UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Office partners with Code.org to enhance national talents
The MoU was signed by Saqr bin Ghalib, the Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office, and Fran Garcia del Pozo, CEO and founder of Generacion Code and EMEA Director of Code.org and took place in CodersHQ in Global DevSlam.
Saqr bin Ghalib said, "In the UAE, we are committed to fostering a robust digital infrastructure within our nation through strategic partnerships, cultivating both national and international talent in digital fields. We aim to facilitate collaborative efforts with industry leaders to establish interconnected networks that unite prominent institutions, promoting the exchange of expertise and the dissemination of successful practices.
Fran Garcia del Pozo said, “We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office, following our successful ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Education which was announced in February. Moreover, industry leaders such as e and Majid Al Futtaim have already joined our ecosystem. The cooperation between prominent public and private sector entities is key to establishing computer science and AI as cornerstones of the UAE's educational system, positioning the Nation as a global reference in the technology sector”. The collaboration seeks to enhance the foundation for future partnerships, fostering essential cooperation among diverse corporations, educational institutions, and thought leaders within related fields. Furthermore, it aims to increase awareness of the significance of coding and computer science within society through the globally recognized 'Hour of Code' campaign, which has been launched by Code.org and has the participation of prominent global figures from the political, social, and economic fields.
The Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Office will collaborate with Code.org to enhance and support the campaign in alignment with the objectives of UAE Codes Day, an annual event that takes place on October 29th. This event aspires to engage students and the broader community in an awareness campaign aimed at fostering the coding community within the nation and enhancing a knowledge-based society, enabling it to assert its global competitiveness through the digitization of diverse sectors across the UAE.
The MoU also aims to enhance the educational prospects of students across diverse age groups in the UAE. This will be achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive training workshop in the field of coding, administered by a specialized team of experts to broaden students' capabilities and elevate their overall awareness levels.
Global Dev Slam activities are held in Global Gitex 2023, which is organized from October 16 to 20 as a global event specialized in advanced technological fields, including artificial intelligence, generative artificial intelligence, Web 3, and other emerging areas that have played a major role in shaping our world today.
UAE announces reskilling initiative to boost job security in age of AI
The minister made the announcement today during the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023.
The new initiative aims to reskill, retool, and retire UAE employees. HE explained: “If someone is going to be augmented by AI, we want to retool them to actually be able to use these tools, and if someone is a year or two from retirement and has no interest in retooling, they have the option of retiring early.”
Explaining the rationale behind this forward-thinking initiative, Al Olama said: "If people are part of a job class that is going to be completely displaced by AI, you need to provide government programs that will completely reskill them in a new job class that is not going to be displaced.”
The session also touched on challenges around sustainable development, women empowerment, data equity and the interconnectedness of climate and human development.
Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises, said: "We can no longer separate the climate agenda from the human development agenda or the nature agenda. It can no longer be a zero-sum game where we can progress one at the expense of another."
Nili Gilbert, the Vice-Chairwoman of Carbon Direct in the USA, echoed this sentiment: "Everything is interconnected and interdependent, and we need to organize ourselves as an ecosystem to be able to address the challenges as they are."
Gilbert further reiterated the moral imperative of maintaining a focus on social and equality issues, alongside climate and environmental goals, believing it to be “impossible to address the climate challenge without simultaneously addressing social and equity concerns”.
Lauren Woodman, Chief Executive Officer of DataKind in the USA, emphasized the importance of data equity as a response to social challenges. She stated: “We began with the action-oriented premise that we must move forward and undertake the necessary steps to ensure that this powerful technology, with its abundant promising opportunities, maintains its human-centered focus."
Reshma Saujani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Moms First, stressed the importance of empowering women in future-oriented fields such as AI. She noted: "Most women across the globe live in countries that have a broken structure of care.”
The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023 took place from 16-18 October in Dubai. It presented a critical opportunity for experts from around the world to meet and collaborate on solutions that will improve economic growth and development. The event hosted 600 experts from academia, government, international organizations, business, and civil society from the 30 members of the Global Future Councils, one of the world’s foremost multistakeholder and interdisciplinary knowledge networks.
UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Office partners with Core42 to enhance national talents
This initiative encompasses comprehensive training programmes designed to strengthen collaboration structures within technical fields and promote the development of national talent in emerging fields, including artificial intelligence and coding.
The MoU was signed by Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Kiril Evtimov, Chief Executive Officer of Core42, during Global DevSlam, hosted at CodersHQ, as part of Gitex Global 2023.
Gitex Global 2023 is the world's largest specialised gathering dedicated to advanced technological fields, including artificial intelligence, generative artificial intelligence, Web 3, and various pivotal digital fields.
Al Olama stated that the UAE seeks to cultivate collaborations with leading institutions, enhancing a foundational cornerstone to advance progress and digital transformation within the nation.
This represents a significant stride towards emphasising the importance of developing national talents within the digital sector. Furthermore, it plays a major role in bolstering the key drive towards comprehensive digital transformation, as envisioned by the UAE's leadership by implementing exceptional strategies and initiatives.
He added that the UAE embraces leaders and innovators in the field of artificial intelligence who possess the capability to advance the global digital landscape. The UAE is dedicated to supporting these technologies by leveraging various elements that enhance digital applications. In doing so, the UAE aims to bolster its position in the digital world, setting an inspiring example and taking promising steps towards achieving tangible digital progress.
Chief Executive Officer of Core42 said, "At Core42, we believe in leveraging the power of innovation to serve our community and drive our nation's vision forward. This partnership with the UAE's Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications represents a pivotal step in this direction.
Together, we aim to cultivate an ecosystem where Emirati talent thrives, fortified by cutting-edge AI tools and global best practices. As we embark on this journey, we are confident that this alliance will lead to the development of new AI solutions resulting from deeper people capabilities that will positively impact the UAE and the world."
The collaboration reflects the UAE's commitment and efforts to facilitate the interaction between talented coders and AI experts to bolster the development of their journey and refine the essential skills for the digital future. Additionally, it aims to equip individuals with the digital tools in the artificial intelligence and coding field, essential for their professional growth and enrichment within these fields.
This strategic partnership further advances the cultivation of global leaders in artificial intelligence, bolstering the UAE's position as a frontrunner in this field.
Esraa Esmail/ Rola AlGhoul
Forward-thinking governments are best positioned to lead development of AI applications: Omar Al Olama
“I think the current global discussion on AI governance is a non-starter. You cannot govern AI. Instead of attempting to govern the technology, we can govern the use cases,” He said during a fireside chat with CNN’s Eleni Giokos, titled ‘Navigating the GenAI Frontier: A UAE Perspective’, during the Dubai Assembly for Generative AI, being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation.
Al Olama said the UAE is actively exploring opportunities in generative AI, broadening its application scope, and establishing essential platforms for AI practical use cases that harness its potential for the betterment of humanity. This underscores the principle that forward-thinking governments are best positioned to lead the development of AI and its future applications.
“While governments and societies must openly address concerns around AI, fear should not dominate the discussion. He urged individuals not to be driven by fear of job losses but to channel their anxiety into empowerment.
He also emphasised the importance of embracing necessary tools and enrolling others in the journey to harness AI's potential for positive change,” he added. Al Olama, who was recently named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in AI, highlighted the remarkable journey of the UAE as an early adopter of AI.
He said: "During my tenure as Minister of AI, I had to justify the significance of what we were doing. Today, the debate is very different; it is that the UAE is very far ahead, and others seek to catch up."
Al Olama emphasised the importance of ensuring that governance and ethics around AI align with the values and beliefs of diverse populations, highlighting the UAE's commitment to creating a framework that acknowledges the unique cultural diversity of the country; home to residents from over 200 nationalities. He stressed the importance of using AI to enhance the quality of life, not just raise productivity.
The Dubai Assembly for Generative AI brings together more than 1,800 officials, experts, and decision-makers from around the world.
Organised by the Dubai Future Foundation, the GenAI Assembly takes place from 11th to 12th October at the Museum of the Future and AREA 2071.
Tariq Al Fahaam/ Hazem Hussein
UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Office Launches Responsible Metaverse Self-Governance Framework White Paper
The white paper covers information about the metaverse as a new virtual world that enables users to interact with each other using various technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality. Additionally, the white paper focuses on the necessity of establishing principles of self-regulation to ensure safety and digital security as this field continues to grow and become more integrated into daily life.
