It’s no new fact that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have invested heavily in the future, placing artificial intelligence at the forefront of education, medicine, the automotive industry and more. At present the world is “experiencing the fourth industrial revolution”, as described by the World Economic Forum’s founder, Klaus Schwab in 2016.
In a report by Oxford Insights, an AI consultancy, in partnership with the International Development Research Center (IDRC), it was stated that “The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have all shown strong commitment to developing their AI capabilities. They have been investing heavily in new technology.” As conveyed in the report, the Arab economies are putting a strong focus on maintaining and drawing in “foreign talent and companies”, whilst keeping in mind how the instability of oil prices “could affect investments”.
In order to be able to rely on their own economies, the Arab governments are training and gradually introducing “the full integration of AI systems”, whilst giving the public everything they might need to utilize the systems successfully and effectively.
The significance of AI in the Arab region, was predicted in a study by PwC in 2018, that Artificial Intelligence would contribute USD 320 billion to the Arab economy by 2030. The UAE is already on its way and in full swing when it comes to implementing all things AI, by appointing a minister for AI with plans to integrate AI systems within the educational and healthcare sectors, amongst others. It has been predicted that by 2030, AI will bring in USD 96 billion to the UAE’s economy.
Following the UAE, Saudi Arabia has one of the Arab world’s largest AI contributions, predicted to bring in USD 135.2 billion. PwC’s report also stated that, “The impact could be even larger if governments continue to push the boundaries of innovation and implementation of AI across businesses and sectors.”