In 2017, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid al Maktoum launched the UAE Centennial Plan 2071 which is a plan to make UAE the best nation by the year 2071. The plan is crafted keeping in mind the future generations, their need and a path to induct the progressive and scientific elements required for competence. He tweeted about the UAE Centennial 2071’s purpose saying, “the goal is for future generations to live a happier life in a better environment, with bigger opportunities and stronger communication with the world.”
To achieve this, the UAE Centennial 2071 plan has four pillars namely Future-focused government, Excellent education, a diversified knowledge economy and happy cohesive society. The government will ai, at promoting happiness and ethics both domestically and beyond, a long-term vision and inspirational leadership, and values to make the UAE government the best in the world. Technology is paramount to achieving the plan as it relies on an extremely efficient advanced economy so the UAE government will be focused on promoting “advanced science and technology, space science, engineering, innovation and health sciences.” Entrepreneurship, innovation and international research centers will also be promoted. UAE hopes to build its future image as an advanced knowledge economy rather than an oil exporting nation given the global shift to clean energy and the phasing out of petroleum run economy in the coming decades. To do this, the plan hopes to increase productivity in economy in other sectors by investing in national companies, promoting scientific research, attracting advanced industries, etc. A very appreciable step to build a society of goodwill is also seen in UAE’s approach as the plan seeks to establish “a secure, tolerant, cohesive and ethical society that embraces happiness and a positive lifestyle and a high quality of life.”
The targets aim to solidify UAE’s reputation, reduce the dependence on oil economy, induct advanced technologies, build upon Emirati values in future, raise productivity and enhance the cohesion in the society. Culture will form an essential element in UAE’s plan for the next five decades to bolster its, the plan will essentially target the population and their human development parameters.
Since its inception five years ago, the UAE has made progress in the plan with many individual plans of the government focusing on the future. Such as the Emirates Health services recently participated in the Arab health 2022 exhibition and conference where it showcased 16 innovative smart projects which included Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D printing, etc. This was stated as an integrated strategy which contributes to the broader plan of the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan.
UAE’s push to modernity through science and ethical values can become a guide for the middle-eastern region which is embroiled in lengthy conflicts over conservative elements, and is facing economic destabilization due to frequent fluctuations in the price of oil. This step is much needed for the region to rescue its economy to a stable source of revenue. UAE has chosen to prepare a long term plan and vision which not only addresses the needs but also form a model for the evolution of tools to address the future.
Both developing and developed countries are getting simultaneously exposed to the new and disruptive technologies which creates a level-playing playing field for competition. The UAE will surely gain the most by starting early to focus on the resources and needs of the future. Cooperation with other countries will be crucial for the gulf nation to keep reinventing its economy through the phase of transition from oil to other revenue sources. The experiences of the country with future plans will be a positive aspect for developing countries seeking a partner in the future.
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