UAE selected by United Nations to host World Data Forum 2018

The organising committee of the UN World Data Forum announced on Wednesday that the UAE as the destination of choice for the event’s second edition in 2018.

Currently in session in Cape Town, South Africa, and attended by over 1500 global data expert, the four-day knowledge event hosts scientists, government officials, private sector leaders and academics to share knowledge, ideas and best practices on gathering valuable data, and how data can support countries’ drive toward achieving UN Sustainable development goals.

Switzerland, Finland, Mexico, UAE and a number of countries applied to host the event’s second cycle in 2018. National bid teams presented the hosting files to UN officials for assessment and evaluation. The World Data Forum organising committee decided, after careful assessment, that the UAE will be the hosting country of the event in 2018.

A team from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) managed UAE’s bid dossier for the forum. The bid file presented UAE’s capability to host and organise large-scale events of all sort of theme and subjects.

Some of the key points highlighted in the bid file is the availability of an advanced infrastructure, a wide area of hotels and high-tech conference facilities that can accommodate the largest events and activities, and served by the world’s top talented event management companies and individuals. In addition to the fact that UAE is ranked as one of the safest countries in the world.

"I am delighted and proud of this achievement," said Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

"I would like to congratulate the UAE leadership and people for this important accomplishment. Selecting the UAE asserts our leadership’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, and hosting the World Data Forum reconfirms the UAE’s growing role within the international community. We aspire that the World Data Forum to become a platform for a global roadmap for excellence in data management and utilization, and to serve the UAE and the entire international community," she added.

"The FCEA team put great efforts into building and presenting a compelling bid file. We were competing against countries that have a long history in hosting highly attended international events. Thankfully, the FCSA team was successful in presenting UAE’s capability to host the World Data Forum, thanks to the nation’s excellent record of accomplishments in hosting similar events and forums that discuss innovation, data and knowledge. We look forward to hosting the World Data Forum in 2018, as it will take us closer to achieving UAE vision 2021 and the sustainable development goals," added Abdulla Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

Welcoming the announcement of the selection, various international officials congratulated the UAE on winning the hosting bid, and expressed their excitement on choosing the UAE as a location for the second edition of the World Data Forum in 2018.

"We at the United Nations Statistics Division are looking forward to working with the colleagues from the United Arab Emirates to organise together an open and inclusive 2nd World Data Forum. This will be a unique opportunity to strengthen data and statistical systems for development not only at the national, but also at the regional and global level," said Stefan Schweinfest, Director, United Nations Statistics Division.

Dr. Pali Lehohla, Statistician-General of the Republic of South Africa and Head of Statistics South Africa and host of the current World Data Forum 2017 stated, "On behalf of Statistics South Africa, the host of the 1st UN World Data Forum, I would like to congratulate Director-General, Abdullah Lootah, as well as the Boards, Advisory Committees, and staff at Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority and all statistics centres as well as the people of the UAE for being selected as the hosts of the 2nd UN World Data Forum. We look forward to continuing the pursuit of prosperity for the planet and its people through the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda (Vision 2030) in your beautiful country during the 2nd UN World Data Forum. We applaud all those involved in bidding for hosting the Forum and wish to let you know that Statistics South Africa is available to assist wherever possible."

"Statistics Denmark is looking forward to participating in the 2nd World Data Forum in Dubai as the event will have a major impact on the region’s production of statistics and strengthen the UAE role in the global statistical community," said Jorgen Elmeskov, Director General, Statistics Denmark.

Ali Mohammad Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme National Security Council said," the UAE is always the pioneer in hosting leading global forums and events, especially ones that discuss knowledge and innovation; and for the UAE to win the hosting of UN Data Forum 2018, this is an important accomplishment for the development of statistics, open and big data fields in the UAE. Fields considered today as one of the most important foundations required for government policy and decision making."

"The UAE proved its ability to host some of the world’s most important knowledge forums that gather the best expertise from around the globe. That is attributed to the ongoing policy adopted by the wise leadership in making science, knowledge and innovation as the basis of social, cultural and economic growth and development," said Rashed Lahej Nasser Said Al Mansouri, Chairman of Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi and Director General of Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC).

"We are proud that we will be able to gather the world’s elite in data and statistics under one roof in the UAE in 2018. Hosting the World Data Forum will be a strong boost for the national agenda, as the event will assert the importance of producing accurate, up-to-date and detailed data on population, health, education, environment and other developmental pillars," said Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani - Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai.

"UAE’s hosting of the World Data Forum reflects the wise leadership’s direction and objective for the UAE to be the number one destination for the world’s best minds and expertise, especially in the fields of data and statistics," said his Excellency Sultan Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Secretary General, Sharjah Executive Council.

"We are proud that the UAE will host the UN World Data Forum in 2018. Being able to gather the world’s top experts in the field of data and statistics will add great value in addressing the challenges the world face in gathering accurate statistics, and we will be able to draw unified roadmaps and methodologies for global statistical standards," said His Excellency Engineer Saeed Saif Al Matrooshi, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Ajman.

"This accomplishment is a step forward in development the statistical ecosystem and providing better data, which is what we constantly work on achieving here in the UAE. Being selected to host the World Data Forum is a great opportunity to support the sustainable development goals 2030, and can also help unify the language that statisticians and data scientists use to produce data," said Humaid bin Rashid bin Humaid Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Executive Council, Um Al Qaiwain.

"The UN Data Forum is a global forum that specialises in data and statistics and the UAE hosting is in 2018 is a great undertaking that will call for the collaboration of all related entities in the UAE to produce a great event, with positive and beneficial outcomes," Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani, Fujairah Emiri Court.

"We are delighted that the UAE will host another global forum on data and invite the worlds’ best data practitioners to the country. This event is a global platform aimed for sharing ideas and proposing innovative initiatives in the field of data management, and confirms data’s vital role in dealing with developmental challenges, and how to utilize this data to fulfil future vision and produce an integrated framework of recommendation, for the purpose of excelling in the field of data," said Dr. Mohammed Abdullatif Khalifa, Secretary General, Executive Council, Ras Al Khaima.

"I am fully confident that the UN World Data Forum 2018 which the UAE will host for the first time, and FCSA will support in organizing, will wittiness exceptional collaboration between some of the world’s statistical offices and work on the continuous enhancement of global statistical frameworks, and devising practical solutions for all the challenges statisticians face. We hope, through this forum, that we will be able to launch new pioneering ideas that can help in the production, publishing and utilization of data in a way that can serve national plans and visions. We would also like to reassure that the Statistical Center- Abu Dhabi is committed via all its resources to the forum success in the UAE in 2018," said Butti Ahmed Mohamed bin Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi.

"The UN World Data Forum is a unique collaboration opportunity for data producers and practitioners, and can serve a great platform to launch new initiatives that can provide better data on health, education, income and other data sets that are critical for successful and sustainable development," said Aref Obaid Al Muhairi, Executive Director, Dubai Statistics Centre.

"We are delighted that the UAE will be hosting UN World Data Forum as it will be a new milestone in the UAE’s journey to a knowledge based economy. Data is one of the most important pillars needed for a successful developmental strategy, which is based on capacity building and intellectual capital," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani, Director-General of the Sharjah Statistics Centre.

"We look forward to participating in this important global event which places the UAE on the global data and statistics map. We congratulate the UAE and its people for this accomplishment, and we are fully committed to playing our role to support this forum and all international forums held in the UAE," said Dr. Ibrahim Saad, General Manager, Fujairah Statistics Centre.