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Chapter | ICT from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020

Abu Dhabi’s ICT sector saw further growth in 2019, driven by major public investment in the digitisation of services for residents and businesses. The emirate and the wider UAE continue to lead the way regionally in rolling out 5G technology, with the UAE’s two national telecoms companies making significant investments in network expansion and upgrades. The emirate is also consolidating its position as a leading centre for research and development in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud services, and the emerging start-up sector is playing an active role. Recently, the emirate’s digital drive has been accelerated by the global outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020, which caused businesses, educational institutions and government entities to offer remote services after travel restrictions were imposed. This chapter contains an interview with Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

Chapter | Environment from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020

Climate change, population growth and increasing rates of urbanisation have put a strain on the environment in complex and intertwined ways. Encouraging sustainable development and protecting the environment are key to ensuring future growth in Abu Dhabi. The need for solutions has created opportunities for investment and innovation, and pushed the market towards economic diversification. The emirate’s low levels of rainfall and high temperatures have led to large increases in water and energy demand. Further adding to the strain are high rates of per capita resource consumption, rapid development and a sharp population increase. These factors have also led to greater volumes of waste and encroachment into natural habitats. As part of efforts to address these challenges, Abu Dhabi’s overarching policy initiatives seek to balance social and economic development with environmental sustainability, with the underlying understanding that environmental wealth and well-being is crucial to long-term prosperity. This chapter contains an interview with Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi.

Chapter | Tourism & Culture from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020

The global Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the global tourism industry in 2020; however, with demand likely to be high after months of enforced isolation, the tourism sector is hopeful there will be a recovery in activity once international travel is able to resume. The substantial growth of the tourism segment in recent years demonstrates solid underlying fundamentals. Abu Dhabi has emerged as a destination for those seeking entertainment, culture and relaxation. The emirate has also become a magnet for weekenders from elsewhere in the UAE, with residents of the country’s other six emirates visiting Abu Dhabi’s many attractions. This chapter contains an interview with Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Chapter | Health from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020

Abu Dhabi’s health care sector has witnessed significant expansion in recent years, with health services improving and an increasing number of hospitals, clinics and specialised facilities coming on-line. Both private and public entities are investing heavily in the sector, ensuring a steady stream of new facilities. However, while new and high-tech facilities are improving access to and quality of care, the sector continues to be challenged by high incidences of lifestyle-related illnesses. Like the rest of the world, the sector came under additional pressure in early 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, though the authorities were quick to respond with a series of measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. The government has rolled out a number of public-private partnerships to assist with the sector’s expansion. Recent trends have included greater digitisation and innovation, and the development of the medical tourism segment. This chapter contains an interview with Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman, Department of Health.

Chapter | Education from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020

Abu Dhabi continues to make significant investments in its education sector, which is set to remain an area of consistent growth in the coming years. Education is a key component of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the emirate’s long-term development strategy that aims to build a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy for the post-oil era, and raising teaching standards is considered essential to meeting the needs of the future labour market. To this end, the authorities are seeking to diversify the skills of the local population and investing in education to broaden the range of opportunities available to Emiratis. Recent developments in the sector include the expansion of technology and use of artificial intelligence in schools, and a greater emphasis on technical and vocational training. The emirate also continues to encourage international private schools and tertiary education institutions to open new campuses in Abu Dhabi. This chapter contains an interview with Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education.

Chapter | Agriculture & Food Security from The Report: Abu Dhabi 2020

Agriculture is a key target for expansion, modernisation and diversification in the emirate. The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 aims for the non-oil sector to make up 64% of the economy by 2030. Food and agriculture have an important part to play in achieving this and represent vast potential for growth into new areas. In spite of the emirate’s dry desert conditions and high summer temperatures, the sector has made significant progress in recent years. The authorities are working on increasing local production in the face of high imports and a growing population. While this presents challenges it also offers an opportunity to stimulate local food resources, farms and the private sector. Other priorities include advancing research and development, investing in agricultural technology, addressing water scarcity, and employing sustainable practices such as reducing food waste and ensuring the highest standards of food safety for a market that demands consistency and quality. This chapter contains an interview with Saeed Al Bahri Salem Al Ameri, Director-General, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority

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