and the World Economic Forum. DEWA has partnered with WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It was the first government utility to join the San Francisco-based centre, which includes international organisations, as part of DEWA’s efforts to keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and develop disruptive technologies in the power and water sector.
Al Tayer noted that the timing of this conference was very appropriate since Dubai is experiencing the positive aftermath of a remarkable World Expo and DEWA’s success as the largest utility listing in the world, having attracted over US$ 85 billion in international investor demand, representing an oversubscription of 37 times. This was closely followed by the successful listing of Empower, its majority-owned subsidiary and the world’s No.1 district cooling company by installed capacity.
In his speech, Al Tayer shared DEWA’s strategy of transition to green energy, its commitment to advanced and innovative technologies and leveraging digitalisation opportunities in all business operations, which lie at the heart of DEWA’s remarkable success story. It has helped DEWA to establish world-leading benchmarks in availability, reliability and efficiency of the generation, transmission & distribution infrastructure built at a cost exceeding AED 210 billion.
“With the vision, guidance and unlimited support of the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the UAE is preparing to host the largest international climate event, which is the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28) in Dubai Expo City later this year. At DEWA, we promote sustainability, innovation and future-shaping in all our projects and initiatives to achieve the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 that seek to provide 100% energy from renewables. We believe that innovation, technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, digital transformation and the circular economy will play a key role in achieving this ambitious goal,” said Al Tayer.
“Information is power. We launched the world’s largest carbon-neutral green Data Centre at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park under our subsidiary, Digital DEWA, as confirmed by Guinness World Records. AI and digital solutions are the foundation for smart, secure and sustainable future cities. Smart services adoption by our customers has reached over 99%, and DEWA was recently placed in the top position of global utilities in the independently prepared Digital Quotient Report 2022. Hence, we see a decisive role for Digital DEWA in shaping a new digital future for Dubai. We started using AI in 2017 by developing a roadmap to enrich the experiences of our customers, employees and other stakeholders. We are now working to enhance our services with ChatGPT technology. DEWA is the first utility globally and the first UAE government entity to use this new technology,” added Al Tayer.
“DEWA has recently launched its ‘DEWAVerse’ platform on the Metaverse, being the first local government organisation to serve customers, employees and members of society innovatively. We believe this technology will support the development of projects that will contribute to business growth, enhance efficiency, reduce costs and contribute to stakeholder happiness. To enhance the operational efficiency and effectiveness of electricity and water networks, we have launched two nanosatellites: ‘DEWA SAT-1’, which is a 3U nanosatellite and ‘DEWA SAT-2’, which is a 6U nanosatellite, as part of DEWA’s space programme (Space-D). DEWA is the first utility in the world to use nanosatellites in its operations. We also use big data through sensors in solar power stations that gather real-time data and analyse it in conjunction with data from our satellites,” said Al Tayer.
“With the increasing challenges associated with climate change, there is a need for serious global cooperation to protect the environment and natural resources and advance the global sustainability agenda. I am confident that this forum will be an important milestone in climate action, enhancing cooperation, exchanging experiences and best practices among various industry sectors, developing new strategies to overcome current challenges with modern technologies to create a sustainable world for future generations,” concluded Al Tayer.
“Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Web3 present business leaders with important opportunities to transform industries and address critical challenges including climate change. Realising these opportunities, while also adequately addressing the attendant challenges and dilemmas, requires close collaboration between government leaders and the private sector. The World Economic Forum provides a platform for such cooperation and dialogue to take shape and we are delighted we were able to make a contribution in this respect today here in Dubai together with DEWA,” said Mirek Dušek, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.
The First Industry Exchange Day featured different discussion panels and workshops on various topics in AI and digital transformation, with the participation of officials and experts from local, regional, and international organisations from the government and private sectors. Topics covered at the event included: ‘MENA's vision for the Digital Economy’, ‘Digital Transformation in MENA’, ‘Overcoming challenges through technology’, ‘Metaverse – why should my business care?’, ‘UAE’s vision for the Metaverse’, ‘Technology applications to accelerate energy transitions in industries’, and ‘Overcoming Challenges: Generative AI’. The First Industry Exchange Day also highlighted DEWA’s leadership in digital transformation and the ‘DEWAVerse’ platform it launched as a successful role model for digital innovation in the utility sector.
More than 90 students graduate from second edition of Samsung Innovation Campus in the UAE
The Samsung Innovation Campus 2023 kicked off in January and brought the latest edition of the company’s signature Artificial Intelligence (AI) course in partnership with the National Program for Coders, in line with the UAE’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031. Held under the theme ‘Together for Tomorrow! Enabling People’, the 3-month course offered a platform for determined beginners and learners to build their knowledge in machine learning (ML) and establish a strong understanding of the fundamentals of AI, inspired by the country’s future-forward agenda.
Saqr binGhalib, Executive Director at the Office of UAE Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, affirmed the UAE government's keen endeavors towards embracing innovative smart solutions based on technology, coding, and artificial intelligence. This strategic approach aims to create different models across multiple governmental, economic, and societal sectors, bolster performance improvement efforts, sustain ongoing development, and pave the way for a prosperous future for generations to come.
Saqr binGhalib added that partnerships and cooperation frameworks with the private sector and global companies specializing in technological fields is a pivotal factor in bolstering endeavors aimed at achieving the objectives outlined in the UAE's artificial intelligence strategy. By taking proactive steps to strengthen the foundations of artificial intelligence and enhance its contribution, the UAE aims to enhance readiness in future fields of significance.
Doohee Lee, President of Samsung Gulf Electronics, said: “The enthusiastic response from young people in the UAE to this year’s Samsung Innovation Campus demonstrates the underlying interest in AI technology and validates our CSR efforts in deepening the country’s AI capabilities. The course has imparted graduates with the resources to spearhead AI change in organizations and society. Collaboration is key to delivering on the programme’s mission, and we are therefore delighted with our partnership with UAE’s Office of AI, with whom our goals are aligned.”
The next-generation technologies of AI and ML are already reshaping the world as we know it, presenting consumers, businesses, governments, and societies with numerous valuable benefits – even impacting the way people will interact virtually. As the UAE positions itself as a hub of excellence in this field, the e-learning course covers the necessary content, tools, and applications needed to place participants ahead of the curve, with official certifications upon completion.
Through the course’s specialized curriculum, participants learned the tools and applications that feature prominently in AI and machine learning-driven workplaces. Taught by renowned AI experts Christophe Zoghbi and Mrad Sleiman, the course introduced learners to AI and machine learning through live online sessions to help learners develop a clear understanding of industry processes. The course was delivered through a blended learning, self-paced format, with participants given exercises after each module and access to content presentations and pre-recorded videos covering statistics, algorithms, and programming.
Graduates leave with an understanding of the statistical and mathematical foundation of machine learning, the basics of Python and libraries used for machine learning algorithms, and the ways used to apply these algorithms to real data sets and build projects while following the data science lifecycle.
Omar Sultan AlOlama calls for use of digital technologies to build and sustain peace
“The emergence of new, powerful technological tools that can be used to connect or divide the world makes it imperative for all of us to pursue a common approach that addresses and guides the proper use and governance of these tools,” said Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications.
“These technologies, which are progressing at exponential speeds, have the ability to magnify peacekeeping efforts or affect them negatively,” he said.
AlOlama emphasised the need to include women and youth; communities across the municipal, local, national, and international spheres; and civil society in peacebuilding efforts. He noted the need to strengthen the peacebuilding architecture to help address long-term challenges such as climate change, extremism, and global public health emergencies. AlOlama also said it is crucial to address hate speech, racism, intolerance, and other manifestations of extremism.
AlOlama delivered the UAE’s statement at a signature event convened by Switzerland, which is serving as President of the Security Council for the month of May.
The meeting was chaired by Ignazio Cassis, Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.
Esraa Esmail/ Rola AlGhoul
UAE government launches 'Machines can See' Summit visualising future of Artificial Intelligence
The Summit aims to convene an array of experts from around the world, discussing the future of AI and visualising this city as a place with the capability to envision, imagine and bring things to reality, which will contribute to the UAE’s acing the race of the countries in creating the next Silicon Valley.
Commenting on the Event, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasised that the UAE has established its status as the best hub for global conferences that specialise in future-oriented and technological fields and a global platform for experts, decision-makers, and academics specialised in these fields, facilitating positive transformations and comprehensive societal changes based on the UAE's vision.
