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| 23 October, 2017

Future focus: What is Dubai's Area 2071 initiative?

Area 2071, the innovation initiative which has been established with a physical presence at the foot of Dubai's Emirates Towers building, will feature 10 different sectors, through which Dubai's government will promote collaboration, an executive responsible for its development has said.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The Emirates Towers will house the new Area 2071 initiative at the base of the building's office tower.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The Emirates Towers will house the new Area 2071 initiative at the base of the building's office tower.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Area 2071, the innovation initiative which has been established with a physical presence at the foot of Dubai's Emirates Towers building, will feature 10 different sectors, through which Dubai's government will promote collaboration, an executive responsible for its development has said.

Abdulaziz Khalid Al Jaziri, the director of Area 2071, told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference held on Monday to announce the signing of a series of official partnerships, that the first phase of the Area 2071 hub at Emirates Towers will launch in May next year.

“We will have 10 sectors, besides the government. The sectors will include food, retail, aviation, health, education and artificial intelligence that is now a very important file in the country,” he said.

The UAE appointed the country’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in a cabinet reshuffle last week.

Area 2071 is sponsored by the Dubai government and is dedicated to helping companies from across the world to meet and discuss innovative ideas and challenges, Al Jaziri said.

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“Area 2071 is the step that we needed to take to achieve our goal of making the UAE the best country in the world,” he said.

In total, 12 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with several companies including Pfizer, P&G, DP World and IBM were announced at the event. According to Al Jaziri, each of these is expected to delegate a company representative to the initiative. Prior to the press conference, the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attended a signing ceremony with the participants.

Area 2071 is an initiative that was first announced by Sheikh Mohammed in May this year, according to the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

Al Jaziri said: “We decided to create a place that would include all spectrums of the society; the private sector, the government, the youth, the start-ups and universities and gather them together in the same place.”

“We want in the future to become the best country in the world,” Al Jaziri said. “But we won’t keep it to chance. We will come, meet and design the future and create something for humanity.” Area 2071 is named after the fact that this will be the year in which the UAE celebrates its centenary.

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© ZAWYA 2017