The Dubai Robotics and Automation Program: A Leap into the Future

The Dubai Robotics and Automation Program: A Leap into the Future

Op-ed by Hisham Al Gurg, CEO, Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum


Of all technological innovations, robots have fascinated human beings for over a century. It is rather an interesting but lesser-known fact that the first portrayal of a robot in a movie was way back in 1919, long before the first robot was actually made by George C. Devol in the 1950s.

Over the past few years, however, robotics and automation (R&A) have seen a dramatic rise in acceptability and adaptability across various sectors. It is no longer uncommon to see robots greeted, taking on tasks, entertaining, and working like normal people.

Such has been the speed of adoption of robotics and automation and related technological creations that they are today an integral part of economies worldwide. All this is being done with one aim – to make processes error-proof and to improve efficiency.

Reports suggest that the demand for the global industrial robotics market share is expected to hit US$ 81.4 billion globally by 2028. According to Technavio, the robotics market in the Middle East is poised to grow by US$ 385.74 million during 2021–2025, progressing at a CAGR of almost 5% during the forecast period.

In the purview of all these figures, the recent launch of the ‘Dubai Robotics and Automation Program’ by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, is a leap into the future. The program is a new robotics and automation initiative seeking to boost the development, testing, and adoption of R&A on three main pillars – governance, support for R&D, and the adoption and utilisation of emerging technologies.

To be implemented by Dubai Future Foundation, the initiative will work towards providing 200,000 robots over the next 10 years to increase productivity and efficiency across various sectors, including services, logistics, and the industrial space. A commendable move that is bound to help businesses in the sector grow by leaps and bounds in the thriving economy of Dubai.

The program also identifies key areas where it will seek to advance more research and development. These sectors include production and manufacturing; consumer services and tourism; healthcare; connected mobility and logistics; and extreme environments.

The launch of this program will prove a milestone in Dubai’s journey to empower its digital economy and increase the contribution of technology-related sectors towards the overall GDP of the emirate and ultimately the country. It is also a bold step in the direction of accelerating the emirate’s march towards becoming one of the global technology and innovation leaders.

It is the latest addition to the list of many inspiring decisions that the emirate has taken in the past few years with the aim of making the city the happiest in the world. We look forward to all the achievements this program is about to bring about.

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