Al Olama further stated that hosting international conferences focused on future sectors in the UAE reflects the government's commitment to accelerating the country's plans for digital transformation. Additionally, by holding meaningful dialogues on artificial intelligence developments and rapid changes in technological fields, the country will create opportunities for new ideas and projects that enhance its leadership and contribute to achieving the goals of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031.
Speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Government, Business and Science’ at the ‘Machines Can See 2023’ summit, the experts conversed about the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the UAE and its potential to become the next Silicon Valley.
Exploring the seamless possibilities of AI, policymakers from the public sector, businesses, and academia opined that the UAE is rapidly transforming its visions and solidifying its global status as a hub of advanced technologies, particularly in AI.
“We are privileged to host the ‘Machines Can See 2023’ summit in partnership with the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office. The name ‘Dub.ai’ reflects the UAE’s supportive environment for innovation and AI advancement for humanity’s benefit. We brought some of the brightest minds in the field to the prestigious Museum of the Future, sharing their powerful vision and knowledge,” said Alexander Khanin, founder and director of Polynome, which organised the summit.
“All cities around the world aspire to become the next Silicon Valley. However, to become that, a city needs to consider the factors contributing to the innovation ecosystem: a combination of talent, capital, private sector engagement, and commercialisation,” said Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, during the discussion.
Elaborating on what more it would take for the UAE to create a Silicon Valley, El-Badawi said, “It is possible by finding a way to commercialise research and innovations in science and technology to create a successful ecosystem similar to Silicon Valley. The government, academia, and corporates also play important roles in creating an environment conducive to innovation,” he added.
“As the UAE has successfully attracted talent, it is now embarking on the journey towards perfecting knowledge creation and building technical capabilities. This is the next wave happening in the nation. Our efforts will unlock the potential within Dubai’s Government-related entities to create value-add tracks for technologists building in the region,” remarked El-Badawi.
Khalifa AlQama, Director of Dubai Future Labs, said that technology is the most crucial enabler. “The most critical aspect is the business value brought by having all the localised infrastructure, which can enable AI adoption as an enterprise. We have established an AI ecosystem, a localised service stack to assist organisations in modernising data. We need to assist organisations on the ground to modernise their data best and prepare the data for the AI.”
“Organisations can modernise their data, which is more of a problem than AI itself. If you can address that problem, AI will probably have the right food to eat in general, the expected outcomes. Each vertical has its appetite, be it banking, finance, healthcare, education, or the government, which always takes the lead with their mandates defined,” he added.
The fact that the UAE is the only country with a state-level AI Programme is a testament to its commitment to supporting the progress of AI technology.
The one-day summit has been hosted in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, and Dubai Future Foundation, exploring current advancements of AI, its applications, and its future in the UAE and the rest of the world.
This year, the summit deliberated on the future of computer vision and machine learning with the foremost experts in 3D computer vision, deep learning, generative AI, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and so on.
The summit featured a diverse range of presentations and panel discussions from experts like Hao Li, Associate Professor at the Mohamed bin Zayed University of AI; Marc Pollefeys, Director of the Microsoft Mixed Reality and AI Lab, Professor at ETH Zürich; Philip Torr, Professor at Oxford University, Co-Founder at Aistetic Oxsight, and Chief Scientist at FiveAI; Bernard S. Ghanem, Professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; Fernando de la Torre, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University; Serge Belongie, Professor at the University of Copenhagen; Daniel Cremers, Professor at the Technical University of Munich, Director and Co-Founder at Artisense; Manohar Paluri, Senior Director at META; Dr. Abrar Abdulnabi, Head of AI at Saaal.ai; Kamran Ashan, Senior Director AI and Smart Data at Etisalat; and Alexei Posternak, Managing Partner at INTEMA.
Ahlam Almazrooi/ Binsal Abdulkader
UAE Government launches 'Generative AI' guide to facilitate adoption of AI technology
The “Generative AI” guide serves as a valuable resource for government entities, enabling them to leverage the benefits of AI technologies and enhance its implementation across various fields.
Commenting on the launch, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasised the UAE government's commitment to reinforcing its global position as a pioneer in technology and artificial intelligence sectors, through designing proactive strategies, working on legislative and regulatory frameworks to limit the negative use of technology and overcome these technologies’ challenges, keep-pace with the latest digital advancements and trends, as well as empowering community with the best digital solutions and resources to augment the deployment of advanced technology in diverse areas.
Al Olama further stated that the launch of the “Generative AI” guide represents a proactive step that embodies the UAE government's vision and objectives to inspire and influence the digital world. Leveraging generative AI applications, such as ChatGPT, which has garnered over 100 million users in months, is a crucial step towards seizing significant futuristic opportunities. Its employment in diverse fields, including education, healthcare, and wellbeing, holds tremendous potential for enhancing development, productivity, and driving a transformative shift in various vital sectors.
The UAE consistently prioritises the development of cutting-edge solutions in AI, specifically generative AI. This technology is highly regarded due to its potential to unleash opportunities across various sectors. Generative AI's ability to apply algorithms specifically designed to generate new content, such as images, video clips, music, or texts, that simulate human creativity is particularly promising. It is accomplished by training systems to identify fundamental patterns and features of data to create original content that is akin to the source material. In contrast to non-generative AI, which solely categorises or recognises existing data, generative AI creates something new and innovative.
The guide provides a comprehensive exposition of generative artificial intelligence, explores the challenges and opportunities inherent in diverse digital technologies, recommends optimal approaches for effectively managing these technologies, emphasises the importance of data privacy in the current digital landscape, expounds on principles and methodologies for leveraging generative artificial intelligence technologies, and features texts that provide the most accurate content created by Generative AI.
The guide showcases 100 use-cases and applications of generative AI, including image and video synthesis, language translation, music composition, and text creation. Of particular significance is ChatGPT, which recognised as one of the most fundamental and widely employed generative AI applications. The guide also presents the implementation of several language-based tasks that facilitate the development of healthcare, education, and transportation services. The adoption of ChatGPT can be readily integrated, exemplifying the UAE's efforts to design and establish policies and regulations that align with future approaches.
The guide further demonstrates the potentials of generative AI applications in disseminating information on government services and streamlining them for the public. These applications can automate customer service inquiries, thereby improving response times and operational efficiency. Additionally, they can analyse customer feedback on services and evaluations, providing decision-makers with insights to develop more effective policies.
The guide highlights the benefits of incorporating generative artificial intelligence applications in education and their potential as virtual tutors or teaching assistants. These applications can offer a personalised and interactive support to students by addressing queries and providing feedback on tasks. Teachers can also leverage these applications to automate administrative tasks and develop interactive learning materials tailored to students' interests, such as designing quizzes, educational games, and simulation applications. This can significantly enhance the learning experience, garnering more effective outcomes.
The “Generative AI” is available through this link: https://ai.gov.ae/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/406.-Generative-AI-Guide_ver1-EN.pdf
CodersHQ empowers the community with concepts of 3D design and new trends of AI
The workshop aimed to foster creativity, imagination, and digital design skills amongst the participants while introducing them to the latest 3D design techniques and trends in artificial intelligence.
During the workshop, participants were presented with several successful case studies showcasing the application of virtual reality. The event also focused on the development of 3D design brainstorming skills, establishing a collective vision for sustainable cities through digital technologies, promoting environmental sustainability awareness, fostering the generation of technical ideas through creative arts and digital designs, and introducing emerging technologies such as Metaverse and virtual reality.
The workshop, further delved into fundamental concepts related to visualization and digital art, explained the mechanism of creating a 3D design through virtual reality using Gravity Sketch, and covered other pertinent technical topics related to design and virtual reality (VR).
Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director at the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office, stated that the new technological solutions serve to augment various aspects of digital development, contribute to the growth of new digital sectors, and inspire different segments of society, including children, students, and educators. The aim is to enhance their digital skills and foster proficiency in advanced digital mechanisms, thus supporting the developmental goals of the UAE.
He added that the provision of experiences with the latest technological devices and solutions is instrumental in ensuring their successful adoption and effective implementation. This approach enables building a digitally empowered society that leverages the latest global digital technologies to their fullest potential.
Sonal Ahuja, CO-founder and CEO of VRAcademi Specializing in AI, augmented and virtual reality applications London and Dubai discussed emerging trends in 3D design. Ahuja provided insights on ways to leverage Meta Quest 2 for creating 3D designs, including techniques for combining and printing designs to transform them from VR to real life. The session also covered fundamental principles of 3D product design and showcased inspiring case studies of innovative and successful 3D products.
