UAE Advances as AI Leader with Strong International Support and Investments

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues its steady march towards realizing its future vision of becoming a global capital for artificial intelligence (AI).

This effort has garnered broad international support, with reports in numerous global publications recognizing it as a leader in this promising field.

Massive investments pouring into the AI sector serve as testimony to the UAE’s commitment to achieving its goals. For instance, Microsoft has recently announced a $1.5 billion investment in G42, a leading UAE-based AI company. This investment is part of the heavy funding directed by the UAE towards this sector.

The UAE’s leadership in AI stems from early governmental efforts in this domain. In 2017, it became the first country in the world to appoint a Minister for Artificial Intelligence, as part of an ambitious strategy aimed at transforming the country into a global AI hub by 2031. Moreover, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, has recently revealed the appointment of 22 Chief AI Officers within the Dubai Government.

This initiative is aligned with a progressive vision to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations.

On another note, the UAE’s achievements in AI are impressive. Last September, the Falcon AI model was launched, hailed as the world’s best open-source large language model (LLM) at the time, surpassing models offered by companies like Meta and Google.

The UAE is experiencing a notable surge in foreign direct investment in software and information technology sectors, according to a report by fDi Markets. Since the beginning of 2022, the UAE has attracted 580 projects and aims to draw more during the current year.

This surge reflects investors’ confidence in the UAE’s potential as a leading regional center for AI technology. Thanks to several factors, FDIMarket anticipates a strong surge in the technology sector in the Middle East, led by the UAE, in the coming years. Predictions suggest the digital economy of the region will grow annually by 20%, reaching approximately $780 billion by 2030, according to UBS Investment Bank.

This growth presents promising investment opportunities for both investors and companies operating in the technology sector, whether startups or established enterprises. The UAE remains an ideal destination for initiating or expanding operations in this promising field.

It is worth noting that the UAE harnesses its capabilities to strengthen its leadership in AI, in line with the “UAE Vision 2031,” aiming to double the GDP to AED 3 trillion ($817 billion). These concerted efforts at the national and Abu Dhabi levels support the growth of the technology sector and digital transformation.

The UAE fully recognizes the pivotal role of AI in the economy of the future. It has set an ambitious vision to become a global leader in this field over the next decade, embodied by the AI strategy launched in 2017. Furthermore, this direction is reinforced through the establishment of the world’s first university dedicated to AI research.

Abu Dhabi also continues its vigorous efforts to become a global capital for artificial intelligence. In January last year, it established the Council for Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology, responsible for research operations and investment strategies in this field. Additionally, the partnership between G42 and Microsoft contributes to accelerating the adoption of advanced AI technologies in the UAE and the Middle East region.

To solidify this leadership and enhance the attractiveness of the UAE as a leading technological destination, the country recognizes the necessity of further investment in the AI sector. These investments serve as a cornerstone for achieving its ambitious economic goals and reinforcing its global position as a center for innovation and technology.

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