Dubai starts robotics and automation programme to boost future economy

Initiative seeks to boost contribution of the sector to 9% of the emirate's GDP within 10 years

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed at the launch of the robotics programme. Photo: Dubai Media Office
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Dubai has launched a robotics and automation programme to support the development of the technologies as part of the emirate's move towards the future economy.

The Dubai Robotics and Automation Programme, which was launched on Wednesday by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, will help in developing robotics technology and empowering national talent, Dubai Media Office said on Twitter.

The programme, led by the Dubai Future Foundation, aims to boost the contribution of the robotics and automation sector to 9 per cent of the emirate's gross domestic product within 10 years.

It includes five major initiatives and focuses on five future areas of research and development, including production and manufacturing, health, logistics and transportation, tourism and customer services, and improving working conditions.

The programme will also provide 200,000 robots to raise levels of efficiency and productivity in the service, industrial and logistics sectors, and contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the economy over the next 10 years, the media office said.

The development of the robotics and automation sector will help to diversify Dubai’s future economy and contribute to creating new economic opportunities and improving the quality of life, said Sheikh Hamdan, who is also chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Future Foundation.

“We seek to make Dubai one of the world’s top 10 cities in robotics and automation by adopting and developing advanced robotics technologies, empowering national talent and generating innovative new solutions, products and services,” he said.

The strategy will also contribute to “Dubai's leadership regionally and globally to be one of the best cities of the future and the most prepared to employ and develop future technology”, the media office said.

Dubai has been boosting efforts to support the development of its future economy.

In July, the emirate formed a higher committee for future technology and digital economy, which aims to help shape the future of artificial intelligence by investing in the metaverse and establishing partnerships to boost Dubai’s digital economy.

Dubai's government also unveiled a metaverse strategy this year that aims to create 40,000 jobs and add $4 billion to the emirate's economy in the next five years.

The strategy, which aims to position the emirate among the top 10 cities that will shape the emerging technology's future globally, aims to double the number of blockchain companies and the metaverse by five times.

As part of the latest programme, laboratories have been allocated to develop and test robotics and automation technologies and provide a platform for collaborative projects, create prototypes and involve the public in innovative product experiences, the media office said.

Sheikh Hamdan also called on Dubai government entities and the private sector to strengthen co-operation with local and international research and academic institutions to develop a regulatory and legal environment that supports the growth of the robotics and automation sector.

All initiatives that will be organised and launched as part of the programme will be overseen by the Dubai Council for Robotics and Automation, made up of representatives from public and private sectors and academia.

The programme supports the development of future-orientated sectors in Dubai, including transport, space, healthcare, education and artificial intelligence, the media office said.

The Dubai robotics and automation programme is based on three pillars — governance, support for research and development, and adoption and utilisation of technologies.

As part of the governance aspect, the programme will develop structural supportive mechanisms for robotics and automation development, institutionalise collaboration between developers, create a favourable regulatory and legal environment, formulate standards and create a comprehensive knowledge base.

Under the second pillar, it will support scientific R&D, increase funding allocation in key areas, maximise the participation of local talent and increase the pool of professionals specialised in the field.

The programme will also help industries adopt and utilise technologies, reduce the cost of robotics adoption, institutionalise investment co-operation, support systems integration, ensure public acceptance for new technologies and enhance rates of robotics technology deployment.

Updated: September 21, 2022, 5:09 PM