Tariq Al Fahaam
Ahmed bin Mohammed attends 8th edition of Emirati Media Forum
His Highness made these remarks during the eighth edition of the Emirati Media Forum (EMF) held at the Dubai Press Club. Organised by the Dubai Press Club, the event brought together leading media personalities, heads of UAE media institutions, prominent writers and intellectuals.
HH Sheikh Ahmed said: “Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we seek to accelerate the growth of Dubai’s media sector and enhance its ability to keep pace with rapid changes sweeping the global industry. We firmly believe in the media’s ability to serve as a key partner in driving Dubai’s development.”
HH Sheikh Ahmed stressed the importance of equipping media professionals with the skills required to deploy new tools and technologies. “Technology is changing the way many sectors operate. Dubai’s advanced infrastructure and capabilities place it in an ideal position to shape a bright future for itself. The media must play a strong role in helping the emirate achieve its objectives,” he added.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, the Emirati Media Forum hosted a panel discussion featuring His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Member of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence's (MBZUAI) Advisory Board, on rapid technological transformation and its impact on various industries including the media.
His Excellency Al Olama said the UAE is at the forefront of adopting new technologies and has made significant investments in building a world-class infrastructure, partnering with major technology companies and enhancing the capabilities of its human capital. The country’s impressive digital transformation strategies have enhanced its global competitiveness, he said.
During the session, HE Al Olama said that HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision has played a crucial role in preparing the UAE for the technological revolution and supporting the country’s emergence as a global leader in innovation.
“From an early stage, the country invested in empowering people and developed an integrated strategy for artificial intelligence,” he said.
As part of these investments, the UAE has facilitated the graduation of 400 AI experts in collaboration with leading universities around the world. “The world's largest companies in AI and advanced technologies have chosen the UAE as their regional or global headquarters, further cementing the country's position as a hub of innovation,” Al Olama said.
The UAE Minister also pointed out that the expected economic impact of AI on various global sectors in the next 10 years is a staggering $7 trillion.
HE Al Olama said that Arabic content represents 3% of total online content in a region where 350 million speak Arabic. “However, AI opens up the possibility of increasing the volume and quality of Arabic content online. The UAE is well-positioned to lead this growth,” he noted.
On the topic of how media institutions can utilise AI technologies, he said that ‘Generative Artificial Intelligence’ can help the media develop and summarise content in different formats with little human intervention. The UAE Minister cited the use of ‘Computer Generated Images (CGI)’ in videos and movies as an example. “In the past, producing such clips required specialised teams and complicated equipment. However, these clips can now be created within seconds with just a few simple commands on a mobile device.”
Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, President of the Dubai Press Club, said that technological advancements provide the media with exceptional new opportunities for creative expression.
“Technological evolution is rewriting the rules of the media sector,” Al Marri said. “Media professionals must stay abreast of new technologies and utilise them to provide engaging and credible content to their audiences. The discussions at the Emirati Media Forum explored how advanced digital technologies such as artificial intelligence can be deployed to raise the competitiveness of the UAE media sector,” she added.
The largest gathering of thought leaders in the UAE media sector, the Emirati Media Forum serves as a platform to discuss the current state of the media industry, including print, visual and digital media, and examine challenges and opportunities in the industry.
Dr. Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club, said that through events like the Emirati Media Forum, DPC is keen to foster meaningful dialogue among key media players on the latest developments in the sector locally and shed light on how they can embrace new opportunities and overcome challenges.”
"We were honoured to have His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama as a guest at this year's event. His insights and rich knowledge on the impact of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence on the media sector have deeply enriched this year’s discussions.”
First held in 2013, the Emirati Media Forum provides an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the industry and serves as a bridge of communication between local media organisations, journalists, experts and specialists in various media fields. The Forum also helps local media gain new insights on ways to develop the leadership and capabilities required to accelerate the industry’s growth.
CodersHQ held 'Metaversing your education' workshop
The workshop witnessed participation from various speakers, including; Thaer Faraj CEO of Beyond Universe - a Microsoft partner in the Middle East; and Maryam Al-Amiri, Coding Ambassador at CodersHQ, who discussed various mechanisms for enhancing the use of metaverse technology in higher education and shared insights on the benefits from the latest technological releases, including Microsoft Holo Lens that students can utilise.
Saqr binGhalib, Executive Director at the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office emphasised the need for enhanced utilisation of new digital sectors and their employment in inspiring and building skills and capabilities of future generations. With rapid technological changes taking place around the world, it is imperative to establish strong digital foundation that will enhance the UAE's journey and enable it to build the best digital infrastructure.
Saqr binGhalib stressed the significance of building partnerships and strengthening digital cooperation frameworks with leading international companies in the technology sector, adding, “This is crucial in enriching digital content and making optimal use of it, by introducing the latest technological devices and solutions, which will enable cadres in the country to experience them and employ in developing futuristic initiatives. This will enhance their role in leading the digital sector in the future.
The workshop centred around the concept of the "Metaverse" world, which is characterised by technologies such as "blockchain" that includes cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and extended reality; including, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR).
The workshop showcased various aspects of the metaverse and its significance in the field of higher education. The session also highlighted the opportunities presented by this promising sector, both in the short and long term. Additionally, the workshop emphasised the importance of proactive initiatives in empowering cadres and youth in these digital fields. This approach will enable them to contribute to shaping a better future for societies by leveraging the potential of the Metaverse.
During the workshop, students were introduced to key differences between the first generation of the Internet (Web 1) and the advanced fourth generation (Web 4), which is based on future technologies like artificial intelligence and metaverse worlds. The session aimed to enhance students' understanding of the history of technology, including its early emergence and the qualitative shifts it has undergone from the stage of reading data to creating devices that simulate the way a person thinks and works. Additionally, the workshop highlighted new aspects of technology carried by different generations of technology and main elements in each generation.
The workshop provided an overview of new innovations from the company, which is represented by the "Microsoft Holo Lens" device. The session covered all aspects of this device and included an introduction to its various components. Students were given the opportunity to experience the augmented reality that Microsoft launched in 2016. This device features sensors that measure the user's eye movement.
In 2019, the company launched a new and improved version, which boasts a new design and additional features. The interactive workshop is part of (HQ) learn at CodersHQ. The workshop aims to develop skills and reinforce an approach based on talents and capabilities to elevate the country's position in the global technology and artificial intelligence sectors. The programme is aligned with the objectives of the national strategy for the digital economy of the UAE.
Esraa Esmail/ Amjad Saleh
UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and blockchain discusses the adoption of AI technologies in developing digital services
This came during the first meeting of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain held at the Ministry of Finance in Dubai, that witnessed the attendance of the council’s members.
Omar Sultan Al Olama said that the UAE government remains dedicated towards advancing its operational frameworks, pioneering proactive resolutions to challenges, and expediting the process of digital transformation to consolidate a blueprint for the UAE that embraces futuristic technologies, and strives to cultivate a preeminent digital economy that empowers the country's position and bolsters its international competitiveness in the fields of enhancing digital infrastructure.
Younis Haji Al Khouri, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, and member of the Council, emphasised the Council's pivotal role in advancing the adoption of artificial intelligence technology and digital transactions across all critical sectors in the UAE. He highlighted that the council's efforts in developing innovative futuristic models and keeping up with the fast-paced global changes aim to expedite the digital transformation process and provide the best opportunities for future generations.
He added: "the Ministry of Finance is committed to collaborating with all relevant entities to accomplish the Council's objectives and fulfill the visionary leadership's ambitions of positioning the UAE as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031."
The council reviewed the purview of the 12 sub-committees
During the council's session, progress and key accomplishments of the 12 sub-committees operating under its purview were reviewed, along with updates on the implementation of 60 initiatives within the second phase of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The members deliberated on their strategies to foster the adoption of artificial intelligence in vital sectors, while encouraging competition among government entities. The council's top priority was to establish artificial intelligence as a fundamental working model and a crucial tool in digital transactions across various sectors, including healthcare, energy, natural resources, blockchain, industry, transportation and logistics, and tourism.
The UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain is currently focusing on the activation in the second phase of its work, which aims to adopt artificial intelligence initiatives to embrace it’s technologies in government entities, develop AI systems, and increase the UAE's competitiveness in priority sectors through the development of AI in the areas of customer services, in a way that contributes to improving the wellbeing, enhancing performance, and establishing an effective legislative and regulatory environment.
Under the leadership of Mohammed bin Taliah, the Government Services Committee discussed the extensive list of initiatives related to the adoption of artificial intelligence in government services. The listing exceeded 140 initiatives, with the objective of spreading knowledge and improving competitiveness among entities.
