DUBAI - The Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) signed an agreement of intent with Microsoft, the US multinational technology giant, to accelerate the emirate's innovation roadmap.

In a statement, DET said that this collaboration signifies a dedicated effort to enhance the emirate's digital economy growth, innovation, and development in line with the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33.

The work with Microsoft will focus on leveraging smart solutions and applications to achieve the city's technology transformation objectives within the logistics, SMEs and education sectors.

Hadi Badri, CEO of the Dubai Economic Development Corporation, said, "This landmark collaboration will leverage the unique strengths and knowledge of DET and Microsoft, showcasing Dubai's ability to build strong public-private partnerships. Aligned with the D33, our agreement with Microsoft is central to our proven development strategy in harnessing the strengths of global partners, facilitating economic growth through exceptional access to sector knowledge, technical expertise and mentorship opportunities for key sectors."

"Having established its regional HQ in the emirate almost a quarter of a century ago, Microsoft has long demonstrated its commitment to Dubai. Five years ago, the corporation also chose the city for its first data centre in the Middle East, which has been a key driver behind Dubai's advanced-technology transformation, serving as a foundation for deploying modern technologies, including AI."

Naim Yazbeck, General Manager of Microsoft UAE, stated, "Dubai stands at the forefront of global technology, and we are honoured to contribute to its progress. This planned collaboration represents a shared commitment to drive innovation, promote economic development and build a thriving knowledge-based ecosystem for the future."

Microsoft reaffirmed its commitment to providing advanced technology solutions essential to elevating Dubai's logistics network.

The initiative focuses on developing an integrated platform for trade that will streamline operations and improve global competitiveness. This effort not only strengthens the logistics sector, but is also in line with the strategic objective of attracting world-class hardware manufacturers and further enhancing Dubai's position in the global logistics arena.

Microsoft will leverage its resources and expertise to facilitate access for technology start-ups and entrepreneurs and enhance the prospects of success and innovation. Aligned with the D33 Agenda, the technology transformation initiatives were launched to facilitate the testing and marketing new products and technologies and position Dubai as a global innovation hub.

Microsoft will also offer cutting-edge and affordable technology solutions for SMEs in priority sectors to increase SME productivity and effectively utilise data to contribute to business growth and innovation in the emirate.

A key pillar of the planned collaboration is the digital advancement of Dubai's educational institutions, with a special focus on higher education.