UAE unveils National Artificial Intelligence strategy

By Eudore R. Chand

We want AI to be present in our daily life and government services: Mohammed

DUBAI 22 April 2019: The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031, has been adopted by the UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at its meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 aims at positioning the UAE as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031, and to develop an integrated system that employs artificial intelligence in vital areas in the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE is moving ahead with its vision and aspirations through a well-defined plan for the UAE Centennial 2071. “We have launched a national strategy for artificial intelligence to make an integral part of our business, our lives and our government services.” His Highness asserted that the UAE is ready to embrace technological advances and seeks to employ modern technology to enhance the quality of life.

8 Strategic Objectives

The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 includes eight strategic objectives, a number of initiatives, along with a number of initiatives aimed at employing artificial intelligence in vital areas such as education, government services and the community wellbeing. The strategy implementation is overseen by the Emirates Council for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transactions, in coordination with a number of local and federal entities.

The eight objectives include:

  1. Reaffirming UAE’s position as a global hub for artificial intelligence
  2. Increasing the competitive edge of the AI sector in the UAE
  3. Establishing an incubator for AI innovations
  4. Employing AI in the field of customer services to improve quality of life
  5. Attracting and training talents for jobs of the future
  6. Attracting leading research capabilities
  7. Providing a data-driven infrastructure to support AI experiments, and
  8. Optimising AI governance and regulations

A number of vital sectors will witness an immediate positive impact from applying AI technologies, such as the national economy. AI applications are expected to contribute to the national GDP in the coming years, which would create new economic opportunities.

The strategy also will focus on the following fields of priorities during the first phase of implementation:

  • Resources and energy
  • Logistics and transportation
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Healthcare, and
  • Cyber security

The strategy also includes a plan to build a well-established UAE brand of artificial intelligence through artificial intelligence activities that will make the UAE a test platform for artificial intelligence technology, provide enhanced services with advanced technology, training and qualification programmes, talent building, research, data development and governance.

Chemicals Management

The UAE Cabinet also adopted the National Strategy for Integrated Chemicals Management to improve the chemicals management systems in a unified manner at the national level, reduce their health and environmental impact, and manage risks As for legislative affairs, the UAE Cabinet adopted a number of decisions and laws within the framework of the organisation of government work. The resolutions included the preparation of a draft federal law to amend some provisions pertaining to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the amendment of some articles of the Federal Law on the Diplomatic and Consular Service.

The Cabinet approved granting of a school administration allowance to the managers of People of Determination centres at the Ministry of Community Development, to enhance the participation of the national workforce and develop their capabilities, efficiency, and productivity.

It reviewed the recommendations of the Federal National Council, FNC, on the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s policy, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s policy, and the request by the FNC to discuss the Ministry of Economy’s policy on supporting the tourism sector.

International Pacts

In international relations, the Cabinet adopted and ratified a number of international agreements, including the ratification of an agreement between the UAE and the Government of Botswana to avoid double taxation, as well as agreements with the Bahrain government, the Bhutan government and the Vanuatu government on air transport services.

Also among the discussions were an agreement with the Asian Paralympic Committee to host the headquarters of the Committee in the UAE, the adoption of an agreement with Uzbekistan on mutual administrative cooperation and assistance in customs matters, and the adoption of a supplementary convention to the Headquarters Agreement between the Government of the UAE and the International Renewable Energy Agency, Irena.