AI could unlock significant economic impact in the MENA region

DUBAI – Google today announced the launch of a new report, The Future of AI in MENA, which provides a high-level perspective on artificial intelligence (AI) developments over the next decade, with particular emphasis on the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Kuwait.

It explores AI investments, industry trends in tourism, transportation, finance, retail, energy, and government services. The report also highlights key policy takeaways that governments should consider when building their AI ecosystems and capabilities.

According to the report, the potential economic impact of AI on the economic growth of the region is significant, the MENA region is expected to bring in US$320 billion by 2030 from the value added by AI. The region has taken the lead in developing national AI strategies that can create a friendly business environment, but they still lack appropriate digital policies, such as in the area of ​​data governance, as well as trust and of security.

Martin Roeske, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The report shows that the responsible development of AI creates massive opportunities to improve the lives of people in the MENA region. and to boost key sectors. economy. To ensure that we reap the benefits of this wave of technological transformation, it takes a joint effort between the private sector, governments and civil society, including investments in infrastructure, people, technology and the development of policies.

Saqr bin Ghalib, Executive Director of the UAE Government’s Office of Artificial Intelligence, stressed that establishing key policies is key to improving artificial intelligence systems in both government and private sectors.

“Rising concept of reliance on AI as a primary driver of systems and businesses ensures accelerating digital transformation in the region,” he said, adding that reports, statistics and data contributes positively to tracking development journey updates and helps to innovate. ways to support the private sector.

“As a result, he ensures continuous improvements in the field of AI by creating and launching initiatives to encourage the use of artificial intelligence in all required areas.”

He pointed out that the world’s first national artificial intelligence strategy is part of the global approach to increase the use of AI technology in future fields.

“This helps to achieve strategy goals and accelerate the implementation of AI-dependent programs and projects.”

“Behind recent successes lies the role governments have played, driving private sector investment and launching comprehensive AI strategies. As the region seeks to write its next chapter, our report highlights the trajectory region’s development agenda, learning experiences and offers pathways to cultivate a safe and thriving AI ecosystem,” said Walter Pasquarelli, Director, Tech & Society, Economist Impact.

Six key sectors stand out as most likely to benefit from the adoption of AI.

1. Governments in the region are taking initiatives to use AI to increase the speed, accessibility and efficiency of government services.

2. The financial services and banking sector is expected to become the industry that spends the most on AI technologies, with a 25% share of all AI investments in the region 3. The travel and tourism industry, which contributes nearly 9% of MENA’s GDP, considers various possible uses of AI, but data transparency in the region remains a significant challenge.

4. The transport sector is expected to contribute to the economies of Egypt and the Gulf and is expected to reach 15% of GDP in 2030.

5. The increase in retail and e-commerce during the pandemic has generated deeper pools of customer data that can be used to optimize AI algorithms and improve customer experience.

6. The impact of AI systems on the energy sector, which has played a major role in the region, is expected to contribute more than 6% to the region’s GDP by 2030.