UAE’s Cutting-Edge Approach Extends to AI-Powered Security
Lario Lovric, CEO of Aldra Alameen Security Services L.L.C., talks to a&s Middle East to uncover how the UAE’s advanced security landscape harmonizes with evolving geopolitical dynamics
Lario Lovric is a security expert, advisor, analyst, and holds a Master’s Degree in Military and Security Science. Despite his ongoing commitments, he has already amassed extensive international experience and an extensive advisory portfolio for various governments in the Middle East and Africa.
Currently, he serves as the CEO of Aldra Alameen Security Services L.L.C., a company offering a significant range of security, advisory services, and government-oriented training. He is also a board member of the Multinational BEL TREND, UAE & EGYPT, a lecturer at security conferences and universities, and an advisor to several multinational companies and governments on homeland security issues.
a&s Middle East: An inevitable question – how do you view the country as a cosmopolitan?
Lovric: The United Arab Emirates is a place characterized by various approaches, frames of reference, and differing value systems. I strive to share my fascination. I’ve been based here for two years now, having moved my business from Europe due to my strategic understanding of the UAE’s future. Beyond economic and demographic factors, its foreign policy and security aspects are truly admirable. Just like any nation, the UAE possesses vast opportunities and potential advantages, which in turn could lead to security challenges.
Security in the UAE is well-structured, organized, and even futuristic in its approach
a&s Middle East: How do you perceive security in the United Arab Emirates?
Lovric: Security in the UAE is well-structured, organized, and even futuristic in its approach. Crime rates are notably low, and instances of muggings and robberies are deplorable.
a&s Middle East: What are your thoughts on private security in the UAE?
Lovric: I can confidently affirm that SIRA, the Dubai-based agency I am personally familiar with, maintains exceptionally high standards. Its operational efficacy is nearly on par with that of European countries.
a&s Middle East: Do you concur with the notion that the UAE is the leader in security in the region?
Lovric: The UAE is undoubtedly a substantial investor in security. One only needs to observe the multitude of security conferences held throughout the year, as well as various military and security expos – some of which rank among the most frequented globally.
a&s Middle East: What does futuristic security entail, and what is your perspective on AI?
Lovric: The UAE stands out as a significant spender on artificial intelligence (AI) globally. Recent market studies reveal that governments of prosperous Gulf oil-producing countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, allocate substantial funds – equivalent to, if not more than, certain European nations – for the advancement of AI-related technologies. This unequivocally underscores AI’s role in shaping futuristic security. Furthermore, the UAE was the first nation in the region to adopt a National AI Foundation strategy in 2017, and it holds the distinction of being the world’s inaugural Ministry for Artificial Intelligence.
a&s Middle East: Can the use of AI infringe upon basic human rights, such as surveillance or manipulation?
Lovric: The utilization of AI-based systems does indeed carry the risk of exacerbating existing injustices, especially in countries lacking robust human rights protection and rule of law frameworks. These countries now channel vast resources into AI development, raising concerns about potential misuse. Preventing malicious actors from exploiting AI for nefarious purposes remains a challenge. AI, in my perspective, encompasses a broad array of digital technologies, ranging from accelerated data processing for analysis to what is referred to as ‘Artificial Generative Intelligence.’
a&s Middle East: How do you collaborate with local security professionals?
Lovric: My interactions have primarily been with government professionals. I’ve encountered many officers who display exceptional competence, fortified by solid and advanced backgrounds. Many of them actively participate in international missions alongside American and European officers. The election of UAE’s Maj. Gen. Ahmed Naser al-Raisi as INTERPOL President in 2021 attests to international recognition.
The UAE is undoubtedly a substantial investor in security. One only needs to observe the multitude of security conferences held throughout the year, as well as various military and security expos – some of which rank among the most frequented globally
a&s Middle East: Addressing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, what does war signify to you?
Lovric: As someone who has participated in two wars, I must emphasize that war stands as humanity’s greatest catastrophe. In this war, diplomacy and the sanctity of life have failed. I would like to highlight two factors: firstly, this conflict isn’t limited to the Russians and Ukrainians; and secondly, it could potentially open the door to another ‘inevitable’ war between China and Taiwan in the near future.
a&s Middle East: What’s your perspective on UAE’s role in this situation?
Lovric: The UAE is displaying astute diplomatic acumen on the international stage. Mediating in the Ukrainian conflict represents an ideal way to bolster diplomacy, transforming the UAE into a global influencer. Notably, one of the earliest significant prisoner exchanges occurred under UAE’s initiative. Additionally, the UAE boasts one of the strongest economies in the Middle East. It’s vital to monitor relationships between neighboring countries and their impact on the broader region. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict, in a paradoxical manner, positively affects the market while activating the named axis’s prosperity.
a&s Middle East: Earlier, you mentioned the China-Taiwan conflict. What’s your take on this?
Lovric: Delving into this matter requires political consideration. Both nations hold global significance in manufacturing, particularly in electronics and recent essential components like chips. Taiwan holds economic and symbolic importance for China. Despite claims that Beijing has no intention of militarily taking over Taiwan, China’s foreign policy encompasses defensive, assertive (through economy), and symbolic dimensions. The UAE, along with international diplomacy, plays a critical role in maintaining peace and preserving the security industry’s integrity.
a&s Middle East: What advice would you offer young students?
Lovric: Embrace advice from mentors, colleagues, and those with greater knowledge and experience in your desired profession. Continuously work on self-improvement through consistent education.