Over the past years, Dubai climbed global ranks en route to becoming one of the most innovative cities in the world. A 10 million square feet innovation hub will be created over the next years, while the government actively looks for private partners to help solve future challenges.

“The future will belong to those who dare to take new paths,” Sheik Mohammad said.

Here are the paths Dubai will take in 2018.


In light of the Expo 2020, Dubai ramps up efforts to go green. The government aims to increase green areas tenfold. Also, Dubai will become a cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly city. Last year, pedestrians accounted for 30% of the city’s road deaths. Smart crossings and additional pedestrian bridges will increase safety and convenience.

In addition, the city wants to switch to clean and environmentally friendly fuels and use artificial intelligence. This will increase safety and efficiency of all mobility solutions.


Digital wallets and mobile payment options rose to new heights this year.

According to Statista, the worldwide mobile payment revenue in 2017 is 780$ billion. It is projected to surpass 1$ trillion in the year 2019. But these solutions rely heavily on technology and, above all, safety.

As money goes digital, security will play a bigger role than ever.

One of the key innovations is the development of advanced biometrics.

If your smartphones can be unlocked with your fingerprint, you’re already using a biometric technology. But it does not stop there: face recognition, iris detection, and other audiovisual scanners are all gearing up to ensure a cash-free, secure Dubai.


In early 2017, Dubai has announced its intentions to turn itself into the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020. By using the trending technology, Dubai’s government wants to keep data secure and optimize business decisions.

But there are more benefits…

According to Smart Dubai, a government entity founded to exploit smart technologies, Dubai's blockchain strategy could save 25.1 million man hours, akin to 5.5bn dirhams, or $1.5bn, in savings per year.


After Saudi Arabia became the first country to grant citizenship to a robot, the United Arab Emirates just took Artifical Intelligence preparedness to another level. The government has just appointed a State Minister for Artificial Intelligence.

“We want the UAE to become the world’s most prepared country for artificial intelligence,”

Said Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad. Dubai, for instance, plans to have RoboCops on the streets by 2030. While many experts, most notably Elon Musk, warn about further AI development, the Emirates seem to take a lighter stance on the issue.


With the Internet of Things (IoT) fast rise, all items (not just computer-based devices like smartphones, notebooks or tablets) will be connected to the internet. That enables the most basic devices to communicate with each other.

Fridges will track expiration dates and send the data directly to your phone. Pillboxes will monitor stock levels and inform pharmacies to ship replenishment. Doors will be equipped with smart locks, unlockable via smartphones. Cars will talk to each other, as well as traffic lights, gas stations or service places.

This opens a wide array of new opportunities for healthcare, e-shopping, and other services in the desert city. Think zero waste air conditioning, forward-thinking parking systems or efficient distribution of fresh drinking water.


The Dubai Police has hired a new recruit, scheduled to start by the end of 2017: a self-driving robot car that can scan traffic for anomalies (equipped with a drone to follow targets off road). But also private traffic will see an increase in driverless cars

”By 2030, 25 percent of all transportation trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless. The strategy is projected to generate economic revenues and savings of up to Dh22 billion a year,”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said.