Digital technology is an essential pillar of sustainable comprehensive development in the UAE

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Emmanuel de Roqueville, Vice President of Thales in the Middle East, stressed that the UAE uses modern technology, especially digital technology, as a fundamental pillar of the path to comprehensive sustainable development, and pointed out that digitization today is more than ever a plays crucial role in upgrading and accessing local industry to global.

In an exclusive interview with Al Bayan, Rockefeller said that the launch of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy paved the way for the open exchange of knowledge and experience between the UAE and the advanced industrialized countries in the world.

Point out that the company, which has been in the UAE for 45 years and is headquartered in the capital, Abu Dhabi, has more than 460 employees at six locations in the country. He stressed the French company’s zeal to support the growth of national industries and improve their global competitiveness. The following is the text of the interview:

How does digital technology play a role in the development of local industries in the UAE?

The UAE’s industrial exports to foreign markets amounted to 120 billion dirhams ($ 33 ​​billion) in 2021. There is a major development in line with the national strategy for industry and advanced technology, the “300 billion project.”

There is a strong focus in the UAE on modern technology, especially digital technology, which takes the emirate as a pillar of the path of comprehensive sustainable development, and digitization can play a crucial role in upgrading the local industry and around to make it worldwide.

For our part, we have a number of strategic partnerships, including one with HUB 71 incubator to bring expertise out of the industrial world, and consolidate the dynamics of the global technology ecosystem. We see this open exchange of knowledge and experience as very important, as we look forward to building a future we can all trust.

Cyber ​​security

What about the company’s presence in the field of cybersecurity solutions and services?

The company already offers a lot in this field in the GCC countries in general, and in the UAE in particular. We have cooperation with Dubai Electronic Security Center.

The company currently has 11 cyber security centers around the world, including in the UAE, which covers the Middle East. This enables us to provide cyber security solutions and services like the components developed for Route 2020 for the Dubai Metro and many projects in different fields.

The company also provides advanced technological solutions for airports, where airports require strong security, high operational efficiency and an increase in the number of passengers.

In this regard, we have established contactless processes such as “Electronic Gates” or “Fly to Gate”; Airports are working to establish essential, fast and safe routes for travelers, eliminating delays and waiting during inspections, baggage transfers and border controls. Thanks to this essential technology, the passenger can save up to 30% of their boarding time.

In addition, Thales is redesigning the aircraft management and flight management system. By connecting the aircraft in real time, especially with meteorological data, you can continuously control, adapt and refine its runway for the perfect flight, reduce fuel consumption, increase punctuality and improve passenger and crew comfort.

In its air traffic control and traffic management system, Thales delivers the TOP-Sky system, the most technologically advanced air traffic control system, to the world’s busiest Dubai International Airport. Thales is a world leader in air traffic control technology.

The TOP-Sky system is used by more than 16,000 air traffic controllers in more than 80 countries around the world. In fact, this new technology reduces ownership costs, increases control efficiency and increases flexibility and availability of both Dubai Air Navigation Services and airport customers.

How important is the responsible use and development of digital technology in the areas of social, environmental and security issues?

Technology has extraordinary power and potential to transform our lives, the societies and the economies in which we live.

As new technologies become more powerful and more intuitive, digital transformation is driving the demand for greater commitment to ethical practices. It is essential that the Code of Conduct acts responsibly when using new technologies such as artificial intelligence and biometrics.

This was the premise of the recently published Thales Code of Digital Ethics, which sets out the group’s commitments to three societal challenges: the human dimension of digital technology, safety, security and environmental protection.

From an environmental perspective, we are today at a crucial point in history when the debate on climate change is represented by two very enthusiastic sides. On the one hand we have the technology optimists who believe that technology has all the answers, and on the other hand the technology pessimists who believe that a shrinking low-tech future and an end to growth are the answer to the challenges . we face today.

However, the latter perspective ignores one very important fact, namely that technology is a tool that does what we want it to do. In the last two decades, our priorities have changed.

As engineers and researchers now have the task of finding innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s challenges, technology is increasingly expected to be a major driver of environmental transformation.

digital ethics

How does the Thales Group’s strategy and code of digital ethics translate to the region?

In the Middle East, we are in line with the Group’s objectives with regard to an environmentally sound management strategy. Thales uses his technological expertise to combat global warming, and to be a driving force behind environmental transformation. In fact, we aim to achieve a 35% reduction in carbon emissions by 2023, a 50% reduction by 2030 and 0% by 2040.

As a world leader in flight management and air traffic management systems, the group is developing, for example, runway improvement solutions that will reduce aircraft’s CO2 reduction by up to 10% in the near future.

In addition, the countries in which we operate have made it clear that their commitment has been met, and governments have promoted policies that enable companies to make systematic progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Development Goals (UNSDGs).

With respect to the Thales Code of Digital Ethics, Thales works to accelerate its business plan and further its objectives, achieve greater gender diversity, increase the health and safety of all employees, and continue to adhere to the highest standards of ethics. conduct behavior and compliance, through systematic training and certification, Adoption of a Code of Digital Ethics as a framework for the responsible development and use of digital technologies.

And I would like to make the last point, with the emergence of new technological forces such as artificial intelligence and biometrics, digital transformation is driving the demand for greater commitment to ethical practices. At Thales, we believe that a code of conduct must be in place to act responsibly when using this technology, which raises a number of humanitarian, environmental and security issues.

In the region, we remain committed to Thales’ global standard strategy and we are proud to conduct business with the highest level of integrity.

As part of this, we help make the world safer by increasing the safety and security of our solutions. We place people at the center of digital technology, and encourage a more open world.

What about Thales’ presence and strategy in the Middle East?

Thales has a long history spanning more than 50 years in the Middle East.

We have a complete and well-rounded portfolio in the region and with clients across all sectors, including defense and security, aviation and outer space, transportation, digital identity and security.

Over the years, Thales has been involved with most of the armed forces involved in the region over land, sea and air.

We have a strong presence in the radio communications, radar industry and more in the defense sector. The space industry in the Middle East is also growing rapidly, and we are proud to say that Thales is an integral part of major satellite programs in the region such as Yahsat in the UAE, Nilesat in Egypt and Arabsat in Saudi Arabia, as well as several MoUs in the field of space technology.

Thales provides the latest in-flight entertainment, wireless connection and avionics to major airlines in the Middle East, Emirates, Oman Air, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways and Royal Jordanian Airlines.

Thales offers airport security solutions (Dubai, Muscat and Salalah in Oman and Bahrain) and critical infrastructure solutions such as the Doha commercial port.

Thales also offers digital identity and security solutions for the region: e-ID for the GCC and Jordan. Thales supports this digital transformation, providing mobile payment solutions and EMV cards to more than 40 leading banks and financial institutions in the Middle East, for example.

Furthermore, Thales has collaborated with most of the transport authorities in the region and provided technology for the Dubai Metro and Doha Metro. For the latter, Thales provides advanced signals to monitor communication-based trains.

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