Future Foresight

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Shaping the Future

Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Future is mandated with the portfolio of future of UAE and developing a strategy that ensures all sectors’ readiness for the future’s variabilities. The ministry works on employing the relevant tools to shape the future, which helps governments in forecasting opportunities, trends, challenges and future implications, analyzing their impact, developing innovative solutions and providing alternatives. It is aimed to assist in enhancing precise planning for the future and supporting, guiding and prioritizing preemptive and responsive policies or  initiatives.

The Ministry currently works on building capacity for the future and long-term planning capabilities through series of workshops for "Shaping Future", to support the government entities efforts in developing innovative models for future services and design preemptive flexible strategic plans adjustable to any variabilities. It also aims to promote the utilization of future trends, foresights and challenges in favor of improving the future of government, and constantly reinventing for customer’s expectations fulfillment and satisfaction.

Moreover, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future is assigned with  the post-oil portfolio, and following-up on the programs and policies pertaining to the necessary measures this phase where economic reliance shall be on the advanced industries and scientific research for  a better future for tomorrow’s generations.

UAE Future Foresight Strategy 

The “UAE Future Foresight Strategy” at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, aims at seizing opportunities and anticipating challenges in all of the lively sectors of the UAE, and analyzing them and setting long-term proactive plans on all levels to make future quality achievements, in order to serve the interests of the country.

The strategy involves building future models for the health, educational, developmental, and environmental sectors, the harmonization of the current governmental policies, in addition to building national capacities in the field of future foresighting, establishing international partnership, laboratories and launching research reports on the future of the various sectors in the country.

The strategy aims at setting governmental systems that make foresighting the future a part of the strategic planning in the government, and at launching studies and scenarios to forecast the future of all priority sectors in addition to setting plans and policies based on that.

In addition, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future shall support and coordinate the efforts of foresighting the future and back the future efforts, initiatives, projects and policies of the authorities and follow-up on their implementation, as it shall work on the future strategic studies and reports that will enable the authorities from working on foresighting the future effectively, and harmonize, and follow-up on the government’s plans, programs, policies and legislations with the future trends.

Furthermore, it will work on entrenching the culture of the future in government, as well as spreading awareness about its importance and building capacities and reinforcing the position of the UAE as a global destination for the futures.

On the other hand, the UAE Strategy for the Future focuses on topics that include the priority sectors of: the future of the human and the youth capital, the future of technology and smart systems, the future of sustainability, the environment and the climate change, the future of the infrastructure and the transportations, the future of health, the future of education, the future of sustainable development, the future of positive and happy life environment, the future of energy, the future of economy and economic and commercial security, the future of financial resources, the future of the government and governmental services, the future of international and political relations, the future of water and food safety and the future of e-security.

In building the future capacities, the leadership has instructed the establishment of a strong organizational and material infrastructure in order to build the future and invest in national cadres. In this regards, the government will build capacities to achieve sustainability in the field of future foresight through the introduction of future foresight principles in a simplified way in the school curricula, and through national capacity building scholarships to overseas schools and institutions, as well as through launching tools designed specifically for UAE government and teaching future foresight specializations in the national universities and in the public capacity building programs, in order to fulfill the requirements of all sectors.

UAE as a futures destination, the Ministers will transform their ministries into a model of future ministries, as they will represent the country as ambassadors to the future, and they will exhibit its future leadership in the various fields.

Finally, UAE government will work on positioning UAE as a global destination for the sustainable future, and through the future oriented initiatives and future platforms, such as the World Government Summit, as well as through hosting new global initiatives like the Annual Meetings of the Global Future Councils. In addition, UAE government will also work on developing strategic partnerships with forums and futures think tanks, experts, platforms and networks, as well as universities inside and outside the country.

Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils

The UAE government signed an agreement with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to host the next four editions of the Annual Meeting for Shaping the Future. The first of these meetings will be hosted in Dubai on 13 and 14 November 2016, featuring 50 specialized councils and more than 700 experts with the aim of preparing a clear future agenda to tackle the many challenges the world faces today.

The UAE-WEF partnership will aim to boost efforts of studying and foreseeing the future in a number of vital sectors related to sustainable development, improving life standards, and finding effective solutions to anticipated challenges. The partnership will also help create platforms for the experts of the Global Future Councils to facilitate communication between government organizations, private enterprises, expert houses and consulting firms. These platforms will enable collaboration in building capacity through training courses, workshop, papers and publications related to vital sectors.

