CIOMajlis to foster growth with innovation at regional and international levels. Abdulqader: Smartworld committed to drive innovation in line with UAE’s Innovation Strategy. Al Mulla: CIOMajlis to bring CIOs from all sectors in the UAE on a common platform

Dubai, January 28, 2016: Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from public and private sector companies in the UAE will come together on a common platform and take economic growth in the nation to a new level as they share international best practices and explore business solutions in line with the UAE’s Innovation Strategy and the government’s goal to make it the world’s most innovative country by 2021.

According to international experts, CIOs are uniquely positioned to develop and drive innovation, influence changes and deliver innovation strategy, particularly as they are among the few executives involved in all aspects of the business in an enterprise. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the National Innovative Strategy in 2014 to make the country one of the world’s most innovative.

In addition to providing laws supporting innovation, the UAE has been actively taking initiatives to develop government innovation by institutionalising innovative practices as well as encouraging private sector innovation.

CIOMajlis, the first ever initiative in the UAE, has been launched by Smartworld, an Etisalat and Dubai South joint venture company.

Abdulqader Obaid Ali, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Smartworld, said, at the first meeting of the Executive Committee of CIOMajlis: “This pioneering initiative is in line with the UAE’s visionary leadership of driving innovation across all sectors and reflects Smartworld’s commitment to follow the path shown by our wise leaders. Through CIOMajlis our goal is to help businesses in the UAE achieve strong growth not only on a regional but also a global level in a friendly and collaborative environment. It presents a strong opportunity for enterprises to rise up, share and steer positive business outcomes.”

The inaugural meeting of the executive committee included IT heads and Chief Information Officers from public and private sector organisations.

Addressing the Executive Committee meeting, Ahmad Al Mulla, Senior Vice President, Information technology, Emirates Global Aluminium, Chairman of the CIOMajlis, said: “We have received a tremendous response from companies across the UAE, who are keen to be a part of this initiative and drive sustainable growth. The UAE is witnessing tremendous economic progress and businesses here are on the forefront when it comes to their eagerness and willingness to adopt the best international practices. The CIOMajlis will equip them with the insights and right knowledge on how other businesses are using IT to transform their functioning and growth. This initiative will also allow them to plug into a network of the prestige CIO community. The ultimate idea is to empower enterprises with knowledge based on tried and tested methods, enhance efficiencies, and foster growth and innovation throughout the UAE.”

During the CIOMajlis sessions, which will be held every month, the CIOs from across all sectors will exchange best practices, share experiences and explore business solutions.

The Executive Committee announced that the first session of the ‘CIOMajlis’, to be held on February 24, will focus on the ‘Internet of Things’. On a cusp of a high-growth age, the IoT is anticipated to cross $1.3 trillion in spending in 2019, which makes it a highly relevant topic for all industrial segments.

“As we get together to ‘Share, Empower and Grow’, we look forward to a powerful and enriching session with the CIOs sharing their knowledge, experiences and valuable ideas that benefit all members,” added Ali.

By bringing CIOs from different sectors across the UAE on a common platform, CIOMajlis will empower them to drive business growth not only within their own enterprise, but on a macro level.

According to a survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), over 80 percent of CEOs believe that innovation drives efficiencies, impacts revenue growth, brings competitive advantage and is a key driver of organics growth regardless of sector or geography. Another survey, by Deloitte, said global CIOs rate innovation and growth as the top priorities.

Ahmed Ebrahim Al Ahmad, CIO of Nakheel, Thameem Rizvon, Group IT Director of Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, Ajay Rathi, CIO of Meraas, Sabah Al Shamsi, CIO of Dubai Parks, Maisam Zaidi, CIO of ALEC were among those who attended the inaugural executive committee meeting.

Smartworld will involve senior level technology officers from across Energy, Logistics, Finance, health, Aviation, Government, Construction, Oil and Gas, Education and other sectors in the CIOMajlis, for which registrations can be done directly through the website.

CIOMajlis gives it members the opportunity of learning from local and world renowned leaders on topics relevant to them and their businesses as well as participate in local and overseas field trips and educational sessions.