UAE To Become A ‘smart Country’ Via Innovation

UAE is set to become a ‘Smart Country’ through innovation as government take massive initiatives in developing various sectors of the economy. In a meeting between H.H. Sheikh Mohammed (Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) and Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft Corporation), enhancing and improving government performance through adapting latest technological solutions were discussed. With 2015 declared as the “Year of Innovation”, UAE government continues to focus on implementing “National Innovation Strategy” that will allow UAE to become the Most Innovative Nation in the world and also achieve national development objectives simultaneously.

National Innovation Strategy (Key Sectors Focused)

Education | Health | Technology (IT & ICT) | Renewable Energy | Transport | Water | Space

UAE Ranking – Innovation

The Global Innovation Index 2015 ranked UAE 4th by for Innovation in North Africa and Western Asia (NAWA) region whereas 1st in Gulf countries for Network Readiness (ranked 23rd globally). In 2014, UAE was also ranked 2nd globally and 1st in MENA region for the “Government Usage of ICT” Index, a report released by World Economic Forum.

Dubai – The Silicon Valley of MENA Region

Dubai (the commercial capital of UAE) is considered as the Silicon Valley of MENA region for being the world leader in adapting new technologies. A study conducted by Dubai Chamber ranked Dubai 16th in for Global Innovation Rate and 11th for Efficiency of Innovation Outputs, overtaking leading global cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid, Istanbul and Mumbai.

SMART Initiatives in UAE

In recent past, major cities of UAE which includes Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah have taken various Smart initiatives mentioned below:

  1. Smart Bikes is a green mode of alternative transportation that aids in easing of traffic congestion. Smart Bike UAE was launched last week in Dubai for people to get around the Business Bay area, either as a cyclist or passenger, by hiring bikes from kiosks located at Business Bay Metro Station, Bay Square and Bay Avenue.
  2. Smart Schools initiative was launched by the Ministry of Education (MOE) by adapting the Mohammad Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP) that aimed on transforming all 440 public schools into Smart Schools by equipping the classrooms with Smart Technology by 2020.
  3. Smart DEWA took various initiatives to enhance the quality of life and achieve sustainable development in Dubai by launching Sharms DubaiGreen Charger(Electric Vehicle Charging Stations) and Smart Meters.
  4. Smart Devices – Global IT giants like Microsoft exhibited (in GITEX 2015th edition) wide range of smart remote control devices for traffic safety whereas IBM showcased Cognitive Computing System (Watson) that will enable Dubai’s Smart Government Department (DSG) and the Department of Economic Development (DED) to conveniently interact between portal users and government bodies.
  5. Smart Firefighting – Dubai Civil Defense (DCD) has signed an agreement with a New Zealand based firm Martin Aircraft for the procurement of 20 Martin Jetpacks for the fire fighters. This innovative product is expected to be highly effective for responding to high-rise tower blazes along with making Dubai the first city in the world to use the technology, further promoting the innovation culture in UAE.
  6. Smart Glasses – Likewise, Etisalat has also partnered with UBIMAX for conducting trials of next generation smart glasses (wearable computing applications with cloud communication, on-board processing unit, video camera, voice recognition and gesture control features etc.,) that can bring value-addition to the Education, Retail and Logistics etc., sectors of UAE economy.
  7. Smart Patrol – Abu Dhabi Police revealed Lykan Hypersport, which is equipped with a smart Hi-Tech surveillance system developed by Ekin Technology that has unique capability of face-recognition at high speeds. Additionally, the system detects the speed of moving vehicles and matches it with their number plates automatically, resulting in “Smart Patrol”.
  8. Smart Wi-Fi Bins – Sharjah is on-track to become the Middle East’s first city to incorporate smart Wi-Fi bins that are currently in use in cities like London and New York. As part of an initiative taken by Sharjah’s Environmental and Waste Management Company Bee’ah, the emirate will be deployed with solar-powered bins which will serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot and will be capable of collecting five times more trash before needing to be emptied due to utilization of integrated compactor.

Smart Investment Opportunities in UAE

The growth potential for Smart Investment in the UAE market is immense given the fact that UAE is taking keen initiatives in becoming a Smart Country. Being epicenter of trade, commerce and technologies in MENA region, UAE provides ample growth opportunities and high return on investments to global companies, investors and entrepreneurs who intend to expand in this region in various sectors of the economy.

Research Konnection – This Research Report is compiled by Team Research Konnection; A Dubai Based Market Research Firm that specializes in Investment Research and Economic Feasibility Study. If you are looking for investment advice or more detailed business analysis, then feel free to konnect with us on

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
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