The UAE’s March toward Creativity and Innovation

  • 23 July 2014

The UAE has been ranked first among the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries and 36th in the world as per the 2014 Global Innovation Index, according to a report published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization. This refers to the extent of its achievements and the country’s success in creativity and innovation not only at regional but global level as well. The index also points out that the UAE has begun to reap the rewards of the great efforts made by the country in this field since its inception.

Since its establishment in 1971, the UAE has made use of scientific advancement for the development of human resource and government institutions. It views human resource as the cornerstone of development in a society aspiring for a better future. The country has has made tremendous efforts in recent decades to continue on this path. Education, training and other sectors related to enhancement of human resource consumes more than half of the UAE budget, in addition to resources allocated in budgets at each Emirate level. These resources are not just spent on development of buildings and infrastructure but a bulk of it goes to the development of curricula and teaching methods. The UAE is now implementing several projects to impart intelligent education based on creativity and innovation.

In recent years, the UAE has left no stone unturned in developing institutional and government framework, as well as in motivating those in charge of government institutions and their employees, to adopt innovative methods in the world to carry out their work as part of a long-term strategic vision. The UAE took a major step in this direction in the ongoing year when it announced the transition from ‘e-government’ to ‘smart government’ during the Second Government Summit. This proved to be a quantum leap in the development of government efforts not only in the UAE but in the region and the whole world. Followers of the UAE’s experience will notice that it has turned into a country capable of contributing actively in the global march toward innovation and development of technology.

The UAE’s initiatives in recent years have been based on creativity and innovation and provide evidence of its progress in these fields, including: launch of the Solar Atlas developed by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which received Technology Award 2013 from the Middle East Solar Industry Association. The UAE’s official entry into space exploration, as announced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) recently, has been another major step in this direction. The space program will enable the UAE to become the first Arab and Islamic country to send a probe to Mars by 2021, in an exploration entirely led by Emiratis.