UAE president issues law establishing an artificial intelligence council


United Arab Emirates president and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a law that established the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council (AIATC). 

According to an announcement from the Abu Dhabi government, the council will oversee the implementation and development of artificial intelligence (AI) policies and strategies that will be applied to research, infrastructure and investments. 

Apart from policies, the council will also collaborate with local and global partners in developing plans and research programs. This aims to “enhance Abu Dhabi’s status” in the AI field. The move also matches the emirate’s efforts to become a hub for investments, partnerships and talent in the advanced technology sector. 

The president also appointed Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chairman of the AIATC and Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as Vice Chairman through a resolution that was issued. 

The UAE government has welcomed many technological advancements, aiming to position the country as a global tech hub for aspiring startups. In 2018, the country announced the Emirates Blockchain Strategy, which aims to advance blockchain adoption. 

In March 2022, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum established the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) to regulate crypto and digital assets. In July 2022, the also ramped up its metaverse efforts by launching the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to support more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030. 

Related: UAE regulator revises sanctions, AML policy to enact FATF’s Travel Rule

More recently, the country has been putting AI technology as one of its focus areas. On Aug. 15, 2023, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) started offering commercial licenses for AI and Web3 businesses at a 90% subsidy. DIFC Innovation Hub CEO Mohammad Alblooshi said that granting the licenses was an effort to “attract more global talent and investment to the region.”

Apart from giving out commercial licenses at a discount, the country also established a dedicated free economic zone for Web3 and AI service providers. On Oct. 19, 2023, the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) launched the RAK digital assets oasis (DAO) for Web3, digital assets and AI. 

Magazine: Crypto City: Guide to Dubai

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