ICT Fund apportions funds to projects that develop the UAE's capabilities in the field of information and communication technology. The UAE Government is very eager to use ICT tools not only to deliver services in quick and easy manner but also to provide customised services in the future. Read about investments in ICT and free zones that support the invention and use of ICT.
The UAE's Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority-TDRA set up ICT Fund in 2008. The primary role of the Fund is to apportion funds to projects that develop the UAE's capabilities in the field of information and communication technology. Until 2014, the ICT Fund invested more than AED1.6 billion in various projects in information and communications technology sector including in education and space technology.
ICT in government
The UAE Government is very eager to use ICT tools not only to deliver services in quick and easy manner but also to provide customised services in the future. In 2001, the UAE launched its first eService - the eDirham card - as a mode of payment for government and non-government services.
During the following years, more eServices were added leading to the conception and realisation of the UAE's eGovernment programme.
In May 2013, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed launched the UAE Mobile Government Initiative with the aim to deliver government services to the public round-the-clock through mobile phones, smart devices, kiosks, wearable technologies, drones and robots.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation was established to stimulate and enrich the culture of innovation within the government sector through the development of an integrated innovation framework. The goal is that innovation should become one of the key pillars of the UAE government in line with the vision of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed. which aims to develop government operations and enhance the UAE's competitiveness, making the UAE one of the most innovative governments around the world.
Moreover, Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi Government company, is investing in a global portfolio of world-class information and communications technology assets, and providing high-tech employment opportunities in IT, technology, telecoms and satellite operations.
Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (Gitex) is an annual event held in Dubai. The event brings participation of companies presenting the latest in ICT technology. The event is complemented with a conference that provides a platform for discussing ICT related topics. Gitex is hugely popular amongst exhibitors and visitors in the region. Regional governments too participate in it.
Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC)
GISEC is an annual event held in Dubai. It is considered the region's most established and influential cybersecurity and cybertech exhibition and conference.
One of the first steps was setting up free zones such as Dubai Internet City (in 1999) and Dubai Media City (in 2000) to support technology companies in the UAE and boost technological advancements and economic growth in the UAE and the Middle East. Later, Dubai Silicon Oasis was established.
Today, there are several free zones in the UAE that make publishing through modern information and communication technology possible. Some of the free zones are: