Emirates on Way to Becoming Knowledge and Innovation Society

  • 21 September 2015

Since its inception in early seventies of the 20th century, the UAE has believed that developing unconventional solutions to the challenges facing the society is the best way to ensure comprehensive development. It has made significant efforts and invested heavily in finding ways to empower the Emirati society to reach its goals by providing education and advanced training. Recent years have witnessed concentrated efforts to build the culture of creativity in the Emirati society. The objective has been to empower innovation as a common element in the future plans of local government in every emirate and at federal government level to create a knowledge-based society.

The UAE has made significant progress in this domain. It is making efforts that are considered the most important goals sought by countries wishing to move forward on the path of comprehensive and sustainable development. Marking 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’ has been one of the important steps. The move was part of a wider plan to adopt a comprehensive strategy launched by the country. Entitled the National Innovation Strategy, this has been an effective tool to inculcate the culture of creativity and innovation for all categories of the UAE society by making innovation a part of daily life of individuals and citizens or a way to manage daily tasks in public and private institutions in various fields.

By adopting this approach the UAE has added the values of innovation and creativity to the nation’s economy, especially in managing the daily affairs of individuals, government and private institutions. Improving efficiency of natural resources and public utilities management has helped the economy and society make significant gains. This has also improved efficiency and performance of institutions and businesses in the UAE. Production capacity of these facilities has increased and so has the quality of their products. The culture of creativity and innovation and consolidating the efforts of all segments of the society towards achieving goals have made them more consistent and work for the same cause. This has raised economic growth indicators and helped comprehensive development in the UAE, positioning the country at the top in development indices.

These achievements indicate that the UAE has managed to convert innovation and knowledge into tangible economic value, which has boosted its GDP. The UAE Ministry of Economy gave some indications to this effect recently. It reported that the contribution of innovation and creativity to the UAE’s economy will rise to about 5 percent in 2021. This shows the extent to which the UAE economy has benefited from innovation and creativity and the extent to which the UAE’s development model in general has become close to the desired objectives while building a knowledge-based society.