The committee also launched the AI adoption guideline in government services to enhance awareness among government entities about AI, coordinate efforts, and accelerate adoption while keeping pace with the latest advancements in AI utilization in government services.
The committee engaged in a discussion on the latest advancements on developing an advanced tool that measures the level of AI maturity in government agencies. The tool is designed to evaluate the current status, establish the objectives of AI maturity, and identify the primary challenges, requirements, and recommendations for developing capabilities and advancing maturity to the next level in the of government services.
The model comprises the five AI maturity stages, namely exploration, experience, practice, professionalism, and transformation. It also encompasses six principal dimensions that must be improved and synchronized, namely vision, strategy, usage cases, data, digital infrastructure, employees, and governance. The Health Committee, led by Dr. Mohammed Salim Al Olama, has presented the most recent advancements in the “Riayati” digital platform. The objective of this platform is to transform the health care landscape in the UAE by improving the quality of health care services through the enhancement of secure services. It is designed to focus on data quality, proactive disease follow-up, improved accessibility to data and enhance well-being by providing exceptional health care services to the community.
In the meeting, the committee also announced that the digital platform now holds a total of 2 billion medical records, encompassing 9.5 million patients. Furthermore, it was revealed that the platform has successfully connected over 90,000 healthcare providers across more than 3,200 healthcare facilities throughout the UAE, aiming to facilitate the exchange of health information using secure digital networks, which has enhanced the quality of the health system by allowing for the provision of integrated services.
The UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain was re-formed in 2021 after its launch on February 26, 2018, with the aims to enhance efforts to adopt artificial intelligence initiatives, develop blockchain, and lead the new promising sector in new ways that enhances performance, work models, and reflects positively on societies.
Tariq Al Fahaam
CodersHQ organised Crafting Sustainability workshop and AI Minecraft Challenge for Kids
The aim of the workshop was to introduce children to Minecraft mechanisms that enable them to build and explore virtual worlds, as well as teach them new technologies in the world of artificial intelligence.
The workshop had a particular focus on promoting sustainability and eco-friendly practices. By utilising Minecraft, children were able to learn coding basics and AI concepts in a fun and engaging way, while also gain an understanding of the importance of environmental responsibility.
Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director at the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office said that the workshop is part of the programme's ongoing efforts to enhance children's capabilities in coding, while also supporting its objectives of building a technology-driven future.
The initiative also reflects the programme's commitment to instilling concepts of sustainability in younger generations, which aligns with the UAE government's Year of Sustainability goals. By combining coding and AI with concepts of sustainability, the workshop provides a valuable opportunity for children to develop new skills that will prepare them for the future while fostering a sense of environmental responsibility.
Binghalib said that the workshop provided by Microsoft experts, Ashley Bryant and Philip Wride, was specifically designed to equip children with foundational programming skills and principles of sustainability, aiming to raise awareness among children about the significance of artificial intelligence and the vast opportunities it presents for the future.
By providing children with these essential tools and knowledge, the workshop enables them to be better prepared for the rapidly evolving technological landscape while promoting a more sustainable and responsible approach to innovation.
The workshop spanned over two days and targeted students between the ages of 10-12 years. Its primary objective was to teach the participants how to leverage Minecraft as a platform for learning to code, as well as to introduce them to the fundamentals of artificial intelligence within the game.
The event also aimed to demonstrate how sustainable practices can be integrated by leveraging artificial intelligence technologies to address various challenges. By catering to the specific needs and interests of the target age group, the workshop provided an interactive and engaging learning experience that encouraged children to develop new skills while fostering a sense of environmental consciousness.
The workshop centred around the themes of artificial intelligence, sustainability, and eco-friendly practices across different areas of life that included an introduction to AI, understanding AI and big data for wildlife tracking, exploring AI in the real world, AI and machine learning, help ocean researches, AI to determine water quality and coding tutorial using Minecraft.
The workshop also highlighted the intersections between sustainability and technology. It provided participants with an introduction to artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, and how they can utilise these tools to create positive change in the world.
Additionally, the event included a series of challenges designed to enhance participants' competitiveness and encourage them to develop solutions using digital technology. By engaging with these challenges, participants were able to apply their newly acquired skills in a practical and dynamic manner, while fostering a spirit of innovation and problem-solving.
Overall, the workshop provided a holistic approach to learning, combining theoretical knowledge with practical applications to equip children with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
Binsal Abdulkader/ Esraa Esmail
The Artificial Intelligence Office participates in FAIR 2023 program
The panel discussion was comprised of distinguished members, namely Dr. Mohammad Yaqub from the MBZ University of AI, Saqr Binghalib, and Alexey Myakov from AI R&D Intel in the UAE, as well as Professor Jagath Samarabandu from Western University, Canada.
The discussion was expertly moderated by Dr. Kashif Rajpoot from the University of Birmingham Dubai. During the discussion session, Saqr bin Binghalib, the Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office, stated the significance of collaborative efforts among governmental entities, private sector, educational institutions, and experts. He emphasized the need to align visions, goals, and directions pertaining to digital research trends in artificial intelligence and the challenges confronting the world today.
Furthermore, Saqr bin Binghalib expounded upon the role of artificial intelligence research in propelling growth and advancement in digital sectors, in keeping with the UAE's strategy for artificial intelligence. He emphasized the importance of fostering programs, initiatives, and workshops focused on applied mechanisms of artificial intelligence to achieve the goals of the UAE Centennial 2071, and to accelerate progress towards a futuristic landscape of development programs and projects.
The workshops centered around the topic of artificial intelligence research and its potential applications, with a particular emphasis on current digital applications and strategies for their development. In addition, consultation sessions were conducted to explore potential areas of cooperation to advance discussions aimed at enhancing artificial intelligence research (CFAIR) in the UAE. These efforts align with national strategies in the digital domain, which seek to harness resources and capabilities in innovative ways. Ultimately, the workshops and consultations sought to facilitate a productive dialogue between academic researchers and government officials.
The workshop delved into the various research majors within artificial intelligence, which pose significant challenges to researchers in the field. It emphasized the crucial role of developing expertise in mathematics and algorithms to enhance creativity and proficiency in artificial intelligence. Additionally, the workshop underscored the importance of honing skills in coding, data management, and innovation to solidify the preeminent position of artificial intelligence in the innovation landscape.
Coders HQ organises breakfast with CTOs in collaboration with AWS
The workshop aimed to share experiences and strategies on the development of cloud computing, how to increase speed while maintaining flexibility, control, and agility, and its importance in enhancing productivity, that the private sector’s CTOs have acquired.
Commenting on the workshop, Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director at the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office, affirmed the importance of dialogues and workshops convening experts to share experiences aiming to develop the digital sector and ensure the sustainability of promising digital fields growth such as the Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and Cloud Computing and their main role in enhancing digital utilisation, sharing success stories and being proactive in the future fields.
During the workshop, Mark Schwartz showcased the importance of cloud and digital delivery’s techniques aiming to generate faster results with more control. He further explained the difference between the concepts of speed and control between the past and the present, pointing out that the benefits of digital tools to enabling different elements and enhancing speed and control in all sectors in a way to guaranteeing the best control as well as managing challenges and ensuring the success.
He said, “In the past, organisations have assumed that speed and control were in opposition that going fast meant losing control. Today, with the tools of the digital age, the opposite is true. Government sectors and corporations can govern better, manage their challenges better, and make better use of their resources if they learn to move at speed."
Schwartz discussed the mechanisms of using the cloud and digital methods to obtain quick results with high control. He identified benefits of centralisation in improving efficiency, decreasing costs, increasing control as well as benefits of decentralisation in increasing speed and improving efficiency of response for customers, enhancing innovation, and managing challenges.
The session also discussed challenges of centralisation and decentralisation and the importance of exploring opportunities out of these challenges for development to make the best decisions and improve its efficiency.
The workshop came within the HQ meetups in CodersHQ aiming to gather like-minded people in different coding fields and supporting coders as one of the main pillars for achieving the UAE Digital Economy Strategy.
Amjad Saleh/ Khoder Nashar
UAE to make remote services mandatory for all healthcare providers
This was revealed by Shaikha Hasan Al Mansory, head of Strategy and Investment Section, Digital Health Department, Ministry of Health and Prevention on the second day of the Remote forum in Dubai on Thursday.
The ministry will launch a comprehensive “Smart Digital Health” regulatory framework by the end of the year and all healthcare providers will have to mandatorily provide at least one of the four forms of remote health services, she told Gulf News on the sidelines of the forum.
