Global Summit Celebrates Region’s Most Inspiring Innovations and Future Leaders

Press release
Published October 11th, 2018 - 10:43 GMT
During the event
During the event

The fifth edition of the ‘Global Innovation Summit,’ the region’s most inspiring innovation conference jointly hosted by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai and SPI Greatsands Group today at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, DIFC, celebrated the achievements of several innovators from various verticals including technology, aviation, healthcare, future-skills and many more.

The conference brought together government dignitaries, market innovators, C-suit executives, entrepreneurs and business magnates to discuss opportunities and best practices in building a future-ready economy.

Referring to the emphasis given to innovation and future-readiness across development strategies in Dubai and the UAE, His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, in his welcome address at the Summit said that the ‘UAE Strategy for Future’ announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum two years ago has ushered in a new and proactive approach in identifying opportunities and challenges in all vital sectors in the country.

“The Department of Economic Development, together with its agencies, is now focused on upgrading services in line with the latest tech innovations including Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, while also preparing for Industry 4.0 along with the business community, to achieve the strategic objectives of Dubai and the UAE,” Al Qamzi said.

Al Qamzi added that initiatives such as Dubai 10x, Dubai Future Accelerators, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Initiative have been instrumental in the UAE ranking first in the Arab world in the 2018 Global Innovation Index.

The Summit presented a line-up of engaging and interactive sessions. The speakers included Mr Ian Fletcher, Director IBM; Mr Bernard Dunn, President - Boeing Middle East; Mr Saeed Al Falasi, Executive Director Platforms of the Future - Dubai Future Foundation; Ms Hind Almualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness, Innovation - KHDA; Moiza Saeed, Regional Director – Zomato, and Geet Bhalla, Co-founder and CEO - Holidayme.

Apart from debates on Dubai Beyond 2020, Future Skills and the Future of Healthcare Business, the Summit also had a demonstration on Innovation and Climate Change by Globally Great.

Mr. Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, CEO of the Corporate Strategic Affairs in DED, commented: “This was a great venue and platform for people from different sectors to join their hands, minds and voices and find opportunities for collaboration to create a future-ready economy. With the emergence of future trends businesses should rethink their strategies and upgrade their resources to adapt to future-driven disruptions, and capitalise on the growth opportunities”.  

Two of the most outstanding segments in this year’s Summit were the legal face-off, a lively and interactive debate between Ahmed Saleh from Al Tamimi & Co and Tom Biknell from Pinsent masons on the legal implications of disruptive technology, and ‘How we made it?’ which featured UAE’s most well-known homegrown brands like Bee’ah, Careem and Holidayme talking about their vision for the future of UAE.

The summit also included two interactive sessions where attending delegates got an opportunity to interact with and present their ideas to co-innovators and future-strategists from their respective industries.

Hani Asfour, Associate Dean, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), who was a panelist on Future Skills, commented: “At DIDI, our aim is to future-proof our student’s careers, by giving them relevant skills incorporating digital and visual fluency so they are ready for tomorrow’s world, so this year’s theme fits perfectly with our DNA. Together, I believe we can meaningfully contribute in making Dubai a leader in global innovation.”

Background Information

Department of Economic Development

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the government body entrusted to set and drive the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai, UAE. The DED supports the structural transformation of Dubai into a diversified, innovative service-based economy that aims to improve the business environment and accelerate productivity growth.

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