Ladies and Gentlemen,
Firstly on behalf of the UAE Government, allow me to express my deepest condolences and sympathy to the people of Thailand for losing their beloved King. May his soul rest in peace.
It is an honor to be with you today and address this important event within the ITU Telecom World 2016. I am also pleased to be part of these valuable discussions about the digital economy and its challenges and opportunities.
Today, we live in an era that is different from all others in the past. While challenges are still to be there, horizon will be open wide for great achievements if we put hand in hand.
The International Telecommunications Union is the perfect platform to manage the emerging digital ecosystem with its interconnection, flow of information and data exchange.
The world is lucky to have such an organization dedicated to embracing authorities with deep experience in regulating the ICT which HELP for better future of our generations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The question nowadays is:
Do we have the luxury to ignore the value of collaboration and work in silos?
Are we making sure we apply enough innovation in the sector?
Are we developing the right international standards and policies that respond to the fast emerging technologies and tools?
Do we all have the same understanding and methodologies when it comes to big data, open data, interoperability, and internet of things?
Are we doing enough to ensure that everyone in our countries have the right access to the Internet?
Do we have the right plans to provide enough spectrum to cope with the requirements of IoT and Machine-to-Machine communications?
Are we preparing ourselves for the eventual and forthcoming fifth generation (5G)?
Nowadays, the ICT is the mother of all sectors, from health and education/ to economy and sustainable development.
The ICT has made it possible for e-commerce to change the old-fashioned concepts and beliefs. For instance, today the world's largest taxi company owns no vehicles.
The world's most popular media owner creates no content. The most valuable retailer store has no store. The world's largest accommodation provider owns no real estate and even some of the world's biggest telecommunication companies/have no infrastructure of their own.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My country, the UAE will be celebrating its 45th National Day/ in a few days. I am proud to tell you that the spirit of our story is cooperation and unity. This was the culture and directives of our founding fathers that brought together seven small and conflicting emirates into one progressive state now called the United Arab Emirates.
We also believe that the ITU creates the model environment where nations can work together to achieve success for all.
Our active presence within the ITU reflects our interest in pushing forward the value of international cooperation for the benefit of humanity Hence, I am pleased to tell you that we in the UAE are striving to take our ICT infrastructure up to the best of the world standards in order to serve our people and contribute to their happiness.
In one of our latest tokens of international collaboration, we have established the Dubai Future Accelerators, an intensive program that pairs top companies & cutting-edge entrepreneurs with powerful partners in UAE to create breakthrough solutions together.
In the UAE, while entering the smart cities era, we are preparing our future generations to be equipped for the challenges of the future. To achieve this, we launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Program a 1 billion dirham program that is part of Vision 2021 and will be introduced in four stages over five years fully supported by the telecom sector and financed by our national ICT Fund.
On the other hand, as a sign of our quick response to international initiatives we have responded positively and immediately to the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 by integrating those goals within our strategies in all areas: education, health, social, economy, science, environment and industry.
In fact, we have made sustainability one of our key headlines for this phase of national strategy where we are steadily preparing ourselves for the post-oil era.