Hamdan bin Mohammed Attends AI Retreat 2024

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, attended the “AI Retreat 2024.”

The event saw participation from over 2,500 officials, experts, and specialists in artificial intelligence (AI), including approximately 50 CEOs from leading technology companies in the UAE and around the world, such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Nvidia, Samsung, and others. The retreat also featured the launch of new partnerships and initiatives by government entities and private tech companies.

During the retreat, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed met with directors and officials from government agencies, alongside Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

He instructed the development of solutions and mechanisms to enable entities to accelerate the design and implementation of initiatives and projects aimed at keeping pace with advancements in AI technologies. This process includes utilising AI results to support leadership visions for the future, contributing to making Dubai’s government entities the most efficient and prepared for AI opportunities.

His Highness also met with newly appointed Chief AI Officers from 22 government entities in Dubai.

He emphasised their vital role in bringing about a qualitative leap in developing and adopting AI solutions within their respective organizations, and the importance of rapidly adapting the government sector to the AI revolution.

Moreover, His Highness stated, “Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, we will focus on employing AI to make Dubai the most future-ready city.

We aim to transform its uses into practical applications that enhance human capabilities, improve operational efficiency, and boost productivity, harnessing technology to serve humanity.”

He added, “Our goal for the next phase is to double the positive impact of AI applications to make life easier for people, As we want to turn the objectives of the ‘Dubai Annual Plan to Accelerate the Adoption of AI Uses and Applications’ into practical steps, initiatives, activities, and programs that enhance competitiveness, economic flexibility, quality of life, and future willingness in Dubai, ensuring it always remains at the forefront.”

Important discussions

As part of the AI Retreat, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed witnessed some of the discussions and sessions held at the “Museum of the Future”, which focused on four main themes: financial support, digital infrastructure, data empowerment, and talent development.

These discussions and sessions aimed to identify the most significant opportunities in the AI field, including policies, legislation, governance, and the development of data centres supporting AI applications, in addition to enablers of financing, research, and talent.

During a tour of “Area 2071” at Emirates Towers in Dubai, His Highness reviewed various workshops and activities organized by global tech companies to showcase the latest AI solutions and applications. This included 11 workshops in collaboration with Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Amazon, SAP, Nvidia, and the Dubai Future Foundation, as well as 8 side discussions organized by Dubai Future District Fund, Dubai AI Campus, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Antler.

AI Retreat 2025

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed that the next AI Retreat would be on April 29, 2025, stating, “We want the retreat to be an annual platform for studying the noticeable transformations and profound changes that AI brings to all sectors, in partnership between the public and private sectors, to prepare for utilising AI opportunities and applications that contribute to significant advancements in education, healthcare, development, scientific research, and shaping the future.”

His Highness added, “The positive approach we learned from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in dealing with new developments enabled us early on to turn AI opportunities into a reality we live today in Dubai. We want to accelerate the transition from exploring opportunities in AI applications to practical implementation.”

A Platform for Future Partnerships

During the AI Retreat 2024, His Highness also witnessed the announcement of a strategic partnership between Du and Oracle to provide advanced solutions in data and AI. He affirmed that Dubai is the ideal platform for effective partnerships in future design and has become one of the world’s best cities for encouraging the development of AI applications and uses.

His Highness stated, “Dubai will continue to support all initiatives aimed at building and developing this future sector. We will encourage the application of AI across various fields and accelerate its adoption in an organised and well-thought-out manner, enhancing Dubai’s position as a global preferred destination for living, working, innovation, creativity, future design, and employing technology to serve humanity.”

Under the partnership, the Oracle Alloy platform will be used to provide sovereign cloud computing and AI services to the public sector and government entities in the UAE.

Through this platform, Du will be able to offer more than 100 cloud infrastructure services alongside its own cloud services and applications.

Partnerships and Initiatives

The retreat witnessed the announcement of numerous joint partnerships and initiatives between government entities and participating tech companies. These focus on providing opportunities for government entities to benefit from advanced AI capabilities while ensuring the highest levels of governance and data security, supporting the UAE’s leadership in this future sector.

Comprehensive Agenda

The “AI Retreat 2024,” organised by the Dubai Centre for AI Applications in collaboration with the National AI Programme, kicked off at the “Museum of the Future” with a keynote speech by His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation. He highlighted the key targets of the “Dubai Annual Plan to Accelerate AI Uses and Applications.”

This was followed by a main panel discussion titled “From Dubai to the World: Cementing Dubai as a Global Hub for Billion-Dollar Companies,” featuring entrepreneur Divyank Turakhia, Mohamed Ballout, CEO and co-founder of Kitopi, and Martin Avetisyan, former CEO of Farfetch. They discussed successful AI applications incubated in Dubai, which have launched globally thanks to Dubai’s leadership in digital transformation, advanced technological infrastructure, and proactive legislative environment.

The Government’s Constructive Role

Experts also participated in a second main panel discussion on the growing and necessary governmental role in supporting AI innovations and expanding its applications to develop services in future smart societies and enhance development pathways and quality of life.

The session, titled “The Role of Governments in Accelerating AI Adoption through Effective Legislation and Policies,” included participants such as Rod Suleimani, Head of Policy and Partnerships in the Middle East at OpenAI; Nick Prettyjohn, Head of Engineering at Palantir; and Karim Begir, co-founder and CEO of InstaDeep. They highlighted the importance of positive interaction between governments, economic sectors, and tech companies to establish a comprehensive framework that ensures the ethical and safe use of AI to improve human life, serve communities, and boost economies and development pathways.

Dubai’s Annual Plan to Accelerate AI Adoption

The Dubai Annual Plan to Accelerate AI Adoption, launched on 29 April under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, serves as a roadmap to enhance the quality of life in Dubai by integrating AI across all sectors and fields crucial to the emirate’s future. The plan aims to make Dubai the most supportive of the economy, the best in employing technology, and the fastest in adopting advanced applications.

The plan aims to provide the best environment for AI companies and global talent, positioning Dubai as the leader in AI adoption in government operations, and transforming it into a global laboratory for AI governance and legislation. It seeks to achieve the optimal application of AI in strategic sectors.

The Dubai Annual Plan to Accelerate AI Adoption supports the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, which aims to generate new economic value from the digital transformation towards the new economy, adding an average of 100 billion dirhams annually to Dubai’s economy. This will solidify the emirate’s position among the top three economic cities worldwide and increase economic productivity by 50% through innovation and the adoption of digital solutions.

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