H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, confirmed that the metaverse offers economic opportunities that affect vital sectors in the country. It also allows for the adoption of augmented and virtual reality and other tech initiatives in line with the UAE's strategic plans towards strengthening its global leadership in the digital field.
H.E. Sultan Al Olama added that the UAE government is actively working to bolster successful partnerships with various leading companies in the digital sector. He stated that the UAE government seeks to reinforce the metaverse economy in alignment with the objectives of its Digital Economy Strategy. This will be achieved by encouraging innovation within the realm of metaverse and promoting the economic contribution of digital fields through research and development, ensuring the sustainable growth of this emerging economic sector.
H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism, emphasised the importance of the white paper on Responsible Metaverse Self-Governance Framework, which will play a crucial role in driving the UAE's transition into this new digital environment.
The initiative will bolster the UAE’s competitive edge and digital proficiency across key sectors, further solidifying its position globally as a leading destination for artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology solutions.
H.E. Almarri also underscored the pivotal role of the principles outlined in the report, derived from extensive research and development, in establishing a comprehensive, secure and trustworthy integrated system for the business community.
“This will unlock the limitless potential of the metaverse, driving innovation and sustaining the country’s economy within a versatile and immersive virtual environment that streamlines next-gen solutions. We look forward to leveraging the country's experience in artificial intelligence to accelerate progress and build on ongoing efforts to ensure the success of the Dubai Metaverse Strategy,” H.E. Almarri added.
The report proposes nine self-regulatory principles for the metaverse, including “Interoperability for Access,” which allows users the ability to move their data, digital assets, and identities across platforms, regardless of potential technological or geographic challenges. Other principles include “Privacy by Design and Default,” to ensure that users' rights and personal data are protected as the metaverse expands, as well as “Sustainability by Design,” which ensures that energy efficiency and environmental sustainability are taken into account from the beginning in the design of the metaverse world. Additionally, it includes “Reciprocity” and “Transparency for Trust” to enhance trust by fostering a culture that encourages cooperation between users, the sharing of ideas, and the development of services designed with consideration for user experience and expectations.
The principles also include “Fairness, Equality, and Inclusiveness” to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities to participate in the metaverse without facing challenges in accessing this technology. This ensures that the virtual world is inclusive. Additionally, there is a “Commitment to Diversity” to represent the diversity of the real world. The set of principles also encompasses “Accountability”, to ensure responsibility and follow-up for the metaverse's systems and technologies and their outcomes, as well as “Safety by Design and Beneficence”, to guarantee the protection of all users in this virtual space.
The white paper also discusses the benefits of applying self-regulation principles, notably building trust, credibility, commitment to ethical practices, and user protection.
The white paper was based on extensive dialogues and consultation about the metaverse with leading institutions and private businesses, such as the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), Dubai International Financial Centre, and World Economic Forum, as well as DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons, Al Tamimi, Access Partnership, Accenture, Cable labs, Remix Point, OKX, University of Central Florida, PwC, Yoti, Standard Chartered Bank, Nokia, Microsoft, Luna, Binance and G42.
For those seeking access to the white paper, the complete document can be obtained via the link: https://ai.gov.ae/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Responsible-Metaverse-Self-governance-Framework-2023-EN.pdf
The Agile Nations, chaired by the UAE, formed the Agile Nations Metaverse Regulation Working Group in April 2022. The objective is to identify basic self-regulatory principles and standards for responsible use and operation in the metaverse. The Agile Nations network was established in December 2020 with support from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to foster cooperation between governments and the private sector. The overarching goal is to create a global regulatory environment that encourages innovation while protecting the interests of individuals, societies, companies and the environment. The network comprises the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Barbados.
UAE Digital Economy Council follows on the implementation of strategic initiatives
This was discussed during the meeting of the UAE Digital Economy Council held at the Ministry of Economy in Dubai, which was chaired by Omar Sultan Al Olama, and included members of the council.
Al Olama said that building on the results achieved by the UAE in various economic fields requires intensifying efforts to achieve the goals of the UAE Digital Economy Strategy, which focuses on enhancing the contribution of this sector, in consolidating the future economic model adopted by the UAE, which is based on a diverse system of New and emerging economic sectors supported by technological and digital solutions.
Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), praised the outcomes of the Council, stating, “The performance of the digital economy in the UAE is characterized by rapid development, built upon a strong infrastructure, digital capabilities, and national talents that lead the digital transformation in the government sector. This aligns with the directives of our leadership and their vision, which revolves around establishing the most pioneering and superior system. At the Authority, and in our role as enablers of digital transformation, we collaborate with our partners in both the government and private sectors to ensure the highest level of integration and interconnection of solutions, systems, and databases. This is done in accordance with laws, regulations, and the government's approach, with the aim of fostering investment attraction and talent acquisition in the field of the digital economy”.
The Council showcased the latest developments in strategic initiatives aimed at implementing the objectives of the UAE Digital Economy Strategy, in the areas of digital infrastructure and blockchain, e-commerce, finTech, investment in the digital economy sector, attracting and developing digital skills and supporting SMEs.
The Council reviewed the most recent statistics and figures concerning the digital economy in the UAE, ongoing work on the annual report to assess the country's digital economy in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the latest developments in the UAE's digital infrastructure, and the most recent statistics and performance indicators for the digital wallet and UAE Pass over the past three months. During this period, there were over 6 million registrations and more than 15 thousand services provided through UAE Pass.
During the meeting, TDRA showcased the indicators of the use of blockchain technology in the digital wallet. The Authority further highlighted that 9 new banks, 6 exchange companies, and 3 insurance companies were included in the wallet. Additionally, TDRA presented an overview of the government services status policy and discussed the percentage of distribution of data centers and cloud computing and their spread in the UAE and the region.
The meeting also discussed the latest indicators of Internet network and the 5G network performance and coverage in the UAE, which has increased exponentially over the course of a year, in addition to the adoption rate of the sixth version of the Internet Protocol, which reached 50%, while the coverage rate of telephone networks reached 100%. This contributed to the UAE being ranked first in the region in the volume of Internet exchange.
The meeting discussed the latest developments in the law on trade through modern technology, the committee’s efforts to develop a methodology for measuring the digital economy, the time plan for adopting it, and developments in the work of the Investment Stimulation Committee, which held three meetings to follow up on work on an integrated plan for its strategic initiatives.
Tariq Al Fahaam
Arab Media Forum 2023: UAE launches 100 practical applications for generative AI in media
The guidebook - ‘100 Practical Applications and Use Cases of Generative AI in Media’ - was launched by UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Omar bin Sultan AlOlama at the 21st edition of the Arab Media Forum on Tuesday.
The guidebook addresses the transformative potential of generative AI and explains how various AI applications can be used to develop multiple forms of media content, including visual and written content, said the Minister.
The guidebook provides detailed use case scenarios of AI-based applications such as Humata, Spikes, Adobe Firefly, You Learn, and Captions.ai. It also provides tips on using ChatGPT to do scriptwriting, news aggregations, finding statistics, and the latest news.
Will AI replace reporters?
The media toolkit comes after the Ministry launched a similar guide for entrepreneurs in April this year. “In the two months since its launch, UAE entrepreneurs have increased the use of AI by 66 per cent in their businesses, and it has benefitted them,” said AlOlama.
AlOlama added that it is doubtful that AI would replace journalists. “Replacing is a very big word, and I do not think that would happen in the foreseeable future. The only way to sustainably use AI is with human oversight.”
He explained: “A human has to correct, oversee, and generate content. What it would do is replace traditional capabilities in media content creation. For example, it would remove the need for green screens.”
AlOlama also emphasised that AI systems are vital educational tools for self-improvement. “It is crucial to acknowledge that AI technologies are not flawless. However, when harnessed effectively, they can enhance mainstream content and contribute to improved learning experiences,” he added.