“It will be mandatory for them to provide at least one of these services remotely—consulting, prescribing medications, monitoring patients or robotic surgeries.”
This will be applicable to both public and private sector healthcare service providers, she revealed.
She said medical facilities should report to the ministry the about the virtual or tele medicine services that they currently have.
“And if they do not have any, we will be holding our hands together with them so that by the end of this year, they would have at least one of them”
The comprehensive healthcare regulatory framework to regulate all remote health services will define roles and responsibilities of medical facilities and patients’ rights.
In the wake of rapid developments in technological advancements in health care sector, she said, it is imperative that medical facilities promote remote services.
“We are heading towards medical tourism now. How can we do it without having such basic services? We need these services to move towards digitisation in healthcare sector,” said Al Mansory.
She pointed out that the rules and regulations will also set boundaries for healthcare providers.
“There must be medical responsibility when it comes to diagnosis and prescription of medicines and tele medical services. We must have clear regulations for all these.”
Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter
Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar: The UAE is taking a proactive approach in implementing remote work models
H.E Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar highlighted that the UAE has introduced a virtual work visa allows foreigners to live in the UAE while continuing to work virtually for their employers existing outside the UAE pursuant to Cabinet Resolution No. 27 for 2020 on the Remote Work System in the Federal Government. This resolution, which was issued by the UAE Government in April 2020, permits the adoption of full-time or part-time remote work, even in ordinary situations.
This came during his speech at a session entitled "Remote Work Applications within Administrative Innovation: Agile adaptation of the UAE workforce market to the shifting technological landscape", within the "Remote" forum organized by the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office. The forum aims to address three primary priority sectors; remote work, remote education, and remote healthcare, and to enhance their development through the utilization of digital solutions. The forum seeks to harness the potential of technology to foster a more diverse and flexible world, while simultaneously enhancing productivity and well-being.
His Excellency emphasized that the Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021, which has been implemented on February 2, 2022, includes provisions that enable private sector entities to establish workforce relations under six different categories of work, including full-time, part-time, temporary, flexible, and remote work. Furthermore, His Excellency highlighted that remote training is also being embraced as a mechanism to improve competitiveness, necessitating increased flexibility and adaptability within various sectors.
The Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation further stated that the UAE has established a position of leadership in this domain, with remote training playing a crucial role in overcoming challenges.
Collaborative efforts with prominent partners have also contributed to the enhancement of training programs, which are geared towards fostering the development of future-oriented skillsets.
The session discussed the latest advancements within the UAE's workforce market and solutions to address the significant changes that are unfolding across the globe. It explored the factors that enable the implementation of remote work applications within the UAE, highlighted success stories, and emphasized the significance of utilizing digital solutions to enhance performance and achieve objectives in alignment with the UAE's strategic goals for comprehensive digital transformation.
During the session, the impact of remote work applications on various economic sectors was deliberated upon. The benefits of digital applications in different sectors were compared, and the most significant challenges in the field were identified to explore the future of remote work applications. The "Remote" forum was held on March 15 and 16 at The Museum of the Future in Dubai. It brought together ministers, high-level UAE government officials, decision-makers, private sector leaders, and pioneers to deliberate on digital-based solutions and the utilization of technology to create a more sustainable, diverse, and resilient world with a focus on flexibility, accessibility, and efficiency.
Dubai announces new initiative for working remotely from March 16
Abdulla bin Zayed Al Falasi, Director-General, Dubai Government Human Resources Department, announced the launch of the new initiative at the inaugural day of ‘Remote’, a new forum that aims to activate the nation’s agenda for remote work, remote education and remote healthcare.
Addressing the forum virtually, Al Falasi told the audience at the Museum of the Future that the new human resources initiative has been launched in collaboration with Dubai Culture that oversees libraries and Digital Dubai that ensures digital transformation of the city.
67,000 employees covered
“With this we will have new ways to work remotely. This will help reduce traffic. Employees can work remotely from libraries close to them,” said Al Falasi.
A video screened at the session indicated that the move will be implemented by 61 government entities in Dubai and it will be applicable to as many 67,000 employees.
Later, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work, told reporters that the new remote work facility from the libraries will come into effect from tomorrow, March 16. “More details will be released tomorrow [March 16],” he said.
Al Olama pointed out that the new initiative will allow government employees in Dubai to work from public libraries that are closer to their homes. “So, it will allow people to actually work closer to their homes in an enlightening and inspiring environment.”
Standards and policies
The minister also revealed that the UAE will issue standards and policies for remote work.
“We are going to constantly look at the whole new system, new pedagogy to actually manage this. There will be new policies. Towards the end of the year, there will be new standards as well.”
He said the standards of remote work will ensure health and well-being of employees.
“We don't want remote work to affect the well-being of individuals. Just think about this. Today, when we go to the office, there are certain standards of lighting, of desks, of keyboards, of chairs, that ensure that people do not get health issues. If you're working from your bed at home or working on the sofa, and slouching down, this will create a burden rather than an advantage for the government to spend more on health insurance. So we need to make sure that the standards are put in place,” he explaine How about the private sector?
On implementing the remote work standards in private sector, Al Olama said: “We need to make sure that the standards that we put in place eliminate such issues. We [at government] lead by example, but we will not force the private sector to do anything that will impact their profits.”
However, he pointed that private companies are also taking their own measures to continue hybrid work model even after all the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted to ensure work flexibility for their employees.
“Mubadala, for example, has allowed eight hours of remote work in a month,” the minister said.
Earlier, speaking at the opening session of the forum, Al Olama highlighted the role of remote work in building a flexible future for the country’s workforce, saying "the role is to achieve flexibility at work in an era when remote work is a main way of work, not an exception".
“We must move from using the methods of remote work as just a trend to using those to our advantage as a technique to improve the quality of life of residents and nationals,” he pointed out.
Top executives of country’s leading employers such as Mubadala, Emirates Islamic Bank, du and e& shared their experiences in implementing hybrid work model and shared several benefits for employers and employees at a session titled 'Breaking the Rules: Embracing Remote Work for Higher Returns'.
Speaking to Gulf News later, Dena Al Mansoori, Chief Human Resource Officer, e&, said: “Something magical happens when you empower and entrust your people to work wherever they are their most productive selves. In the case of e&, the benefits have been clear, as there is a direct link between employee engagement and company performance. Since implementing our hybrid working model, our employees are increasingly more engaged, happier, and more productive, which has, in turn, resulted in a record performance for e& Group year over year since 2020.”
Remote work in legal system
In another session, Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice, highlighted how digital transformation revolutionised the legal services towards flexibility and agility. He revealed that the ministry would use Artificial Intelligence and Metaverse to further reduce the number of days taken for the completion of litigation.
“Some of those services are expected to come on stream, hopefully by the end of the 2024,” he told Gulf News later.
With 158 digital litigation services, currently, the average period taken for the completion of litigation is 64 days in the UAE whereas it is 120 days internationally, he pointed out.
The Remote forum is hosting ministers, high-level UAE government officials and decision-makers with private sector over two days.
On day one, it was held under the theme 'Remote Work: Productivity, agility and remote performance measurement'.
On day two on Thursday, the focus will be on remote education and remote health with talking points on accessibility, opportunity and remote education quality assurance as well as innovation, readiness, convenience and efficiency in healthcare.
-with inputs from Khitam Al Amir, Chief News Editor
UAE minister calls for flexible work practices to boost productivity
The country's technological advantages have provided robust infrastructure to enable and support workers in the digital era, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working System, said at the Remote Forum event in Dubai on Wednesday.
In particular, the UAE aims to harness the capabilities of artificial intelligence and automation, which would enhance the Emirates' capacity-building process in the economy and workforce, he said.
"We must build opportunities out of challenges [and] use technologies to address these ... using the strength of technology to create a more sustainable, more varied world," said Mr Al Olama.
"Remote work is now a main way of work and not an option ... and we in the UAE must move from using the methods of remote work as a trend to using them as a quality and competitive advantage that improves the quality of life of residents and visitors to the UAE."
Almost half, or about 46 per cent, of workers in the UAE work remotely, Mr Al Olama said, citing figures from UK research company YouGov.
Remote work rose to prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic and was part of the frantic change companies had to adapt to in order to keep their operations afloat and, in the case of essential sectors, provide services to consumers.
Technology played a key role in advancing the use of remote work, with companies — especially cloud service providers, telecom operators and other tech-focused organisations — boosting their offerings to support the ever-growing demand for digital services.
