The rise of the robots and the impact on Dubai's economy

The rise of the robots and the impact on Dubai's economy

**The rise of the robot revolution has the potential increased productivity and economic growth.**Off the back of this, Dubai has launched a robotics and automation programme, led by the Dubai Future Foundation, to grow its future economy.

An initiative that looks to advance the contribution of the sector to 9% GDP within the next 10 years.

The programme was announced by the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He revealed the move looks to advance the emirate to become one of the top 10 cities in robotics and automation globally.

Impact of Robotic Economy

Khalfan Belhoul the CEO of Dubai Future Foundation says that robotics and AI combined will change the way we mobilise. He noted, from healthcare procedures and surgeries to the consumer and retail sector there will be a lot of involvement. He told Euronews, “We can only imagine the involvement of robotics to tap into our daily life when it comes to our retail experience. All the way from going to school to visiting the doctors. So you'll probably see more (advanced robotics) as we advance_._”


Experts have noted that increased efficiency means a serious addition to the economy, while reports suggest AI could add up to 13 trillion Euros to the global economy by 2030.

Commenting on the announcement, Scott Livermore, the Chief Economist and Managing Director of Oxford Economics Middle East stated there need to be several pillars to achieve this. He noted, if there is a comprehensive set of policies aimed at supporting investment in privatization and utilization, and a continuation of policies to attract foreign investment and foreign talent, then the policy could be a significant success.

He told Euronews, “Firstly, a clear, long-term strategic plan. Second, significant public investment into research and development, business science parks to develop an ecosystem, building the right education infrastructure, as well as offering incentives to get firms investing in technology.”

200,000 Robots

With robotisation comes lower production costs, a wider variety in goods and services as well as creating new jobs. As a part of the programme, 200,000 robots will be deployed over the next 10 years across the services, logistics, and industrial sectors.

This potential is already being reflected through a number of fully automated terminals worldwide by supply chain logistics leader, DP World.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of the Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation revealed many of their terminals are now fully automated. He told Euronews, “This is the future. We need to move faster. We need to move more cargo and technology is the backbone of this. Boxpay [for example] gives you almost 100% efficiency in handling storing and delivering.”

He added, “Safety is the top priority in terminal industries. So the fewer people the better for us.”

The new initiative will focus on the five key areas of Production and Manufacturing, Consumer Services and Tourism, Connected Mobility and Logistics, Extreme Environments, and Healthcare.

Real estate

According to Chris Roberts, the Board Chairman of Singularious and GCEO of Eltizam Group, even the likes of real estate could see significant economic rewards.

He says, “When we start to put technology inside these assets, the key part is the conscious asset. That's when the building is telling you how it should be operated, how it should be manned. When you get to the part of actually creating a conscious city, to achieve that, I need data, I need automation, and we need to be in a different place to where we are at the moment. His Highness’ announcement allows us to get to that place a lot quicker.”

As the move looks to adopt and develop the latest robotics technologies, empower local talent, and generate innovative new solutions, whether we like it or not, AI and automation is set to be a part of our daily lives and their prevalence is only set to grow.