Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The government plans to use drones to make deliveries to residents, and has created a prize to encourage innovative uses of drones to improve daily life.

The civilian and commercial drone industry is flourishing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Drones in the UAE are used frequently for collecting information and visuals, surveying land and collecting atmospheric data. The industry has great potential to expand into other fields such as oil and gas, medical, search and rescue and logistics. With the government’s strong support for incorporating drone technology into agency services, the regulatory and commercial aspects of the market are also expected to mature rapidly in the country. The drone industry is predicted to have an economic impact between $8 billion and $10 billion by 2025. The cumulative global market size for defense and commercial drones from 2013 to 2023 is estimated to be about $98 billion, according to Business Insider. Of this, about 12 percent will be purely for commercial and civilian applications.

The UAE government intends to use drones to swiftly deliver government documents such as national ID cards, driver’s licenses, and other permits to residents. This is aligned with the government’s aim to offer distributed services that reach residents, rather than residents having to reach out to the government, as part of the Smart Cities Initiative.

In a bid to further boost the drone industry, the government launched the UAE Drones for Good Award, a $1 million prize showcasing the best use of civilian drones for improving quality of life. The UAE Drones for Good Award is dedicated to transforming the innovative technologies behind civilian drones into practical, realizable solutions for improving daily life for residents.

Many projects are already carried out in the UAE using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, such as aerial thermal imaging and mapping for sustainable development of the environment.