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Driving an Agile Organization Through an Empowered Workforce at Dubai Future Foundation

May 5, 2020

Dubai Future Foundation, along with its many initiatives, have now fully implemented remote work to ensure the health and safety of their teams. This recent integration comes in response to the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation said: “The challenges that the pandemic has imposed on us have also been an opportunity to test our adaptability and readiness for the future. DFF was one of the first entities to fully implement working remotely by 100 percent to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees while maintaining the highest levels of operational performance, using advanced communication systems and automating all processes.”

For its part, Dubai Future Research, an initiative by the Dubai Future Foundation, continues to issue a series of forward-looking reports that tackle challenges and identifies opportunities arising from the emergence of the novel COVID-19. In cooperation with DFF’s private and public sector partners, the series aims at introducing modern technologies and propose short- and long-term recommendations to support key sector in Dubai and the UAE.

Belhoul added: “Since the early days of COVID-19, we started employing our research capabilities, and our global network of partners to prepare a series of forward-looking reports. Such reports discuss the expected changes in the strategic and vital sectors and come up with practical recommendations that support the work of government and private sector in the UAE and wider region. Moreover, they share insights on how to cope with rapid changes, tackle the challenges and provide solutions to draw proactive, forward-looking plans and strategies.”

Dubai Future Councils, an initiative tasked to share knowledge and expertise to find solutions to challenges, continues to hold virtual meetings to study the challenges and shifts in key sectors and employ the recommendations in support of the implementation of national initiatives.

The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) UAE, an initiative by DFF in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, and a global public-private platform for the collaborative development of technology governance and policy protocols, is reaching out to experts and specialists in the areas of artificial intelligence, precision medicine and blockchain around the world to study opportunities to employ these technological tools in reducing the effects of the spread of the COVID-19 on key sectors.

Commenting on the Foundation’s new work-from-home model, Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and COO praised the remarkable achievements recorded during the past weeks, proving the ability to cope with the changes. This, in turn, reflects Dubai and the UAE’s readiness for the upcoming period because of the advanced infrastructure and forward-looking vision attributed by our leadership.

Dubai Future Academy (DFAc), aimed at empowering leaders of tomorrow, has transitioned to virtual forums for its events and courses in response to COVID-19.  DFAc’s Ramadan Pioneer Series, now in its third edition, is taking place during the Holy Month from April 26th to May 14th, to facilitate knowledge sharing during this time of change. The interactive series convenes futurists, experts and thought leaders to test and share their ideas, and allows the public to interact with pioneers in the UAE and globally.

For his part, Adil ElYacoubi, Chief Strategy Officer at DFF, said that the success of the application of remote work within the Foundation is due to the effectiveness of organizing strategic business units with teams that cooperate actively, effectively and have the flexibility to carry out all their work from a distance.

Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), an initiative that facilitates the collaboration between government entities and private sector organizations with start-ups, has succeeded in switching to the remote work system. This represented a real test of DFF’s ability to implement accelerator programs virtually.

Azzah AlSharhan, Chief of Corporate Affairs at DFF, stressed the importance of developing a new approach in evaluating productivity based on achievements rather than logging in working hours spent in the office; a system that has been proactively and successfully implemented by DFF.

AlSharhan also highlighted that the Foundation launched a number of initiatives to help improve the physical, social, emotional, environmental, and intellectual aspects for employees during the lockdown as part of its continuous efforts to nurture their health, wellbeing and eliminate feelings of loneliness and isolation due to social distancing. Additionally, and with a focus on raising employee’s awareness, DFF has been channeling practical tips and guidelines that help employees maintain a healthy daily routine and continues to organize virtual physical training sessions three times per week, and virtual “hang-out” breaks and meetings with over 110 participants.

DFF continues to publish articles and share scientific content through its Knowledge Dissemination Platforms, as well as, works with government and private entities, startups, and entrepreneurs from around the world to implement a set of projects related to the challenges of the current period through the Dubai 10X initiative. In addition, DFF is coordinating with the legislative authorities in Dubai and the UAE through Regulations Lab to develop a safe and innovative environment for developing future ideas and experimenting with them on the ground.

Dubai Future Labs, on the other hand, supports the efforts of health authorities in the country by employing robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and data to find solutions to the current global crisis.