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Dubai Future Foundation and Emirates sign MOU to further drive the aviation sector

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Dubai explores innovative solutions to enhance aviation competitiveness and expand its position as a knowledge-based economy.

Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Emirates, Dubai’s award-winning international airline, to develop innovative solutions and enhance the future-readiness of the UAE’s aviation sector. DFF’s Dubai Future Labs, an applied research lab that designs, develops, and tests cutting-edge robotics and automation technologies, launched in June 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is mandated to drive the innovative project.

In the presence of the H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and senior representatives of the two entities, H. E. Khalfan Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of DFF, and Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates, signed the agreement during a meeting to explore cooperation in employing the latest advanced technologies and innovations in the aviation sector to boost the sector’s contribution to the UAE’s future economy.  

They also discussed developing new operating models and implementing unique ideas to help realize the vision of the UAE’s leadership in accelerating the role of public-private partnerships in shaping this future economy.

H.E. Khalfan Belhoul emphasized that being adequately prepared for future shifts and challenges is a clear indicator of the agility and resilience of the diverse sectors and the dynamism of Dubai and the wider UAE in effectively harnessing emerging opportunities for growth. He commended the ability of the UAE to continuously implement unique and cutting-edge ideas for advanced technology-driven initiatives that enabled the country to develop competitive and high-quality products and solutions.

Designing the Future of the Aviation Sector

The partnership aims to accelerate research and development processes to improve Emirates’ productivity and competitiveness and enhance the UAE’s attractiveness as a leading global destination. In addition, Emirates will endeavor to meet the highest standards of service and prioritize the health, safety, and satisfaction of its passengers while focusing on global trends in the aviation sector as it prepares for future scenarios.

Under this partnership, DFF and Emirates will work together to exchange experiences and best practices. The two entities will support national cadres in implementing innovative projects and are also mandated to organize meetings and workshops to empower teams with the future skills needed to build on the opportunities in the aviation industry. The two parties will also work to facilitate communication with governmental and legislative bodies, as well as established companies and startups at the local and international levels.

Khalfan Belhoul: Testing Phase and Unprecedented Challenges for the Aviation Sector

H. E. Khalfan Belhoul said: “The aviation sector in the UAE, the wider region and around the world has been severely tested over the past year, leading to unprecedented challenges in advancing operational processes and achieving strategic plans. Our partnership with Emirates confirms the importance of supporting this vital sector in continuing to pursue an integrated vision – allowing it to leverage pioneering thinking in reimagining future business models.”

Belhoul added: “The Dubai Future Labs actively engages in researching the application of advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, programming, machine learning, unmanned aircraft, and autonomous vehicles. Dubai Future Labs is committed to working closely with organizations from the public and private sector to shortlist the top solutions and technologies that help them overcome their challenges and harness opportunities for growth.”

Adel Al Redha: Utilizing Emerging Technologies to Further Enhance our Leading Position

For his part, Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airlines, said: “It is essential for us to continue deploying advanced technology and introducing innovative solutions to continue providing the best services to our customers. I have no doubt that our partnership with Dubai Future Foundation will allow us to deploy artificial intelligence and robotics in several fields and further enhance our leading position in the industry.”

A Global Lab for Technology of the Future Part of the Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai Future Labs (DFL) is an applied research laboratory that actively engages in researching, developing, and testing cutting-edge robotics and automation technologies to produce unique products and custom solutions. Dubai Future Labs is committed to enhancing the culture of technological innovation in the UAE by actively participating in knowledge transfer and dissemination across the business, industrial and academic communities with the aim of transforming the way we live and work.