Dubai 10X Initiative outlines Human Genome Map for Dubai residents

In keeping with Dubai and the UAE’s steadfast commitment to building the future today, government-owned healthcare providers in the emirate consistently outline ambitious plans to modernise their services, deepen their knowledge, guarantee their future-readiness, and lead the region and the world by example.

With that in mind, the Dubai Health Authority,DHA, proposed its "Genome" project for the Dubai 10X Initiative – an ambitious venture overseen by the Dubai Future Foundation,DFF, – in an effort to upgrade skills and knowledge among medical professionals and forecast the future of human health.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of DFF’s Board of Trustees, launched the bold plan, among a bundle of avant-garde proposals for Dubai 10X at the 6th World Government Summit, held in Dubai in February 2018. The Dubai 10X initiative seeks to place Dubai and its Government entities 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors, propelling the emirate into the future by implementing today what other cities around the world will be implementing 10 years from now.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan adopted 26 projects presented by 24 government departments. The shortlisted projects were evaluated by a panel of experts out of a total of more than 160 ideas submitted by 36 parties in less than 365 days.

The Human Genome Project "Genome", seeks to upgrade skills among medical professionals and forecast the future of human health. It perfects gene scanning to detect changes in the genes, chromosomes, and proteins that can lead to genetic diseases, allowing researchers to prevent and eradicate chronic diseases and cancer, and reduce the financial burden for treating chronic diseases, in addition to slowing down the aging process.

Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, DHA’s Chairman of the Board and Director General, said: "Forming genome laboratories in Dubai signals a new phase, where our forecasts for the future of the health and medical services sector begin to materialize. The labs will establish the first national genetic database for future research, lending support to decision-makers as they set plans and strategies for the future of the healthcare sector. This, in turn, ensures Dubai’s global competitiveness and strengthens the knowledge economy."

"When His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai 10X initiative and directed Dubai Government agencies to apply today what other cities will implement 10 years from now, he effectively reinvented government operations, steering them away from repetitive everyday tasks, and towards future successes and sustainable development," Al Qatami added.

"Inspired by the vision and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Health Authority is determined to play its part in ensuring the prosperity of our country," he concluded.

DHA is dedicating ample resources, capacities and efforts to implement the ambitious Genome project, mandating a number of its affiliate organizations to carry out its execution, such as the Department of Pathology & Genetics, and the Dubai Cord Blood and Research Center (DCRC), among others. Furthermore, the Authority formed a committee of genetics experts, drew from prominent international studies and experiments, and outlined potential challenges and solutions to overcome them, all in an effort to ensure the seamless implementation of the project per its approved timeline.

"The Authority is looking to target all residents of the Emirate of Dubai with this groundbreaking project, focusing on UAE nationals in the first phase of implementation," Al Qatami explained. "The project’s timetable extends over 24 months, during which we will be collecting samples, analyzing DNA sequences, and recording the results in the data bank. The following phase involves automated learning and artificial intelligence to issue reports that support research, forecast future disorders and epidemics, and plan preventive measures."

DFF’s CEO Khalfan Belhoul said: "There is a significant shift sweeping across businesses, sectors, and institutions in Dubai. The Dubai 10X initiative has provided unprecedented models for a new generation of government services that will lead the world. The emirate has already surpassed its competition with regards to studying the human genome, owing to DHA’s project, which further cements Dubai’s global competitiveness and leadership in the healthcare sector."

Overseen by the DFF, the Dubai 10X Initiative seeks to place Dubai Government entities 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors, propelling the emirate into the future by implementing today what other cities around the world will be implementing 10 years from now.

Today, government bodies across all sectors are joining in the effort to implement their projects by collaborating with innovative tech companies and expertise, to implement today what other cities will 10 years from now.

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