Omar Al Olama

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Person.png Omar Al Olama  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, royal)
Omar Al Olama.png
Born16 February 1990
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Alma materAmerican University in Dubai, American University in Sharjah
Member ofWEF/Young Global Leaders/2022
Interests • Artificial Intelligence
• 4th Industrial Revolution
United Arab Emirates minister for Artificial Intelligence who participated in developing the UAE's 4th Industrial Revolution Strategy. Wants online "murders" to be punished as crimes.

Omar Sultan Al Olama is Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in the United Arab Emirates. He was appointed in October 2017[1] by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The UAE was the first country to hire a minister for artificial intelligence.[2]

He was selected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2022.

Early life and education

Al Olama was born on 16 February 1990 in Dubai. He has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and Management from the American University in Dubai, and a Diploma in Excellence and Project Management from the American University in Sharjah.[3]


Al Olama’s responsibilities as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence include creating and fostering international efforts in responsibly governing Artificial Intelligence and reflecting the UAE’s vision on ethical use of AI.

Before his ministerial position, Al Olama worked in several sectors including the banking sector, telecommunications, private enterprises and government. Between February 2012 and May 2014, Al Olama was member of the corporate planning at the UAE’s Prime Minister’s Office. From November 2015 to November 2016, he was Deputy Head of Minster’s Office at the UAE’s Prime Minister’s Office. Between December 2015 and October 2017, he was Secretary General of the World Organization of Racing Drones. In November 2017, he was appointed Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation.

Since July 2016, Al Olama has been the Managing Director of the World Government Summit, an annual event held in Dubai.[4] It brings together leaders in government for a global dialogue about governmental process and policies with a focus on the issues of futurism, technology innovation and other topics. The summit acts as a knowledge exchange hub between government officials, thought leaders, policy makers and private sector leaders and as an analysis platform for the future trends, issues and opportunities facing humanity. The summit hosts over 90 speakers from 150 participating countries,[5] along with over 4000 attendees.

During his work in the Future Department at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, AlOlama participated in developing the UAE Centennial 2071 strategy. He also participated in developing the UAE 4th Industrial Revolution Strategy that aims to promote the UAE’s status as a global hub for the 4th Industrial Revolution and develop a national economy based on knowledge, innovation and future technologies. Prior to his appointment, he worked on developing the UAE’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy.[6]


In November 2017, Al Olama was appointed as a member of the working group ‘Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and Society’[7], part of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

UAE and Artificial Intelligence

In October 2017, the UAE Government launched the ‘UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy’. It covers education, transportation, energy, space and technology.[8]

Al Olama said that he believes people who commit "serious crimes" in the metaverse should be punished as real-world criminals. (The UAE punishes witchcraft and rape victims[9][10]). Al Olama said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2022: "If I send you a text on WhatsApp, it's text right? It might terrorize you but to a certain degree it will not create the memories that you will have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from it...But if I come into the metaverse and it's a realistic world that we're talking about in the future and I actually murder you, and you see it ... it actually takes you to a certain extreme where you need to enforce aggressively across the world because everyone agrees that certain things are unacceptable".[11]

Dubai Police are investing heavily in artificial intelligence to help predict crime and accidents, alleviate traffic congestion and even power robocops. Khaled Al Razooqi, head of AI at Dubai Police and a board member of Dubai Smart City, said the city of the future would be led and controlled by an array of intelligent machines. The police force is working on a facial recognition system that will be integrated into more than 10,000 CCTV cameras across the emirate to read people’s behaviour and detect offences.[12]

Colonel Suleiman Al Kaabi said that with the Fourth Industrial Revolution under way, security authorities in the UAE are exploring how to best implement AI to move from an active role to a pre-emptive one. "AI is capable of changing our ideas and vision thanks to a new system that will govern humanity," said , director of innovation and foresight at Abu Dhabi Police. "When borders no longer exist between what is normal and artificial, real and superficial, and human and artificial, AI will put in place mechanisms that can learn, think and take decisions", he said.[13]

On 1 July 2018, Al Olama inaugurated the first UAE AI Summer Camp. 2,200 applications from university students and government executives were received in just 24 hours.[14]


Event Participated in

WEF/Annual Meeting/201922 January 201925 January 2019Switzerland
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