If you were in charge of a country like the UAE, you’d be forgiven for resting on your laurels. Over the last few decades it has, after all, experienced an incredible economic transformation.
Much of that transformation, however, came off the back of its massive oil reserves. Knowing that oil won’t last forever, the country has increasingly sought to move to a more knowledge-based economy.
As a result, it’s put innovation at the forefront of its national strategy, implementing a number of innovation-centric programmes. Where it’s led, the private sector has followed, building hubs and accelerators.
Both the government and private sectors have also put their weight behind innovation events across the year.
Here are a few of the most prominent of them:
Set to take place in February 2018, National Innovation Month replaces National Innovation Week, which was held in November 2015 and 2016.
Less a single event than a festival of innovative thinking, National Innovation Month is set to include lectures, symposia, awards ceremonies, and a family friendly carnival.
When: February 2018
Where: Across the UAE
Featuring a wide array of high-profile speakers, the Global Innovation Summit aims to provide a “platform for networking, knowledge-sharing and discussion with senior decision makers”.
As well as the conference, the summit features awards for innovators, an exhibition space, and plenty of networking opportunities.
When: 27 September 2017
Where: Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Work 2.0 calls itself “the middle east’s definitive workplace tech, learning and wellbeing event”.
Some of the keynote speakers at the event include Natalie Saiz, Senior Advisor Organisational Change at NASA and Ross Sparkman, Head of Strategic Workforce Planning at Facebook.
Work 2.0 includes four sub-conferences: Learning@Work, Future of Work, HR Tech and Wellness@Work.
The event also features exhibition space, where visitors can experience the “latest cutting edge solutions in enterprise mobility, modern workspace design and much more”.
When: 3-4 October 2017
Where: Le Meridien Conference Centre, Dubai
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), Innovation Arabia “addresses contemporary issues and explores the enormous potential of the Arab nations to accelerate the pace of socio-economic growth and development”.
Now in its eleventh edition, the event is set to include seminars, keynotes from international and local experts, and specialised workshops.
When: 11 – 13 March 2018
Where: Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre
An anchor event during National Innovation Month, the Innovation Live Festival promises “TED-style talks and immersive, futuristic experiences”.
With more than 1 500 attendees expected, the event is set to include innovation spaces, practical bootcamps, and plenty of networking opportunities.
When: 5-6 February 2018
When it comes to innovative practises, SMEs tend to seriously outpace their corporate counterparts. Due to their size, they’re able to take more risks and try out innovative ideas quickly.
That makes the SME World Summit a great place to find some inspiration. Featuring an array of local and international speakers, the event promises to “cherish every innovative mind that seeks to bring change, every leader who aims to rise, and every investor willing to take risks to create value”.
When: 21 March 2018
Where: Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Powered by GITEX Technology Week, the Internet of Things Expo (ioTx) promises attendees the chance to “discover ground breaking technology, watch game-changing plenary talks and experience ready-to-market innovations that will change the future of how we work, connect and live”.
When: 1-3 May 2018
Where: Dubai World Trade Centre
Do you know of any other events we should include on this list? Let us know in the comments section below.