According to a report by PwC Middle East, Artificial Intelligence could contribute US$320 billion to Middle East economy in 2030, equivalent to 11% of GDP. The greatest gains from Artificial Intelligence are likely to be in UAE with contribution of up to 13.6% GDP in 2030. This is followed by Saudi Arabia (12.4 per cent), the other GCC countries (8.2 per cent) and then Egypt (7.7 per cent).

Relative to their size, the retail and wholesale trade sector and the public sector (including health and education) stand to experience the most significant contribution from AI.

In what is reckoned to be the fourth industrial revolution, governments and businesses across Middle East are beginning to realize the global shift towards Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. They are faced with a choice to be part of the digital transformation or get left behind. There are greater, untapped opportunities that could extend the impact of AI on the region’s economy, moreover the impact could be even larger if governments continue to push the boundaries of innovation and implementation of AI across businesses.

In the Middle East, UAE is seen as a pioneer in adopting disruptive technologies and has positioned themselves as one of the leaders for AI in the region, and quite possibly the world. The country beat every other nation in the world when they appointed a minister for Artificial Intelligence in 2017. UAE’s AI strategy covers development and application in nine sectors: Transport, health, space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, environment, and traffic. Investment in AI technologies could strategically position the region for the years to come and help it move away from its reliance on oil.

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