UAE on path to become a leading digital economy

UAE on path to become a leading digital economy

National Programme for Coders initiative intends to galvanise the UAE to be a global leader of digital economies.

The UAE has moved towards the next step in building their digital economy, and they are doing so with the National Programme for Coders.

The National Programme for Coders initiative intends to galvanise 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, increase investment into the digital economy, and attain other objectives that will be highlighted in this article.

The programme intends to incentivise the top coding talent from around the world to move to the UAE. Closer to home 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. All in all, the Programme will put the Emirates firmly on a path to becoming a leading digital economy in the future.

So, how will this programme benefit the UAE digital economy? We look at some of the potential benefits below.

Training of Emirati nationals in coding

One of the primary objectives of the National Coding Programme is to equip Emirati nationals with the highly sought after skill of coding. To ensure that nationals join the ranks of the best coders globally, individuals from outside the UAE will be incentivised to relocate to the Emirates. As the trainees gain proficiency, they will deploy their skills in the UAE digital economy, thereby helping it grow with the aim to dominate the world in this field.

Fostering the uptake of digital tools and applications

The Artificial Intelligence Office will be supervising the National Program of Coders to support strategies and initiatives in the country. With the launch of this national program, the uptake of digital tools and applications is likely to surge in all sectors of society especially within businesses and government sectors. These tools and applications will help companies cut costs, increase efficiency and boost competitiveness. As these benefits trickle down, more demand for these coding services will result, and the digital economy will thrive on the strength of this locally-generated demand.

More funding will go into the digital economy

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).

Under normal circumstances, individuals and firms would have to secure their own funding in order to launch a project linked to the digital economy. With this government funding however, it will be easier to access funding. As a result, the rate at which new innovations will be introduced into the digital economy will be significantly higher.

Creating synergies

The Programme is intended to create synergies between different stakeholders of the digital economy and businesses (both local and international). These include coders, government agencies, the academia, private corporations and entities as well as entrepreneurs in the coding space.

As this collaboration deepens, the digital economy is likely to benefit as a result of the passing and implementation of supportive policies and laws. Secondly, coders will be able to come up with market-driven innovations that address pressing needs in the economy and society. In fact, private sector players and government agencies are now more likely to commission coding projects to address pressing needs.

Creation of jobs in the digital economy

Since the programme intends to involve different government agencies and the local society, lots of jobs will be created for those with the required skills to provide the solutions that the community seeks.

For example, the next phase of the coding programme will focus on finding solutions to 100 challenges that will be identified and prioritised in the healthcare, government, economy and other services sectors. Lots of skilled individuals will be needed to find those solutions, and the digital economy will continue to benefit from the existence of those new jobs.

Mohamad Ibrahim is regional director at Exness. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy.