(Dubai Media Office)
Sheikh Hamdan's unique delivery became a talking point among the thousands of visitors.
In a touch of brilliance on Monday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council delivered a speech via hologram to thousands in attendance at the World Government Summit (WGS). And in doing so, he laid to rest the concerns of many who feel technology could soon take the place of the human being.
"It was a touch of genius. By doing that he proved that there is not an 'either/or' solution to embracing technology. What he emphasised is that we need both the digitisation and human element for economies to thrive in the future," Chris Molomo from Botswana told Khaleej Times.
Following the unexpected 30-minute session with a truly 21st century twist, Sheikh Hamdan's unique delivery became a talking point among the thousands of visitors who turned out on day two of WGS.
Emirati resident Meshal Binhussain said after attending the session he was "in awe" of what he witnessed.
"Delivering his speech via virtual reality was a powerful message. He proved today that the UAE government wants to reach everyone, regardless of geographical boundaries. It's like an open invitation to join him in embracing the fourth industrial revolution and it's a look into what's to come in the future."
Also visiting from Botswana was parliament member, Kelebileng Kokoro. Asked about what she thought of the speech, she said it was a "great summation" of what has been a key topic of discussion throughout WGS.
"We have been learning about how technology is shaping the future and there has been a lot of questions about how we can embrace it without displacing us, the human being. So what better way to address these concerns by using tech in this way. He brought the human touch back into it."
At the beginning of the session, like most, Sulaiman Mohammed was expecting Sheikh Hamdan to grace the stage. But what followed instead exceeded all expectation.
"His Higness Sheikh Hamdan is an ambitious man and what he did here today was solid proof of that. It was unexpected, but it struck a chord with everyone in the sense that it was a taste of what is to come in the future."
And for Katherine Treeinnick, a South African student studying at the University of Oxford in the UK, the encounter warranted two words: "mind blowing".
"I didn't actually realist at first that it was a hologram. Only when it flickered slightly did I, and others around me, catch on. There was great excitement. I just think it shows the level of innovation of Dubai and proves it's a real leader in the implementation of technology, more so AI."