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Technology startups gaining momentum in the UAE

The startup sector is on the brink of emerging as a hot bed for AI, VR and 3D innovation

Technology startups gaining momentum in the UAE
Schroeder: There is a real network effect of talent in the UAE.

THE technology startup sector in Dubai and the UAE is on the brink of emerging as a hot bed for artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and 3D innovation, as government continues to position the country as the technology hub for the Middle East.

Three things are way in favour for Dubai and the UAE as a hub for any technology innovation in the Middle East and other growth markets as the Gulf state continues to show signs of audacious shifts in the rule of law to make innovation and investment in IT ever easier and more reliable, according author of ‘Startup Rising', Chris Schroeder, who will be moderating several panels at GITEX Future Stars, which is running alongside GITEX Technology Week.

"There is a real network effect of talent in the UAE and the best from the region come to the country attracting more of the best to want to come from the Middle East and beyond," he said.

Schroeder continued that Dubai in particular is a hub of startups [which] are creating unique data sets solving unique and large problems [that] are ripe for machine learning.

He said despite the challenges facing entrepreneurs in the Middle East when trying to create an AI startup, the speed and power of what is happening in AI in Silicon Valley is profound, and China as well -so finding differing and scalable paths to maximise these new technologies will be essential. "Many startups will simply partner with US companies, which can be fine," he said.

He acknowledged that a lack of AI skills in the region (and globally) is a massive hurdle to creating artificial intelligence based startup.

That said, Schroeder believes some will partner with existing AI enterprises (as they do with Amazon or Google or Microsoft for cloud capabilities). "Others may build companies globally leveraging the best talent they can find," he said. "But I hope that young people are focusing a great deal on the basic skills for this inevitable future. MENA is no farther behind than most emerging growth markets, but it will take commitment."

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