Dubai has recently hosted the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils, bringing together 700 experts from future-facing technologies, embracing HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s aim to be a leader at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Web Economic Forum has shown in a recent report why UAE is turning this vision into a reality, placing itself as not only a groundbreaker, but a pioneer in the latest technology advancements.
Here are 5 reasons why UAE is ahead of the rest of the world.
1. The world’s first Minister of AI: The UAE has acted swiftly to put in place the talent required to establish itself as a global hub for innovation and emerging technologies. Among the six new ministerial appointments to make the Fourth Industrial Revolution a reality was 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, the world’s first Minister for artificial Intelligence.
2. Pneumatic trains and flying taxis: Not only that UAE will launch Elon Musk’s revolutionary Hyperloop One – a move that will make travel times between Abu Dhabi and Dubai only 12 minutes – but the UAE is making huge strides in revolutionizing transport in other areas, as well. One such plan is to introduce the world’s first taxi drones. With the first public trial already successfully under its belt, Dubai, working with German firm Volocopter, hopes that people will be able to hail a flying cab from a nearby Voloport within the next five years.
3. Billions of dollars investment in education: Relying on hard infrastructure projects such as Hyperloop tunnels or droneports is one thing, but one less-reported and nevertheless huge area of change is in the field of education and social development. In October 2017, the country announced a project, One Million Arab Coders, to bring computer programming skills to young people across the Middle East. Closer to home, the country’s most recent federal budget, announced in November 2017, earmarked a massive 43.5% of total government expenditure to social development, including 17.1% for education.
4. Robocops as police officers: The UAE’s plans to disrupt the country’s emergency response capability go much deeper than the recent announcement to kit out Dubai’s police with traffic-besting hover bikes. Dubai also piloted a robotic policeman capable of issuing fines, feeding video back to base and identifying people through facial recognition; a first move in a strategy that will see 25% of all positions taken up by robots by 2030. Elsewhere, in a bid to overcome the challenges faced by conventional fire engines when tackling blazes in tall buildings, the next time you see a firefighter in Dubai they could be using a jet pack.
5. The world’s first Blockchain City: The Dubai Blockchain Strategy aims for Dubai to become the first blockchain-powered city by 2020. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, is a result of a collaboration between the Smart Dubai Office and the Dubai Future Foundation to continually explore and evaluate the latest technology innovations that demonstrate an opportunity to deliver more seamless, safe, efficient, and impactful city experiences.
“Adopting Blockchain technology Dubai stands to unlock 5.5 billion AED in savings annually in document processing alone — equal to the one Burj Khalifa’s worth of value every year.”