Dubai takes four-step approach to build full-fledged data environment

CIOMajlis says UAE ahead in technology adoption


AI has potential to contribute $182 billion to UAE’s GDP by 2035
Team creating a permanent, digitally enabled environment for Expo 2020 and beyond
Dubai implementing data strategy to transform Dubai as the smartest city in the world
Need for responsible application as at least 88% people do not trust Artificial Intelligence

Dubai: As part of Dubai’s vision to make it one of the world’s first data powered economies, Dubai is taking a four-step approach to build an all-encompassing data environment, said Dr Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General, Smart Dubai Office, and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment.

Delivering the keynote address titled ‘Smart Dubai initiatives to transform Dubai into the world's smartest and happiest city’ at the third annual conference of CIOMajlis at Caesars Forum at Caesars Bluewaters Hotel, Dubai, he presented a detailed plan of Dubai’s data strategy and economic dashboard, data governance, ethical Artificial Intelligence implementation, AI principles and city data architecture infrastructure and how to monetize the data.

“Following the vision of H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, to make Dubai one of the world’s first data powered economies, Smart Dubai Data has taken a four-step approach to building an all-encompassing data environment. Our first priority is Value Creation by using the city’s data to develop use cases by applying data science and machine learning techniques to provide actionable information and predictive insights to the city’s leaders and businesses. This is supported by a fair and trusted Data Governance model, robust Data Infrastructure, and a holistic Data Ecosystem which ensures engagement of the private sector as well,” said Dr Younus Al Nasser.

The high profile technology conference organized by CIOMajlis in Dubai concluded that the UAE is ahead of others in the region in terms of technology adoption, but called upon businesses to adopt technology to address business challenges.

The conference, attended by more than 200 professionals, discussed vital technology trends under the theme Power of Possibilities – Focus on the Future, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group.

Participating in a panel discussion titled ‘Hype vs Reality of Artificial Intelligence’, Dr Saeed Al Dhaheri, chairman of Smartworld, said Artificial Intelligence has the potential to contribute up to 14% to the UAE’s GDP, and can contribute up to $182 billion to the GDP by 2035.

“We created the CIOMajlis to be a platform for innovation and knowledge sharing for both; the public and private CIOs in the UAE. We want to provide them with a learning experience in an informal way, and bring best practices in using new technologies for business enablement and digital transformation,” said Dr. Saeed Al Dhaheri.

“Technology has emerged as one of the key weapons for countries to lead the world. There should be a combination of business mind with technology. Businesses can solve a lot of problems through technology. In reality, technology is available to face the future, but the challenge is how to put in place,” said Ahmad Almulla, Chairman of CIOMajlis.

“The CIOMajlis conference was aimed at addressing the challenges, by bringing everybody together, the consultants, the end-user, technology provider and the authorities. The participating CIOs could keep abreast of the latest trends in the technology world which will help them being instrumental in adopting  best practices in using new technologies for business enablement and digital transformation,” said Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Smartworld.

Giving a presentation on ‘Creating a permanent, digitally enabled environment for Expo 2020 and afterward’, Mohammed Alhashmi, Chief Innovation & Future Technology, Expo 2020, said Dubai is bringing the virtual world and real world together through technology.

“We are doing everything with passion to make Expo 2020 the best ever and give the participants a feeling that they never experienced before.”

Gogem Artug, Senior Vice President, Head of Service Transition & Operations, Mubadala, said the need of the hour is to build trust in AI, as at least 88 per cent people do not trust AI. There is the need for responsible AI application to make businesses trustworthy.
Panelist Angelo Lorusso, Managing Director, Accenture, said: “It’s not Artificial Intelligence, but Applied Intelligence and it can be used in innovation in healthcare by leveraging AI.”

A panel moderated by Ali Sajwani, Founder & CEO, Grapetech, discussed the latest trends in Blockchain and Digital Currencies. The panelists included  Ahmad Abu Hantash, Partner Digital Transformation & Emerging Technologies, PwC, Mert Unan, Architect CoE - AI/Cognitive Services/Bots Blockchain, Microsoft, and Ajay Rathi, CIO of Dubai Healthcare City Authority.

In his presentation ‘Harnessing the power of technology and innovation in Special Olympics Abu Dhabi’ Dr. Youssef Al Hammadi, Chief Intelligence Officer, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said the UAE has become a global benchmark for using open innovation for social impact, improved quality of life for people of determination, sustainable and scalable impact created through identification of digital solutions.
He mentioned the development of Special Olympics mobile apps for game schedule, real time updates, indoor navigation and augmented reality, intelligent support, translations from and to 100 plus languages, communication with participants and volunteers, real-time game results, etc.
He suggested the launch of an open innovation challenge to identify entrepreneurs and start-ups with digital solutions focused on improving the quality of life for people of determination.

“5G is the cornerstone for industry 4.0 and key for digital future enablement. Entrepreneurship via early adoption and the ability to pilot, trial and experiment proof of concepts is critical to capture the full potential,” said Mahmoud Al Bannay, Vice President 5G & IoT, Etisalat, in his presentation titled ‘5G journey and what the future holds for the UAE's telecoms industry’.

He added that governments, verticals and telcos must work out their priorities for investment to achieve joint 5G success.Cross industry partnerships and collaboration are key pillars to share implementation know-how, technological advancement and develop optimum ecosystem across the industries.

In his presentation titled ‘The Customer Experience in the Digital Era’, Fehmi Sakkal, Consulting Systems Engineer at Aruba Networks, suggested practical steps to enhance customer experience through innovative methods, thus contributing to the growth of organizations.

A panel discussed the current scenario of digitalization and how organisations should go about digital transformation. The discussion themed ‘Digital vs Business Transformation’ was moderated by Moza Suwaidan, Director of Strategy & Innovation, Smart Dubai. The panelists included Ameena Abdulrahim, Head of IT, Engineering Office, Abdulkader Lamaa, VP Digital, McKinsey Digital Labs, and Mohammad Bin Hashim, Head of Project Delivery, Dubai Customs.

Established in 2016 by Smartworld, a joint venture between Dubai South and Etisalat, CIOMajlis functions as a thought leadership and networking hub for senior technology executives to swap industry knowledge, explore business solutions and share experiences. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the national innovation strategy with the goal of making the UAE the world’s most innovative country by 2021 and CIOMajlis aims to contribute to realizing this vision.


© Press Release 2019

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