Not many nations can boast the design and implementation of a comprehensive roadmap on integrating technology as a core aspect of their development goals; the UAE is surely not one of them. With the launch of a UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the establishment of a Ministry for Artificial Intelligence, the country has solidified its position as one of the most serious and robust jurisdictions for global technological advances and innovation.
The question whether the UAE is really tech-savvy or whether the country is caught up in a conventional web of technology initiatives without real and tangible value does not remain unanswered: a series of robust developments, a comprehensive strategy for innovation and the creation of strong partnerships at all levels, put the UAE at a leading stage offering a game-changing playing field in the way through which it positions itself in the technology field.
A world for fintech and start-ups
The UAE's leadership has embraced the potential for new technologies; for example, the country's largest financial free zones – Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Dubai International Financial Centre – have organised and set up advanced fintech ecosystems, ideal for start-ups and new business, cooperating alongside established businesses so that both sides can reap the benefits.
The country also supports technology for Small-Medium Enterprises in the industrial sector and considers the latter the backbone of the economy. In March 2021, the UAE launched its industrial strategy, "Operation 300bn", a comprehensive 10-year strategic plan that aims to establish the UAE's industrial sector as a success story of driving a sustainable economic model. More than 13,500 micro and small enterprises will benefit from financial and policy support through the newly introduced strategy, creating a subsidiary real economy.
Tech-savvy nations are defined not only by the support they provide to enterprises but also through the synergies and partnerships they develop through research and innovation. The Abu Dhabi Advanced Technology Research Council, the first research council in the Middle East, was established to shape research and development for transformative technology outcomes. The establishment of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) is also another action that contributes towards placing the UAE firmly on the map of tech-savvy nations. The TII aims to become a leading global research Centre dedicated to pushing the frontiers of knowledge.
A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies ( ICT) to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare. According to research compiled by Spain's IESE Business School, Dubai ranks 4th in the technology dimension for smart cities and number one for technology in the Middle East.
The high level of digitisation at the private and public level is integral in classifying the UAE as a nation which invests in growth and sees value in technology. Silicon Park is one example of how the UAE is positioning itself as a dedicated provider of technologically smart spaces that contribute to the happiness index of citizens and entrepreneurs alike. By bringing together people, data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the UAE is solving not only financial but also social challenges, such as, the reduction of crime, models of sustainable farming for underprivileged groups and the creation of more urban space for a better quality of life in the cities.
The UAE has also made remarkable progress in advancing several specialised industries such as aviation, military, mining, renewable energy, and the information and communication technology sector through ground-breaking technology use. According to research, by 2030 the number of devices connected to the internet is estimated to reach 1 trillion at the global level, with the UAE alone expected to reach this figure by 2050. As a transit country connecting the East and the West, with a pro-business environment, the UAE has become a technology hub for the Internet of Things in all applications enabling digital transformation in airports, cargo, and logistics.
For the many reasons above, the fourth edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2021) will be held alongside Expo Dubai under the theme of ‘Rewiring Societies: Repurposing Digitalisation for Prosperity'. In line with Expo Dubai's theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, #GMIS2021 will inspire conversations that will shape a digitally inclusive, interconnected, and sustainable future for all.
Golden Business Visa 2019
The Golden Business Visa seeks to attract top tech talent, quality investors, entrepreneurs, and academics/scholars with outstanding scientific talent. The purpose of this launch is to welcome global entrepreneurs, increase the UAE's competitiveness and reaffirm the country's position as a global incubator for talent. Furthermore, it provides an incentive for relocation of talent, which goes hand in hand with tangible knowledge transfer, and with a more efficient and integrated ecosystem to transform ground-breaking ideas into market-ready products.
The Business Visa allows entrepreneurs the freedom to explore and experiment in the UAE, while securing a future for themselves and their families. Specifically, the “Thrive in Abu Dhabi” programme promotes long-term Golden Visas and a pathway to citizenship for international talent working, creating, studying, excelling, and investing in key sectors and specialties in Abu Dhabi. The UAE's Golden Visa is available in Abu Dhabi for international investors and top talent from around the world, providing them with visas for up to 10 years. This includes people and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, and inventors.
The UAE leads the technology dialogue.
Through government support, a vibrant global pool of human resource and the various incentives that bring together the public and the private sector, the UAE is indeed a frontrunner of technology, not only in the region but also globally. The country's strong marketing and branding element intensifies the efforts of ‘packing' technology not only as the end but also the means of bringing further foreign direct investment into the country.
Establishing an Onshore or Free Zone company in the UAE enables entrepreneurs to explore this exciting venue through these corporate solutions. The establishment of a company in the UAE is particularly attractive for those who wish to engage in e-commerce, the latter being one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the Middle East.
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