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UAE’s AI Ambitions: Leading the World by 2031


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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is poised to become a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, leveraging its strategic initiatives and investments to drive significant advancements in the field. The UAE’s vision for AI, as outlined in its National AI Strategy 2031, aims to integrate AI across various sectors, positioning the nation as a frontrunner in AI innovation and application. This comprehensive strategy not only highlights the UAE’s commitment to AI but also underscores its ambition to harness the technology for socio-economic growth, setting a benchmark for other Middle Eastern countries.

The UAE’s AI Strategy and Vision

National AI Strategy 2031

The UAE’s National AI Strategy 2031 is a testament to the country’s forward-thinking approach. This strategy aims to position the UAE among the top AI nations by focusing on integrating AI into key sectors such as healthcare, education, transportation, and government services. The strategy encompasses several initiatives designed to foster AI innovation, enhance the quality of life, and improve government efficiency.

Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence

In a pioneering move, the UAE became the first country to appoint a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in 2017. This appointment underscores the UAE’s dedication to embedding AI at the highest levels of government. The minister’s role involves overseeing AI policies and initiatives, ensuring that they receive the necessary attention and resources to thrive.

Smart Dubai Initiative

The Smart Dubai initiative, launched under the Dubai Future Foundation, aims to transform Dubai into the world’s smartest and happiest city. AI is central to this vision, driving smart governance, efficient resource management, and enhanced quality of life for residents and visitors. The initiative includes a range of AI-powered services and solutions designed to make Dubai a global benchmark for smart cities.

Current AI Engagement and Development

AI Usage and Public Engagement

According to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group (BGC), AI has garnered broad public interest, with a significant portion of the population already using AI-driven tools like ChatGPT. The survey found that 91% of consumers in the UAE are aware of generative AI (GenAI), and 34% actively use these technologies. This high level of engagement reflects the UAE’s robust AI ecosystem and the public’s readiness to embrace AI solutions.

Falcon 2 AI Model

The UAE’s Falcon 2 AI model is a notable initiative aimed at positioning the country at the forefront of AI development. Designed to compete with leading AI models from Meta and OpenAI, Falcon 2 exemplifies the UAE’s commitment to advancing AI capabilities. This initiative not only showcases the UAE’s technical prowess but also its strategic vision to lead in AI innovation globally.

GenAI Interest and Data Modernization

The growing interest in GenAI has spurred organizations in the UAE to explore a variety of AI-enabled business use cases. As Jyoti Lalchandani, Group Vice President & Regional MD, Middle East, Turkey & Africa at CIO Middle East, explains, the interest in GenAI has prompted many data modernization projects. Organizations are examining their data architecture and maturity, leading to increased engagement with specialized business and IT services players.

Impact on Middle Eastern Countries

Economic Growth and Diversification

The UAE’s leadership in AI technology is set to have a significant impact on the broader Middle East region. By pioneering AI advancements, the UAE is creating new economic opportunities and driving diversification efforts. Neighboring countries are likely to follow suit, investing in AI to enhance their own economic growth and competitiveness.

Regional Collaboration and Innovation

The UAE’s AI initiatives could foster greater regional collaboration and innovation. As Middle Eastern countries recognize the potential of AI, they may seek partnerships with the UAE to leverage its expertise and infrastructure. This collaboration could lead to a more interconnected and technologically advanced region, benefiting all participating nations.

Enhanced Public Services and Governance

The UAE’s use of AI in public services and governance serves as a model for other Middle Eastern countries. By adopting similar AI-driven approaches, these countries can improve government efficiency, enhance public services, and increase citizen satisfaction. The UAE’s success in integrating AI into government operations provides a roadmap for others to follow.

National AI Strategy 2031

The UAE’s vision for AI, as embodied in its National AI Strategy 2031, is a bold and ambitious plan to position the country as a global leader in AI technology. Through strategic initiatives, public engagement, and innovative projects like the Falcon 2 AI model, the UAE is set to lead the way in AI advancements. The impact of these efforts will extend beyond the UAE, fostering economic growth, regional collaboration, and enhanced public services throughout the Middle East. As the UAE continues to push the boundaries of AI, it will undoubtedly inspire other nations to embrace the transformative potential of this technology.

M Moiz
M Moiz
M Moiz, is Research Student at Islamabad research Institute and work with THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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