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UAE government to leverage design-thinking, say ministers at WEF

The high-level delegation discuss how the country is fostering global partnerships to create the necessary relevance and impact

UAE government to leverage design-thinking, say ministers at WEF
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The UAE is leveraging its investment in science and technology to cement its position as a leader in climate change and sustainability, Emirati ministers said at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos.

H.E. Sarah Al-Amiri, the UAE Minister for Public Education and Future Technology, and H.E. Omar Sultan Al-Olama, Minister for Artificial Intelligence, discussed how, since UAE’s inception, the nation has a repertoire for design thinking in governance and what lessons it can teach the developing world.

“What drove us? A real sense of urgency, knowing that science and technology are required and a fundamental part of the growth of the future of our economy and the future of our industrial sectors,” Al-Amiri said. 

“We have a technology transformation program (in the UAE), developed with and embedded within our industrial strategy. How do you sustainably and effectively increase the impact of your economic sectors? We are working closely with key local players to do that, but also fostering more global partnerships so we can create the necessary relevance and impact,” she added.

“We see that there is a constant need to adapt, to reinvent ourselves, and to face all challenges and opportunities equally,” Al-Olama said.

“With every single era, the people of the UAE choose an industry, and they go all in into it. If you look at the (ancient) trade of pearls as an example, it became a key industry, but we did not focus on local markets, we wanted to become global players. Moving forward (to today), the UAE has taught 1 million people in the Arab world how to code, and as that program concluded last year, it has ended up creating tens of thousands of companies and business endeavors across the Arab world.”

Al-Olama said that attracting global talent is key and that globalization should be welcomed, not shunned, but added that should a globalized world collapse tomorrow and fall back into global blocs, the UAE would have the talent and “future thinking” required to face that challenge.

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