#ICYMI 11/25: UAE Tech & Digital News at a Glance

header image for tech & digital news from across the UAE: issue 7

This week, the UAE launched programmes and funds that expand the country’s mission of becoming self-sufficient. Read more about billion-dirham funds for tech companies, and national AgTech efforts to boost food security.

The outlook for the UAE appears better than ever. Growth in the last quarter of 2021 underpinned by one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, the rebound of the tourism sector, and activities linked to Expo 2020 in Dubai have set the stage for a strong start to 2022. Read about all this and more in the latest edition of our weekly digest of tech & digital news from the UAE.


Dubai continues to march forward 

The Dubai economy is set to grow at a faster pace in 2022, thanks to a push by Expo 2020 and the growing digital economy.  

According to Hamad Buamim, president and chief executive of the Dubai Chamber, trade and the digital economy have already rebounded and are in a better place than they were in 2019. 


A billion dirhams in tech dreams 

Dubai has created a 1 billion AED Future District Fund with the goal of supporting technology companies and getting them listed on the stock exchange of the emirate. 

The funds will help 1000 companies in the next 5 years, said Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Deputy Ruler of Dubai in a tweet.  

Wait, there’s more than one SIRI?

In a major development, The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in the UAE will adopt the Smart Industry Readiness Index (SIRI), a global standard used by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to measure digital improvements. The announcement was made at the GMIS (Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit ) taking place in the UAE.

Are you ready to forget about driving? 

The Middle East’s first driverless ridesharing service is set to start trials planned by Group 42 in Abu Dhabi this month.  

The cars will have a safety officer and will transport passengers between nine different locations, including hotels and malls. 

Etisalat acquires 100% of elGrocer 

Etisalat is set to acquire 100% of elGrocer, an online marketplace for groceries operating across the UAE. The telecom giant tweeted that the move is aimed at diversification, empowering consumers and enhancing engagement through their platforms.

Food (among other things) flying in the air to soon become a common sight 

Dubai has launched a new programme to facilitate drone transportation with the goal of exploring the use of drones in several sectors, including health, security, shipping and food. 

The programme launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, also aims to attract talent as well as local and foreign investments to the drone applications sector.  

AgTech company to bolster the UAE’s food security 

Abu Dhabi AgTech company Silal, is planning to invest $54 million over 2 years in upgrading 80 farms. The goal is to improve sustainable agriculture across local farms and contribute to the national AgTech strategy, helping strengthen the UAE’s food security.

Dubai-based retail group to invest in futuristic logistics hub

The WenChao Group will invest over Dhs735 million in Dubai Industrial City to build a food manufacturing and distribution facility.

The second period of expansion will involve the development of a 4 million square foot vertical farm, which is expected to be completed in 2025.

We’re nice, so we’ve gathered some useful links for you

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