Dubai starts programme to develop apps and train 1,000 Emiratis

Create Apps in Dubai intends to triple the number of app creators by 2025

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, launched ‘Create Apps in Dubai’ initiative on Wednesday. Photo: Dubai Media Office
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Dubai on Wednesday launched an initiative to create an ecosystem for the development of digital applications in the emirate and nourish local talent.

Create Apps in Dubai, an initiative of the Higher Committee of Future Technology Development and Digital Economy, was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The scheme aims to turn Dubai into one of the world’s “most attractive destinations” for business opportunities by 2025 and train 1,000 Emiratis in partnership with the private sector in the emirate, Dubai Government Media Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

It intends to triple the number of app creators by 2025 and support 100 new national projects for developing cutting-edge apps that will be made available in digital stores over the next 24 months.

“The digital transformation sweeping the world and the exponential growth of digital applications and platforms have created a new global competition for technological leadership,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

“Dubai seeks to be at the forefront of this global race by providing a platform for fostering the development of 1,000 highly-skilled UAE nationals whose ideas and innovation will create a vibrant applications sector in Dubai.”

Dubai, which is seeking to cement its position as a global capital of the digital economy, recently launched the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) plan.

The strategy aims to catapult Dubai into the world’s top cities by economic strength in the next 10 years and involves a programme to help 30 private companies to achieve unicorn status ― worth more than $1 billion.

Spending on digital technology, including IT, telecoms and emerging tech such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain and robotics, is expected to reach $20 billion in the UAE over the next three years, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group.

The UAE is well-positioned to double the contribution of its digital economy to GDP to 19.4 per cent from 9.7 per cent within the next 10 years, the BCG report said.

With global smartphone sales revenue exceeding $448 billion and 2 million new applications and games created in 2021, the sector has been steadily gathering momentum, the media office statement said.

Users spent more than $160 billion on applications, while the number of downloads of applications hit 230 billion in 2021, creating vast opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and technology professionals, it said.

Overseen by the Dubai Chamber for Digital Economy, Create Apps in Dubai will identify priority areas and support development plans aimed at empowering UAE citizens to play key roles in realising the country’s digital vision, the statement said.

The UAE's digital economy is expected to grow to more than $140 billion in 2031, up from nearly $38 billion at present, according to a recent report by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

The UAE cabinet also approved the formation of the Higher Committee for Government Digital Transformation last year.

Updated: March 29, 2023, 9:24 PM