Smart Hires

Dubai installs Chief AI Officers across government departments

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said the move is a first step toward 'our vision for the future of government work'

The Museum of the Future in Dubai. (Government of Dubai Media Office)

The Museum of the Future in Dubai. (Government of Dubai Media Office)

The C-suites have gotten a bit bigger in Dubai’s government offices.

Over the weekend, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, installed 22 Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers across departments that govern areas such as community development, human resources, customs, policing and civil aviation. 

“The appointment of the new Chief AI Officers in the Dubai government marks the initial phase toward realizing our vision for the future of government work,” Sheikh Hamdan said. “We are confident that these officers will intensify their efforts and go the extra mile in translating our vision into reality.”

It is a quintessentially Dubai move. The UAE’s biggest city has long sought to be known for flexible policymaking, a business-friendly environment and smart government services as it looks to lure private sector development, with the likes of Microsoft, Meta and Google taking up regional headquarters in the glitzy city.

The Dubai Future Foundation, which shares an office tower with UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, for example, is a think tank designed to help guide government policy as it gears for the future. 

While Dubai has prioritized business-friendliness and agile governance amid the artificial intelligence revolution, Abu Dhabi has taken a different tact.

The UAE capital, a bit more than an hour south of Dubai, has leveraged its deep sovereign wealth fund pockets to plow cash into government-backed entities, investment vehicles and startups both at home and abroad.

Locally, this has yielded AI champion G42, the applied research group Advanced Technology Research Council and an AI-dedicated research university, the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

It has also given Abu Dhabi Inc. a footprint in tech hubs like Silicon Valley, with major investments in companies like semiconductor startup Cerebras and self-driving firm Waymo.   

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