Innovation in the UAE

“I always encourage our youth towards innovation and to overlook their mistakes. Mistakes are a way of learning and achieving success”.

These were the words of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. In his article Innovate or Stagnate, H.H. notes that

“Countries that grow old face the same fate as outdated companies. Their choices are simple, Innovate or become Irrelevant”

UAE is a vibrant country with a robust and vibrant economy and has been a success story in the MENA region as a whole and the GCC in particular. Recognizing innovation as the prerequisite for the success of the United Arab Emirates and to assure future prosperity of the society as a whole, the leaders of this nation developed a “UAE National Innovation Strategy” (NIS) to maintain its leading position in the region and to further realize its ambition of becoming the most innovative nation in the world. The National Innovation Strategy is focused on seven (7) priority sectors of the UAE economy which are Renewable and Clean Energy, Transportation, Technology, Education, Healthcare, Water and Space. The NIS expects every facet of the UAE society, be it an individual, a private organization or a governmental entity to live by this fundamental doctrine. The NIS was formulated to foster an environment conducive to nurturing innovation of ideas, products and services within businesses under its jurisdiction, within the government itself and the society as a whole.Through the NIS, the leaders of UAE define innovation as a unifying aspiration for individuals, private institutions and governments to achieve. The NIS emphasizes the need for development of creative ideas and introducing new products, services and operations that improve the overall quality of life and happiness of its citizens.

With such an impetus being placed on Innovation within the entire country, I feel there is no better time to develop robust processes within businesses and organizations to nurture the culture of innovation. Offering new and innovative products and services is the only way to sustain competitive advantage over your rivals. We at Ozone Excellence Consulting propose a three step process for companies to follow.

  1. A mechanism to identify the pressures, threats and opportunities facing businesses operating in the current difficult economic conditions.
  2. Develop a process to quickly bring innovative solutions to market.
  3. Continuously improve productivity and process efficiency of the current business operations, to survive and emerge strongly as economic conditions improved