Reaching to the Moon: How is UAE transforming itself as a future nation?

Reaching to the Moon: How is UAE transforming itself as a future nation?

UAE: Envisioning the transformation

The United Arab Emirates has come a long way since its establishment as an independent federation in 1971. Historically being counted in the oil-country category, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been dramatically making its transition into being energy-focused yet finely attuned to technology. From a contribution of 60% to the country’s GDP, oil’s share has been falling since, from 37% in 2005 to further down to 30% in 2017. Oil has and will always be an indispensable part of the country's economic policies and diplomacy. After the drastic fall in oil prices in 2014, it has served as a wake-up call and the UAE has since then acknowledged the volatility of the global market and readily invested in technological reforms to transform itself. Non-oil sectors like hotels and restaurants, retail, and services were a major contributor to the country’s GDP accounting for 72.3% in 2021. UAE is readily working towards diversifying its growth opportunities and reducing its dependence on the oil market.

Fig: Contribution of Oil to the country’s GDP. (Source: World Bank)

Government strategies to transition into post-oil economy:

The country has been advancing on several fronts in the post-oil economic strategy. The government has been instrumental in accelerating this growth. Launched in 2010, Vision 2021 has been able to replicate undeniable success. Under Vision 2021, the government has been able to garner investments and technological advancements, well twinned with raising living standards by ensuring the healthcare and education sector’s development. Setting forth bold and strategic plans for fostering development on several fronts, the government has envisioned plans and policies and laid out ‘Projects of 50’ in 2021, marking the completion of 50 years of the country. Under this banner, visa relaxations, economic agreements with 8 global markets responsible for 10 per cent of the world’s GDP and futuristic digital initiatives- UAE Data Law, 100 Coders Every Day, PyCon Summit- have been launched. UAE launched its visionary Centennial Plan 2071 in 2021, which lays a clear road map for creating future-focussed government, diversifying economy, quality education and building a happy, cohesive society. It is believed that this would further accentuate and receive attention from investors and innovators, worldwide.

Technology at the forefront to revolutionize UAE - The digital transformation:

UAE is clearly embarking on its way into the future with ambitious plans like delving into Artificial Intelligence and becoming the first country to create and fill in an AI minister position. UAE is the largest data centre hub currently in the Middle East and investments of up to $1 billion are projected by 2026. The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), built-in 2016, is now home to more than 240 companies. These companies are working on several technology-based projects ranging in specialities, including agritech, photovoltaics, 3D construction, mass transit innovation, AR/VR experiential centre and additive manufacturing. In April 2018, the UAE Government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 with a vision to transform 50 per cent of government transactions into a blockchain platform. UAE became the first Arab country and fourth globally in launching a 5G network. By the end of 2023, it is estimated that 16 million 5G smartphones will be operational in the region.

Digital transformation in the country has seen an upsurge ever since. Findings from a BCG report rank UAE 3rd, globally for digital government services. 61 per cent of UAE respondents revealed they use digital government once per week minimum, 14 per cent above the global average. Digital transformation in the healthcare sector has also been witnessed where the latest survey showed that 41% of respondents use video telemedicine.

Ease of doing business in the UAE: An evolving business hub

The UAE was ranked 9th in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, making it the only Arab country to maintain its position for 4 years in a row. Ranked 3rd in government efficiency and 7th in business efficiency, UAE surely poses a huge potential for garnering the interests of investors and entrepreneurs. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) ranked UAE as the best country globally in entrepreneurship. In a favourable environment with no corporate tax and import/export duties, UAE’s 100% repatriation of revenues and profits, makes it an ideal place for business. The Entrepreneurial Nation project of UAE has proved to aid in attracting innovative companies for business establishment in the country. SMEs represent 94 per cent of the companies and institutions operating in the UAE and contribute more than 50 per cent to the country’s GDP. During the Expo 2020 Dubai, the Indian government signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE to enhance bilateral trade, B2B engagement and explore investment opportunities.  

Maintaining its first rank in the MENA region, the UAE-based startups raised $1.2 billion across more than 150 transactions in 2021.

The Future Ahead: Reaching out for the space

In its future-oriented goals, UAE has shown ambitious growth to strategize its future in space. In February 2021, the UAE’s Hope probe reached Mars orbit, making the country the fifth nation to reach the Red Planet. UAE’s space agency, just 8 years old, has been envisioning plans on the ideals laid out in the future road map of the country with plans like establishing the first inhabitable human settlement on Mars by 2117. Space is readily seen as a potential for attracting innovation and investment to the country. By 2024, the UAE aims at sending 100% homemade lunar rovers to study the lunar surfaces and further use the data for scientific research studies.  

