Five Ways Abu Dhabi’s Technology and Education Ecosystems Are Fostering Startup Talent

17 Mar, 2021

Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, Hub71, hosted the third edition of Abu Dhabi Decoded, ‘Your Community Awaits’.

Moderated by Dan Murphy, Middle East anchor and correspondent at CNBC International, the panel discussion was led by Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71, Ruba Yousef Al Hassan, Executive Director of Ghadan 21 at Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and Professor Dr. Eric Xing, President of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI).

Focusing on the leading role education, academic research and Abu Dhabi community developers play in sustaining innovation, and the talent available for startups, the insightful session provided five key takeaways:

  1. Data has become the genesis of everything. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the technology people can use to transform and create value from data. The simulation of human processes by machines (computer systems), including learning, reasoning, and self-correction, can lead to automation of our day-to-day routines.
  2. COVID-19 has opened doors for global tech talent and students to secure new opportunities. With the acceleration of digitalisation, and adjusting to a remote work and learning, the pandemic has made people realize that location is no longer a barrier to their future place of work and education. This evolved landscape has created opportunities for tech ecosystems and universities to attract talent, students and researchers from anywhere in the world.

  3. The UAE’s capital is boosting its appeal as a great place to live for founders. The Government of Abu Dhabi, through the Ghadan 21 program, has invested more than AED 8 billion to improve the liveability of Abu Dhabi. From the beautification of the city, to the development of art projects and green spaces, Abu Dhabi has transformed itself to become a vibrant and culturally rich place to live, work and do business in the region.

  4. Collaborative governance between countries can enhance the region’s economy. Friendly competition between nations improves and expands markets, creating a domino effect that benefits neighboring countries and increases the pipeline of job opportunities in the region.

  5. Abu Dhabi’s tech cluster is scaling towards success. The capital is driven by the need to attract world-class talent to nurture future homegrown talent. Government initiatives like Hub71, the StartAD accelerator program, the various incubators, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Mubadala Investment Company, together strengthen Abu Dhabi’s fast-growing innovation ecosystem with access to capital for global startups.

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