Technology is driving Dubai’s development as a knowledge hub

22nd Aug, 2016

In November last year, the United Arab Emirates announced the adoption of the UAE Science, Technology and Innovation Higher Policy, which includes 100 national initiatives in the education, health, energy, transportation, space, technology and water sectors.

Rémi Dévé reports

The plan is a strategic decision that aims to change the national economy equation to drive it away from depending on limited oil resources. Its goal is to build a vibrant knowledge based economy in the UAE in general and in Dubai in particular, to establish it as a Smart City, with technology at the forefront.

Sustainable Wealth

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan put it like this: "Creating sustainable wealth for the coming generation will depend on science, knowledge, technology and innovation. The Science, Technology and Innovation Higher Policy is a turning point in our journey to develop the UAE economically and socially."

And Dubai wasted no time to make progress in the technology sector. Recent investments include:

  • 3D printing technology: Dubai wants to lead the world in 3D printing. With a strong focus on construction, medical and consumer products, the UAE foresees that 25 percent of their buildings will be based on 3D printing technology by 2030, along with a substantial rise in the 3D printing of household goods, jewelry—and even fast food. Dubai will also set up a new 3D printed lab space to be added to a huge solar park, and inaugurated the first 3D printed office building in May.
  • Driverless transportation: by 2030, 25 per cent of all transportation trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless, which comes as part of Dubai's strategy to become the smartest city in the world and achieve a sustainable economy in the UAE. The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy is expected to generate economic revenues and savings of up to Dh22bn.

GITEX in Dubai

Of course, events play a very specific role showcasing these advancements and the emirate’s vision. Later this year, Dubai will host, at Dubai World Trade Centre, the GITEX Technology Week, the widely recognised and annually anticipated ICT trade event across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. GITEX identifies the hottest global trends in the tech industry and integrates them into new event sectors or conference programmes, with top international brands and local tech leaders launching cutting-edge products, gadgets, and services– all of which are areas Dubai is heavily interested in making progress.

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