The UAE has introduced several initiatives to support the sector. The country unveiled a one-year digital nomad visa in March 2021 that allows people to live in the Emirates while continuing to work for employers in their home countries.
The rise of remote work is an opportunity for countries to develop policies and programmes to attract these workers, who can further support local economic growth and innovation, Airbnb said in a September report.
"Remote work goes hand in hand with many other sectors but it also prospers in the digital sector," Mr Al Olama said.
"In the UAE, we can find the digital infrastructure to enhance a new culture that provides all the options to those who want to use them."
The focus on the digital economy has been seen in several programmes the nation has unveiled to boost the economy.
These include the updated Entrepreneurial Nation programme that seeks to develop more than 8,000 small and medium enterprises and start-ups by 2030, and Future 100, aimed at supporting and honouring the top 100 start-ups that will have a significant impact on the economy of the Emirates.
"We've seen a lot of positive impact in the overall employee experience and the overall financial results by introducing multiple aspects of a flexible work environment," Homaid Al Shimmari, deputy group chief executive and chief corporate human capital officer at Mubadala, said at the event.
The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund has had flexible working options in place since 2019, a year before the pandemic, which meant they were prepared when the health crisis took hold.
"The infrastructure and connectivity in the UAE really played a big role in the way we did business," Mr Al Shimmari said.
Remote working has also played a role in helping organisations manage and reduce their costs, as proven by research, data and analytics, said Dena Almansoori, group chief human resource officer of e&, the UAE's biggest telecoms operator.
"Though there's no one-size-fits-all [solution], productivity and engagement increased, and at the same time we were also really able to conserve our costs," she said.
Alvin R Cabral
Omar Al Olama explores with Microsoft's Vice Chair and President the advancement of AI applications
The meeting discussed the importance of keeping up with the rapid-pace in developments that the technology and AI sectors are witnessing worldwide. The meeting also addressed various facets of fostering the bilateral partnership between the UAE government and Microsoft.
During the meeting, Al Olama emphasised the UAE government’s commitment to fostering collaboration and partnerships with various leading global technology companies, in recognition of the significant value of sharing successful experiences and implementing the best digital practices developed by technology pioneers globally, as well as integrating these ideas into the UAE's efforts to enhance digital infrastructure and drive comprehensive digital transformation initiatives.
Al Olama further said that the technological revolution necessitates a heightened focus on talent development and investment, along with ensuring talent development and empowering future generations, through equipping them with the necessary skills, which are a crucial component for driving innovation and shaping the future.
The meeting deliberated on several strategies aimed at integrating digital solutions into the work systems of government entities and different companies. The discussions revolved around the need to develop highly advanced applications of artificial intelligence that are continuously trained in programming languages.
In addition to a review of the digital transformation projects that the company is currently undertaking, aligned with the UAE's comprehensive digital transformation agenda, the discussions also underscored the significance of accelerating progress in the domains of AI and the digital economy, while highlighting the essential future skills required to keep pace with global and technological advancements.
Amjad Saleh/ Tariq Al Fahaam
Omar Sultan Al Olama launches UiPath's first headquarters in Middle East and Africa
Al Olama stressed that the UAE represents a platform that embraces international companies and attracts technological pioneers and innovators in digital fields around the globe. “The country's progress in attracting companies reflects the visions of the UAE's leaders and their directives to create the best environment for companies,” he added.
He commended UiPath on their important achievement pointing out the importance of intelligent automation technology in digital transformation, and its ability to accelerate the adoption of the digital economy and contribute to the country's GDP while unleashing Emirati youth’s abilities and talents for more innovation and future acceleration.
The ceremony was attended by Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director at the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office; as well as UiPath executives, including: Daniel Dines, Founder and Co-CEO; Robert Enslin, Co-CEO; Brigette McInnis-Day, Chief People Officer; Mark Gibbs, EMEA President; and Ashraf El Zarka, Vice president and managing director Middle East and Africa.
During the ceremony, UiPath held a meeting aimed to discuss the company’s plans and strategies to support digital transformation projects across the UAE and robotics automation visions to develop the digital infrastructure and support achieving the goals of the UAE's national strategies in the areas of artificial intelligence and digital economy, while the company's team organised a tour to showcase the company's digital developments.
UiPath is a global software company that makes robotic process automation software that was founded in Bucharest, Romania, by Daniel Dines.
Hazem Hussein/ Khoder Nashar
UAE government participates in Raisina Dialogue 2023
This came during, Omar Sultan Al Olama’s keynote speech in the “Bytes of Promise: How Can Technology Lift Communities” session as part of the UAE Government’s participation at the Raisina Dialogue 2023, the leading global conference on international affairs in its 8th edition held in partnership between the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation and witnessed the participation of representatives from over 100 countries, including Ministers, Military Commanders, Captains of the Industry, Technology Leaders, and Strategic Affairs’ experts.
Al Olama added that the UAE is keen on sharing knowledge, experience, and success stories through designing future approaches and participating in international conferences to enhance the new digital era and implement the technology to serve communities, as well as to enhance the technical infrastructure in various fields inbuilding a comprehensive digital future.
Al Olama pointed out the importance of designing technological policies that embrace global development, growth, and accelerate changes, stressing the need to develop digital and technological opportunities for start-ups that support building upon a more effective global economy that invests in the skills of talented entrepreneurs and enhances agility to adapt to various changes in global economies.
The session witnessed participation of Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka; Baijayant Panda, National Vice-President, Bharatiya Janata Party, India; Dr. Ayoade Alakija, Co-Chair, African Union's African Vaccine Delivery Alliance; Special Envoy and Co-Chair for ACT-Accelerator, World Health Organisation; and Gautam Aggarwal, Division President - South Asia, Mastercard.
The session discussed challenges in finance and infrastructure in domestic and international policies, challenges against the spread of digital technology to communities and companies, and digitalization's role in enhancing resilience and access for communities and supply chains to achieve sustainable economic growth.
It also touched upon the importance of upgrading skills alongside economies’ adjustment to the technological revolution and setting policies that keep pace with the next era of technological development in various digital sectors, such as artificial intelligence, the Metaverse, and others, and the best platforms that can speed up this process.
Tariq Al Fahaam
UAE government participates in digital economy working group within G20
This came, during the participation of the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office's, as a representative of the UAE Government in the first meeting of the Digital Economy Working Group within G20, which includes most of the largest economies in the world, part of the UAE's participation as a guest country in work-groups held in Lucknow City Presidency of the Republic of India.
The meeting discussed the importance of sharing experiences of the G20 countries in enhancing digital transformation and utilising various digital technologies in all priority areas, the practices to achieve the best digital infrastructure.
Saqr Binghalib said that the UAE government employs modern technologies to explore opportunities and find innovative solutions to critical challenges.
He reiterated that the UAE reached first place regionally and 13th globally in the e-government development index in 2022, a leap forward reflecting its endeavours to strengthen its digital infrastructure and continue the development process in achieving the best results.
He referred to the country's experiences in launching the Emirates Digital Wallet (EDW), eSignature and digital certification, and UAE pass, which reinforced digital transformation efforts, adopted digitisation-based solutions and provided the community with secure access to various government and private applications and websites; benefiting more than 6,000 services provided by more than 130 federal, local government entities, semi-government entities as well as private corporates.
Binghalib stated, “Having more than 400 government employees, decision-makers, and experts versed in artificial intelligence technologies through the participation of more than 22,000 people in the UAE AI Camp and CodersHQ, one of the initiatives of the National Programme for Coders, reflects the leadership's vision of the importance of empowering Digital skills to consolidate the UAE’s global position in as a pioneer in exploring and employing AI.”
He explained that the UAE seeks to enhance the capabilities of cadres in the field of digitisation, building upon their skills and talents and creating a digital environment to design smart solutions and support the digital economy, pointing to the role of the digital school, one of Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives in spreading knowledge and education in various countries since its launch in 2020.
Binghalib added, “The digital school initiative reached seven countries and provided education to over 40,000 students, leveraging the experiences of more than 1,000 teachers digitally. Other initiatives have had a tremendous impact globally, such as the One Million Arab Coders and the launch of the National Qualifications Authority that aims to develop talent qualifications promoting it to international standards, aiming to support the changing workforce market requirements and build a promising generation able to lead the best future of the digital economy.”
The Artificial Intelligence Office showcased the objectives’ achieved under the umbrella of the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, launched in 2018, and the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, the first of its kind in the region, aiming to enhance the UAE's leadership in the fields of artificial intelligence and digital skills through launching various national programmes, namely; the Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, AI labs at the United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi and Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi.
