Dubai seeks French investments in AI, smart solutions

Dubai is looking to expand its cooperation with French firms in the field of blockchain, artificial intelligence and other innovative technologies, said a senior official in Dubai on Sunday.

“The UAE-France non-oil trade in 2016 reached $21 billion, up 46 per cent from 2010. There is a significant scope to expand collaboration to new sectors like smart city solutions, healthcare, blockhain and innovative technologies. More than 66 French companies have already presence in Dubai Silicon Oasis from where they run their Middle Eastern operations,” said Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.

“Dubai has embarked on a journey to become smartest city in the world. We are committed to play a key role in the ambitious vision of our leadership. We will continue working on developing communities that are based on smart technologies and building communities that provide comprehensive smart living,” he added.

Alzarooni was speaking at the inauguration of Innovation Hub on Wheels by French firm Schneider Electric at the Dubai Silicon Oasis on Sunday.

Schneider is showcasing its next-generation EcoStruxure architecture and platform that delivers IoT-enabled open solutions for partners to develop new applications.

Luc Remont, executive vice-president, international operations, Schneider Electric, said: “We see this region growing and the potential for development is very strong which is not completely expressed yet. In order to grow in absolute terms here, we will continue to invest in people and expand industrial footprint which has been driving us in the last 30 years.”

He noted that this would strengthen the company’s ability to drive the significant part of group’s business from Dubai – which is one of the company’s four hubs around the world. Its other hubs are Paris, Boston and Hong Kong.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, said that the company has almost equally distributed in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and in the Middle East Africa and South America. Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said the world is moving from centralised to decentralised.

Citing examples, he pointed out that now the world’s largest taxi – Uber – doesn’t own a tax and the world’s largest voice operator – Skype – doesn’t own network, reflecting how the world is moving from physical to the virtual world.

He said people are at the heart of everything the UAE does. “This is the only country where you have minister of artificial intelligence in parallel with minister of happiness and a minister of tolerance. This is where the country is pioneering and putting the people at the centre of everything.”


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