As part of its agenda, the Annual Meeting for Shaping the Future will set the fourth industrial revolution as a key topic of discussion. In addition, the sessions will examine challenges in energy, food security, transport, infrastructure, artificial intelligence and other vital sectors. Furthermore, the councils will discuss the future of economic, social and political systems in light of technology integration in human lives and changes in traditional geographical borders.

The outcomes of the Annual Meeting for Shaping the Future in November 2016 will set the agenda for the upcoming WEF annual meeting in Davos, which will bring together 2,000 international leaders. The UAE will chose the councils for education, health, energy, cities of the future, and artificial intelligence.

Future in 60 Minutes

60-minutes dialogue sessions hosting global futurists to share their knowledge and expertise in the field of future foresight. Each session focuses on looking at the future trends in context of the priority sectors of UAE Future Foresight Strategy.  Future in 60 Minutes aims at raising the awareness of UAE government futurists, cultivating the culture of looking forward and providing them with the required knowledge in order enable them to set long term proactive plans and enhance readiness for the future.

The UAE's Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy

In September 2017, the UAE Government launched the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution during the Government’s Annual Meetings.

The Strategy aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and contribute to a competitive national economy based on knowledge, innovation and future technological applications that integrate physical, digital and dynamic biological technologies.

The Strategy embodies the Government’s approach to position the UAE as a leading global model in developing proactive solutions to future challenges, and leveraging the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s technologies and tools to serve society and achieve happiness and wellbeing for community members.

Arab Network for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Arab Network for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an initiative by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, is a hub for multi-stakeholder cooperation between Arab governments to co-develop policy frameworks and advance collaboration in Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.

This Network answers the need for a regional Arab, trusted space where leading start-ups and businesses, policy-makers, regulators, organizations and academia can collaborate.

The Network’s purpose is to develop the partnerships and policies needed to stimulate the enormous potential of science and technology, deliver rapid growth and generate sustainable, positive impact for all.

Emerging technologies will inevitably create challenges that require extensive and effective planning, and government policies will determine the extent to which the benefits are maximized.

‘Tomorrow’s Leaders Make the Future’ Initiative

In cooperation with some of the country’s schools, the UAE Government launched an initiative titled ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders Make the Future’. The initiative falls in line with the activities of the UAE’s Government annual meetings in 2017 and aims to involve future generation in visualizing scenarios that will shape the UAE Centennial 2071 goals.

200 children aged 11-14 years old took part in the initiative. They submitted their drawings that answer questions related to 10 vital future sectors, namely: the future of education and skills; the environment and energy; health; space; cities; artificial intelligence and robotics; transportation; infrastructure; services; the future of society and lifestyles.

Future Foresight Manual

The guide was designed as a tool to enable federal entities involved in future foresight to adopt a unified framework that includes the most developed global tools and trends for future foresight.

The guide aims to shed the light on the concept of future foresight and its importance for the Government. It also seeks to develop the skills and capabilities of government entities to enable them to develop strategies, policies, programs and services based on the outcomes of short, mid-term and long-term future foresight.

The guide provides procedures and tools related to future foresight. It explains the ways to use the optimal tools and means to benefit from outcomes to set forth future strategies, policies, programs, service and strategic decisions.

100 Global Trends for 2050

This book explores the various dimensions of the future and sheds light on the transformations that will affect global intellectual models. It serves as a reference for policy makers concerned with future planning, to help them anticipate and manage change at the political, social, economic and technological levels.

The book includes 9 main themes, with 100 global trends for the year 2050. These include: Natural Resources and Environment; Economy; Infrastructure; Demographic; Security and Defense; Advanced Technologies and Sciences; Government; Citizen; and Knowledge, Skills and Jobs.

Future Foresight Training Program

The Future Foresight Program is provided in collaboration with the University of Oxford. The program aims to qualify a generation of specialists in the fields of future foresight and drawing future scenarios to achieve UAE’s Government vision. It focuses on training the participants on skills of analyzing future options, Scenario Planning and Future Foresting tools in line with Future Foresight Strategy, highlighting the vital sectors in the UAE.

Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 


Resources provided by the Ministry