UAE launches first national Cyber Pulse Innovation Centre

The first national cybersecurity innovation centre launches in Abu Dhabi Polytechnic to prepare UAE for future threats and tackle cyber skills gap

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched its first national Cyber Pulse Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi Polytechnic.

The centre aims to produce the next generation of cyber professionals while also protecting UAE citizens and businesses from global threats. 

The launch saw an opening address from His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government, followed by Dr. Ahmad Abdulmanan Alawar, Managing Director, Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, and Liu Jiawei, CEO, Huawei UAE.

H.E. Al-Kuwaiti outlined the importance of cyber security not just in the UAE but in MENA too, explaining how the ‘pulse’ effect can begin in the UAE but spread out across the region. He also cited the human impact of cyber security, helping to protect life-long savings of the older generation while also preventing online bullying for children.

It is the generation currently studying at the Abu Dhabi Polytechnic that can benefit most from the college’s collaborative approach with corporate partners like cyber specialists Huawei, who are backing the centre, along with the UAE’s Cyber Security Council.

Dr Alawar explained how students were not just learning the theory of cybersecurity but gaining real-time expertise in emerging threats and the latest technology – empowering them to “hit the ground running” upon graduation and fill in-demand cyber jobs.

Huawei UAE’s CEO Liu Jiawei emphasised the importance of long-term partnerships and said how the company had grown and evolved in the UAE with such support.

The UAE is looking to boost job opportunities for the Emirati workforce within the private sector and cybersecurity is one area where there is high demand for skilled cyber professionals.

A survey from ISACA – the global professional association and learning organisation with 145,000 members who work in information security, governance, assurance, risk and privacy – said 57% of organisations have cyber security jobs that are not filled, while some estimates put that figure at more than 4 million vacancies worldwide. 

More vendors follow Huawei lead to make cyber students more relevant

Speaking exclusively to Cyber magazine at the launch, H.E. Al-Kuwaiti said: “I would say that the innovation lab at Abu Dhabi Polytechnic is just the start; my vision is to have cyber security labs to be established in most if not all of the institutes of higher learning in the UAE.

“The reason is simple – the plan for capacity building in cybersecurity requires aspiring cybersecurity professionals to have a solid foundation in appreciating the rigour and need to secure the cyberspace. As such, the lab provides an opportunity to be hands-on. 

“After Huawei has led the way, subsequently more vendors are coming on board that will provide a vendor-specific capability enablement that will be very useful from an applied research and learning perspective, and that will make the students more relevant to the industry.”

Read the full exclusive interview with H.E. Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, UAE Government, in the November issue of Business Chief magazine.

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