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Dubai the Heart of Technological Advancement.

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

Built on the back of an oil and real estate boom, Dubai is now recognised as the vanguard of the UAE’s (United Arab of Emirates) efforts to economic and technological diversification. The city has evolved over the past 20 years and has rebuilt itself as a global powerhouse for tech and innovation. Surpassing its competitors and neighbouring countries, Dubai has transitioned into one of the biggest tech hubs in the world, harnessing technology to drive a revolutionary vision for a smart city of the future. Dubai is nothing if not ambitious to become a technical leader and not even a pandemic can prevent its large-scale plans. The increase of digitalization, job opportunities, tourism and trade are all evidential to the technical and economic growth of the city and its expansion to invest and mobilize.

Economic Diversification

Have you ever asked yourself what makes Dubai an attractive destination for global tech giants and tech start-ups as paving the way to accelerate growth opportunities?

There are three key factors that contribute to economic diversification growth and opportunity:

1. Firstly, The UAE is strategically located between Africa, Asia, and Europe therefore it is abundantly connected to these markets. In addition, it is more likely for starts ups to do local, regional, and international business and the possibility to easily travel from and to the UAE.

2. The second factor for the growth of technical opportunity is that it is easy to set up businesses in the UAE. The possibility registers for a freezone business license allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership has become one main attraction investing in the country. As well as relaxed immigration policies with the introduction of remote and gold working visas and attractive tax programmes is something that has beneficial from a global perspective.

3. Lastly the local government of Dubai are highly enthusiastic and supportive of the rise of tech and innovation by investing continuously building and enriching the ecosystem. Hence the macroeconomic fundamentals are advantageous to building a sophisticated technology and successful, scalable business.

Increase in Digitalization

Digitalization is the ultimate challenge for a country's Government to keep up with global transformation. A country’s progress is measured by knowing how digitally smart it is and adaptable it is. UAE’S population of 10 million UAE residents have a high affinity for technology and propensity for digital adoption, due to their diverse and cosmopolitan nature. This population is also largely young, and smartphone and internet penetration rates are among the highest in the world, at 99 per cent as of January 2021. In the national agenda aspires for the UAE to be one of the best and happiest states. The states orientation towards a society and economy with digital knowledge come in the context of achieving prosperity and sustainability.

In terms of digital competitiveness, the UAE is ranked first in the Arab region (12th globally). This is according to IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019 report. The same report ranks the UAE ranked 2nd in the technology factor, 9th in the future readiness factor and 35th in the knowledge factor. Not only the UAE but other countries with strong digital infrastructure such as South Korea have been able to utilise digital and place it in the forefront. the UAE is the first nation in the world to have a State Ministry for Artificial Intelligence (AI) back in 2017, which was, and currently still is.

Now more than ever, the global digital infrastructure’s ability to serve our daily lives has come into play. Having the right digital transformation strategy and implementation for any country is important. The current global pandemic situation has had to make much of business and personal interactions digital. These have been evident for those that live in the UAE through the deployment of sophisticated technology. Examples include speed cameras, drones, and robots. Through the data, the UAE can monitor closely and help contain the virus. The artificial intelligence ability to turn raw data and create forecasts can help not only the UAE but the rest of the world in combating the pandemic. With the recent easing of restrictions such as in Dubai, digitalisation has played a huge role in further protecting residents.

The world's first operational police robot hit the streets of Dubai on May 31, 2017.

One of the most advanced digital economies in the world smart Dubai: Guided by the forward-thinking vision and directives of our wise leadership, Dubai – and the UAE as a whole – “has come a long way in embracing and utilising advanced technologies, establishing the emirate as a global hub for technology and an exemplary smart city of the future,” said Younus Al Nasser, assistant director-general, Smart Dubai Office.


Each year, millions of tourists visit Dubai to experience the local traditions, revel in unique culture and explore the depth of the city's offering. In fact, tourism is core to Dubai's economic growth and diversification. With the growing presence of technology in the travel lifecycle, travellers have become more discerning, seeking more bespoke customer-centric experiences and multiple shades of curation. It remains more crucial for Dubai to stay abreast of the consumers' rapidly evolving needs and embrace data, analytics, and disruptive innovation to continue its upward trajectory towards world-class services whilst retaining the country's culture of hospitality. Guided by this principle, the city is leading technological advances in innovation for the industry, welcoming new participants, and innovative start-ups into the ecosystem to deliver better value in terms of higher and faster visitor conversion, and greater GDP impact.

The Expo 2020 Travel and Connectivity Business Forum provided a snapshot of the future of Dubai's tourism industry, including how the power of travel and connectivity can contribute to a more sustainable future. Organisers of Expo 2020 said Expo hit the milestone of 20 million visits since it was opened to residents and tourists in October 2021. The synergy of private and public-sector collaborations focused on shared goals has resulted in it being fertile ground to catalyse innovation across the hospitality and tourism sectors. As such, Dubai has initiated several innovative trends and technologies including integrated mobile apps, Audio Tours, the use of immersive gamification, Digital Reputation Animation and more, to raise the bar within the industry.

Tourists visiting the Expo 2020 Dubai.


It is clear to see that Dubai’s blend of liberal laws, low taxes, and relatively little corporate regulation has made an appealing environment for technological entrepreneurs. Given the strong and effective entrepreneurial ecosystem Dubai offers, benefits of powerful partnerships that propel the emirate forward in its journey towards becoming a global hub for innovation. The tourism sector continues to reap the benefits of powerful partnerships that propel the emirate forward in its journey towards becoming a global hub for innovation. Enabling the integration of technology across all business functions, and – on a wider scale it is evident to see that the government’s ambition and continues support to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world.

By Amal Fawzi,

25th April 2022

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