UAE’s march towards a digital future

To further enhance the region’s digital landscape, Sheikh Mohammed has approved the Policy for Quality of Digital Life.

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Published: Wed 27 Jan 2021, 12:07 AM

The UAE has always prioritised digital transformation. Marrying economic development with digital innovation has been a key economic strategy and it’s reassuring to see the country marching towards newer milestones. Its focus on increasing the digital footprint has been vital to enhancing the quality of life in the region. Be it through its many ‘digital-first’ initiatives or a rapid surge in e-participation during the pandemic, the UAE has cemented its place in the global technology race.

To further enhance the region’s digital landscape, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the National Policy for Quality of Digital Life, to enable a safe digital community in the UAE and promote a positive identity through appropriate digital interactions. The new policy covers the UAE’s legacy, digital reputation, respect for others, positive investment, good manners, digital privacy, publishing credibility, responsibility and systems, digital ethics and balanced usage.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasised on the importance of improving the quality of the digital life of the community, by drafting appropriate policies, initiatives and projects that are in tune with the latest local and international developments in the digital world. “We adopted the National Policy for Quality of Digital Life to maintain a healthy and positive digital environment for new generations who spend more time in virtual reality than in the real world,” he said. “Our aim is to make their reality positive, productive and safe.”

The policy is built on four pillars. While the Positive Digital Citizenship Values and Behaviours Code is aligned with the UAE’s ethos of tolerance and pluralism, the Digital Wellbeing Knowledge Platform is aimed at promoting awareness on digital capacities among parents, senior citizens, teachers and people of determination. The Digital Quality of Life initiative by the Ministry of Education attempts to incorporate digital citizenship issues into school curricula. The Sannif Platform helps educate parents on e-games and the possible impact it could have on the children,

The UAE’s response to the pandemic has been a testament to its solid foundations in digital strategy, making social distancing an extremely feasible response, backed by sophisticated infrastructure to carry out remote-working and learning. According to the UN’s specialised agency, ‘new-gen’ technology, such as artificial intelligence, played a vital role in mitigating the spread of the virus. In such a scenario, such policy will help codify digital footprint in a way that makes it more secure, thus paving the way for a digital future.

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