AI Retreat to become annual fixture in Dubai

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, at the AI Retreat in Dubai on Tuesday
Image Credit: X/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: The AI Retreat will become an annual event on Dubai’s calendar, with the next retreat set to run on April 29, 2025.

The annoucement came on Tuesday, the debut day of the event, from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation.

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The Retreat, organised by the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DCAI) and the National Programme for Artificial Intelligence, is the first event held as part of the Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence (DUB.AI).

Sheikh Hamdan said: “We envision this retreat as an annual platform for examining the significant and far-reaching transformations that AI brings to all sectors. It will serve as a forum for preparing to seize AI’s diverse opportunities, added value applications, and the qualitative leaps it promises in education, health, development, research, and future design.”

He added: “The forward-thinking approach imparted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in embracing innovation has empowered us to swiftly transform AI opportunities into tangible outcomes in Dubai. We are now eager to accelerate the shift from merely exploring AI possibilities to implementing them practically.”

Sheikh Hamdan also met the recently appointed 22 Chief AI Officers of government entities in Dubai. During the meeting, he highlighted the tremendous growth in the use and application of AI and stressed the importance of accelerating the government sector’s alignment with the AI revolution. Sheikh Hamdan directed the Dubai Government to intensify efforts and accelerate the implementation of the initiatives and ideas discussed at today’s event.

“Our goal for the next phase is to double the positive impact of AI for the betterment of humanity. This will be achieved by leveraging the annual ‘Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence’, which includes initiatives and programmes to enhance Dubai’s economic competitiveness, resilience, quality of life, and future-readiness.”

He added: “In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai will focus on harnessing AI applications to support human capabilities, improve operational efficiency, enhance productivity, and deploy technology for the purpose of serving humanity.”

Meaningful dialogue

Sheikh Hamdan also attended some of the roundtables held as part of the AI Retreat 2024 at the Museum of the Future. These roundtables focused on four main topics: Funding and Finance, Computing and Digital Infrastructure, Data Regulation and Policies, and Talent Ecosystem. The goal was to identify solutions and key opportunities in AI, including policies, legislation, governance, and the development of AI data centres, as well as its key enablers such as financing, research, and talent.

He also viewed several workshops and events organised by international tech companies showcasing the latest AI trends, applications, and technologies held at AREA 2071. A total of 11 workshops were organised by Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Amazon, SAP, NVIDIA, and the Dubai Future Foundation. Additionally, there were eight side sessions organised by the Dubai Future District Fund, Dubai AI Campus, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and Antler.

Future partnerships

As part of the AI Retreat, Sheikh Hamdan also witnessed the announcement of a strategic partnership between du and Oracle to provide highly advanced AI and data solutions. He stressed that Dubai is an ideal platform to stimulate synergies that shape the future.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “Dubai will continue to support all AI initiatives and encourage and accelerate the organised and thoughtful adoption of its uses, thus strengthening its position as a preferred global destination to live, work, innovate, and design the future.”

With Oracle Alloy, du can provide more than 100 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services together with its own value-added cloud services and applications. This will enable du to become the first local hyperscale cloud provider to offer a comprehensive set of branded cloud services.