These fishermen get paid by drones, in Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi’s RAK innovative emirate 

We’ve heard much about drones’ potential to revolutionize the logistics industry, solving the pesky “last mile” problem faced by global retail and fulfillment giants like Amazon and FedEx. 

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Photo Credit: lilcrazyfuzzy

In the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, drones are solving a smaller-scale — but no less vexing — problem for the emirate’s intrepid fishermen. They’re delivering those micro-entrepreneurs earnings directly to their doorstep (or boatstep, as it were) without requiring them to make the lengthy journey to the RAK’s central fish market.

Overseen by the emirate’s Fishermen Society, the drone deliveries reduce the amount of precious time that fishermen must spend in transit to market. About 20 far-flung fishermen are now absolved of the obligation to appear at the market in person to receive payment; instead, drones use pre-programmed GPS coordinates to deliver their funds on a weekly or monthly basis, according to their preferred payment schedule. The Fishermen Society sells their wares at specific counters to ensure that their earnings are properly tallied — and remain theirs alone.

Empowering Entrepreneurs in All Corners of RAK

This initiative aligns perfectly with the stated aims of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, the emirate’s most influential foundation: to support the “social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah,” with particular focus on technology- and education-driven solutions that will empower the next generation of RAK leaders.

The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research is unique among quasi-governmental organizations in the UAE for its rigorous adherence to evidence-based practices and solutions. The foundation aims to bridge the often broad gaps between the research community and those on the front lines of implementation: entrepreneurs, educators, and cultural influencers, to name a few. Programs like the Fishermen Society’s “payment by drone” ensure that best practices win out — and that the proverbial rising tide really does lift all boats.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi’s RAK: A Hotbed for Entrepreneurial Innovation

It’s no doubt cool enough that fishermen can now get paid by drone in RAK. But that’s not the only piece of groundbreaking technology that’s likely to help them as they go about their workaday lives.

According to a report in ScoopEmpire, a new app empowers fishermen to identify and protect the protected species they may encounter in the waters off the emirate. Known as “Augmented Reality Measurement,” the app can identify nearly two dozen species of fish found near the emirate. Using the app, fishermen can swiftly determine whether they’re permitted to retain particular specimens under RAK law; in the emirate, retaining endangered fish is a felony.

Notably, the app works in offline mode, ensuring fishermen far off the coast (and beyond the reach of LTE networks) can take full advantage of its capabilities.  

Augmented Reality Measurement is yet another example of the technological leadership RAK and the moral stewardship of His Highness’s foundation. Here’s to more game-changing innovations ahead.


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