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October 31st, 2023 | By economictimes.indiatimes.com
Dubai, a city known for its ambition, audacity, and relentless pursuit of the future, is poised at the precipice of a digital revolution led by artificial intelligence (AI). Here’s what prominent figures and experts have to say about this journey:
Jad Haddad, a Partner at Oliver Wyman and a seasoned strategist in digital transformation, underlines the UAE’s proactive stance on AI.
“The UAE has always embraced technological advancement and used it for the betterment of the lives of its residents and the enhancement of the economy. AI is no exception; it has been embraced by the UAE at all levels,” says Haddad.
Government agencies in the UAE have implemented AI-powered services, starting right from the border control process. Haddad explains, “Starting from the minute they enter the country, image analysis technology makes the border control process seamless.”
Farhad Azizi, CEO, Azizi Developments, highlights the significance of the UAE government’s AI strategy launched in 2017, which marked a pioneering move in the region. “Driven by the UAE Centennial 2071 objectives, the strategy is aimed to boost government performance and implement integrated smart digital systems to provide effective solutions,” explained Azizi.
He highlights data from the Boston Consulting Group, which predicts that spending on digital technology, including AI, IoT, blockchain, and robotics, in the UAE over the next three years is expected to reach $20 billion.
Harsh Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer at Shipsy, underscores Dubai’s allure for AI startups. “Dubai offers an ease of doing business particularly the setting up of a business in a few hours with no foreign ownership restrictions, the ability to hire talent from anywhere in the world with no to little immigration restrictions, and low taxation,” Kumar states.
“Another example is the UAE introducing the UAE AI seal (UAI) to recognise high-quality, ethical AI companies, further attracting talent and businesses from around the world,” he added.
This is just the beginning of AI’s integration into government services, with virtual assistants designed to ensure resident happiness.
Haddad’s research reveals impressive statistics. “The UAE has one of the highest rates of awareness of AI, one of the highest levels of trust in AI, and highest levels of usage of AI globally,” he reports. With 51% of the workforce in the UAE using AI and 94% of respondents somewhat familiar with AI, the country’s early AI adoption is translating into more effective and efficient businesses and innovative solutions.
Karim Azar, Regional Vice President of Middle East & Turkey at Cloudera, sheds light on the pivotal role of the government in shaping the AI landscape. “In many ways, the government has been the market maker in the AI space,” Azar observes. “Over decades, the government has pushed the digital transformation agenda in both the public and private sectors.”
Azar explains how this agenda has led to a high level of trust, acting as a catalyst for innovation and digital products and services, resulting in worldclass digital infrastructure and business-friendly data laws and regulations. Moreover, the government’s early adoption of AI has fostered the development and growth of local AI businesses.
Harsh Kumar identifies key sectors where AI startups are making a significant impact. “Those include financial services, particularly trading platforms that have adopted AI trading assistants,” Kumar highlights. “Retail banks have largely automated their customer care, and insurance companies stand to gain significantly from automating claim and fraud management. Large ecommerce and retail companies have adopted advanced search features, personalised offerings, and communications and AI-powered customer care.”
Kumar also notes how small to medium enterprises in the UAE, especially in the creative space, real estate, and other sectors, have been quick to adopt AI to streamline their operations and gain a competitive edge.
Dubai’s ambition to become a global leader in smart cities aligns perfectly with the contributions of AI startups.
Karim Azar emphasises, “Dubai’s government entities actively seek partnerships with innovative startups through various initiatives. These collaborations allow startups to pilot and implement their solutions in real-world urban environments, driving progress towards Dubai’s smart city vision.”
AI startups are at the forefront of urban planning, infrastructure development, and enhancing city layouts. They are creating solutions for data-driven decision-making in critical areas such as traffic management, waste management, and surveillance.
Ali Haider, Regional Director – MEA at Nomadic, provides valuable insights into how AI is transforming travel technology. “Dubai, and indeed the UAE, is a highly digitised, fast-paced, and competitive business environment, and businesses are increasingly learning how technologies that offer comprehensive solutions in one place are particularly valuable,” says Haider.
Nomadic leverages AI capabilities to streamline visa applications and create unique traveller profiles, reducing repetitive data entries and human errors. Haider emphasises the importance of AI in digitising visa application processes, ultimately improving the travel experience.
The future prospects for AI in Dubai are promising, driven by government support and a thriving ecosystem. As outlined in the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, AI is poised to contribute significantly to the UAE economy, with the capacity to generate up to AED 335 billion. The travel landscape is one industry that AI is significantly transforming, particularly with the resurgence of business and leisure travel in Dubai.
In conclusion, Dubai’s rapid embracing of AI is transforming the city into a global AI powerhouse. With government support, a favourable ecosystem, and a focus on smart city initiatives, Dubai is poised to lead the way in AI innovation. Aspiring entrepreneurs entering this dynamic market should stay committed to solving real-world problems and delivering customer value on a global scale. Dubai’s future is AI-driven, and the world is watching as it paves the way for a smarter, more innovative tomorrow.
This article is contributed by Sindhu Kashyap.
Read More Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
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