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Sheikh Mohammed says digital economy is next priority for UAE

Sheikh Mohammed says digital economy is next priority for UAE

The digital economy’s contribution to the UAE’s local GDP in 2019 reached 4.3 per cent

Sheikh Mohammed Digital Economy

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said on Monday that the next priority of the UAE is to increase the contribution of digital economy in the national economy, promote smart infrastructure, and enhance the digital readiness of the UAE government to ensure business continuity regardless of the circumstances.

He added that digital economy’s contribution to local GDP in 2019 reached 4.3 per cent, with a minister recently appointed to handle this portfolio and double the contribution.

“Digital economy proved its importance and efficiency during the pandemic. Digital economy doesn’t require huge infrastructure or huge financial resources, it requires brighter minds,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks about the digital economy came as he reviewed plans of the Ministry of State for Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working Applications as the UAE prepares to roll out further technology applications to manage businesses and supply chains locally and internationally.

During the meeting, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for artificial intelligence, digital economy and remote work applications, presented a comprehensive plan to create opportunities within this field.

“The main importance of this [digital economy] sector is its capacity to create new job opportunities and increase economic and investment opportunities, as well as its significant contribution to ensuring economic diversification and achieving sustainable development, which will help reinforce the UAE’s leading position in all international competitiveness indexes,” said Al Olama.

Read: Sheikh Mohammed announces new government structure with merged ministries

He added that digital economy includes all economic activities and government services that depend on the use of digital technology, including e-commerce, cryptocurrencies, financial platforms, asset digitisation, communication services networks, crypto products, programmes and cloud computing technologies.

Plans for the digital economy sector will focus on creating a financial cooperation economy, freelance economy, digital markets, sharing economy, digital content economy, and information and data economy.

With regards to teleworking applications, Al Olama said that the future goals within this field include reducing the organisational costs of public and private entities, creating remote job opportunities and improving the level of government and private sector services and making them available around the clock.

Al Olama also shed light on the details of key national AI projects and initiatives, as well as the main achievements of the National Programme for Artificial Intelligence and its phases of implementation, in addition to the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031.

In related developments, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based AI university has opened its admissions cycle, to accept students at their Masdar City campus in 2021.

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