Dubai’s DFL inks trio of deals to drive innovation in aviation & logistics

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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DFL signs agreements
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai witnessing the MoU signing between DFL & DP World | Image Courtesy: Twitter

Dubai Future Labs (DFL), an initiative of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), has signed three preliminary deals with Emirates Airline, DP World, and Dnata in order to drive innovation in the fields of aviation and logistics.

The trio of agreements aim to deploy advanced future technologies across the two vital non-oil sectors for Dubai and the UAE.

The partnerships aim to activate the Dubai Robotics and Automation Program that was launched in September to boost the development, testing, and adoption of robotics and automation (R&A) and accelerate its deployment in key economic sectors.

According to the statement, “The Program focuses on advancing research and development (R&D) in five main areas in the sector – Production, and Manufacturing; Consumer Services and Tourism; Healthcare and Connected Mobility; and Logistics.”

Further, the Program aims to transform Dubai into one of the top 10 global cities for robotics and automation by adopting and developing robotics technologies, empowering national talent, and creating new solutions, products, and services to drive the sector’s growth.

Omar Sultan Al Olama
Omar Sultan Al Olama
UAE Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy, & Remote Work Applications
Deputy MD – DFL

“These three partnerships will contribute to strengthening Dubai and the UAE’s position as a living laboratory for advanced technologies and innovations. These agreements will further advance the leadership’s vision to make our nation a global destination for partnerships, R&D, and innovation that can shape the future. Deploying robotics, automation and future technologies in key sectors enhances economic diversification and raises Dubai’s long-term competitiveness and attractiveness as a platform for launching and growing businesses and enabling international trade with cutting-edge logistical services.”

DFL’s MoU with DP World

The MoU 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.

HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said that, “This MoU is of strategic importance to us 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.”

DFL & Emirates Airline sign MoU

Under the MoU with Emirates Airline, Dubai Future Labs will facilitate various innovative pilot projects including a robot check-in agent that leverages facial recognition and interacts with passengers as well as a robot waiter serving in airport lounges. The introduction of these unique services will enhance customer satisfaction by making the passenger’s airport experience more seamless.

Mr. Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, stated that, “We are delighted to further expand our partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation to deploy innovative robotics solutions, and use advanced technologies and artificial intelligence across our business areas in Emirates Engineering, Dubai International Airport and ramp operations.”

MoU between DFL & dnata

Dubai Future Labs will support dnata in automating and converting its fleet into electric ground support equipment (GSE) and deploying robots to maximize operational and environmental efficiency. The partnership will also support dnata in achieving its strategic objectives and reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030.

“Our partnership with Dubai Future Foundation will accelerate the deployment of cutting-edge technologies across our operations. It will help us further improve productivity and sustainability, and consistently deliver world-class services for our partners, including Dubai Airports and our airline customers. We will continue our investment and efforts to play our part in the next stage of development of Dubai as a leading global transport and cargo hub,” Mr. Steve Allen, CEO of dnata Group noted.

Related: UAE’s dnata enters into partnership with US-based Amex GBT