UAE Presents Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Initiatives at Its Annual Government Meeting

February 2, 2019

The United Arab Emirates at the second edition of its governmental Annual Meetings concluded with the introduction of two initiatives on Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence.  

The second edition of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government Annual Meeting was concluded with the introduction of two initiatives. According to reports on the 28th of Nov. 2018, these initiatives are in connection with Blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The meeting was hosted by the government AI and Blockchain Joint Working Group. During the meeting, participants discussed strategies that will attract foreign investors as well as to create necessary technological infrastructure. They also discussed the potential challenges in relation to the adoption of blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Blockchain Guide Initiative to Standardize Definitions

At the meeting, the launch of the AI and Blockchain Guide Initiative was also announced. The Initiative’s main aim is to create a standard definition of the technologies at the federal level. It will also introduce the concepts of Artificial Intelligence and its incorporation to relevant entities.

National Program For AI and Blockchain Capacity Building

The National Programme for AI and Blockchain Capacity Building was also launched at the meeting. This programme will offer university courses and scholarships in Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technology. These courses will be under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.

In addition, the programme will try to incorporate artificial intelligence in the different stages of education. It will also offer professional courses that will cut across all professional levels.

Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama stated that “The UAE is keen to adopt AI and blockchain technologies in all the economic, health, educational and other vital sectors.” He further stated that the UAE is looking to improve cooperation and establish partnerships across the government, international companies, and startups to find effective solutions and make a positive impact.

Those in attendance at the meeting outlined the advantages of keeping up with technological changes as well as achieving the UAE’s goal to become the top country in the incorporation of AI by 2031. The government also planned to transfer 50% of transactions onto a blockchain platform by 2021.

Al Hilal, an Abu Dhabi based bank earlier in the week announced the completion of the world’s first sukuk transaction with the use of blockchain technology. Sukuk is a legal instrument also known as “sharia compliant” bonds, that allows investors to generate returns without infringing on Islamic law. According to reports, the deal was worth $1 million and was sold by Al Hilal to a private investor.

In September, the Dubai Department of Finance partnered with the Smart Dubai Office to launch a blockchain-powered payment system. This system was called “Payment Reconciliation and Settlement.” The system was designed to ensure transparent and accurate governance processes. It would also help enable real-time payments within government structures.

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