The AI Office also touched upon the upcoming launch of the Indian Institutes of Technology, one of the most prestigious universities in the Republic of India, the first headquarters outside India in the UAE, enhancing the focus in NLP research and various digital technologies and nurturing talent to build the best digital future for the next generation.
The Artificial Intelligence Office also showcased the most important objectives of the UAE Digital Economy strategy launched in 2022, with the aim of doubling the contribution of the digital economy to GDP up to 20 percent over the next ten years.
Hazem Hussein/ Khoder Nashar
RTA opens Transportation Research and Innovation Pavilion at University of Birmingham Dubai
TRIP aims to streamline the ongoing research efforts by focusing on infrastructure, urban planning and sustainability. It aspires to become a hub for hosting creative ideas and youth projects, supporting start-ups in marketing their innovations, spreading innovation culture, organising events that foster a work environment motivating creativity, familiarising with innovation programmes and accelerators, and publishing specialised scientific research in this field.
Al Olama emphasised that the UAE is keen to support innovation and innovators, and its strategic visions and future plans consolidate the qualitive and unique efforts of the research industry, which in turn enhances the UAE’s standing as a global host for innovations and start-ups. "Such efforts aim to uplift these practices to the highest international levels and foster the UAE’s pioneering research innovations.”
“Advanced science and artificial intelligence technologies are critical for intensifying national efforts and forging scientific and research partnerships at the federal and local levels in support of the ‘UAE Innovates 2023’ initiatives. Such efforts contribute to grooming current generations to adopt robotic technologies as an integral part of creating new ideas and future technologies,” Al Olama added.
For his part, Mattar Al Tayer stressed the importance of the centre and its contribution to creating innovative transport communities. He commended the centre’s role in developing smart mobility solutions that contribute to RTA’s vision.
"The world leader in seamless and sustainable mobility’ and mission: ‘Provide seamless and safe travel with innovative, sustainable mobility solutions and services to make every journey in Dubai a world-class experience’, besides promoting the standing of Dubai as a global incubator for innovations and start-ups and developing innovative solutions to current and future transport challenges. The centre targets startups, governmental and non-governmental entities, academia, technology companies, innovation incubators and RTA’s key vendors,” Al Tayer added, praising the partnership with the University of Birmingham.
Huda Al Hashmi said that the UAE leadership believes in the importance of adopting sustainability as a pillar of innovations and specialised research. She stressed the UAE government’s keenness to promote a culture of innovation by launching targeted initiatives in cooperation with local government agencies.
“The opening of RTA’s Mobility Research and Innovation Centre contributes to strengthening the UAE's position as a global hub for sustainable innovation. It reflects the message of ‘UAE Innovates 2023’, which focuses on sustainability, and seeks to translate the directives of leaders to build the capabilities of qualified human resources, support start-ups operating in the field of mobility, and launch initiatives focused on spreading the culture of innovation across the board,” she added.
UAE AI Office partners with Vista to advance digital economy
Announced during the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai, the partnership with Vista facilitates the exchange of information, experiences and best practices to develop local technology hubs and centres of excellence integrate digital learning into schools and university curriculums.
In addition, Vista and the AI Office will collaborate to drive digital transformation for local enterprises and governments through dialogue and discussions around the adoption of new technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain in the public and private sectors.
Commenting on the partnership, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for the AI Office and Managing Director of the WGS, said “Collaborating with the private sectors plays a key role in further consolidating the UAE as a leader in the global digital economy and supporting our efforts to build upon local digital talent and develop the critical skills within the UAE workforce.
“We look forward to leveraging enterprises ecosystem to accelerate broader initiatives for driving economic growth through the power of technology.”
For his part, Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista, said, “Digital transformation in the public and private sector is playing an outsized role in accelerating economic growth for nations around the world. The most important ingredient for digitisation – digital talent – is also the hardest to come by. “We are honoured to partner with the UAE to further develop and attract the advanced digital skills that are required to drive transformational change and prosperity for the local and global economy.”
This collaboration supports the UAE’s Initiatives of the ‘Next 50’ and ‘Projects of the 50’ programmes to accelerate the region’s development as a comprehensive hub in all sectors and establish its status as an ideal destination for talents and investors, with a focus on development of the UAE innovation ecosystem.
The official signing for entering into this partnership was attended by Fareed Adib, Managing Director, Vista; and Mauro Bonugli, Managing Director of Vista’s OneVista programme.
Tariq Al Fahaam
Saif bin Zayed meets President of Mauritius at WGS 2023
WGS is taking place from 13th -15th February in Dubai with the participation of leaders, more than 10,000 ministers, government officials, heads of private sector companies, experts and specialists in future fields.
Sheikh Saif welcomed the President of Mauritius, embracing the bilateral relationships between the UAE and Mauritius and appreciating his presence at the World Government Summit.
Sheikh Saif and President Roupon witnessed the signing between the UAE government and the Republic of Mauritius as part of the Government Knowledge Exchange Programme to cooperate in the technology field.
The signing ceremony was attended by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications and Managing Director of the World Government Summit Organisation; Deepak Balgobin, Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation of Mauritius; and Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Competitiveness and Knowledge Exchange and Chairman of the Competitiveness Council.
The partnership aims to enhance cooperation and knowledge exchange in emerging technologies, in line with the rapid global changes to achieve proactivity in technological areas.
Al Olama stated that the UAE is moving toward the future under the leadership and visions of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
“The UAE is a pioneer in adopting technology to empower the new generation of future governments by building partnerships and benefiting from promising sectors to achieve economic and social development,” he added.
Al Olama continued, “Global digital partnerships are an essential part of the development in technological fields and the journey of digital transformation, which will be achieved through supporting partnerships, e-commerce projects, research and development, digitisation of government services and innovation.”
The cooperation will boost the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Emerging Technologies field, including promoting, adopting, and harnessing ICT. It will also focus on the formulation of policies, legal and regulatory frameworks of common interest, sharing of expertise and know-how in the field of emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, metaverse, cloud computing, cooperation for capacity building and transfer of knowledge and expertise in fields of common areas.
Rola AlGhoul/ Esraa Esmail
60 students participated in Future innovators Hackathon
The Emirates Foundation for School Education, in cooperation with the Office of the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, organized the fifth session of the “Future Innovators Hackathon”, with the participation of 60 students from public schools and a number of government agencies in the country, such as the Watani Al Emarat Foundation and the Emirates Authority. Dubai Digital, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Customs, and the Dubai Civil Defense.
The "Hackathon", which was organized over two days at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, is part of the Foundation's efforts to develop students' talents in the areas of creative thinking, leadership and innovation, and to provide them with the necessary skills by enabling them to actively participate in finding innovative solutions to a number of hypothetical practical challenges facing different businesses. Governmental and private sectors.
Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Directors, confirmed that the "Future Innovators Hackathon" is an important national platform to enhance the UAE's position globally in the field of innovation, artificial intelligence, and other future fields.
She explained that the national educational system, thanks to the efforts of the leadership, has become in line with the future, which is reflected in all the initiatives and projects offered in the educational field that aim to raise the level of students and establish a culture of innovation among them in the various stages of their scientific development.
Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, affirmed that the UAE government is keen on continuous development and launching initiatives aimed at supporting talent and providing the best environment for designing distinguished ideas and developing innovative solutions, in a way that contributes to enhancing community participation in light of the accelerating global trend towards Investing in the digital world, which confirms the importance of qualifying students to know the challenges and create new solutions, adopting the latest digital means in finding innovative solutions to create a better future.
Al Olama said that the UAE government has launched many initiatives and programs aimed at supporting efforts to accelerate the transition to the future, in a way that enhances the objectives of the UAE strategy for artificial intelligence, the first of its kind in the region, which aims to ensure the leadership of the UAE in the fields of artificial intelligence by refining digital skills and building generations. with different future skills.
He added that the "hackathon", which is organized in partnership with government agencies, focuses on enhancing students' participation in creating new solutions, benefiting from their skills in designing new scientific innovations that support government programs, and by qualifying them to lead the country's technological march, and achieve the goals of national strategies in creating a better future.
The students will work in cooperation with a number of engineers and technicians specialized in proposing and finding innovative solutions based on scientific foundations for the most prominent challenges and difficulties facing the parties participating in the event through brainstorming sessions. And registering them as patents and implementing them on the ground, with the support of the entities participating in the hackathon.
