Global communication has brought the world closer together, and every industry and sector has benefitted from this wave of reinvention and digital revolution.
It’s difficult to pinpoint when or how the 4th Industrial Revolution began, but with the mainstream rollout of the “World Wide Web” in the early 1990s came an eruption of innovation and digital upheaval across the globe, at a growth rate unlike any industrial revolution before it.
Dubai’s growth tied to the rise of industry
Digital disruption can rightly claim a significant slice in the ascendancy of Dubai into the emerging global player that it has become. And as these disruptors become more and more widely embraced by different sectors of Dubai’s industrial economy, this pace of growth will continue to pick up pace in the near future due to the emphasis Dubai’s leadership has put on technology.
Data and science is at the heart of all Dubai’s initiatives, and the Smart Dubai 2021 initiative aims to make Dubai the happiest city in the world, powered by technology. Ten public sector entities are on board, including the Roads and Transport Authority, which wants to put autonomous cars and self-flying taxis on the road and in the air. Robots handle customer service at the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and the first Minister of Artificial Intelligence was appointed in November 2017.
Business in Dubai’s digital future
Dubai has clearly embraced the digital age and is intent on getting ahead of it. Currently, over half of Fortune 500 companies boast offices in Dubai, among them societal trendsetters Google and Facebook. Elon Musk frequently gives talks in the city, and NASA is consulting on the Emirates Mars Mission.
Dubai is not just hurtling into the future- it is making the future its norm. Should the city continue on its growth trajectory, it won’t be long before Dubai achieves its 10X target, which is to be 10 years ahead of all cities in the world and to become a hub for innovation and creativity.
Businesses in the region will benefit by proxy, and the city will be able to take advantage of the legal framework and digital infrastructure being put in place to welcome the digital future. The district free zone enclaves of Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City are already hotbeds for tech entrepreneurs and big business alike, with incubators, the Dubai Economic Department, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the city’s more than 20 free zones all making it easier for businesses to get trade licenses.
So is it fair to suggest Dubai is driving the next industrial revolution? At the moment with innovation and technological advancement growing exponentially all over the world (from Silicon Valley to London and Japan), there’s certainly a case worth arguing. But beyond 2020, one certainty is that the groundwork Dubai is laying today will bear fruit in the near future and propel it on the global technological front.