Virtual reality: Three more high-tech ministries added to UAE's mammoth government

Virtual reality: Three more high-tech ministries added to UAE's mammoth government
Three more ministries were added to the UAE's already considerable government this week, including a ministry devoted to artificial intelligence.
2 min read
21 October, 2017
Dubai is attempting to integrate technology into city planning [Getty]
The UAE became the first country to create a ministry devoted solely to artificial intelligence this week, as the Gulf's second-largest economy looks to add to its already considerable-sized government.

In the latest cabinet reshuffle, the UAE announced three new ministries devoted to artificial intelligence, food securities and advanced sciences.

The unorthodox names follow other additions to the UAE cabinet, including ministries happiness, tolerance and youth affairs.

Omar Bin Sultan al-Olama - just 27-years-old - will head the new ministry of artificial intelligence. The announcement comes just days after the UAE unveiled its "strategy for artificial intelligence" in its Centennial 2071 objectives.

The UAE is looking to high-tech industries to help the to move its oil and gas-reliant economy into the future.

After introducing a number of e-government services, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed al-Makhtoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum said AI is "the new wave - after the smart government upon - which all our services, sectors and future infrastructure will rely on".
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In part of its boost to be among the world's most high-tech countries, it has introduced a robot police officer and tested a flying taxi service.

The UAE is also looking to the stars with the creation of a space agency in 2014. Among the tasks undertaken by the space exploration team is the Emirates Mars Mission, which will launch the first ever orbiter to the Red Planet by an Arab or Muslim country.

Experts say the ambitious project is centred on UAE prestige and to make itself known to the world as a leading Arab power.

Down on earth Abu Dhabi has used its considerable resources to boost its influence in the region, playing a lead role in the blockade of Qatar and other disputes.