Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to add US$182 billion to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) national economy by 2035, according to new research by management consulting firm Accenture.
The Pivoting with AI: How artificial intelligence can drive diversification in the Middle East report found that AI technology will increase economic growth in Middle Eastern countries by 1.6% by 2035.
According to the study, AI will have the greatest impact on the financial services, healthcare and transport and storage industries, which will see respective US$37 billion, US$22 billion and US$19 billion rises in annual gross value added (GVA). Labour-intensive sectors, such as education and construction, will see a GVA increase of US$6 billion and US$8 billion respectively as people increasingly use AI technology to become more productive.
AI also has the potential to boost Saudi Arabia’s GVA by US$215 billion.
“The level of growth that AI stands to bring to the UAE’s economy is unparalleled,” said Amr Elsaadani, managing director of Accenture’s Financial Services practice in the Middle East and Turkey. “The nation’s leaders already understand the impact of this powerful technology, evidenced by the appointment of the first minister of AI last year. While AI-led growth will be felt across a wide variety of industries, the financial services sector has the most to gain – which isn’t surprising, given that many of its jobs can be significantly augmented with AI and machine learning. In addition, Accenture reports have already shown that banking executives globally are taking action to transform their businesses through the use of AI.”
To capitalise on the predicted growth of AI, Accenture’s report recommends that policy makers aim to grow the local talent pipeline using AI, advocate for a code of ethics, become a global testbed for social AI, prepare the next generation of workers with AI skills, and minimise the impact of labour market dislocation.
“With governments in the region looking to break free from a decades-long dependence on oil, AI can act as a key driver to future growth,” said Elsaadani. “However, to overcome the social and economic challenges that can arise from a shift of this magnitude, governments will have to put in place a robust roadmap to enable their countries to fully reap the rewards of this powerful technology.”
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