The world has turned digital progressively over the last few years and the MENA region is doing its part to join the developmental tide. To achieve the goal of setting up a digital and AI-based ecosystem, the “Arab Strategic Vision for digital economy” was put forth by the League of Arab States via the Arab Economic Unity Council in 2018. About 50 initiatives and projects are part of this plan.
The 5 frameworks of this plan are:
- Foundation: Strengthen techno-legal foundations: Updating outdated laws in the existing legal system to make them applicable to digital space.
- Innovation: These foundations act as accelerators to enhance digital transformation thus supporting digital economy and fostering an innovative and creative ecosystem
- End-users: The innovative ecosystem in turn enhances the quality of life of end users/ Citizens.
- Digital Government: the Government ensures that the innovative technology is affordable and accessible.
- Businesses: Government’s progressive policies ensures the digitalization of business sectors and acceleration and maintenance of the Digital infrastructure to support overall development.
UAE is the country leading Middle East when it comes to adopting digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based ecosystem for business sectors. Its Centennial 2071 Plan launched on October’2017 aims to make UAE ‘the best country in the world’ by 2071.
- The existing data pool in the country is small.
- The same is applicable for available talent pool. In order to achieve set goals need to acquire more skilled professionals.
- The number of people using the internet is low as the population of UAE is low.
- Within the country, the available computing power is also low.
- Less number of students enrolling in tertiary education.
- UAE is the first country in the world to have a Minister of State for AI.
- In the Middle East UAE is the first country to publish a strategy to adopt AI. The aim is to create a market for AI and make UAE a leader in AI-related investments in several sectors like healthcare, transport, logistics, education, etc.
- The first AI bachelor’s program was started in 2018 at British University Dubai.
- The “One Million Arab coders” initiative was launched to enhance the existing talent pool.
- Several programs like summer camps had been executed in partnership with IBM and SAP.
- The Inception Institute of Artificial Intelligence was established in 2018 to set up favourable, pressure-free research conditions.
- Headed by Omar Al Olama, the Minister of State for AI, a ten member council was set up in 2018 whose purpose was to monitor the integration of AI in education as well as Government sectors.
The development had been not only nation-wide but the seven emirates had taken sector-specific initiatives as well.
Measures taken by Dubai:
- The Dubai Autonomous Transportation strategy: the goal is to automate 25% of transport by 2030. Through transport efficiency it is expected to give an annual return of 4.25 billion Euros.
- 3D printing strategy: the aim is to make sure that by 2030, 25% of buildings are based on 3D printing.
- Data strategy: the goal is to develop and implement high quality data exchange. This would lead to evidence-based decision making and hence take Dubai ahead in the future.
- Dubai is working towards enhancing public awareness about cyber security and enhance cyber-resilience, cyber innovation and national and international co-operations.
- Smart Dubai 2021 Plan
- For public sector, the Dubai 10X initiative had been launched. ‘10’ denotes that Dubai intends to stay 10 years ahead of the world and ‘X’ denotes ‘Thinking out of the box’.
This forward thinking mind-set of Dubai and UAE, who are striving to establish a knowledge-based economy, makes this the perfect place for setting up your new company.
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