The Minister also said the UAE is keen to cultivate an authentic Arab and Emirati presence in content development using AI. The Arabic language, spoken by over 420 million people, ranks fifth in its prevalence worldwide. However, the limited availability of Arabic language resources and tools in software applications is an obstacle to programming development in the Arab world, as most software applications primarily support English and other foreign languages. “Our goal is for these technologies to be nurtured and trained within the UAE, leading to an increase in Arabic content,” he said.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President, Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council, and President of Dubai Press Club, said: “With the presence of generative artificial intelligence tools, we must align the Emirati and Arab media landscape with these technologies.”
She added that the alignment is crucial to changing the present and future of media, ensuring the UAE’s position at the forefront of soft power indicators and global media fields. “The new era created by generative artificial intelligence also underscores the importance of enhancing youth skills."
UAE signs MoU to expand Digital School initiative in sub-Saharan Africa
The MoU, that was signed by Dr. Waleed Al Ali, Secretary-General of the Digital School, which comes under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives umbrella, and Ute Klamert, World Food Programme's Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships & Advocacy, to expand the scope of The Digital School's current activities, to enhance partnerships and to reach rural communities and students across sub-Saharan Africa.
The signing was also witnessed by Ester-Anna Nghipondoka, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture of Namibia, and Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong, Director of Programme Implementation and Coordination at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.
Sheikh Shakhboot said, "Launched by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the Digital School stands as a vital initiative which comes as a result of the UAE leadership's vision to support education based on its firm belief that investment in this field is necessary for the development of societies. This is evidenced by its well-established track record of enhancing education on a global scale.
"The UAE has always focused on this vital sector and considers it amongst its developmental priorities, and in partnership with the esteemed organisations the World Food Programme and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), we are eager to see the expansion of the Digital School across sub-Saharan Africa and the continent."
He added, "The expansion of the Digital School represents our collective efforts towards the continent's growth and development. The UAE and African nations' historical relations serve as a testament to the enduring partnership that Binds us, and this continues to guide us towards an even brighter future."
For his part, Al Olama said, "The future of education relies significantly on the utilisation of digital solutions, which are a pivotal factor in empowering students worldwide to access quality education," adding that The Digital School is a pioneering example of developing digital education and transitioning to the application phase, making it accessible to students in various regions of the world, particularly for less privileged communities, providing them with the opportunity to learn.
He added, "The launch of the new partnership reflects the Digital School's humanitarian message and translates its endeavour to expand the circle of interest and reach more students across the African continent. The aim is to provide students with opportunities to learn and empower their role in shaping their community's future. Together with UAE Africa Connect, we aspire to illuminate the path to a brighter future for students in remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa ."
The World Food Programme's Regional Director for Southern Africa, Dr. Menghestab Haile, said, "WFP Southern Africa considers this collaboration as an opportunity to assist and support national governments to strengthen the school food program by adding the component of digital education at the primary level in underprivileged communities in Africa and thereby 'feeding the body and the mind'. The inclusion of the private sector, Governments and SADC will ensure the sustainability of this programme.
"This MoU between WFP and The Digital School is to support member countries to improve education and nutrition outcomes in the vulnerable communities by comBining school meals with digital education in a region with very high youth unemployment," he added.
The MoU aims to deliver educational opportunities to vulnerable students in several African countries, and by expanding the Digital School's activity, it seeks to reach remote areas. It aims to provide high-quality digital and hybrid education that is empowered by digital technologies and aligned with national standards, offering strategic advice to help form a national strategy for digital education and facilitating access to a global network of partners, teachers, and digital educators, while supporting educational content development.
Further, it provides professional development programmes for digital educators in collaboration with Arizona State University.
To date, the Digital School has successfully trained 1,500 educators and onboarded 60,000 students in a total of eight countries, including two within Africa. This highlights the UAE's unwavering commitment to education and highlights its prominent role as a global hub for knowledge transfer.
Furthermore, the Southern African Development Community, the World Food Programme and The Digital School announced a collaboration to convene the SADC Digital Education High Level Meeting from 27 - 29 November 2023 in Cape Town in order to develop a digital education roadmap for southern Africa. A number of digital education projects were also announced, with the aim to expand the network of partners, including those from the private sector and telecom companies, heralding a new era of collaboration and innovation in digital education.
As part of the expansion of the Digital School, UAE Africa Connect will now become an endorser of the Digital School and will provide support to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative to further enhance the school's efforts across the African continent. These partnerships reflect the platform's commitment to bridging educational gaps in sub-Saharan African countries to achieve a future in which digital tools support the pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence.
Rola AlGhoul/ Esraa Esmail
EDISON Alliance Expands to Close Global Digital Gap
These nations join the existing founding members – Bahrain, Bangladesh and Rwanda – which are already making significant progress in advancing digital inclusion. The three countries are actively working to improve millions of lives in their respective regions, by 2025, through measures such as sponsorships, provision of digital devices, and digital literacy and training. Together, they form a united front in the network's mission to accelerate the achievement of national digital inclusion goals in connectivity, health, education and finance.
"The EDISON Alliance Lighthouse Countries Network is gaining momentum with the inclusion of Honduras, Togo, alongside the UAE, intensifying our mission to impact one billion lives,” said Sebastian Buckup, Head of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Our founding Lighthouse Countries, such as Rwanda, are utilizing EDISON's partners to move toward a cashless society. Bangladesh is fortifying its education system through digital technology, and Bahrain is promoting gender equality in STEM. As we broaden our reach, we bridge the digital divide and foster global connections."
Rwanda, for example, has harnessed the power of the EDISON Alliance platform by forging vital partnerships within the alliance. Collaboration with Mastercard has yielded promising initiatives, including skill training programmes for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the development of low-cost digital payment solutions for merchants, and forthcoming micro-credit and inventory lending opportunities in collaboration with fast-moving consumer goods companies.
An estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide still lack internet connectivity, which denies them access to crucial life services such as education, healthcare and financial opportunities. Driven by partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society, the EDISON Alliance has reached a significant milestone by crossing the halfway mark in its ambitious endeavour to positively impact 1 billion lives through over 200 digital inclusion initiatives spanning 90 countries.
The Lighthouse Countries Network was established in May 2022 in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Rwanda, serving as a global platform for implementing alliance projects on a local scale. The expansion of the network marks a significant step forward in advancing the goals of the alliance’s 1 Billion Lives Challenge. The network is poised to foster new partnerships, scale initiatives and further digital inclusion objectives at the national level.
“We are firmly committed to including all social actors in the digital economy,” said Luther Castillo Harry, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Honduras. “Honduras's integration into the EDISON Alliance will strengthen synergies with global collaborators to achieve this common vision.”
“By leveraging technology, Togo is paving the way for an effective and efficient social protection program that fosters socio-economic advancement and gender equality,” added Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation of Togo. "By leveraging the alliance's global network and resources, Togo aspires to accelerate its digital transformation agenda, ensuring that every citizen benefits from the power of digital technology and achieves a life of dignity and empowerment.”
“The UAE's inclusion in the EDISON Alliance is proof of our commitment to ensuring the well-being of its society and its proactive steps and goals,” said Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications of the United Arab Emirates. “In the UAE, we believe that everyone deserves to be empowered and leverage digital means for better education while simultaneously addressing key barriers to universal digital inclusion. The alliance's goals align with the UAE's approaches in the fields of technology, education, healthcare, finance and the future, enhancing our national initiatives to expand the impact of digital reach and ensure accessibility, increase digital literacy and create a significant global impact.”
About the EDISON Alliance
The World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance brings together leaders from across industries and governments to mobilize a global movement for digital inclusion. The alliance is working with partners to empower policy-makers and relevant stakeholders with the tools they need to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development to overcome poverty (SDG 1), increase access to ICT and affordable access to the internet in the least developed countries (SDG 9.c), reduce the digital divide (SDG 10) and promote social inclusion (SDG 16).
UAE adopts futuristic vision of a digital inclusive education for all: Omar Al Olama
The UAE vision mainly relies on advanced technology and agile digital solutions, which have the ability to reach students anytime, anywhere, thus ensuring inclusive and fair learning opportunities for students around the world.
During Al Olama’s participation in a special scientific ministerial session entitled “Reimagining the Futures of Knowledge and Research Using Generative AI,” he explained that "the UAE government is developing a leading experience in the field of digital education, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which focus on ‘digital education as the future of education and education of the future’”.
