1 August, 2021
UAE on the right trajectory to be a leading digital economy
The UAE has long been the beacon of digital transformation in the Middle East, and even the world. This has been in line with its mission of transforming from an oil-based to knowledge and skills-based economy.
The positive impact of government initiatives aimed at facilitating this transition has borne fruit. According to the Coursera Global Skills Report 2021, the UAE placed in the 99th percentile for business skills, ranking second globally.
Coursera’s report indicated a pressing need for the UAE professionals to upskill in the fields of technology and data science — the country’s talent pools for technology and data science skills ranked just 72nd and 71st respectively. Consequently, understaffed IT teams and the lack of technical resources have compelled many businesses in the Emirates to outsource the development of innovative applications to countries such as India, Turkey, and Jordan.
The UAE has moved towards the next step in building their digital economy, and they are doing so with the National Program for Coders. This initiative intends to encourage the UAE to be a global leader of digital economies. Through this initiative, the government will award 100,000 Golden Visas to top global coders and increase investment into the digital economy.
The program intends to incentivize the top coding talent from around the world to move to the UAE. Highly-skilled Emiratis with the necessary skills will fill those roles. The fact that collaborations with multinational global digital players like Google, Amazon, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Cisco, HPE, Facebook, and NVidia have already been worked out shows the digital economy of the UAE is on the cusp of a major leap forward.
At the launch of the National Coding Program, it was announced that the government would be scaling up its investment in the digital economy to Dh4 billion ($2.72 billion) up from a previous commitment of Dh1.5 billion ($408 million).