UAE’s Legislative Lab – World Premiere
January 22, 2019, 6:43 am
HE Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, announced the launch of the world’s first Legislative Lab, during the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils.
During 2018’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils, organised by the UAE Government and the World Economic Forum, HE Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future announced the launch of the first Legislative Lab in the world.
“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, shape it and implement it. In today’s world, governments cannot create the future singularly; it is important to involve everyone from the private sector to youth, international partners and others in creating policies,” Gergawi declared during the opening address.
The Legislative Lab, RegLab, is meant to support technological transformation which can improve productivity of the UAE public sector by at least 20 percent. Improved and updated legislation can contribute $4 trillion in value to the global economic output, he added.
Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, supported the message of the Minister, explaining that even though the global GDP has doubled since 1990, further global integration, while inevitable, must be accompanied by structural reforms that enable greater international cooperation as well as policies that support more inclusive and sustainable societies.
“Globalisation’s future is no longer about physical trade. It is about knowledge, information and technology. Digital trade already accounts for 12 per cent of international trade and data flows are predicted to increase another fivefold by 2022. The result will inevitably be not less globalisation but more, different globalisation,”Brende explained.
The Global Future Councils was the platform where UAE launched three initiatives: the Future Possibilities Report, the Future Possibilists Index, and the Department of Possibilities. These initiatives aim to shed the light on promising and innovative ideas and emerging fields, classify future trends based on key vital sectors around the world, as well as analyze and evaluate proposed ideas.
The Legislative Lab supports the adaptation process to a changing world and UAE’s forward-thinking initiatives and is the first stept of a larger framework. The President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa, issued a federal law authorising the country’s government to grant temporary licences for testing innovations that use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). The law is intended to create a framework for developing and testing legislation to govern the use and applications of AI, 3D printing, and other future technologies.
Defined as a ‘safe test environment for new technologies which will then help to establish future laws about their use’ by Gergawi, RegLab will create a reliable and transparent legislative environment, introduce new legislation or develop existing legislation, regulate the work of advanced technologies products and applications, encourage investment in future sectors by providing a secure legislative environment, supporting the goals of the UAE vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.
In January 2019, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited the Legislative Lab where he witnessed the issuance of the first license for the preparation of legislation for distance learning, Rahal. Rahal is affiliated with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai. The project was developed as part of the 10X Initiative. The permit for setting up distance learning is approved as an academically recognized method for acquiring knowledge.
On the occasion, the Vice-President acknowledged the importance that strong legislation plays in developing a future-proof country.
“The Legislations Lab ensures our vision in the race towards the future. We won’t work to develop futuristic legislations only for the UAE, but we will export it for the world to benefit from it,” Sheikh Mohammed said during his visit at the Legislations Lab. “The UAE pioneers the world in terms of futuristic legislations. Given its achievements, the UAE is able to host all global innovations and creativity,” His Highness added.