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Innovation Nation: How the UAE is emerging as a global leader in game-changing technologies

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Few governments around the world recognize the social and economic importance of technology and then take the plunge by actively supporting its advancement. But the UAE is an exception- a true technological innovator. He sees the potential impact of technology on his economy, his people and his presence on the world stage – chasing the future, you might say.

The UAE understands that diversification is a central tenet of sustainability for a young nation, and so they looked to the future. As the energy sector continues to innovate – and the UAE is a big part of that process – the country has seen the digital revolution as the path to future prosperity.

If this development has somehow slipped under your radar, just look at what the UAE is doing in several key disciplines, especially coding, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and the metaverse.


In decades past, the safe occupations in almost all parts of the world were medical or engineering. While these traditional professions are still needed and valued, there is now a severe global shortage in the progressive and rapidly changing world of technology. To quantify the crisis, according to the US Department of Labor, it is estimated that by 2030, the global shortage of software engineers will reach 85.2 million.

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Coders, developers, technicians – whatever you want to call them – are now the sought-after commodity in the recruiting world. The UAE understands this better than most, recognizing that to create cutting-edge technology, be it blockchain, AI or the metaverse– first you need technical experts. If there is already a shortage, it is crucial that initiatives are deployed to encourage new developers to enter the industry. The UAE is leaning heavily on the idea.

In partnership with over 40 companies in the UAE and around the world, the UAE launched the ambitious Coders HQ in 2022. This transformational project aims to create a new generation of coders and give them the tools, education and technology they need to excel, equipping them to design solutions to local and global challenges. It’s a brilliant vision, and one that is already having a major impact on the UAE’s growing position as a powerhouse of technology and innovation.


The hype around blockchain is fully justified. The fortunes of many have been transformed overnight by shrewd (early) crypto investments.

But given the extreme volatility in the market, regulatory concerns about ownership of digital assets differ around the world. As a result, many countries are reluctant to fully adopt it. Not the UAE, however. The nation’s progressive stance on digital finance and innovation is well documented, and it’s no surprise that crypto assets were legalized in the UAE in 2017.

However, that said, the get-rich-quick and HODL (the crypto slang term for those who buy and hold indefinitely) camps need to understand that crypto is just one piece of the blockchain pie. There’s a lot more to this disruptive, decentralized, ledger-based technologyfrom non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to smart contracts.

The UAE government set out a formal, broader Blockchain 2021 Strategy in 2018, with plans to have a more robust framework in place by 2021 – or, in the words of the UAE government itself , “transform 50% of government transactions into a blockchain platform by 2021.”

Although we are now past the watershed moment of 2021, fast forward to the end of 2022, and impressive progress has been made. The United Arab Emirates continues to be one of the world’s most prosperous countries blockchain technology adoptersand a recent research report identified over 1,450 active Web3 organizations in the country.

To support this trend, the recently created Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) is a testament to the importance of blockchain to the long-term prosperity of the UAE, as it continues to attract already well-established players from the digital world, such as that Binance and

Needless to say, the future of digital transactions and governance has strong roots here.

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Along with the rise of blockchain, another highly publicized Web3 technology is being set up to succeed in the UAE: the metaverse.

The concept of digital domain has long been a staple of science fiction. While many may dismiss it as just another digital fad, the Metaverse is anything but. Perhaps best described as an internet-enabled virtual world, it’s far from a lockdown hobby or downtime distraction.

As technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have advanced, the barriers between the digital and physical worlds have become less distinct. However, with the continued rise of remote working, e-commerce, online interaction and educationand the growth of blockchain and web3 technologies, it sounds like a dead certificate that the metaverse will be the next digital paradigm shift, the internet of the future.

Not convinced? Tech giants like Apple, Sony, Epic Games, and others are already gearing up to master the metaverse. Facebook even changed the name of its parent company to Meta, if you needed more proof of their intent.

Always eager to get first mover advantagehere in the United Arab Emirates, in a step reflecting the country’s adoption of blockchain, in July 2022 the Government of Dubai announced its Metaverse Strategy, an ambitious five-year plan to create 40,000 virtual jobs and add 4 billion dollars to the economy during this period.

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Of all the technologies infiltrating our daily lives, AI is the one taking the world by storm. We’re not dealing with rogue robots and intelligent systems yet, but AI technology is found in many home gadgets and in almost every area of ​​business these days, whether under the form automations that reduce manual processing or algorithms that help companies understand complex cost scenarios for customers, such as insurance quotes.

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While many countries are letting companies move forward without a broader strategy for individual technologies, the UAE government has seen the true potential of AI and has crafted a comprehensive strategy to drive technology growth. over the next ten years. The strategy has eight central objectives, with a clear focus on encouraging investment to attract even more tech talent to the nation.

It’s hard to speculate on the impact of the technology, but there’s no doubt that AI and machine learning can process and analyze information at a speed the unaided human brain could never reach. This mastery of data could bring new breakthroughs in medicine and tackle such powerful puzzles as the climate crisis, improve people’s lives and perhaps even save the world.

With the United Arab Emirates leading this technology, the country is paving the way for a better future through strategy and targeted investment.

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From the perspective of the challenges the world is currently facing, coding, blockchain, AI, and the metaverse might seem like small pieces in a huge puzzle. But the truth is that these are not pieces of the puzzle at all, but solutions.

The government of the United Arab Emirates has made its position clear: it will become a global hub for technology, innovation and business. The next generation of technology will affect everything from office efficiency to longer-term challenges such as climate change and disease control, and the UAE wants to lead the development of this technology and help address these issues.

Related: Increasing innovation in the UAE through diversity


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