UAE leading proactive march towards future: Omar Al Olama
In his statement on the occasion of honouring the first batch of MBZUAI's graduates, Omar Al Olama, highlighted UAE's focus on attracting and training AI talents and said graduates from MBZUAI will support the country's AI 2030 strategy. He emphasised that individuals specialising in AI will play a crucial role in the next leap forward for humanity.
Another top official also emphasised the MBZUAI's contributions to the UAE's AI Strategy, while congratulating the first batch of the University's graduates. “The impact of artificial intelligence will be felt across the public and private sectors, enabling new efficiencies and unlocking novel solutions to long-standing challenges. The graduates of MBZUAI are competent and capable of leading the UAE’s efforts to advance the 4IR and achieve its AI Strategy 2030," said Jassem Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Department of Finance, and member of the MBZUAI's Advisory Board.
"I look forward to witnessing their continued success as they advance within their respective fields," Al Zaabi added.
Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees of the MBZUAI said the University has succeeded in attracting the world’s brightest minds in AI and they would make a positive impact on the AI sector.
Professor Anil K. Jain said, “With a focus on education and research alongside a commitment to addressing real-world challenges through AI innovation, it’s rewarding to see the many ways in which MBZUAI’s first milestone commencement is fulfilling the university’s remit to meet the needs of the nation.”
He added that in a relatively short timeframe, the University has established a globally ranked programme that attracts some of the brightest minds in the field of AI as faculty and students.
“The commencement event enables us to reflect on what’s been achieved and the significant opportunities ahead to address important societal problems related to energy, environment, health and poverty,” Professor Jain said.
Daniela Rus said the prevalence of women among the first graduating class of MBZUAI speaks to the critical nature of gender diversity in this field, contributing to a less biased, more balanced, and mature sector as a whole.
“From research to the application of AI in industry, women – including these first graduates of MBZUAI – have a vital role to play in the UAE and beyond,” Rus noted.
Sir Michael Brady said MBZUAI's initial cohort of graduates have tremendous potential to make a measurable impact – not least in how AI can benefit the region’s growing healthcare sector.
Already, this class has presented academic papers at the internationally leading Medical Imaging Conference (MICCAI), where competition for acceptance is extraordinarily high, he pointed out.
“This underscores the global caliber of the research underway at MBZUAI. From the delivery of more accurate medical diagnoses to assessing the health of major organs, these students are set to contribute materially to the future of healthcare through AI,” Professor Brady explained.
Dr. Kai Fu Lee, Chairman & CEO of Sinovation Ventures, said there has never been a more ideal moment for MBZUAI’s first graduating class to channel their newfound skills and insights into addressing some of the most pressing opportunities for AI.
“From life sciences to food security to cleaner energy, critical issues both locally and globally are waiting for them to tap into. With an emphasis on diversity and cross-cultural collaboration, this group of new graduates has the potential to help define the role and innovation of AI in many domains in the coming decade,” Dr. Lee said.
Muhammad Aamir / Khoder Nashar
Omar Sultan Al Olama chairs first meeting of 'UAE Digital Economy Council' in 2023
This was discussed during this year's first meeting of the UAE Digital Economy Council, which was chaired by Al Olama, and included members of the council such as Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of Ministry of Finance; Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Foreign Trade and Industry at the Ministry of Economy; Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA); Saif Humaid Al Dhaheri, Vice chairman of Financial Infrastructure and Digitisation Department in Central Bank of the UAE; Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Director-General of Economic Affairs at Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; and Hanan Ahli, Deputy Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.
Al Olama said that the UAE understands the significance of attracting talent and building a conducive technological environment to promote an advanced economy.
He emphasised that this entails empowering national talents to excel in technological areas and augmenting the digital economy's contribution to non-oil GDP, adding that “These objectives are in line with the UAE's digital economy strategy."
During the meeting, the council approved the formation of seven sub-committees led by members of the council, to cover all goals of the UAE digital economy strategy in areas such as technological infrastructure and blockchain, e-commerce, financial technologies, investment in the digital economy sector, attracting skills and supporting startups.
Additionally, a committee was formed to specialise in digital economy statistics and prepare an annual report to measure the performance and indicators of the digital economy in the UAE and ensure sustainable progress in the digital economy.
The Ministry of Economy presented the digital trade law, the new national economic record system, and the commercial law, while the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre team presented the methodology used to measure the digital economy performance in the UAE and its contribution to the GDP, which is a main objective of the UAE digital economy strategy.
The council also discussed strategic performance indicators for the digital economy and ways to enhance the UAE's global position in developing the future digital economy model.
Muhammad Aamir / Khoder Nashar
UAE ministers, government officials review country's achievements and promising opportunities at WEF's Davos meetings
UAE delegation public sessions
Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, participated in a public session entitled “In Case of Fire Use Stairs”, where she highlighted the importance of finding innovative and effective solutions that meet the requirements and needs of people of determination during natural crises and disasters. She reviewed the remarkable efforts and achievements of the UAE in bringing a comprehensive community development in terms of empowering people of determination, through its strategic plan and national policies that aims at protecting and supporting them in all aspects.
Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, participated in the “Between Liquidity and Fragility: Reforming in MENA” session, accompanied by Henadi Al Saleh, Chair of the Board of Directors, Agility Kuwait; Hala El Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Egypt; Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer Crescent Petroleum, UAE; and Faisal Alibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia.
He said that the UAE is continuing its sustainable development path within flexible and competitive economic approaches and policies, as part of its efforts to consolidate its leading position among the countries of the world.
Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, affirmed the continuing plan of the UAE in developing its national space sector as part of its commitment to moving towards a diversified, knowledge-based economy. She highlighted the importance of innovation and creating a supportive environment for companies to contribute to the growth of space sector, in addition to empowering young talents in various scientific fields.
This came as part of Al Amiri’s speech during a public session entitled “Closer to the Final Frontier”, held as part of the WEF activities. The session witnessed the participation of Josef Aschbacher, Director-General European Space Agency, Paris; Rajeev Suri, Chief Executive Officer, Inmarsat Global, United Kingdom; Dava Newman, Director, Massachusetts, Institute of Technology (MIT), Media Laboratory, USA; and Dylan E. Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive, Officer Voyager Space, Young Global Leader, USA.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, stressed the importance of trade as a main axis to stimulate the growth of the global economy, and the need to work on modernising supply chains to meet the current challenges. This came during His Excellency's participation in the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and The Future; Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri; and Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, participated in a session entitled "Future by Design". During the session ministers reviewed the UAE’s pioneering experience in simulating and anticipating the future, preparing for its promising opportunities and challenges, in order to enhance sustainable development in various sectors, ensuring a better future for the generations.
Al Olama also participated in a public session, within the World Economic Forum, under the tittle “Finding the Right Balance for Crypto”. He discussed with Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, European Commission; Brussels Klaas Knot, President, Central Bank of the Netherlands; and Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer, Ripple, USA, the boom and bust in the crypto markets, compounded by the dramatic volatility in 2022, and the role and benefits of digital currencies in future economies. During a public session entitled “Unlocking Digital ID”, Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, discussed the role of accelerated digital transformations in presenting a variety of promising opportunities that can be employed to achieve global aspirations at the various economic, governmental and social levels. Belhoul stressed the necessity of enhancing joint cooperation and unifying efforts and future visions. The session was held in the participation of Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of the Global, Digital Policy Incubator; Brett McDowell, Chairman of Hedera Hashgraph; and Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner of Australia.
Also, the World Economic Forum (Davos 2023) announced the selection of Khalfan Belhoul, as a member of the Steering Committee for Metaverse Governance, which includes elite international experts. The committee oversees the achievement of the goals of the "Global Collaborative Village" initiative launched by the Forum with the aim of strengthening global efforts to employ the capabilities of metaverse opportunities, and enabling effective partnerships between the public and private sectors to achieve the aspirations of societies.
Pavilion’s youth circles As part of its activities, the UAE Pavilion witnessed a youth circle about “The Role of Youth in Accelerating Net-Zero Pledges”. Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; and Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Executive Office of COP28, and Simon Stiell of Grenada, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), participated in the session. They discussed a number of topics, including activating the role of youth, and providing appropriate mechanisms to enhance their role in climate action efforts.
Also, the UAE Pavilion hosted a fireside chat discussing the "Soft Power in Digital World", during which David Haigh, Chairman and CEO Brand Finance; and Nusair Yassin, Founder and CEO of Nas Academy and Nas Daily highlighted the growing importance of the digital world and how it is reflected on development achievements in various fields and sectors.