MBZUAI Executive Programme to help shape UAE’s future, optimise decision-making, say ministers, officials

ABU DHABI, 7th September, 2021 – UAE ministers and senior officials said the Executive Programme, which was introduced on Tuesday by the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), will help achieve the UAE’s ultimate goal of becoming a global AI leader.
They believe the programme will empower the UAE’s decision-makers across various industries and will help harness the benefits of AI in forging the future success of their respective organisations.
The MBZUAI Executive Programme will comprise six courses, each delivered by instructors from “world-leading academic institutions, executives from global multinationals and the university’s faculty,” according to the university.
The courses cover the fundamentals of AI; the economic impact of AI and machine learning; the anticipated impact of AI on industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, smart cities, healthcare, defence and others; and the future of AI-powered communications driven by lingual cognition and intelligence.
The programme’s first cohort of around 40 senior executives will undergo 12 weeks of online and in-person practical training, starting in October and running until next January.
Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health & Prevention, said that the healthcare sector has been one of the earliest beneficiaries of AI, especially during the height of COVID-19 pandemic, when AI-based algorithms accurately modelled the spread of the disease and supported the rapid development of reliable vaccines.
“By extracting reliable insights from large amounts of data almost instantly, AI has the potential to radically alter the way we practice healthcare in the future, allowing doctors to predict, treat and prevent disease in ways that were inconceivable barely a decade ago,” said Owais.
“Initiatives such as the MBZUAI Executive Programme will help raise awareness among UAE decision-makers of the potential of AI to changes our lives for the better,” he added.
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, said that SMEs have much to gain from AI, particularly its capacity to reduce costs, maximise efficiency and manage risk.
“At the same time, integrating AI-based processes and expertise will allow homegrown tech companies to leap ahead in their development,” the Minister said, adding that the MBZUAI Executive Programme is an ideal initiative to help UAE-based SMEs maintain their competitive edge and optimise their operations across the region and beyond.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that maintaining FDI inflows into the UAE depends on access to the very best talent.
“The decision to establish the first research institute dedicated to AI in Abu Dhabi was a strategic investment in the UAE’s business ecosystem, which will help to nurture future AI leaders and inspire technological innovation across our economy,” he said.
“By raising awareness of AI among the UAE’s existing business and government elites, the MBZUAI Fellowship Program will further enhance the UAE’s competitiveness and its appeal to outside investors.”
Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said, “Proving to be amongst the most digitally savvy youth globally, with a thirst for continued advancement in the digital realm, the creation of the first research institute dedicated to AI is a catalyst that serves to empower a generation with the tools to perceive, identify and create content at an unprecedented rate.”
Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, said, “The UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051 catalysis technology, innovation and research to transform our food systems and sustain our food security. Among the many applications, AI and machine learning protrudes and emerges as a prominent approach to alleviate the efficacy of the future farming industry in the UAE.
“Those approaches are considered among the most promising and game changing trends. As a nation, AI and machine learning can solve many challenges in the agriculture landscape including water scarcity and lack of arable land.”
Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, said that the application of AI-based technologies will be one of the key drivers of economic value creation and positive social impact in the UAE, and indeed the entire global economy, in the coming years.
“While many university graduates already have a solid technology background, most business leaders, here in the UAE and other countries, are looking to upskill. Initiatives such as the MBZUAI Executive Programme address this need, while helping to facilitate the UAE’s overall digital transformation,” he said.
Professor Sir Michael Brady, Professor Emeritus, University of Oxford, confirmed that AI is unlocking new economic value for all industries and as a leading AI university in the region, the MBZUAI Executive Programme will nurture and empower the AI leaders of the UAE.
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, said, “The MBZUAI Executive Programme nurtures the bright, young minds of the nation to capitalise on AI in ways that drive economic value creation, support the UAE’s national priorities, and advance the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It will support in achieving the UAE’s goal of becoming a global AI leader.”

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