The UAE has laid down a roadmap for its future which is marked by milestones ranging from ambitious space goals, fulfilling UN Agenda, envisioning 3-D printing strategies, autonomous transportation technology along with environmental and sustainable initiatives. UAE has been readily manoeuvring its way into renewable and green energy resources despite being one of the

largest oil reserves. The country has been revolutionising the way developing countries were once seen as operational. At the global level, with its policies and diplomacy, twinned with futuristic ideals, the UAE has been looked upon today, as a global competitor and seems to creak the dawn of technological advancements.  

References: Al-Monitor, Financial Express, BBC, Forbes, Energy Tracker, Vision2021, Arabian Business, Zawya, Space News, The National News, U.AE, World Bank.

Related Blogs

December 5, 2022

India Assumes G20 Presidency: Startups at the Forefront of Key Agenda

India assumed its first-ever G20 Presidency on 1st December 2022 and will be hosting 200 events in 32 different sectors across 50 cities until the next G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi in September 2023.

November 30, 2022

Asia’s Foreign Direct Investments: Understanding the Trend

Foreign Investment channeled into Asia has reached a record high exceeding $600 billion in 2021.

November 29, 2022

Edge Computing for Business: Cloud’s Next Evolution

Technology remains to be the biggest trend for driving business transformation

Market Analysis
November 25, 2022

The Sustainability Market: A paradigm shift

In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and COP 27, as the countries pace up to meet the deadlines, similar trends are readily observed in the startup ecosystem.

Industry Analysis
November 24, 2022

Mobile Commerce: Becoming the Ever-Growing Part of the E-commerce Equation

Mobile Commerce or M-commerce is emerging as one of the most contending subsets of the E-commerce market.

November 22, 2022

Developments at COP 27

The world is presently seeing the largest reallocation of capital in its history.

November 17, 2022

Sensory Marketing: Decoding a Robust Branding Strategy

Sensory marketing, a subset of psychological marketing is all about appealing to one or more of your customer's five senses to uniquely position your brand or product, thus successfully driving their behavior, judgment, or perceptions

Industry Analysis
November 16, 2022

5G: Setting the Stage for the Next Generation of Digital Transformation

Valued at more than $5 billion in 2020, the global 5G technology market is growing at a CAGR of nearly 66% and is forecasted to reach a whopping $800 billion by 2030

Industry Analysis
November 9, 2022

Generative AI: How Technology Disruptor Is Redefining Capabilities

The buzz behind Artificial Intelligence isn’t something new, but recently a category of AI- Generative AI has been making headlines.

Industry Analysis
November 5, 2022

Gearing up for COP27

United Nations Climate Change Conference more commonly referred to as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC

Market Analysis
October 26, 2022

Net-Zero Emission Innovation : The Transition Checklist

Companies are readily seeking to envision a strategic

Consumer Insights
October 25, 2022

Understanding the Dynamically Changing Nature of Consumers

The Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental to change

Market Insights
October 18, 2022

The Circular Economy - How is Asia Transitioning

In this era of stupendous globalization,

Market Insights
October 18, 2022

Digitalization in Asia - The Competitive Advantage

Using digital technology is no longer meant for just driving solutions

Industry Analysis
September 15, 2022

How Blockchain is Transforming the Banking & Finance Sector

The buzz around the term ‘blockchain’ gained gargantuan momentum in recent years.

Industry Analysis
September 15, 2022

Fintechs : The New Age Disruptors Challenging Traditional Banking

Fintech is an umbrella term for describing all sorts of

Industry Analysis
September 15, 2022

The Future of Banking : How are Banks Reinventing Themselves

The history of banking dates back to around 2000 BCE

August 23, 2022

Turbulence Ahead : A Year of Hiking Interest Rates

The global economy is currently at an unprecedented level

August 22, 2022

The APAC Story : Changing centre of gravity of the global economy.

Including more than 20 countries, home to nearly 60%

Industry Analysis
August 17, 2022

The $10 Trillion Sustainability Centric Market How ready are you to capture the opportunity?

In recent years, there has been a trend in the emergence

August 16, 2022

Internationalisation of Indian Rupee - What does it hold?

In the wake of global market fluctuations and geo-political tensions

August 10, 2022

Inflation on the rise: What does it mean for economic growth?

Two years ago, countries worldwide were concerned to overcome the pandemic

Industry Analysis
August 3, 2022

Business in the Metaverse

Metaverse- a term that first came up in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel - Snow Crash - which described life-like avatars meeting in realistic 3-D buildings and other virtual reality environments - is currently the favourite term of marketers.

Industry Analysis
July 13, 2022

The Protein Challenge: New entrant in the market- Alternate Protein & its Indian Context

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the alternative protein industry has seen a significant boost. The alternative protein market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $27.05 billion by 2027.

Follow us

connect with us through facbook
connect with us on instagram
connect with us on linkdin
connect with us on twitter