Designing the future is an inherent characteristic of Emiratis,’ says AI minister during his opening keynote at the Dubai Future Forum 2023
Dubai-UAE: 27 November 2023 – His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, today said the UAE has become a world within a country, rather than being a country in the world, thanks to the vision of its founding fathers.
Addressing the Dubai Future Forum, HE said designing the future is an inherent characteristic of Emiratis. The country’s capacity to shape the future stems from confident, human-centric visions that began with the country’s founding fathers and are continued today by its leadership, he said.
“The UAE is a beacon of hope in the region and a global role model for designing the future,” he said during the forum being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation.
HE Al Olama said: “The UAE has provided a creative space for individuals, institutions, business sectors and societies to realise their aspirations. It is a space based on human empowerment and an incubating environment for talents and optimists.”
His Excellency described how the UAE’s journey towards the future began back in 1971 when the country was founded. “The founding fathers met under the principle of unity to shape the future for coming generations and to empower the people of the UAE,” he said.
Al Olama explained: “The founding fathers were pioneering shapers of the future in every sense of the word. The late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum launched Port Rashid decades ago with 15 berths, when Dubai was a small city. Today, Port Rashid is among the most active ports and is a central hub for global trade.”
HE Al Olama noted how the UAE’s energy transition reflects the futuristic vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to create a future powered by renewable energy.
He said: “All these historical milestones confirm that we in the UAE do not only imagine the future, but also design and accelerate it.”
He continued: “The UAE, where 200 nationalities live in harmony, is a beacon of hope in the Middle East, where people are pioneering the future. The UAE is evidence that the region can enact positive change and attract talents from all over the world. With the right vision, the UAE has become a world within a country, rather than being a country in the world.”
His Excellency also discussed the UAE’s space program, which has conveyed a message of hope, optimism, and pride to the youth of the region over the past few years. The UAE became one of only five countries to reach Mars through the Hope Probe mission. This achievement serves as proof to the world that youth in the Middle East are capable of creating hope, as well as designing and shaping the future.
Regarding the role of talent in creating the future, His Excellency explained that over the past few years, the UAE has witnessed a significant influx of talented individuals with visions and ambitions, as well as companies and investments.
Talent and Knowledge Are ‘Critical’ to Creating the Future
HE Al Olama said empowering young people in the region “is the right path to shaping the future they aspire to”.
HE Omar Sultan Al Olama noted how during the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused millions of children to drop out of school, especially in lower-income communities, the UAE launched pioneering initiatives to provide education for children and young people digitally. He touched on the Arab Reading Challenge that takes place annually in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It plays a crucial role in preparing future generations of programmers, creators, and innovators.
A forum for the brightest minds
His Excellency said: “The Dubai Future Forum assembles the brightest minds and foresight experts to discuss the various aspects of designing the future.”
His Excellency concluded: “We look forward to the forum being a platform for all those keen to imagine, design, and implement a prosperous future for our world.”
The second Dubai Future Forum, taking place on 27-28 November, includes the participation of more than 150 speakers from around the globe, who are engaging in 70 dialogue sessions, keynote speeches, and workshops over two days. The discussions will cover space, sustainability, environment, energy, food, health, medicine, education, technology, artificial intelligence, digital economy, governance, and much more.