The session also hosted two of the most prominent AI scientists in the world, namely Yoshua Bengio, Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at Université de Montréal and the Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Québec Artificial Intelligence Institute, and Yann LeCun, Vice President and Chief AI Scientist at Meta, along with Dr. Dipu Moni, Minister of Education of Bangladesh, and Ester Anna Nghipondoka, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Namibia.
”The UAE government adopts a clear vision to adopt AI in various sectors, and employ its advanced solutions in developing the future of education in particular. The new directions of global initiatives in education focus on digital education as a main, innovative solution to the challenges of students’ access to education," the UAE minister further noted.
Al Olama presented the UAE’S strategy for adopting and employing generative AI solutions and tools in various fields, including education. He highlighted the ongoing coordination between the Digital School and the UAE’s permanent delegation to the UNESCO to enhance global efforts and raise awareness on the importance of digital education and its role in providing innovative opportunities and solutions for students worldwide. He called on countries to develop the education sector by adopting modern technology, AI and digitisation solutions, to ensure the involvement of many countries and societies in developing a future digital education model.
The future of digital education
The UNESCO Digital Learning week witnessed the active participation of the UAE delegation. The Digital School organised a workshop on the future of digital education, in which Dr. Hassan Al Muhairi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Curriculum Sector at the Ministry of Education, gave a keynote speech about the UAE’s experience in digital education. In addition, Professor Chris Dede, Professor of Learning Technologies at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, addressed the topic of reshaping traditional schools in the era of AI and digital learning, whereas Professor Tim Unwin, Emeritus Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, highlighted the importance of research and evaluation of the digital education projects.
A special plenary session was held to highlight the experiences of countries participating in the Digital School initiative. Session participants included Erika Twani, Director of the Digital School project in Colombia, Saadettin Muvakit, Director of the Digital School for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and Iimam Hammoud, Director of community education at the Ministry of National Education and Education Reform in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and Director of the Digital School project in Mauritania, Quddus Pativada, CEO of Digest AI, and Dr. Waleed Al Ali, Secretary General of the Digital School. The session was moderated by Dr. Fawzan Al Khalidi, consultant at the Digital School.
Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, Minister of Education of Mauritius, Murhaf Al-Madani, Assistant Minister of Education for Development and Transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Leonardo Garnier, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the Transforming Education Summit, and a group of experts, specialists and representatives of countries and organisations also joined the session, discussing opportunities and challenges in modern policies and strategies for digital education. A number of countries shared their experiences in implementing digital education models, and how it has contributed to empowering students and teachers.
Experts also discussed the major changes in the future of education caused by the fast-paced development in innovation and advanced technology, and how this will act as an enhancing factor for the efforts to accelerate progress in achieving the fourth SDG related to education.
The UAE's Leading Experience in Digital Education
The Digital School, in collaboration with the UAE Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, the UAE Ministry of Education, and UNESCO's education sector, organised a special networking event at UNESCO's headquarters during Digital Learning Week. Over 200 senior officials, experts, and diplomatic mission members attended the event, which highlighted the UAE's pioneering efforts in digital transformation in the education sector, and the Digital School's key initiatives to promote a future educational model accessible to students worldwide.
Speakers at the event included Hend Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to France; Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO; Dr Hassan Al Muhairi, Head of the Ministry of Education’s delegation at the event; and Dr Waleed Al Ali, Secretary General of the Digital School.
Hend Al Otaiba underscored the significance of education in improving lives and societies, highlighting the need to continuously develop education using advanced technological and digital solutions. She emphasised that high-quality education is a fundamental catalyst for transforming human lives, advancing civilisations, and driving sustainable development. Furthermore, she highlighted the critical role of digital technology in addressing modern educational challenges by enhancing its inclusivity and accessibility to learning and teaching resources.
For her part, Stephania Giannini highlighted the importance of the Digital School's initiatives, as they provide learning opportunities to underserved students worldwide. She asserted that the school's vision aligns with the goals of the UNESCO's Digital Learning Week, using technology to support education and reach communities in urgent need, including children in refugee camps. She noted that the presence of The Digital School has had a tangible impact on the communities it serves.
The UAE’s participation in the UNESCO's Digital Learning Week also included a series of bilateral meetings with the UNESCO leaders, representatives from member states, and notable conference participants. The meetings focused on exploring cooperation opportunities to enhance positive partnerships aiming to spread and promote the future digital learning models worldwide.
Omar Al Olama named on Time list of 100 most influential people in AI
Al Olama has been at the forefront of the UAE's drive to unlock the potential of the advanced technology since being appointed the world's first AI minister in 2017.
The inaugural Time100 AI list shines a light on leaders, innovators, shapers and thinkers who are playing a crucial role in harnessing the cutting-edge tool.
Al Olama, 33, who serves as Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, is included in the 'shaper' category.
In an interview with Time to mark his inclusion, the enterprising minister told how the Emirates was in a prime position to effect change in the sector on a global level.
"We understand that we are in a unique position," said Mr Al Olama.
"We are a medium-sized country; we have invested in AI for a few years now. So we were a bit far ahead of many other countries that are in this domain.
"We cannot compete with China and the US; I don’t think we ever will want to compete. Our job is to be first an enabler and to leverage our strength to support all the players when it comes to AI.
"So when our policymaking and our government is very agile and can move very quickly, we want to ensure that anyone who wants to deploy AI in a way where we can do it in a regulatory environment, the UAE comes first in mind and we’re able to then export whatever findings we have to the rest of the world.
"So in that sense, we complement the big players when it comes to this technology."
Al Olama reflected on the pivotal role that artificial intelligence is set to play in society for years to come, stressing its importance requires ministries to be created to govern its use.
"AI technology is so profound that we can actually look back in history to understand why we need to create a ministry for it," he told Time.
"When humanity used to depend on coal and wood fire for energy, there was no ministry of energy. When it became paramount to actually ensure energy production and energy distribution, what happened is that every single government in the world appointed a Minister for energy.
"The same happened with telecommunications. I do believe that AI is at the same level."
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, hailed the minister's achievements in a message on social media.
He told of his pride in "every Emirati who has an achievement that raises the name of his country in front of the world with his excellence, work and contributions".
UAE leads the way on AI
The UAE's commitment to the field was further demonstrated when it established the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in 2019.
The first batch of students to enrol at Abu Dhabi's artificial intelligence university graduated in January.
Last month, a new Abu Dhabi-developed artificial intelligence large language model for Arabic was unveiled, aiming to bring one of the world's most widely used languages into the AI mainstream.
Jais, an open-source bilingual Arabic-English model, was developed by Inception, a unit of Abu Dhabi AI company G42, Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Silicon Valley-based Cerebras Systems.
In April, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-designate of Cop28, said the adoption of AI will help the Emirates achieve its economic diversification goals.
“Projections show AI solutions are on course to contribute an estimated $13 trillion to the global gross domestic product by 2030, optimising the industries of tomorrow and dramatically improving the lives of billions of people in the process,” Dr Al Jaber said during a visit to Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.
UAE government participates in Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting within G20
Emphasising the rapid pace of globalisation in the technology and artificial intelligence field, Al Olama added that supporting innovative talents with skills in emerging digital fields is crucial.
This came during the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting, hosted by the Republic of India. The meeting included global leaders in the field of the digital economy who represent strategic players in promoting global economic growth and future prosperity across various sectors.
Al Olama emphasised that digital infrastructure plays a pivotal role in societal progress and economic growth and is a critical element in the developmental journey. This involves formulating clear strategies and plans to ensure a thriving digital economy, encompassing the UAE's initiatives, such as the National Strategy for the Digital Economy, which aims to double the digital economy's contribution to the non-oil GDP by 2031.
It also aligns to achieve global leadership in mobile internet speed and leveraging technological advancements, including artificial intelligence, in government services as enablers of the robust digital infrastructure.
He highlighted the importance of securing global supply chains to enhance the digital economy and stressed the necessity to innovate and adopt specific mechanisms, especially for SMEs, to improve flexibility in the digital economy. Such efforts represent a global responsibility that requires international cooperation.
Al Olama emphasised the significance of aligning education and training outcomes with global technological changes and the requirements of the future workforce market. He underlined the importance of preparing societies and youth with digital skills.
