AI to inject $320bn into MidEast economy by 2030: PwC

The Middle East is expected to account for 2% of the total global benefits from AI in 2030

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AI to inject $320bn into MidEast economy by 2030: PwC The report showed that there are untapped opportunities that could increase the impact of AI in the region.
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 12, 2018

PwC Middle East has forecasted that artificial intelligence (AI) will inject $320bn into the Middle East economy by 2030.

The report showed that there are untapped opportunities that could increase the impact of AI in the region, particularly if governments continue to push the boundaries of innovation and implementation of AI across business and sectors till 2030. The UAE already has AI at the forefront of the government's strategic plans, for instance a smart Dubai Strategy, a Dubai 3D Printing Strategy and a Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy.

Already technological innovations are currently either adoption-ready or in a process for broader implementation. However beyond 2030, AI will impact both the economy and society therefore PwC advises that it is important for the Middle East to be prepared for the future.

The most significant relative gains in the region are expected in the UAE where AI is expected to contribute almost 14% of GDP in 2030, followed by KSA (12.4%), the GCC4 (8.2%) and then Egypt (7.7%).

AI is also expected to make significant gains in construction and manufacturing, and has the potential to bring $100bn to the region's economy by 2030.

Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC Middle East, said:  "In the wake of the fourth industrial revolution, governments and businesses across the Middle East are beginning to realise the shift globally towards AI and advanced technologies. They are faced with a choice between being a part of the technological disruption, or being left behind."

"The potential for AI adoption varies by industry, the difference is driven by factors such as infrastructure and access to skilled labour, which are considered key enabling factors for AI development. The impact on productivity alone will be transformational and disruptive for a region like the Middle East which faces weak productivity levels. Investment in AI technologies could strategically position the region for the years to come and help it move away from its reliance on oil," he added.

On a global scale, AI is expected to contribute up to $15.7trn by 2030.

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