The UAE has established the very first Artificial Intelligence Ministry in the world. The appointed Minister is Omar Bin Sultan who’s 27 years old.


Why artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence has grown massively in the past few years, thanks to the cheaper and more powerful processors. There is not a day that goes by without a news regarding new breakthroughs in AI. Maybe the most important one is AlphaGo a computer program that plays the board game Go. It was developed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google DeepMind in London. Playing this game is way more complicated than playing chess, just imagine this: After the first two moves of a Chess game, there are 400 possible next moves, in Go, there are close to 130,000. And I don’t mention the applications in autonomous vehicles, drones and other applications of AI, since it has literally applications in any field that you can imagine.


The UAE brings big changes

Six new ministers —three of them women— have been named as members of the UAE cabinet a few days ago. 27-year-old Omar bin Sultan Al Olama was named the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, 30-year-old Sara Al Amiri was named Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, while Mariam Al Muhairi was named Minister of State for Food Security. This is interesting news since no country in the world has a ministry of artificial intelligence yet.

Al Olama has been working as the Deputy Director of the Future Department for just over a year now, and he has been on the Executive Committee of the World Government Summit since 2014. He has a BBA from the American University of Dubai, and a diploma of excellence and project management from the American University in Sharjah.

This announcement comes just a few days after the the country announced their UAE 2031 AI strategy, which aims to make the government more efficient and streamlined by relying on AI technologies. They plan to use AI to not only streamline costs but to reinforce education and a desire to learn, reduce accidents on the roads and create savings in the energy industry.

Other interesting news about the UAE:

  • The Dubai Government plans on issuing its last paper transaction by 2021, going entirely digital.
  • The UAE is planning to establish the first inhabitable human settlement on Mars by 2117.
  • Dubai aims to produce 75 percent of its energy requirements from clean sources by 2050.
  • 25 percent of the total transportation in the Emirates will be autonomous by 2030.
  • Launching flying drone taxis by 2020.

However, It’s not yet known if the UAE would be a user of these technologies like before or they have plans to actually build new technologies and export it to other countries.


About the UAE

The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on 2 December 1971. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs (traditionally always the Emir of Abu Dhabi) is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Its economy

The economy of the United Arab Emirates is the second largest in the Arab world (after Economy of Saudi Arabia), with a nominal GDP of 407.2 billion dollars in 2017. Although UAE has the most diversified economy in the GCC, the UAE’s economy remains extremely reliant on oil. With the exception of Dubai, most of the UAE is dependent on oil revenues.


Gulf Cooperation Council: GDP or population in comparison to Iran?

Gulf Cooperation Council is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates with total nominal GDP of 1.8 trillion dollars. The total population of GCC countries is 54 million people which is lower than Iran’s 80 million. Iraq is also another country in this region with the population of 37 million with GDP of 171 billion dollars.

Iran has more population than all the Gulf Cooperation Council’s countries combined. Plus, don’t forget the GCC countries which are following the same policies. Therefore, it would be hard for them to really unite as one country.

These reforms in the region are good signs, since these countries are planning to rely less on oil, and that means fewer tensions and wars because of oil. Plus, it might push the Iranian government to bring new plans to keep their technological advancements way ahead of these countries. After all, technology and human resources are most important factors to keep Iran as the world power in the region.

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