AI to Shape Dubai’s Next 185 Years: Minister Omar Sultan AlOlama

A futuristic scene of Dubai with a focus on AI and technology. The image features the iconic Dubai skyline, including the Burj Khalifa, integrated with

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to shape Dubai’s next 185 years of development, starting today, according to Omar Sultan AlOlama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications.

“AI is not a future vision; it is our reality now. In Dubai, we operate differently. Our long-term vision for our physical infrastructure was first implemented in 1958, and it took 185 years until 2023 for Dubai’s infrastructure to be considered among the best in the world. Similarly, with AI, we are looking at implementing our AI vision for the next 185 years, starting today,” AlOlama said. He urged the private sector to start their journey in Dubai to invest in AI and enhance their talents for its enabling legislation, as AI is integral to DUB-AI.

At the first-of-its-kind AI Retreat, the Minister welcomed over 2,500 UAE leaders, AI experts, policymakers, government officials, and industry stakeholders to the iconic Museum of the Future and AREA 2071, which jointly hosted the largest such gathering in the world.

AI Legislation

Participants engaged in discussions on AI legislation and policy, the ethical use of AI, and the best ways to convene AI communities and talent. They also shared insights on facilitating the implementation of AI applications as tangible solutions to local and global challenges.

Emphasizing the importance of continually adapting to this dynamic technology, AlOlama urged everyone to effectively utilize available tools to stay competitive and avoid falling behind in the global AI race.

The UAE’s visionary leadership seeks to develop a leading, proactive, and future-oriented model for Dubai and lead the AI conversation through the establishment of this platform. AlOlama recently announced the appointment of 22 Chief AI officers in government departments across Dubai, each selected after careful assessment of their skills to advance Dubai’s AI vision. Additionally, the initiative includes training one million proficient engineers to ensure the relevance of these skills and to elevate the nation’s power today.

Importance of Talent

AlOlama highlighted the UAE’s success in attracting AI talent, ranking third globally relative to its population size, after Luxembourg and Switzerland, and first regionally, up from 11th place in 2021. According to a report by LinkedIn in collaboration with Stanford University, the UAE also ranked 15th globally for its AI skills, up from 20th place last year.

The inaugural AI Retreat in Dubai was held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation. The event was attended by over 1,000 decision-makers, experts, and officials from the government and private sectors and tech companies.

Participants discussed key AI challenges, including policies and legislation, governance, talent ecosystem, digital infrastructure, and AI data centers. They also explored key AI enablers, such as finance and research. The AI Retreat served as a platform for direct and open communication, sharing critical insights, creative ideas, innovative projects, best practices, and opportunities for partnerships between the government and private sector in boosting AI applications.

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