He highlighted the UAE's success in supporting digital skills through the Artificial Intelligence Programme, which has graduated over 400 government officials and trained more than 30,000 individuals who participated in various digital programmes under initiatives like the National Programme for Artificial Intelligence, the National Programme for Coders, and the One Million Arab Coder Initiative.
The UAE's digital education initiatives have also extended to seven countries, benefiting over 40,000 students. Moreover, the country achieved a remarkable step by launching Falcon 40B through the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), recently holding the top spot on Hugging Face leaderboard.
The UAE Minister praised India's efforts in organising digital economy meetings within the G20 and its commitment to fostering digital innovation through collaborations with institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in the UAE. These efforts aim to ensure a prosperous digital economy and contribute significantly to building a promising digital future.
Additionally, Al Olama congratulated the government of India for the success of their recent moon mission, reflecting the importance of space exploration in the journey of technological progress.
The G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting focused on digital infrastructure, digital innovation, ensuring safety, security, and resilience in the digital economy, and developing digital skills to enhance talent readiness for the future.
Rola AlGhoul/ Esraa Esmail
UAE government partners with Mastercard to accelerate adoption of artificial intelligence
With AI playing an increasingly transformational role across society, an initial focus of the partnership will be dedicated to battling financial crime, securing the digital ecosystem and driving inclusive growth in the UAE and beyond.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasised the UAE government's dedicated efforts towards strategic collaborations with the private sector and leading international companies. These collaborations have been recognised as pivotal catalysts for expediting the adoption of artificial intelligence, a crucial component of the nation's journey towards digital advancement and prosperity.
Al Olama pointed out the significance of bilateral cooperation, underscoring the importance of realising the aspirations outlined in the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031. This strategy aims to consolidate the UAE's position as a leading hub for artificial intelligence. Concurrently, it seeks to foster the development of comprehensive technology-driven frameworks within priority sectors.
Furthermore, he praised Mastercard's efforts in adopting artificial intelligence, as well as their inauguration of a global centre dedicated to artificial intelligence and advanced technology within the UAE.
The signing of this partnership comes as Mastercard unveiled its latest global Centre for Advanced AI and Cyber Technology in Dubai. In addition to developing AI-powered solutions to fight financial crime, the Centre will focus on securing the digital ecosystem and driving inclusive growth. It will also serve as a hub to nurture and hire local AI talent, including data engineers and data scientists, with a remit to accelerate AI innovation globally and service customers all around the world from the UAE.
Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, said, “AI plays a critical role in our operations, powering our products and fuelling our network intelligence to improve digital experiences, while reducing financial fraud and risk. The combination of this latest Advanced AI Centre and our partnership with the Government of the UAE will deliver greater value for our customers and ultimately reinforce trust in the digital ecosystem.”
Mastercard's new centre – drawing on the company’s technical knowledge and expertise – will support a new Innovation Hub in the emirate of Dubai. Under this programme, governments and businesses from across the region will collaborate on new efforts to support the continued digital transformation.
Dimitrios Dosis, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, stated, “The UAE is a global leader in developing innovative emerging technologies to foster economic growth and drive digital transformation. For more than 35 years, Mastercard has invested in the UAE to harness the power of technology for the good of the nation. By embracing the power of AI, we usher in the next generation of transformative technology and support the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031.”
The Middle East is undergoing a rapid technological shift. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), investments in digital transformation are expected to double over the next few years in the Middle East. PwC estimates that AI will contribute US$320 billion to the region and more than US$15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. AI has the power to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, including reducing fraud while helping more people access financial services.
This Centre in Dubai is the latest in a series of investments Mastercard has made in Advanced AI, with existing centres in the US, Canada and India. To date, Mastercard has made use of AI most significantly and successfully in its efforts to enhance cybersecurity and user experiences. By applying a sophisticated AI engine, Mastercard protects more than 125 billion transactions from fraud every year – at speed and scale.
Khoder Nashar/ Hazem Hussein
UAE AI Camp witnessed the participation of more than 8,000 individuals
The UAE AI summer camp covered more than 70 topics, addressing a wide range of societal groups, including children, school and university students, entrepreneurs, developers, coding experts, individuals interested in artificial intelligence, and those with a keen interest in digital fields. The topics covered six cutting-edge themes: web development and robotics, digital entrepreneurship and career planning, generative artificial intelligence, online safety and cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and virtual and augmented reality through interactive workshops, webinars, and deep dialogues in the field of artificial intelligence.
The AI summer camp provided participants with the opportunity to delve deeper into various digital fields including web development and robotics, digital entrepreneurship and career planning, generative artificial intelligence, online safety and cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and virtual and augmented reality through interactive workshops, webinars, and deep dialogues in the field of artificial intelligence.
Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasized that the future of our digital world depends on the capabilities of the youth. Al Olama pointed out the number of registrations in the UAE AI Camp for both physical and virtual activities, reflecting society's growing awareness of the importance of acquiring digital skills. This collective effort signifies a significant stride, not only in shaping our present but also in preparing for future opportunities and challenges.
He said that the UAE AI Camp was featured this year for its exploration of new technologies like generative AI, in line with the goals of the UAE government that focus on keeping pace with new technologies, developing youth and empowering them with digital tools to create a better digital future.
The UAE AI Camp succeeded in hosting interactive workshops with the participation of various government entities, private sector companies, and international organizations. Partners included Cyber Security Council, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), DP World, Dubai Chambers, Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Cyber Innovation Park, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), coding ambassadors, one of the Coders HQ initiatives, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, Technology Innovation Institute, Ajman X, Fujairah Police GHQ, Microsoft, AWS, Huawei, Careem, Dell Technologies, Stripe, Accenture, Le Wagon, Jeel code, VR Academi, Bnb, Mathworks, University of Birmingham Dubai, Cybernet , G42, 42, Women in AI, Intel, QUAE, Marses robotic systems and others.
The UAE AI Camp focused on various aspects, including developing the participants' skills, enhancing communication with experts in the field of artificial intelligence and digital technologies, and delving deeper into areas such as generative artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning. The camp also included meetings that brought together individuals interested in computing, along with virtual gatherings to share successful experiences and best practices within the field of artificial intelligence.
Discussions during the camp covered a wide range of topics, including the capabilities of artificial intelligence in generating and understanding content. Additionally, there were insights into the practical applications of artificial intelligence tools in our daily lives. Participants had the opportunity to learn how to create 3D designs using virtual reality technology.
The camp also featured sessions aimed at increasing awareness about the latest technologies and digital security. Challenges within the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies were discussed, along with strategies to enhance sustainability in alignment with the UAE’s goals for the Year of Sustainability 2023.
Over the past 5 years, the UAE AI Camp has witnessed significant participation since its launch, attracting a diverse range of attendees including school and university students, youth, entrepreneurs, and others. It has reached over 30,000 participants from various educational stages, academic backgrounds, and specialized experiences.
Tariq Al Fahaam
World Economic Forum selects Omar Al Olama for Steering Committee in AI Governance Alliance
The AI Governance Alliance is a dedicated initiative focused on responsible generative artificial intelligence (AI). It aims to address today’s most critical issues as humanity approaches a potentially transformative socio-economic era by bringing together influential regional voices and multiple stakeholders globally.
The Alliance seeks to harness the benefits of generative AI systems and technologies while ensuring equitable and sustainable global impacts.
Al Olama stated that his selection to the steering committee of the AI Governance Alliance reflects the pioneering position of the UAE government. The position led by visionary leadership, enabling the nation to play a transformative role and participate effectively in leading the global community towards the future, and achieve the futuristic vision adopted by the UAE in developing digital fields and focusing on building an advanced digital economy.
He also highlighted that being part of the AI Governance Alliance is a unique opportunity to share the UAE’s valuable experiences globally. It's not just a platform to solve challenges in generative artificial intelligence, but also a way to showcase the UAE's successful practices in this field. This alliance acts as a hub for fostering global partnerships to enhance the impact of this technology in shaping the future of artificial intelligence.
