Hamdan Bin Mohammed Announces That AI Retreat Will Become Annual Fixture In Dubai

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Announces That AI Retreat Will Become Annual Fixture In Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, today announced that the AI Retreat, organised collaboratively by the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DCAI) and the National Program for Artificial Intelligence, will become an annual event on Dubai’s calendar, with the next retreat set to run on 29 April 2025.

The AI Retreat 2024, the first event held as part of the Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence (DUB.AI), which concluded today in Dubai, was aimed at strengthening the city’s position as a global AI hub.

His Highness said: “We envision this retreat as an annual platform for examining the significant and far-reaching transformations that AI brings to all sectors. It will serve as a forum for preparing to seize AI’s diverse opportunities, added value applications, and the qualitative leaps it promises in education, health, development, research, and future design.”

His Highness added: “The forward-thinking approach imparted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in embracing innovation has empowered us to swiftly transform AI opportunities into tangible outcomes in Dubai. We are now eager to accelerate the shift from merely exploring AI possibilities to implementing them practically.”

His Highness attended the AI Retreat 2024, which drew participation from over 2,500 decision-makers, AI experts, and industry leaders. The event also included around 50 CEOs from major technology companies in the UAE and worldwide, such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Nvidia, and Samsung, to name a few. The AI Retreat also witnessed the launch of new initiatives and partnerships by the participating government entities and private companies.

During the retreat, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum met with the Directors General and leaders of Dubai government, in the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. His Highness stressed the importance of benefiting from the outcomes and conversations initiated at the AI Retreat to enable government entities in Dubai to seize AI opportunities and become future ready and efficient.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan also met with the recently appointed 22 Chief AI Officers of government entities in Dubai. During the meeting, His Highness highlighted the tremendous growth in the use and application of AI andstressed the importance of accelerating the government sector’s alignment with the AI revolution. His Highness directed the Dubai Government to intensify efforts and accelerate the implementation of the initiatives and ideas discussed at today’s event.

His Highness said: “Our goal for the next phase is to double the positive impact of AI for the betterment of humanity. This will be achieved by leveraging the annual ‘Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence’, which includes initiatives and programmes to enhance Dubai’s economic competitiveness, resilience, quality of life, and future-readiness.”

His Highness added: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai will focus on harnessing AI applications to support human capabilities, improve operational efficiency, enhance productivity, and deploy technology for the purpose of serving humanity.”

Meaningful dialogue

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed also attended some of the roundtables held as part of the AI Retreat 2024 at the Museum of the Future. These roundtables focused on four main topics: Funding and Finance, Computing and Digital Infrastructure, Data Regulation and Policies, and Talent Ecosystem. The goal was to identify solutions and key opportunities in AI, including policies, legislation, governance, and the development of AI data centres, as well as its key enablers such as financing, research, and talent.

His Highness also viewed several workshops and events organised by international tech companies showcasing the latest AI trends, applications, and technologies held at AREA 2071. A total of 11 workshops were organised by Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Amazon, SAP, NVIDIA, and the Dubai Future Foundation. Additionally, there were eight side sessions organised by the Dubai Future District Fund, Dubai AI Campus, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and Antler.

A platform for future partnerships

As part of the AI Retreat, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan also witnessed the announcement of a strategic partnership between du and Oracle to provide highly advanced AI and data solutions. His Highness stressed that Dubai is an ideal platform to stimulate synergies that shape the future.

His Highness said: “Dubai will continue to support all AI initiatives and encourage and accelerate the organised and thoughtful adoption of its uses, thus strengthening its position as a preferred global destination to live, work, innovate, and design the future.”

With Oracle Alloy, du can provide more than 100 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services together with its own value-added cloud services and applications. This will enable du to become the first local hyperscale cloud provider to offer a comprehensive set of branded cloud services.

Comprehensive agenda

The AI Retreat organised by the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence in cooperation with the National Program for Artificial Intelligence, was launched at the Museum of the Future. The event featured a keynote speech delivered by His Excellency Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Deputy Managing Director of DFF. During his speech, HE AlOlama presented an overview of the key objectives of the recently launched annual Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence (DUB.AI).

This was followed by a panel discussion titled ‘From Dubai to the World: Scaling Local Unicorns’, featuring the participation of Divyank Turakhia, an entrepreneur, Mohamad Ballout, CEO and Co-founder of Kitopi, and Martin Avetisyan, Founder of Farfetch. The panel reviewed successful AI models that Dubai has embraced and helped to launch globally thanks to its leadership in digital transformation, sophisticated advanced technology infrastructure, and its flexible and proactive regulatory ecosystem.

In a second panel, the participants discussed the growing role of governments in supporting AI innovations and expanding its applications to develop services in future smart societies, and enhance the rates of development in various fields, and improve the quality of life.

The session titled: ‘Government’s Role in Enabling AI Adoption through Policy Development and Regulatory Innovation’ witnessed the participation of Rod Solaimani, Middle East Policy & Partnerships Lead at OpenAI; Nic Prettejohn, Head of Forward Deployed Engineering, Palantir; and Karim Beguir, Co-Founder & CEO at InstaDeep. The session included discussions about the positive interaction between governments, economic sectors, and technology companies for developing a comprehensive framework that ensures ethical and safe use of artificial intelligence to improve human life, serve societies and economies, and enhance development paths.

Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence

Launched on 29 April this year by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence, serves as a roadmap for enhancing the well-being of Dubai’s population by adopting AI across all sectors. The plan aims to make Dubai the city that offers the most conducive environment for economic growth, the best city for technology utilisation, and the fastest in adopting advanced applications.

DUB.AI aims to shape the ideal ecosystem for AI startups and global talent. In addition, it seeks to position Dubai as a global leader in adopting AI in government work, and a testbed to regulate and optimise AI utilisation across strategic sectors.

The annual Dubai plan supports the acceleration and adoption of artificial intelligence applications to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, which seeks to generate an annual contribution of AED100 billion from digital transformation projects to the emirate’s economy. The plan also supports the achievement of the other key objectives of the D33 agenda, including establishing Dubai as one of the world’s top three urban economies and increasing economic productivity by 50% through innovation and the adoption of digital solutions.