By Dalya Al Muthanna
Since its declaration as an independent, sovereign and federal state on 2 December 1971, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made remarkable progress. Most recently, the country celebrated its 50th National Day; the Hope Probe reached orbit around Mars; the UAE welcomed the world to Expo 2020 Dubai; and it won the bid to host the UN's climate conference, COP 28, in 2023.
With its sights set firmly on the next 50 years, and President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan leading the country's future, the UAE – one of the most diversified GCC countries today – continues to focus on comprehensive and balanced development of all its sectors that will support the country's new era of economic and social growth.
To achieve this, in line with the 'The Principles of the 50', there is a heightened emphasis on sustainable development, developing skills to remain a competitive national economy, public and private sector partnerships, and digital, technical and scientific excellence in key sectors.
Investing in the UAE's sustainable future
Importantly, investments from companies in key growth sectors will be crucial to supporting the UAE in its next phase of growth. Companies like GE – focused on the future of flight, precision health and the energy transition – are making significant investments in the country.
One example is with GE Aviation. The team has signed an agreement with Etihad Airways to support their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and collaborating with Emirates on a 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel flight demonstration, the company is partnering with the country's airlines on various strategic projects to emerge stronger as a global aviation hub. These initiatives will also be crucial in supporting the global aviation industry's 2050 carbon-neutral goals.
In the healthcare sector, precision care, which uses technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence, is needed to deliver integrated, efficient, and highly personalized care at greater scale. GE Healthcare is leading in innovating and deploying these solutions, revolutionizing its care delivery to help improve patient outcomes across the country.
And in climate change and energy, the UAE's Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, which was announced last year, will see greater collaboration between government offices and companies to achieve a more sustainable future for all. GE has signed agreements with ADNOC and EGA to support decarbonization goals and is demonstrating its commitment through technology by bringing its record-breaking high-efficiency H-class gas turbines to the 1.8 GW Hamriyah Independent Power Plant in Sharjah.
The dawn of a new digital age
As digital technologies continue to evolve, the UAE is in a strong position to support key industries and sectors; and the right talent will play a key role in shaping the future of the economy in line with its plans to increase the industrial sector's contribution to the GDP to AED 300bn by 2031.
In addition to seizing opportunities and accelerating transformation, encouraging the youth including recent graduates to actively participate in the UAE's economic development will be key to addressing the country's digital needs in the future.
Innovation and inclusion remain standout themes that focus on addressing technological transformation to create a diverse and supportive environment for future talent. As the UAE continues to prioritize attracting, developing, and retaining talent to support the country's continued development, programs such as 'STEM for the Next 50' Innovation Camp have enabled students to understand current challenges in the energy industry and propose viable solutions to solve them, which will help the country in its next phase of growth.
Like the UAE, GE is a strong supporter of gender equity and a broader culture of inclusion, and has directly contributed to this environment in the country by hosting the 'Insights into Inclusion' conference with more than 30 international business leaders and inclusion and diversity advocate, which generated a white paper that offers tools and tactics to foster workforce diversity.
As the UAE focuses on the advancement of its economic development in the next decade, building on the momentum achieved over the last year will be imperative to its success. With sustainability, skilled human capital and digital technologies at the heart of its critical aviation, energy and healthcare sectors, the UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a global leader in the years ahead.
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