The committee includes Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Innovation of Rwanda; Brad Smith, Vice-Chair and President of Microsoft; Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs of Google and Alphabet; Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs at Meta; Gary Cohn, Vice Chairman of IBM; Durga Malladi, SVP & GM of Technology Planning and Edge Solutions, Qualcomm; Dr. Xue Lan, Dean and Professor at Tsinghua University; Lynne Parker, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of AI Tennessee Initiative in the University of Tennessee; and Andrew Ng, Founder and CEO of Landing AI.
Leveraging the World Economic Forum’s 50 years of expertise in multistakeholder partnerships, the AI Governance Alliance combines private-sector knowledge, public-sector governance, and civil society objectives to address the transformative nature of generative AI systems.
With the support of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the alliance actively engages with various regions while contributing to shaping a global approach to address the transformative nature of generative AI systems.
In 2017, Al Olama was chosen by the World Economic Forum to become a member of the Future of Digital Economy and Society group. Furthermore, in 2022, he was also selected to be a part of the Global Young Leaders Community.
Esraa Esmail/ Tariq Al Fahaam
National Programme for Artificial Intelligence launches fifth edition of UAE AI Camp
The camp targets school and university students, as well as various groups of society. It addresses six cutting-edge themes, including web development and robotics, digital entrepreneurship and career planning, generative artificial intelligence, online safety and cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and virtual and augmented reality through interactive workshops, webinars, and deep dialogues in the field of artificial intelligence.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications and Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office, stated that the UAE government, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, is keen to on fostering a generation empowered with cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence, enabling them to actively contribute to creating a sustainable digital economy while bolstering the nation's leadership and readiness for the future.
Al Olama said the aspiration of youth from diverse age groups and segments of society to acquire digital skills signifies the remarkable achievements of the UAE AI Camp in its previous editions. He emphasised the significance of integrating the efforts of both the government and private sector, alongside leading international companies in the field of artificial intelligence. This collaborative effort aims to equip the UAE AI camp participants with digital tools and technologies, enabling them to enhance the framework of future prospects and leverage artificial intelligence solutions in innovative ways.
This year, the camp offers specialised programmes and interactive workshops with the participation of a group of government entities, private sector and international companies such as Cyber Security Council, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), DP World, Dubai Chambers, Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Cyber Innovation Park, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), G42, coding ambassadors, one of the Coders HQ initiatives, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, Technology Innovation Institute, Ajman X, Fujairah Police GHQ, Microsoft, AWS, Huawei, Careem, Dell Technologies, Stripe, Accenture, Le Wagon, Jeel code, VR Academi, Bnb, Mathworks, University of Birmingham Dubai, Cybernet , 42, Women in AI, Intel, QUAE, Marses robotic systems and others with the aim of providing participants in the camp with future skills.
The UAE AI Camp will continue until the beginning of August 2023. It aims to explore the field of artificial intelligence and digital technologies, shaping the future of technology and digital life through awareness workshops. These workshops will focus on developing participants' skills in programming, designing artificial intelligence applications and smart applications. Additionally, in-depth workshops will cover various areas such as generative artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning.
The camp also includes meetings for those interested in computing aimed at sharing the experiences of leading companies in the field of artificial intelligence. Workshops will be conducted to discuss the power of artificial intelligence, image and language generation and understanding, as well as how to utilise artificial intelligence tools in our daily lives. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn how to create 3D designs using reality technology.
In addition, the camp will organise awareness sessions on the latest technologies and digital security. There will be workshops focused on promoting physical fitness, strength, and sports in virtual reality. Additionally, workshops will discuss the challenges in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
Furthermore, the camp will introduce future jobs, artificial intelligence technologies for visual verification, quality control, and ways to enhance sustainability. It will also address emerging artificial intelligence technologies for teachers, ways to support startups in Dubai, and the basics of web development.
The previous editions of the UAE AI Camp witnessed wide participation from school students, as it attracted more than 22,000 participants from different educational stages and backgrounds in training workshops that aim to enhance society’s skills with technological technologies. Those interested can register for various workshops through https://ai.gov.ae/aicamp5/.
Amjad Saleh/ Muhammad Aamir
UAE is employing AI in various fields to accelerate digital transformation: Omar Al Olama
This came during a meeting of the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain held at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in Dubai. The meeting was attended by the council’s members, including Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Director-General of the Department of eGovernment - Sharjah Government, Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Saif Al Sharqi, Head of the E-Government in Fujairah, Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Dr. Mohammed Salim Al Olama, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), Sharif Salim Al-Olama is the Under-Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs in the Ministry of Energy and Infastructure, Dr. Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Mualla, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs, Majed Sultan Al Mesmar as the Director-General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), Mohammed bin Taliah, Chief of Government Services of the UAE Government, Her excellency Hanan Mansour Ahli, Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), Dr. Mohammed Abdul Hamid Al Askar, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Director-General of the Dubai Digital Authority, Her Excellency Dr. Ohood Ali Abdullah Al Shuhail, Director-General of the Ajman Digital Government, Ahmed bin Saeed Al Sayah, General Manager of the eGovernment Authority in Ras al-Khaimah and Khalid Sultan Al Shamsi, General Manager of the eGovernment Department in Umm Al Qaiwain.
Al Olama said that the UAE government attaches great importance to keeping pace with global advancements to proactively address opportunities and challenges. This commitment entails fostering collaboration among diverse government entities, with the overarching objective of expediting the UAE's digital transformation. By embracing digital best practices and harnessing the potential of technology, the UAE aims to forge new opportunities and design innovative models that lay the foundation for a sustainable economy.
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 AI initiatives to employ AI in government entities, develop AI systems, and increase the UAE's competitiveness in priority sectors through the development of AI-powered customer services, in a way that contributes to improving the wellbeing, enhancing performance, and establishing an effective legislative and regulatory environment.
During the Meeting, the Energy Committee reviewed the projects workflow and examined the workflow of the unified data platform and the centralisation of federal and local authorities under one platform.
The Transportation and Logistics Committee as well reviewed the development and study of the self-driving vehicles project, which will transform the transportation sector, while the Foreign Trade Committee discussed the mechanism of the UAE’s foreign trade smart programme, a data platform that incorporates AI features, taking into consideration data security issues, to predict the future of the trade sector.
The meeting addressed the challenges associated with data sharing and emphasised the importance of unifying efforts to share data securely. The meeting also highlighted the significance of unifying specific initiatives within the environment and sustainability sector, in line with the Year of Sustainability 2023 declared by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Furthermore, the Industry Committee announced the completion of several projects and reviewed the Empowerment Centre programme and Make it in the Emirates initiative, aimed at encouraging investors and innovators' participation and promoting industrial sector growth in the UAE.
The Health Committee also announced the completion of various initiatives, including a review of the "Tatmeen" platform, the national platform that facilitates coordination between the government and private sectors, enabling efficient tracking of medicines from production to patient use. The committee's efforts focus on enhancing health and smart services in the Ministry, ultimately improving overall healthcare efficiency.
The Blockchain Committee reviewed the progress in the development of the guide that educates the community about government entities’ services provided through digital wallets. The aim is to increase awareness and knowledge among the society and enhance the well-being. The committee also examined registration statistics for digital wallets and adoption rates of the digital trust platform.
The Data Sharing committee specialised in AI training discussed the mechanism for developing their AI Project. Additionally, the Committee for the AI-powered Educational System outlined plans for collaboration between the Ministry of Education and entities from the government and private sectors to promote competitive scientific research in the field of AI.
The Artificial Intelligence Adoption Committee reviewed the latest statistics on the AI initiatives in government services. They also discussed the working mechanism of the unified Chatbot platform, which incorporates AI technology.
The UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain was re-formed in 2021 after its launch on 26th February, 2018, to enhance AI utilisation efforts, develop blockchain, and drive the new promising sector in new ways that enhance performance, work models, and reflect positively on society.
Artificial Intelligence Office holds session on principles of generative AI
The session witnessed the attendance of representatives from sectors related to artificial intelligence policies and legislation.
Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director of the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasised the proactive steps of the UAE government in identifying and fostering promising future sectors.
Specifically, he highlighted the government's focus on cultivating opportunities in the emerging field of generative artificial intelligence. This area is currently experiencing extensive global engagement, underscoring the fundamental trend towards digital technologies on a global scale.
