How will Artificial Intelligence change the Middle East? 1

The humongous influence that artificial intelligence would have on the global economy in the next few decades cannot be refuted. The value potential at stake is limitless from the present point of view, and it has persuaded countries to accept the changing economy and grab the opportunities that artificial intelligence presents.

In the wake of the changing economic landscape of the world and the impeding fourth industrial revolution, governments and businesses across the world are gradually embracing artificial intelligence. A great interest of the global markets lay in the decisions that the Middle East would make.

For centuries, Middle East has remained one of those areas that is rich in resources, but committed to maintaining a rather orthodox approach to social development. The two choices that Middle East has are that they either begin to shift to a more embracing stance regarding artificial intelligence, or are left behind by the world. However, taking into account the sheer economic might of the region, leaving them behind is not an option. Many regions of the geo-political area has begun investing in artificial intelligence. By multiple estimates, Middle East is likely to accrue 2 per cent — which would approximately be equal to US$320 billion — of the total global benefits that stem from artificial intelligence by the year 2030.

At the very forefront of these changing landscape in Middle East are Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (or UAE). Their position as the countries that would transform the way artificial intelligence is used in the Middle East is also substantiated by the fact that they feature in the top 50 countries of the Global Innovation Index 2017.

Potential of Artificial Intelligence

It has been proven that artificial intelligence in every form has the potential to disrupt existing markets. In most situations, the introduction artificial intelligence would lead to the creation of innovative services, and extreme transformation of business models. The first wave of digitisation across the world have been able to showcase the impact that artificial intelligence is likely to have in various industries. Companies, today, are exploring possibilities that were unimaginable prior to artificial intelligence.

The choice of increasing the involvement artificial intelligence has in industries comes hand in hand with the possibility that the top five or top ten companies of the future are most likely unheard of yet. The free reign and democratisation of industries is a significant impact of artificial intelligence that would be difficult to curb.

It is also to be noted that adopting artificial intelligence would allow companies to move forward more swiftly and gain an important position of a key player on the global stage. The untapped opportunities that can be found upon embracing artificial intelligence are immense. Opening up the space for innovation to breathe, would allow entrepreneurs to find their voice and lead to a more vibrant economy. While it is impossible to gauge the economic impact that artificial intelligence would have on the geo-political region in absolute terms, the transformation in no terms is preventable.

Current State of Affairs in the Middle East

Many parts of this extremely powerful geo-political region have already warmed up to the idea of employing artificial intelligence in various industries. The estimated spending on artificial intelligence and other cognitive systems in the Middle East have only grown over the past decade — with an expected growth rate of close to 32 per cent over the next couple of years. The countries that have particularly exhibited a strong commitment to artificial intelligence include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. Multiple businesses in these countries have been investing heavily in the development of new technology.

The growing interest in developing a strong infrastructure that promotes artificial intelligence is also a reaction to the volatility of the oil prices across the globe. This has taken a definitive toll on the economic prospects of the region, urging governments to pursue and develop alternative sources of growth and revenue to ensure economic and social stability to their citizens. Artificial intelligence and the non-oil industries that develop because of it would play an important role in determining the strategic position that the geo-political would secure on the global power scale over the next few years.

Currently, the industries that have adopted artificial intelligence the most include healthcare, education, logistics and manufacturing sector — and, they are likely to lead the way into the future too. While industries in these sectors have registered the most gains from artificial intelligence so far, it is unlikely that other sectors will lag behind for long. The growing affiliation of governments and consumers to companies that make processes easier through automation would mean that all industries would eventually have to adopt artificial intelligence. However, the complete integration of artificial intelligence into every business that operates in the Middle East would require drastic changes in the legislative policies and practices.


The Middle East is a geo-political region that is fraught with political conflicts, but is largely resourceful in terms of their ability to invest new technology. The world will change, and just how Middle East secured a powerful position through their oil reserves, it is unlikely that they would let go of that power in the increasingly automated world. The impact on the world stemming from the integration of artificial intelligence in Middle East industries is yet to be entirely determined. The foray of Middle East into technology has sped up recently, and the potential impact on industries world over is up for guesses.

About Fusion Informatics

We recognise that our clients are from different geo-political regions and have different approaches to the world of technology. Their priorities are distinct and so are their social history. Team of experts at Fusion Informatics are impeccable in establishing a communication channel that allows them to understand the nuances that make them and their needs unique. We are committed to making artificial intelligence accessible. The world is embracing technology, and we are dedicated to ensure that every entrepreneur — new or established — can unleash the potential of technology.