Understanding the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Strategy

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For starters that could be so new to this 4IR: 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a technological revolution that merges the physical, digital and biological technologies in order to deliver unprecedented products and services in new and emerging sectors.

UAE’s growth in recent years has been based on strategic plans and buoyant leaders. These leaders have transformed the national economy basin on the digital and technical models that has contributed to creating real opportunities for foreign and direct investments, opportunities and an extraordinary country branding.

The buoyant leaders are creating a digital economy implemented through the adoption of the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution aiming at enhancing economic security.

In September 2017, the leaders’ decision allowed the UAE Government to launch the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) during the Government’s Annual Meetings. The UAE Strategy is aimed to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for the 4IR and to increase its contribution to the national economy by means of advancing innovation and future technologies

It also aims to position the UAE as a global model in adopting leading-edge technologies to serve society and achieve happiness and sustainability.


The vision of the UAE’s 4IR Strategy is to become a leading global hub and an open lab for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s applications.

The Dream Mission

The UAE’s big dream mission is to become a hub and the world’s first open lab for experimenting and adopting the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s technologies.

First of its Kind, globally

The UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy, the first of its kind globally, was designed to provide a practical framework for policy makers and support national efforts in adopting advanced technologies and transforming future challenges into opportunities that better serve the country.  The Fourth Industrial Revolution marked a significant and impactful milestone in the future of the United Arab Emirates offering unprecedented opportunities and several challenges that should be addressed and utilized efficiently.

Aims of the strategy

The strategy aims to:

  • Achieve future security of water and food supply by using bioengineering sciences and advanced renewable energy technologies
  • Enhance economic security by adopting digital economy and block-chain technologies in financial transactions and service
  • Optimize the utilization of satellite data in planning future cities
  • Develop advanced defense industries by developing national industries in the field of robotics and autonomous vehicle technologies.

The strategy further outlines the path to achieve the future experience of government services by providing intelligent and interactive government services around the clock to achieve customer happiness and to position the UAE as a model for interactive cities using artificial intelligence to achieve sustainability.

The strategy focuses on a number of key fields. Some of them are innovative education, artificial intelligence, intelligent genomic medicine and robotic healthcare.

  1. Innovative education will provide a smart and enhanced learning experience to develop advanced technologies such as science, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
  2. The adoption of intelligent and personal genomic medicine will lead to personalized medical technologies, improved health care levels and boost the UAE’s position as a global center for healthcare.
  3. The adoption of robotic healthcare and research in nanotechnology will facilitate the application of telemedicine and introduce cutting-edge medical solutions such as wearable and implantable technologies.

Standing on 6 Key Pillars

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Strategy of the UAE comprises 6 pillars.

  1. The Human of the future
  2. The Security of the future
  3. The Experience of the future
  4. The Productivity of the future
  5. The Frontiers of the future
  6. The Foundations of the future.

Strategic areas of each Pillar

Below are the strategic areas under each of the pillars:

 ‘The Human of the future’

  1. Augmented Learning – develop a leading dynamic and intelligent augmented learning experience to improve education outcomes and meet the new requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to focus on advanced sciences and technologies (e.g., bioengineering, Nano-technology and Artificial Intelligence).
  2. Personalized Medicine – drive the development of a hyper-personalized, intelligent genomics hub to dramatically improve the population’s health and promote genomic medical tourism.
  3. Robo-Care – harness clinical cobots and nanobots to augment the UAE’s healthcare capabilities and provide remote robotic medical services inside the UAE and abroad.
  4. Connected Care – drive the advancement and adoption of Connected Care in the UAE to provide intelligent healthcare interventions through wearable and implantable technologies.

 ‘The Security of the future’

  1. Food and Water Security – develop a sustainable food and water ecosystem by leveraging bioengineering, advanced sciences and technologies as well as renewable energy.
  2. Economic Security – adopt digital economy technologies (e.g. blockchain) to future-proof the UAE’s financial ecosystem.
  3. Space Data – employing space data and technologies to make intelligent and strategic decisions.
  4. Advanced Defense Manufacturing – augment the UAE’s advanced defence manufacturing capabilities with collaborative robots and cognitive technologies to ensure a safe and protected future.

