Why Dubai: A window into the near future

Category: Asia Blockchain GCC

Hosted and supported by the Emirate of Dubai, the city is a natural home for the conference that prides itself on being on the edge of tomorrow

The Emirate has earned international acclaim for being a symbiosis between a rich, ancient heritage and forward-thinking, innovative vision. Rising proudly from the Arabian desert, the futuristic skyline of the city acts as an architectural manifestation of the massive strides that the UAE has taken towards becoming a nexus of technological innovation and economic investment. Ranking first globally in terms of FDI and technology transfer with respect towards AI and robotics, recent events have only hyper-accelerated this renewed focus and may serve as a bellwether for things to come.

The Near Future: Blockchain

As covered in-depth by delegations sent to recent AIBC Summits, the UAE and Dubai in particular have taken the initiative of Blockchain adoption and have heavily benefited from it. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020 saw 24 Blockchain use cases being implemented in vital pillars of the regional economy such as real estate, education and finance.

2018 alone saw a 24 percent growth in the Blockchain market with the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, released in the same year, outlining how 50 percent of the government’s transactions were planned to be transferred to the Blockchain. With this new technological foundation spearheading Dubai’s digital transformation, the city will be a global axis on which the mass adoption of the technology will rely on.

Moving towards the present, the city anticipates in excess of 1,000 crypto-firms to be operating by 2022. The proliferation of Free zones operating with more regulatory levity and investment opportunities allow start-ups within this technological sector to find the ideal ecosystem to grow exponentially. Combined with the DMCC Crypto Centre opening the floodgates for more cooperatives, such as the Dubai World Trade Centre’s own venture within the space, this lattice of cooperation between the public and private sector will serve as a pediment of the industry moving forward.

We have recently even seen the passing of landmark legislation by the Sheikh of Dubai himself, making the city not only a safe haven but a platform from which this industry can steady itself for the future.

With such profound and high-level support for this nascent industry, we need only point towards the keynote speech by Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni at AIBC Europe 2021 to illustrate the progress made within just a few years in this sector.

Dubai is already a city fully powered by blockchain for all the applicable use-cases of the technology. For example, our land department’s already on the blockchain. Like I said, we’re moving all the paperwork and industry creation [on the Blockchain] while creating the ecosystem for the country as well as bringing in the thought leaders from across the world and creating international leadership in the space.

All the bigger players actually either have a representative in Dubai or actually live in Dubai right now. The UAE level blockchain strategy was also set by the minister of finance, which you see in the video right now, and also the minister of economy and all the different ministries who actually drive this on a regular basis.

Dubai Near Future
Dr. Al Zarouni at AIBC Europe during Malta Week 2021

The Near Future: AI

As part of the duties of the Director General of Smart Dubai Office, HE Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, the implementation of AI solutions towards making the emirate “the happiest city of Earth” have hyper accelerated the proliferation of Artificial intelligence within the government and beyond. Far from a simple bureaucratic aide, the UAE envisions the use of AI in tackling everything from traffic accidents to chronic disease while increasing productivity across the board.

The launch of the UAE’s Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in October of 2017 saw the emirate spearhead possibly one of the the most fundamental pillars of the economy of the future. Outside of overhauling the efficiency of the Dubai government itself, the road map of the document outlined the creation of a new market that can act as an incubator for the implementation of AI in a number of sectors such as space, renewable energy, education and the environment. This included the appointment of a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and the aim to be a global leader in Artificial Intelligence by 2031.

Far from just plans and roadmaps, the foresight and investment of the Emirate of Dubai has already begun to bore fruit with Rashid, the city’s own smart assistant that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to better understand the need of its users, being just a single example of the sheer untapped potential that we are sure to be seeing in the very near future.

Fin-tech is another area of international importance that is currently being disrupted from the ground up by the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. The collaboration between the UAE Artificial Intelligence Office and the Dubai International Financial Centre has laid the foundation for the next generation of financial tools that may ripple out far beyond the borders of the city.

Essa Kazim, governor of the DIFC, has gone to state that

Dubai and DIFC are global ambassadors for AI. Financial Services companies in DIFC and a broad spectrum of other industries across the emirate are setting the standard that contributes to the UAE’s ambitious goal to have an internationally competitive, knowledge-based economy.

Dubai Near Future
Sofia, developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics, during a previous AIBC Summit with the late John McAfee.

Dubai and AIBC: Partners in innovation

With the AIBC Summit and the Dubai Administration having a long history of cooperation, the upcoming edition of AIBC Asia will see the two work hand in hand to spearhead the creation, adoption and proliferation of next generation technology.

As referenced previously throughout this article, past exhibits have seen thought leadership and delegations backed by none other than Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni, the CEO of Dubai’s Blockchain Centre and an internationally recognized technology advocate. He has led discussions at our summits on what we should be expecting from the ever evolving industry as well as the Emirate’s place within it.

Under the high patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saqer Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi and with the support of the honorable Chairman of the Board His Excellency Adnan Al Noorani, the Summit will be a perfect window into the near future of the global economy while cementing the Emirate of Dubai’s well-earned position as a pillar of what is to come. The conference as a whole will be opened with a speech from H.H Al Qasimi with H.E Al Noorani shedding light on the vision of the United Arab Emirates as a whole by the year 2030.

Dubai Near Future
Bridging the private and the public sector will be vital in securing the future of the industry

AIBC returns to the United Arab Emirates:

Drawing the leading figures of the emerging tech world to the Middle Eastern metropoles for cutting edge technology, the 2022 AIBC UAE expo, which is brought to you by TDeFi, plans to unite the policy-makers, developers, C-suite executives, and legal experts of the burgeoning AI and Blockchain sectors. Through three days of educational panels, inspiring keynote speeches, workshops, and networking events, the expo seeks to create the foundation that the Industrial Revolution 4.0 can be built upon. Join us from the 20th to 23rd March 2022, in UAE.