Dubai: Dubai added another feather to its cap on Wednesday with the launch of the Dubai Future Academy under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The academy is part of the Dubai Future Foundation’s initiatives, which include the Museum of the Future, the Office of the Future, Mostaqbal Portal, and the Dubai Future Accelerators programme, among others.

The academy introduces three major courses, namely, the Executive Education Programme, Future Design Diploma, and masters in Applied Future Sciences.

These programmes are open to more than 500 participants from the government and private sectors, from the UAE and the region. The academy will also offer a range of minor courses in subjects related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as Blockchain, artificial intelligence, deep learning, biotechnology, etc.

Announcing the official launch of the academy, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation, said, “Launching the Dubai Future Academy is a natural progression from the work undertaken by the Dubai Future Foundation.”

The academy provides integrated future-oriented education and training programmes, Al Gergawi explained, allowing government officials and private-sector professionals in the UAE and the region to increase their awareness of the strategic sectors of the future, which, in turn, improves their abilities to make sound decisions, plan, and formulate strategies for the future.

“The academy’s programmes do not only focus on future planning, but also combine them with design and modelling tools in order to train participants in strategic planning, and enable them to identify future trends and challenges and design solutions for them,” he added.

“Shaikh Mohammad envisioned a process and an equation for the sustainable development of the UAE,” he noted, “anticipating the future and proactively planning for it is the very core of this vision. He called for a future-focused strategy that strives to enable individuals and institutions and to promote a future outlook in the UAE.”

Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said that the launch of Dubai Future Academy adds to the Foundation’s efforts to prepare individuals and institutions for the future.

Maha Khamis Al Mazeina, Project Manager at Dubai Future Foundation, noted that the programmes offered are all rooted in innovative approaches, and have been designed in partnership with world-class institutions and future experts, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professional Education, the Emeritus Institute of Management, THNK School of Creative Leadership and the Changeist group, as well as faculty that teach at Duke University, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, the Istituto Europeo Design‎in Barcelona, Columbia Business School and Stanford University, all specialists in executive education.

The Executive Education Programme, organised in partnership with THNK School of Creative Leadership that runs an annual programme at Stanford University, aims to spread knowledge and raise awareness around the most prominent global trends in renewable energy, water, transport, education, health, technology, and space.

Meanwhile, the Future Design Diploma will be presented in partnership with the Changeist group, and seeks to enable government leaders, bolster their ability to build the future, helping them enhance their intuitive skills and channel them into formulating solutions for future challenges. Over the course of two years (four semesters), the masters in Applied Future Sciences — organised in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professional Education and the Emeritus Institute of Management– seeks to enable participants to identify future opportunities and formulate scenarios to capitalise on them.

Graduation will require the completion of 11 courses, including understanding and exploring technological innovation, anticipating the future and design, modeling technological solutions, and decision-making and design within changing conditions.

There will also be lectures, discussions, case studies, and practical training, in addition to a range of field and research projects. What is more, a group of prominent speakers and experts will be invited to share their experiences and interact with the Future Academy’s students.