 ‘The Experience of the future’

  1. Intelligent Government Services deliver the world’s best intelligent, seamless and citizen-centric government services that boosts the happiness and wellbeing of customers.
  2. Intelligent Consumer Experience – deliver an intelligent, hyper-personalized retail and hospitality experience to make the UAE the world’s leading destination for consumers.
  3. Intelligent Cities – become the world’s powerhouse for intelligent cities and premises to improve environmental sustainability and enhance the human lifestyle.
  4. NextGen Mobility – become the world’s open lab for autonomous and sustainable mobility to lead the innovations in transportation.

 ‘The Productivity of the future’

  1. Open Additive Manufacturing – focus on designing and programming 3-D additive design and manufacturing technologies to unlock the competitive potential of the UAE economy and entrepreneurs globally.
  2. 3D Printed Construction – become the world’s centre of excellence in 3D printed and robotic construction to deliver sustainable value for the economy.
  3. Intelligent Grids – pioneer future grids to enable decentralized energy generation, sustainable consumption, and intelligent asset management.
  4. Intelligent Supply Chains – develop the world’s next generation intelligent terminals and logistics ecosystem to maximize productivity in a sustainable manner.

‘The Frontiers of the future’

  1. Commercialization of Space serve as a global hub for ambitious space players and support space entrepreneurship to accelerate the accessibility to commercialization of space.
  2. Cognitive Human Enhancement support national research and application efforts in national universities and specialized centres in the field of brain, neuro science and human enhancement in collaboration with global leaders in the field.

‘The Foundations of the future’

  1. Future Talent – prepare a national talent pool and entrepreneurs for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and equip them with the required knowledge and skills in advanced science and technology through an applied educational system focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in the high priority sectors.
  2. Integrated cyber secured data Environmentbuild an integrated cyber-secured big data environment equipped with intelligent connectivity and develop the necessary protocols to protect it.
  3. 4IR Policies & Regulations – develop conducive and innovative policies and regulations that cover the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s themes and applications to ensure maintaining the privacy and well-being of citizens.
  4. 4IR Values and Ethics cultivate steadfast values and ethics in the future generations to ensure making the optimal use of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and steadily facing its challenges.
  5. Global 4IR Hub – create a global 4IR hub to promote a competitive national economy based on knowledge, innovation and the 4IR technologies and applications.

What UAE Leaders Say About the 4IR Strategy

We should provide ourselves with modern sciences and far-reaching knowledge. We should seek knowledge with true enthusiasm and honest desire to be able to practice all kinds of constructive work. That will enable the UAE to achieve a significant civilizational transformation in the third millennium.

– His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The President of the United Arab Emirates


“It is a long journey full of challenges, which requires combined efforts and national energies. The UAE is relying on its citizens to continue this journey, and it will provide them with the necessary tools and working mechanisms to adopt future technologies and advanced sciences, as well as everything required to successfully go through this experience and achieve it, through a clear path towards the future.   We started this when we launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy, which is a new era of government work, and we are currently looking forward to developing it and maintaining its sustainability. We are aware that this requires developing the skills of our government working team, and we are expecting all its members to intensify their efforts to achieve the required progress for the government of the future,”

 – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai


“Our reliance upon knowledge and scientific thinking to achieve total development is the only way to bring our nation ahead to the stage of qualitative, non-oil production”.

– His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces



Nicholas K. Quest

I am a Ugandan born transformational Author, social commentator, publisher, consultant, serial entrepreneur and an optimistic peak performance trainer. From economic-social issues, citizenry & human transcendence, I radically create strategies, publish books & programs, initiate projects, concepts and ventures that elevate key systems for shaping humanity’s future, productivity and outstanding corporate and individual legacies. With a transcendent approach, I identify opportunities from the crowd & proactively put them forward into ideas & solutions for people, organizations, and projects. Let's work together to elevate key systems for humanity's extraordinariness and productivity >>>> www.nicholaskquest.com

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