Saqr Binghalib highlighted the session objectives that presents an exceptional stride to shape the future of generative artificial intelligence in the UAE, with a strong commitment to fostering its growth in alignment with the country’s values and universal ethical principles that epitomize the nation. Additionally, this undertaking seeks to harmonize the objectives of relevant international private entities, fostering a framework that bolsters the exchange of experiences and knowledge.
The session was attended by pioneers of artificial intelligence in leading global companies such as VMware, G42, Accenture, Huawei, Microsoft, Meta, Siemens, DIFC and Snapchat. Attendees shared their visions and experiences in the session, which focused on providing comprehensive frameworks for the use of generative artificial intelligence, implementing its policies, identifying challenges and potential opportunities in this field, the government's role in ensuring the responsible use of these new technologies, and designing future initiatives to enhance the UAE’s leadership in promising fields.
Hazem Hussein/ Khoder Nashar
UAE champions future-driven investments with digital principles: Omar bin Sultan Al Olama
This came during the “Digital Readiness” Retreat organised by the Government Development and the Future Office, an esteemed event that gathered over 250 government officials, leaders, and decision-makers from over 50 federal entities. Al Olama contributed virtually with a speech titled “The Power of Digital Approach: Promoting a Digital-Driven National Economy”.
The minister highlighted the significance of the “Digital Readiness” Retreat in shaping the digital future of the UAE and enhancing government capabilities in the coming phase. Emphasising the UAE government's pioneering approach, Al Olama affirmed the UAE’s commitment in embracing digital solutions as a fundamental instrument for fostering interaction and promoting business advancement.
Al Olama further said that the UAE's leading position in Venture capital indicators and the number of digital companies reflects the UAE’s commitment to comprehensive digital transformation. The UAE has solidified this achievement through three key factors such as the UAE’s government belief in technology's transformative power, proactive utilization of the technological revolution, and dedicated investments in digital infrastructure. Moreover, the UAE has developed policies and legislative frameworks that enable the adoption of digital foundations, overcoming legislative challenges through strong collaboration between the government and private sectors.
The minister elaborated on achievements within the realm of the digital economy in UAE, shedding light on the UAE’s record of attracting unicorns in a new phase to achieve global leadership. He emphasised the UAE's commitment to a cooperative approach in sharing success stories and strategies for overcoming challenges.
Al Olama added that the future role of governments worldwide depends on their full awareness and investment in developing secure and effective systems. Furthermore, he highlighted the forthcoming era's focal point, which revolves around generative AI and empowering society to leverage AI-based solutions predicting substantial revenues reaching trillions of dollars from this futuristic field, thereby reflecting the positive impact on countries' digital economies. Therefore, he stressed the need for comprehensive plans to assess the short and long-term impacts of such initiatives, alongside the continuous adaptation of policies and legislation, ensuring the UAE's proactive approach within this sector.
He noted to "Falcon”, renowned as one of the highly proficient and accomplished generative AI systems. With an impressive capacity of 40 billion variable factors, this system serves as a catalyst for fostering visions aimed at guaranteeing its secure utilisation. Moreover, it promotes the creation of a robust framework that empowers businesses and serves as a benchmark for countries striving for sustained achievements and advancements.
The “Digital Readiness” Retreat aimed to equip government officials with comprehensive knowledge relating to significant digital transformation initiatives.
The Retreat fostered an environment encouraging the exchange of perspectives, enabling participants to propose projects and initiatives aimed at expediting government digital transformation.
Furthermore, it provided an opportunity for attendees to stay well-informed of the latest emerging trends in global digital transformation, thus facilitating their ability to anticipate and navigate future developments in this field.
Hazem Hussein/ Muhammad Aamir
Artificial Intelligence Office organises AI-Enabled Entrepreneurs conference in collaboration with NVIDIA
The conference aimed to introduce the latest innovations and developments in the fields of Generative Artificial Intelligence, Metaverses and robotics, and highlight the "NVIDIA Inception" programme.
The conference further celebrated the success stories of start-up companies, their contributions, and experiences to inspire entrepreneurs globally to benefit from them in developing solutions based on future technological fields.
Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, confirmed the importance of strengthening cooperation and partnerships between governments and leading institutions in the technology field, to design innovative solutions to the critical challenges and empower entrepreneurs and start-ups thereby harnessing their full potential for the betterment of individuals and societies.
Omar Sultan Al Olama highlighted the impact of these initiatives to reinforce the endeavors of the UAE government, along with governments worldwide, in empowering entrepreneurs through the adoption of cutting-edge artificial intelligence technologies and generative AI tools. By leveraging advanced technology and emerging innovations, the aim is to develop optimal solutions that harness the potentials of artificial intelligence for the enhancement of societal wellbeing, ultimately paving the way for a more prosperous future for generations to come.
“The UAE is one of the leading countries for startup innovation,” said Marc Domenech, regional director Enterprise, META Region, at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA is committed to nurturing innovation across industries. We’re looking forward to collaborating with the UAE Government and the AI Office to expand NVIDIA’s Inception programme in the country.”
The conference also highlighted NVIDIA Inception, a global programme that nurtures cutting-edge startups, bringing together member companies along with NVIDIA experts to discuss how to enable application- and product-level innovation using technology from companies like OpenAI and InstaDeep. Inception includes more than 60 startups in the UAE and more than 14,000 around the world.
The conference also discussed the benefits of Inception as part of a session with programme members.
Panelists included Hussein Al-Natsheh, CTO of Beyond Limits; Yakov Livshtis, founder of Meta Dialog Software; and Ayman Alashkar, founder and CEO of Overwrite.ai.
NVIDIA Inception serves as a catalyst for startups, helping to facilitate their rapid progress and growth. Through engaging presentations and impactful demos, the programme amplifies the advantages and fosters a comprehensive comprehension of harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence. This, in turn, propels the growth and development of startups, enabling them to flourish and prosper.
The conference additionally featured captivating presentations explaining Inception’s objectives and ideas, alongside invaluable networking sessions with seasoned experts.
Furthermore, NVIDIA Inception gives members access to the latest technologies, NVIDIA experts, and opportunities with venture capitalists.
UAE’s Artificial intelligence office and Google launch the AI Majlis Series
The first AI Majlis session was held on the topic of Responsible Innovation. The discussion which joined H.E Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google was moderated by Becky Anderson, Anchor and Managing Editor of CNN in Abu Dhabi. The invitees included a circle of leaders and decision makers in government, academia and businesses in tourism, media and publishing, retail and telecom.
His Excellency, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications in the UAE emphasized that the UAE under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has emerged as a notable success story in the digital transformation field. The UAE has created a model of proactivity, excellence, and competitiveness across various fields, reflecting its proactive approach in embracing a comprehensive vision for the promising sector of digital transformation. Moreover, the UAE actively promotes responsible practices associated with this sector and fosters safe technological innovation.
Al Olama further emphasized that the AI Majlis is a platform for open dialogue between government and the private sector. These gatherings facilitate the sharing of challenges and opportunities, enabling stronger partnerships in the development of ideas for advancing promising sectors such as AI, digital economy, and future technologies. The UAE recognizes the importance of exchanging practices to ensure efficiency and optimal utilization of these practices, leading to rapid and comprehensive digital transformation.
Karan Bhatia, Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google, said: "We have an opportunity to make AI more helpful for people, for businesses, for communities, for everyone. Building this transformational technology responsibly must be a collective effort that involves researchers, social scientists, industry experts, governments, and people. There is so much we can accomplish and so much we must get right- together. We're pleased to collaborate with the UAE's Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office and hope that our AI Majlis series sets an example of how public - private sector discussions can effectively help advance and accelerate responsible AI regulation."
Upcoming AI Majlis discussions will include international industry experts that will address key areas for the UAE such as future of work, sustainability and education. The AI Majlis on AI and sustainability will take place during Cop28 this November.
AI Office launches first generative AI competition
This is one of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), to develop educational tools using ChatGPT that teachers can use to create tailored lesson plans for students of all backgrounds and educational levels.
Saqr Binghalib, Executive Director of the AI Office, affirmed that the UAE government is keen to foster collaboration to empower community members and enhance their skills across diverse fields. These initiatives are designed specifically to augment the capabilities of talented individuals, thereby aligning with the goals of the National Programme for Coders.
