Dubai becoming the world metropolis for artificial intelligence

71% of UAE investors own AI-related stocks, data shows


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Published: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 6:10 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 11:30 PM

Dubai is increasingly becoming a global centre for artificial intelligence, trend suggest.

Data from eToro shows this is fertile ground in a country with a young and digitally native population already among the early AI adopters. “Our latest retail investor survey showed 71 per cent of UAE investors own AI-related stocks. Whilst a majority are open to it helping manage their investments, showing their high levels of trust and engagement,” Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at eToro, said.

The UAE has taken a significant further step in establishing the country as a leader in the adoption of artificial intelligence technologies.

AI momentum is clear, both in eToro and the wider local economy. “With AI-leader NVIDIA the 5th most owned stock on the platform in the UAE, with the number of holders rising 48 per cent in the past three months. Whilst foreign investors have been accelerating local investments, led by Microsoft’s recent $1.5 billion investment in G42,” Laidler said.

To this end, the metropolis last month pledged to train one million people in AI prompting over the next three years with Dubai Future Foundation overseeing the AI prompt programme. It is the first programme of its kind in the world.

Ben Laidler, Global Markets Strategist at eToro
Ben Laidler, Global Markets Strategist at eToro

The UAE is preparing for the post-oil era and wants to transform itself from an oil state into an AI power. By 2031, 40 per cent of the gross domestic product is to be generated with artificial intelligence. To this end, the UAE is investing billions, has appointed the world’s first Minister of State for AI, is attracting scientists to the Gulf, and is providing massive support for start-ups.

AI prompt engineering is critical to getting the best out of generative AI. It involves understanding the capabilities, limitations, and nuances of AI models and is predicted to be one of the most important skills in the future workplace.

“We want to show people that there is a full spectrum of use cases. Whether you are technical or non-technical, you can utilize these tools,” said Omar Al Olama, the UAE´s Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications. He also highlighted the importance of developing practical prompt engineering skills, as these are crucial for the workforce of tomorrow and for enhancing quality of life through AI.

The UAE is increasingly being courted as a strategic partner by global tech giants. Microsoft, Google, and IBM already took part in the first championship with workshops. However, other companies and countries have also expressed interest in AI collaborations. There has been an AI university in the UAE since 2019 and the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala has set up a $100 billion AI fund.

Microsoft recently invested $1.5 billion in G42, the leading UAE-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology holding company. The US software giant recognizes the Gulf state’s leading role in the development of artificial intelligence: “This strategic investment will enhance the UAE’s position as a global AI hub and provide further opportunities for partners and customers to innovate and grow”.

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