In the past two decades, the augmentation in the Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) and advanced disruptive technologies sector has played a key role in upscaling the social and economic development in the United Arab Emirates (‘UAE’). The AI sector of UAE has vectored a myriad of advanced projects such as the creation of Dubai Internet City, the usage of the renewable city in Masdar City and the Emirates Mars Mission. Fostering the development of these smart technologies such as robotics, blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (‘IoT’) has the potential to further fuel UAE’s economic competitiveness, growth and flexibility.

The UAE is positioning itself at the heart of the AI revolution with the objective of leading the world in terms of future industries, space technologies, alternative energies, medical technologies and information and communication technologies. The Government of the UAE is intensively investing to enhance its position in the field of research and development to assist businesses in creating cutting-edge knowledge which can pilot next-generation products for the global regional market. This conducive environment for business operations and a vision towards the future has made Dubai – one of the seven emirates of the UAE – the third best city to live and work in the world.

Pertinently, Dubai has attracted $21.6-billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (‘FDI’) in the AI and robotics high-end technology sector between 2015 to 2018 making it the global leader in terms of FDI in these two segments. The highest level of investment was by the member-states of the European Union and United States of America to the tune of $5.7 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively. With the AI sector set to contribute approximately 45% of the global economy’s gain by 2030, the Government of UAE has projected the growth of AI in the country to increase approximately 33.5% from 2018 to 2030.

With the advent of AI technology, investment and job opportunities in this sector are expected to rise exponentially. A World Economic Forum Report has predicted the creation of approximately 133 million new jobs in the field of AI and robotics around the world. Correspondingly, about 45% of the existing human work has the potential to transpose into a fully automated service in the Middle East by 2030. In the modern times, the field of AI, robotics, data sciences and machine learning are a red-hot capitalisation opportunity in the UAE with a guaranteed positive return on investment.

AI is the contemporary game changer in the global economy with UAE’s AI Strategy envisioning a smarter, more efficient future which is better equipped to deal with awaiting crises. Despite the existing potential for direct gains in certain sectors, it is noteworthy that the gains will not likely remain concentrated in these sectors due to the burgeoning of disruptive technologies. These direct and indirect impacts of AI are likely to be felt by firms as well as customers and thereby, lead to a proliferation in investment into the AI sector of the world economy.