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Be Part of a Future-Focussed Economy

Founded on Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The UAE is building solid foundations that support the growth and prosperity of knowledge-based, future-focussed business sectors. Concurrently, it is striving to enhance position as a global hub for businesses centred on innovation, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship. To this end, the UAE has launched a number of strategies that achieve sustainable economic growth based on science and advanced technologies, as well as by capitalising on exceptional talent, skills and competencies.

Growth Rates in

Knowledge-Based Economy Sectors

Notable achievements have been made over the past five years, as embodied in the growth of sectors constituting a future-focussed economy. The information and communication sector witnessed a cumulative growth rate of 27.2% between 2014-2018 which is an annual average rate of 5.4%. Likewise, the education and professional sector, and the science and technology sectors posted cumulative growth of 28.2% and 9.5% respectively, at an average annual growth rate of 5.6% and 19% respectively. The manufacturing industries sector grew at an average annual rate of 4.2% over the same period. These sectors combined represented nearly 18% of actual GDP in 2018.

Annual average growth rate

Information and Communications Sector

5.4%

Annual average growth rate

Education Sector

5.6%

Annual average growth rate

Professional, Scientific and Technological Activities

1.9%

Annual average growth rate

Manufacturing Industries

4.2

Strategies for a Future-Based Economy

UAE Centennial 2071

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched ‘UAE Centennial 2071’ in 2017 as a roadmap to make the UAE the best country in the world, by the year 2071, when celebrating the centennial of its establishment. The Centennial is based on four key pillars: future-focussed government, excellent education, diversified knowledge-based economy and a happy and cohesive society. Under the axis ‘the best economy in the world’, the UAE aims to become a global hub for attracting the best minds, ideas and talent, together with offering the best business opportunities, a stable environment and an advanced infrastructure. Steadily increasing investments in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology, cognitive sciences and multi-dimensional cumulative manufacturing continues to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global leader in various sectors.

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The Fifty Economic Plan – Roadmap to the Future

The Ministry of Economy launched the Fifty Economic Plan for building a future-focussed economy in the UAE in December 2019. As part of the ‘Towards the Next 50’ strategy, this serves as a roadmap for economic undertakings during the coming decades. The strategy includes five key pillars: integrated economy, entrepreneurship and SMEs, tourism, foreign direct investment and exports, and attracting and retaining talent. The plan aims to achieve a quantum leap in the national economy by the year 2030 and support GDP growth by creating a flourishing local business environment and enabling UAE companies to excel and lead worldwide. The pillars of this future-focussed economy include sectors such as space technologies and digital entertainment, alongside opening new markets and establishing a progressive legislative landscape that serves economic aspirations. Simultaneously, the Ministry is facilitating greater ease of doing business, supporting family businesses and protecting and incentivising investment.

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The Emirates Blockchain Strategy

The Emirates Blockchain Strategy was launched in 2018, with the objective of harnessing, utilising and capitalising on advanced technologies to benefit of society. Further, the efficiency of government performance is being enhanced by transferring all UAE government transactions to blockchain platforms. The strategy is based on four key themes: the happiness of citizens and residents, improved government efficiency, advanced legislations that qualitatively transform federal government operations, and the UAE’s international leadership in the field of information security and transfer. This will build the capabilities of individuals, institutions and government leaders, save time, effort and resources and qualify the UAE to emerge as one of the most globally advanced nations ready to embrace transformation.

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The UAE’s Green Growth Strategy

The UAE’s Green Growth Strategy aims to achieve sustainability in economic, social and environmental sectors, as opposed to relying on oil resources. The UAE seeks to become a global leader in green economy, a centre for the export and re-export of green products and technologies, and to create a sustainable environment that endorses long-term economic growth. The strategy encompasses a set of programmes and policies spanning the fields of energy, agriculture, investment and sustainable transport, coupled with new environmental and urban policies that strive to improve the country’s quality of life. This strategy consists of 6 key streams: green energy, government policies promoting investment in a green economy, green cities, dealing with the effects of climate change, green lives, and green technologies.

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UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution aims to strengthen the country’s position as a global hub for the next industrial revolution and contribute to a competitive national economy that is based on futuristic applications that merge material, digital and biological technologies. This is in addition to harnessing technologies and tools to serve community members and achieve public happiness. The key pillars of this strategy include the adoption of various plans and of genomic medicine and medical genomic tourism, and strengthening economic security by embracing a digital economy. The strategy also involves developing advanced technologies, from artificial intelligence and nanotechnology to the internet-of-things and 3D printing, to support economic growth.

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UAE Circular Economy Policy

The Circular Economy Policy provides direction towards the sustainable management of the economy, and optimal and efficient use of natural and environmental resources through the adoption of the best methods and technologies of sustainable consumption and production. This is to ensure a high-quality lifestyle for current and future generations, improve the efficient consumption of natural resources, and minimise wastage. The policy also aims to boost environmental health and encourage the private sector to adopt cleaner industrial production techniques and technologies, together with realising the UAE vision of becoming a leader in green development. The most important outcomes of the policy include generating considerable economic proceeds for the country, mitigating environmental pressures, ensuring the supply of raw materials, increasing competitiveness, promoting innovation, strengthening economic growth and creating job opportunities.

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National Program for Artificial Intelligence 2031

The UAE is one of the most prepared nations to tackle technological change, especially in light of its extensive efforts for providing a future-centric and highly advanced infrastructure that is capable of improving the quality of life for individuals and communities. In line with the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071, this strategy is considered the first of its kind on a global level, and consists of eight strategic objectives, five themes and a set of initiatives targeting the utilisation of artificial intelligence in developing the country’s vital sectors such as education and economy. It also aims to improve government performance, achieve social happiness, create a new and promising regional market that is of high economic value, support private sector initiatives, and boost productivity. Targeted sectors include transport, health, space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, environment and traffic.

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UAE Energy Strategy 2050

The UAE launched its ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ in 2017, and the country’s unified energy plan balances production and consumption with global environmental commitments. The strategy fosters an attractive and conducive economic environment that catalyses the growth of all sectors and aims to increase the efficiency of individual and corporate energy consumption by 40%. It also seeks to increase the share of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50%, saving the equivalent of AED 700 billion by the year 2050. The UAE is scheduled to invest AED 600 billion until 2050 in order to meet growing energy demands and fulfil sustainable growth of the economy. According to the strategy, the energy mix is set to be as follows: 44% from clean energy, 38% from gas, 12% from clean coal and 6% from nuclear energy.

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Funds and Projects for Funding Future-Looking Economy

The UAE continues to enhance the future of the financing sector by launching several innovative projects and programmes that aim to accelerate the adoption of a knowledge-based innovative economy. This are designed to achieve sustainable development, accommodate rapid global changes, and tackle future challenges.

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Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF)

The Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund is an initiative launched by the federal government, with a capital of AED 2 billion, for supporting innovators and assisting them with accquiring necessary funding for their projects. Resident individuals, and companies of all sizes registered in the UAE, may benefit from this fund if they have unique and innovative ideas. The fund seeks to bridge the funding gap in innovation projects, improve the UAE's economic competitiveness, and expand the possibilities for national growth.

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Dubai Future District

Dubai Future District was launched with the objective of becoming the largest environment for creating a future-centric economy, an incubator for promising ideas, and a source for funding and legislative solutions that serve start-ups and entrepreneurs. The project intends to strengthen the readiness of Dubai’s economy for tackling future challenges and will include a research centre, incubators, accelerators and an innovative space for future economy pioneers.

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