UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed: The Digital Economy Is Our Next Top Priority

The digital expansion is geared to increase the contribution of the digital economy to the country’s GDP from 2019’s 4.3%.
Carolyne Njeri

Carolyne Njeri

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The United Arab Emirates is looking to expand its digital economy in the coming years according to a report by UAE’s state news agency, WAM. This was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, in a meeting with stakeholders in Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking last Monday. This meeting comes just a month after the restructuring of the cabinet to include more opportunities for technological advancements and digitization in the face of COVID-19. 

The expansion is geared to increase the contribution of the digital economy to the country’s GDP from 2019’s 4.3%. According to Zawya, this scheduled growth is in light of the indispensable role that technology plays in the managing and organization of businesses and the coordination of supply chains both locally and internationally.

In his statement, Sheikh Mohammed said that digitization was a priority for the government and that it would not only propel the country forward but also ensure continuity of government functions even under the most adverse circumstances. “The digital economy has proven its efficiency, and the world’s need for it is very obvious during the global health crisis. The digital economy does not need large establishments and significant financial resources. However, it requires minds, ideas and imagination. The future will involve many changes in health, education and trade, and we must be ready,” he added.

During the meeting, also attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai and other high-ranking ministers, such as Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, an all-inclusive plan to provide digital tools and infrastructure to further support UAE through unprecedented global changes was unveiled. Al Olama emphasized the significance of the digital economy in spearheading diversification and sustainability while at the same time cementing UAE’s competitive position in the global digital sphere. 

As a key player in the digital landscape of the country, freelance marketplace is one of the forces behind the growth of the gig economy and remote working in the region. The news of the expansion, as well as the government’s plan to increase employment through the use of digital infrastructure, was well-received since it falls squarely within‘s mandate. In 2020 alone, has secured seed funding in the 7 figures, acquired rival platform Nabbesh and experienced growth in the double digits all amid a pandemic. Therefore, the government’s renewed commitment to the digital economy will without a doubt elevate‘s standing as a top freelancing platform around the world.