The Unique Innovation Culture of the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a nation that has been able to successfully combine its traditional culture with modern innovation, creating an impressive and unique innovation culture. This innovative spirit has allowed the UAE to become a global leader in various fields, from technology to tourism.

Since the establishment of the UAE in 1971, the nation has made remarkable progress in economic growth and development. In 2020 alone, the UAE was ranked first in the Arab world for innovation according to the Global Innovation Index. It also came in at number 16 globally on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list. Furthermore, according to The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2020, it was ranked first among Arab countries for technological readiness and second for overall competitiveness.

As Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “We must continue our march towards excellence and innovation in all aspects of life so that we can build a better future for our children.” This statement reflects innovation’s importance for the nation’s future success and prosperity.

The UAE’s commitment to developing its culture and economy through innovation has enabled it to become one of the most successful nations in the world today. With its focus on creating a widespread culture of innovation, there is no doubt that this trend will also continue into the future.

This article will explore the history of UAE’s culture and how it has impacted their approach to innovation today.

A Brief History of UAE’s Culture

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Middle East, bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar. It is composed of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Historically, the region was known for its pearl diving industry and trading activities. In 1971, the seven emirates unified to form the UAE. Since then, the nation has experienced rapid economic growth due to its oil reserves and strategic location on the Persian Gulf.

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Today, the UAE is home to over 9 million people and has a GDP of $358 billion. Its currency is the Dirham which has seen steady growth since its inception in 1973. The economy of the UAE is one of the most diversified in the world, with sectors such as finance, tourism and hospitality contributing significantly to its overall success.

The UAE’s commitment to innovation has been instrumental in driving economic progress in recent years. As His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Innovation is not an option but an obligation; it’s not a choice but a commitment that we have made to ourselves”. This commitment has enabled it to become a leader in areas such as renewable energy and space exploration, with projects like Hope Probe mission set to launch later this year.

The UAE’s strong infrastructure and strategic location make it an ideal destination for businesses looking for new opportunities or investors seeking returns on their investments. With initiatives such as Expo 2020 Dubai set to take place later this year and plans for further development underway, this vibrant nation has exciting times ahead.

Vision 2021: A Focus on Innovation

In 2016, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Vision 2021 – a plan to make UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021. The vision focuses on four key pillars: ‘Achieving Excellence’; ‘United in Knowledge’; ‘Preserving Identity’; and ‘Leading in Happiness’. One of the main goals of this plan is to create an innovative economy through encouraging Emiratis to become more involved in research and development projects.

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Vision 2021 is a long-term development plan that seeks to build a strong foundation for future generations. It emphasizes on developing human capital and creating an environment that encourages creativity and innovation among Emiratis. Through this vision, the UAE aims to become a global leader in knowledge-based industries such as technology, healthcare, education and renewable energy sources.

The success of Vision 2021 relies heavily on collaboration between public and private sectors as well as individuals across all ages and backgrounds. By working together towards common goals, we can ensure that our nation continues to grow into a prosperous country that provides its citizens with opportunities and security for years to come.

Combining Tradition with Innovation

The United Arab Emirates is a unique country that has successfully combined traditional customs with modern innovations. This combination of tradition and innovation has enabled the UAE to stay connected with its roots while also embracing new technologies for progress and development. For example, events such as weddings are still celebrated according to traditional customs while modern technology such as zkipster are used for event management purposes. Similarly, educational systems have been developed using computers and smart technologies while still preserving local traditions, such as language classes in schools.

Statistics show that the UAE has 19 museums in Sharjah, 25 innovations implemented in the government departments, and over 1,080 acres of land dedicated to Expo 2020 Dubai. These facts demonstrate how the UAE is able to combine tradition with innovation on a large scale.

Overall, it is clear that the UAE is a unique country that has successfully combined traditional customs with modern innovations. This combination has enabled citizens to stay connected with their roots while also embracing new technologies for progress and development on a large scale.

Factors Influencing Innovation Management

Studies have shown that national culture can directly impact innovation management strategies within organizations based in that country. In particular, cultural characteristics such as collectivism (the belief that individuals should be part of a larger group), tolerance for ambiguity (the ability to accept uncertainty) and risk-taking behaviour can all influence how organizations manage their innovation processes. In addition, leadership styles can also play an important role in fostering an innovative work environment within organizations based in UAE or other Arab countries. Leaders must be willing to take risks and be open-minded when implementing new ideas or technologies if they want their organization to remain competitive in today’s global market.

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Enhancing Innovation Culture for Future Generations

The government of UAE has taken several steps towards enhancing its innovation culture over recent years, including launching initiatives such as National Innovation Strategy, which encourages citizens from all backgrounds (including entrepreneurs) to come up with innovative solutions for various challenges faced by society today such as climate change or poverty alleviation. Additionally, educational institutions have also started introducing courses related to entrepreneurship which help students develop skills needed for starting their own businesses or working at startups which focus on developing new products or services using cutting-edge technologies like AI or blockchain etc. These efforts have enabled UAE citizens from all walks of life to access resources needed for innovating without having any prior experience or knowledge about entrepreneurship or technology-related fields, which could otherwise act as barriers for them when trying to innovate something new.


The United Arab Emirates is a nation that has successfully combined its traditional culture with modern innovations resulting in a unique innovation culture that enables citizens from all backgrounds to access resources needed for innovating without having any prior experience or knowledge about entrepreneurship or technology-related fields. By enhancing its innovation culture, the government hopes that future generations will continue building upon this success story so that they, too, can benefit from this unique combination of tradition and modernity.

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