American University of Sharjah, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Smart cities, United Arab Emirates

AUS launches Certificate in Artificial Intelligence for execs working on smart city projects

An educational course has been launched at the UAE’s American University of Sharjah (AUS) to teach executives how artificial intelligence (AI) can be applied to smart city projects.

AUS’s Centre for Executive and Professional Education (CEPE) has launched the Certificate in AI for Smart Cities.

The course will be delivered by CEPE, in conjunction with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, within AUS’s College of Engineering.

Topics to be covered under the course include Big Data, machine learning, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and blockchain, and cloud computing.

Students do not require prior knowledge of AI, and the course has been designed for mid- to high-level executives from the region.

The introductory course is aimed at professionals working to develop smart cities, and those that want to learn how AI might transform their operations.

AI is expected to help regional stakeholders manage urban development challenges such as energy and water consumption, traffic congestion, and administrative inefficiencies, WAM reported.

“AI has begun a technological revolution, transforming the way we live and do business. If organizations in both the public and private sectors do not embrace AI, then they will be left behind. For the Middle East, the potential of AI is particularly pertinent. With historically low productivity levels and an economic reliance on oil, exploiting AI technologies will allow the region to boost productivity and diversify economically—key goals in the strategic visions of many countries in the Middle East,” said Dr. Fadi Aloul, head of the pepartment of Computer Science and Engineering and instructor of the AI course at AUS.

“This course provides very practical ways for those on the front line of Smart City development to understand and apply new AI technologies. There is real focus on participants being able to relate what they learn in the course to the challenges faced in their smart city projects. We therefore expect to see this course having a real impact on smart city developments over the months ahead.”

According to a  recent report from, AI will likely generate US $15.7 trillion for the global economy by 2030. The same report suggested the UAE will see AI contribute to approximately 14 percent of the GDP by 2030, equivalent to US $96 billion. The report also points out that the impact of AI may be even greater at both the regional and the global level if governments and industry continue to promote and invest in innovations driving AI.

Learn more and apply to the course here. 

Dubai has already launched a number of initiatives that aim to utilise AI, such as setting up the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence to ensure the implementation of the latest technologies across various sectors. Dubai Municipality has also recently revealed plans for an artificial intelligence-led “Wastenizer” project, which transports and processes waste to generate energy.

The UAE is not the only Gulf country actively seeking to implement AI – Saudi Arabia announced plans to build an entirely new city called “NEOM” led by artificial intelligence on the country’s Red Sea coast.

Saudi Arabia has also become the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a robot.