In addition, they comprehensively support coders, entrepreneurs, start-ups, companies, and the education sector, to bolster their development and contribute to the nation's advancement.
Binghalib emphasised that the first competition in the field of Generative AI represents a pioneering endeavour to foster competitiveness among participants. Moreover, the competition will substantially advance teaching methodologies, enrich educational content, and facilitate streamlined communication of ideas to students via digital platforms and tools.
Dr. Walid Al Ali, Secretary-General of The Digital School, expressed the immense potential for leveraging cutting-edge technologies and innovation to benefit humanity, particularly in education.
He emphasised the significance of Generative AI and highlighted that this collaboration between the Digital School and CodersHQ, one of the National Programmes for Coders initiatives, represents a meaningful step in this direction.
The competition will foster innovative solutions to significantly enhance the educational process, expand the capabilities of teachers and students, and harness the combined power of AI and human intelligence.
By intelligently and effectively utilising knowledge and ideas accumulated by humanity and harnessed through Generative AI applications, this initiative will empower educators and learners alike.
Dr. Walid Al Ali further highlighted the essential role of this competition as a critical component within the broader scope of the comprehensive digital school initiative.
This initiative centres on harnessing technology and innovation to advance the cause of high-quality education on a global scale. By effectively bridging the gap between technology and education, the initiative seeks to expand educational access and opportunities.
The competition centres around creating comprehensive lesson plans, encompassing all essential components that augment teaching efficacy. These include delineating the lesson's topic and duration, curating a fundamental vocabulary list to equip students, and incorporating supplementary materials that support teachers in effectively conveying ideas and information.
Additionally, the competition emphasises the acquisition of skills by students through the implementation of these diverse lesson plans and ideas tailored to suit educational levels.
The competition contributes to improving planning skills and organising lessons in innovative and digital ways. It provides a clear understanding of what one expects from students of all educational levels while helping them continue to interact and focus.
The competition consists of three levels to develop an easy-to-use and effective tool using Generative AI techniques, which contributes to facilitating lessons and addresses the topics of the carbon cycle, decomposition, nutritional needs of green plants, the process of fermentation and respiration, and the life cycle of frogs.
The competition levels include first providing an integrated lesson plan; second, creating a web application that allows participants to enter their requirements and view the lesson plan created in the web application, and the third is introducing fine-tuning capabilities to the web application and the created lesson plan, and the ability to publish the final lesson plan on Strapi.
Participants will be evaluated on the quality of the outputs, passing the programming skills assessment test at CodersHQ, the validity of the web operation used, passing the digital school assessment, and fulfilling all conditions.
Those interested in participating can apply by registering via the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-digital-school-x-coders-hq-competition-tickets-646881067687. The registration process concludes on 11th June, 2023.
Esraa Esmail/ Muhammad Aamir
The UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Office explores opportunities to Accelerate innovation with precision medicine
This came during his speech in a session organized by the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications office, in partnership with Dell Technologies, titled "Accelerating Innovation with Precision Medicine”. The session brought together policymakers, healthcare researchers, developers, and technologists. Its primary objective was to facilitate discussions on strategies to optimize the integration of technological advancements in the realm of precision medicine.
H.E. Omar Sultan AlOlama stated that the advancement of renewable systems utilizing cutting-edge digital technologies and artificial intelligence, along with the rapid progress in precision medicine, constitute pivotal elements in elevating the overall well-being of individuals within society. These endeavors are crucial in fostering superior healthcare capabilities, enabling the sector to effectively address challenges through the utilization of technology, enhancing the realms of diagnosis and treatment, optimizing healthcare delivery efficiency, and streamlining work methodologies.
Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, CEEMETA, Dell Technologies, said: “From stimulating smart cities to fueling new medical discoveries, AI is now an intrinsic part of our everyday lives. By drawing on the power of AI, nations can drive change to attain tangible and measurable benefits. Mohammed Amin added: “the UAE is strongly positioned to embrace new opportunities to shape the digital economy of tomorrow. We are excited about the future and look forward to supporting the government’s efforts in building a digitally transformed thriving economy.”
A distinguished panel of speakers contributed to the session, including experts such as Dr. Walter Kolch, the Director of Systems Biology Ireland (SBI) at University College Dublin (UCD), who holds ranked number 3 in the world for “Precision Medicine” and is In the wprld’s top 50 researches for Proteomics, System Biology and Signal Transduction (Google scholar). Additionally, the session featured Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, CEEMETA, Dell Technologies, as well as Dr. John O'Shea, Chief Digital Transformation Officer at Dell Technologies. Other participants included Mei May Soo, Director of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at Dell Technologies, and Tom DeMaria, from Dell Technologies' Global SVB Multicloud Platform Ecosystems.
The session covered discussions on Dell global societal artificial intelligence ecosystem, focusing on its vision to harness the potential of artificial intelligence in addressing critical social, environmental, and health challenges on a global scale. The objective was to develop and deploy artificial intelligence solutions that not only yield positive societal outcomes but also contribute significantly to the advancement of sustainable development goals.
The vision focusses on fundamental principles that entail leveraging artificial intelligence to realize collaborative benefits in partnership with government and private sectors, institutions, and societies. The key objective is to develop artificial intelligence solutions that foster positive societal transformations and enhance the well-being of communities. This vision also emphasizes the importance of upholding ethical standards in artificial intelligence practices, promoting transparency, adopting ethical frameworks, and implementing best practices in the data privacy field and effectively address challenges associated with artificial intelligence.
The session showcased the successful experiences of AI digital twins’ cancer (colon cancer) and the experience of integrating artificial intelligence technologies to enhance efficiency, productivity and decision-making. The speakers indicated that treating cancer through digital twins and artificial intelligence is one of the promising applications that are based on a virtual representation of an object or Practical in the real world, it can be used for analysis, simulation and optimization and in the case of cancer treatment, in which a digital twin can be created to model an individual patient's tumor and its response to different treatments. The session explored into the process of cancer treatment program through the utilization of digital twins and artificial intelligence. This approach involves assimilating data from diverse sources such as medical imaging, genetic data, patient records, and real-time monitoring data to construct a comprehensive tumor model. This model incorporates advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to simulate tumor behavior and its dynamic progression over time.
Additionally, the session showcased the initial pilot program that leverages digital twins and artificial intelligence to address challenges associated with cancer, while also introducing the concept of mechanical modeling in cancer research.
During the event, the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications office signed a memorandum of understanding with Dell Technologies signed by H.E. Omar Sultan AlOlama, UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, CEEMETA, Dell Technologies, to explore, develop and accelerate the innovation in the digital field.
Amjad Saleh/ Muhammad Aamir
Omar Sultan Al Olama: Morocco, an example to follow and a source of pride
In an address at the opening of this major global and Africa-focused event, the Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates affirmed that “Morocco is an example to follow and a source of pride for Arabs, Muslims and Africans in the field of technology, as well as in the fields of sport, the economy and others”.
“I especially thank Ghita Mezzour, Minister of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform, for inviting us to the opening of the 2023 events, the first edition of its kind to be organized outside the United Arab Emirates since the creation of the GITEX forty years ago”, said the minister.
The Emirati official also indicated that his country was delighted with this partnership with Morocco for the organization of this world-class event which brings together the best companies and startups operating in the field of technology, stressing that this fruitful partnership is t is done on the initiative of the leaders of the two countries, namely the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed and King Mohammed VI.
Omar Sultan Al Olama did not fail, in this sense, to encourage the exploration and development of technologies in Africa, noting the promising future that is emerging for the continent. “Today we celebrate a promising fruit, which is the launch of this ambitious African version of GITEX, which reflects global trends in the field of technological development, starting with Africa, the promising continent with its youth and human potential, full of potential for the future”he said.
This forum, “the largest of its kind for technology and startups in Africa”, he added, will be an opportunity for 3 days to realize the technological boom and its developments in more than 100 countries.
For the Emirati Minister of AI, this huge global event, “is a source of pride for all of us, with an aspiration for broader partnerships with Africa to continue to build on this achievement and expand the areas of digital and technological cooperation, for the benefit and prosperity of the peoples of the continent, especially thanks to all those who have contributed to leading and presenting this global event in a way that reflects the bright image of the brotherly Kingdom of Morocco and the continent as a whole”.
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.