Innovating for a Knowledge-Driven Economy





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The United Arab Emirates has quickly become one of the leading tech and innovation hubs in the Middle East. Fueled by goals to diversify the U.A.E. economy away from oil, leaders in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have taken meaningful steps to foster a knowledge-based, technology-driven economy of the future.

Among these measures, the U.A.E. appointed a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence to strategically incorporate AI across the country’s government and economy. The U.A.E. also created a number of other far-sighted institutions – such as Smart Dubai, the Dubai Future Foundation, and Abu Dhabi Digital Authority – designed to harness the capabilities of new technologies.

Within this environment, prominent U.S. companies—including Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, and VMware —are collaborating with Emirati public and private sector stakeholders on initiatives designed to accelerate innovation and the adoption of AI, blockchain, 3D printing, robotics, cloud computing, and digitization across the U.A.E. Additionally, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Mubadala, and Dubai Future Foundation are supporting tech startups operating in the U.A.E. by providing access to capital, workspace, and mentorship.

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council has played an active role in promoting partnerships between the U.S. and the U.A.E. in the technology sector. The Council has led two delegations of high-level U.S. executives on Department of Commerce-certified tech missions to the U.A.E., convened meaningful discussions for U.S. industry representatives with the U.A.E. Minister of State for AI, and engaged with leadership from the Dubai Future Foundation, Smart Dubai, and other Emirati organizations through events and webinars. Additionally, the Business Council has hosted discussions on the future of communications technology and big data, while creating platforms for its members to discuss important issues such as U.A.E. data localization regulations with U.S. and U.A.E. government officials. It has also supported tech startups in their efforts to establish operations in the U.A.E. by brokering cross-border connections and providing critical information through reports such as its Entrepreneurial Emirates Report. At the same time, it has supported U.A.E. investments in the U.S. tech sector, including through Mubadala Venture’s new office in Silicon Valley.

As technological innovation continues to introduce new opportunities for U.S.-U.A.E. collaboration, the Business Council looks forward to supporting member companies by providing access to decision-makers and promoting continued dialogue.

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