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Future technology vital for growth of logistics and aviation

Dubai Future Labs signs agreements with Emirates, DP World and dnata, aiming to transform Dubai into one of the top 10 international cities for robotics and automation by adopting and developing advanced technologies.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman, Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dubai Future Foundation, witnessed the signing of three partnership agreements by Dubai Future Labs (DFL), an initiative of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), with Emirates Airlines, DP World, and dnata.

The three agreements aim to deploy advanced future technologies across aviation and logistics—two vital non-oil sectors for Dubai and the UAE. It aims to transform Dubai into one of the top 10 international cities for robotics and automation (R&A) by adopting and developing robotics technologies, empowering national talent, and creating new solutions, products, and services to drive the sector’s growth.

These partnerships aim to activate the Dubai Robotics and Automation Program launched last September to boost the development, testing and adoption of robotics and automation and accelerate its deployment in key economic sectors. The program focuses on advancing research and development (R&D) in five areas in the sector—Production and Manufacturing; Consumer Services and Tourism; Healthcare and Connected Mobility, and Logistics. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Deputy Managing Director, Dubai Future Foundation, Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO, DP World, Adel Ahmed Al Redha, CEO, Emirates Airlines, Steve Allen, Group CEO, dnata Group, and Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation witnessed the signing of the agreements.

Omar Sultan Al Olama said these three partnerships will contribute to strengthening Dubai and the UAE’s position as a living laboratory for advanced technologies and innovations. These pacts will advance the leadership’s vision to make our nation a global destination for partnerships, R&D, and innovation that can shape the future, he said. “Deploying robotics, automation and future technologies in key sectors enhances economic diversification and raises Dubai’s long-term competitiveness as a platform for launching businesses and enabling international trade with cutting-edge logistical services,” the Minister said. Dubai Future Labs’ MoU with DP World includes several phases and projects.

The main project to be undertaken as part of the MoU is aimed at developing smart, autonomous electric vehicles (E-CAVs) for terminal operations that can serve as a more sustainable, reliable, efficient, and safer alternative. The MoU also focuses on promoting R&D in built-for-purpose systems and commercializing it to increase the safety and efficiency of DP World’s global operations, in addition to supporting the group’s carbon reduction and sustainability objectives.

Under the MoU, Dubai Future Labs, will facilitate the research, testing and implementation of new technologies for logistics operations, and develop future technologies that incorporate AI, Robotics, Data Analysis and Blockchain. The solutions planned to be developed include automated and smart systems for transporting, handling, and storing goods across port operations. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the pact is of strategic importance and comes at a time when it is critical to enhance supply chain efficiencies.

“DP World and Dubai Future Foundation will explore the potential for achieving breakthroughs in various fields by integrating with smart government system and spurring development and innovation to transform the UAE into an advanced digital and smart economy. As a leading trade enabler, we are at the forefront of developing and adopting disruptive technologies,” said Sulayem. “Our goal is to cement Dubai’s position as a digitally advanced global trade hub. With our next-generation technologies and solutions, including hyperloop and automated warehouse stacking as well as initiatives such as Dubai Trade, Cargoes, Searates and Digital Freight Alliance, we are indeed reshaping the future of trade and logistics.

Keeping pace with the rapid evolution of technology, we are exploring the deployment of metaverse solutions across our operations to solve realworld supply chain bottlenecks,” he said. Emirates is redoubling efforts to overhaul its warehouse management system by deploying automated solutions. Working with DFL across R&D and R&A projects, Emirates will test and implement initiatives to increase the efficiency of internal processes and advance its sustainability and environmental goals.

The airlines will work with DFL to develop autonomous baggage transport and autonomous pallets for cargo warehousing, helping to make operations safer, and more efficient and reliable. Adel Al Redha said, “We are delighted to expand our partnership to deploy robotics solutions, use advanced technologies and AI across our business areas in Emirates Engineering, Dubai International Airport and ramp operations. This will give Emirates opportunity to gain from DFF’s pool of experts, who will work with practical use cases and knowledge from the airline to enhance day to day ops.”


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