In recent years, the UAE has become synonymous with advancement and futuristic development. So it comes as no surprise to see the country leading the way with artificial intelligence

The Emirati nation is ranked as the first in the Arab world when it comes to adopting AI in all aspects of life. In the past few years, its officials have been focused on introducing AI technologies to the country.

Steve Case (the famous entrepreneur and co-founder of AOL) in his book “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future” describes the new era we are entering of immense technological advancements that are transforming virtually every non-digital sector of the economy, including education, healthcare, our food system, and beyond.

The First Wave was the creation of the internet and the foundation of our online world.

The Second Wave saw companies like Google and Facebook build on top of the Internet to create search and social networking capabilities, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram leveraged the smartphone revolution.

We have now reached the third wave: a period in which entrepreneurs will vastly transform major “real world” sectors of the economy like health, education, transportation, energy, and food – and in the process change the way we live our daily lives. Case’s Third Wave is about applying the Internet and technology, including AI (artificial intelligence) to solve important issues such as hunger, disease and crime.

Here’s how they’ve been succeeding at just that:

The country has a fully-fledged AI strategy

Earlier this year, the UAE Cabinet officially approved an ambitious strategy that aims to help place the country “at the forefront of global efforts to develop artificial intelligence.”

The plan is comprised of eight objectives, “including reaffirming the UAE’s position as a global artificial intelligence (AI) hub, employing AI in customer services and recruiting and training people to work in fields which will be driven by the technology for years to come.”

This strategy is the first of its kind in the world and covers the development and application of advanced technologies in nine sectors including transport, health, space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, environment, and traffic.

The plan also aims to boost government performance in every aspect and taking the country to a new level regarding economy and business.

The UAE recently launched an AI campaign

Earlier this year, the country’s AI Minister announced a “Think AI” initiative.

The campaign aims at accelerating “the adoption of artificial intelligence and its uses in various key strategic sectors” in the UAE. Under it, the country hosted a series of roundtables, workshops, and panel discussions with the participation of field experts from across the world.

The UAE is incorporating AI into healthcare and education

The country is working on incorporating AI technologies and techniques in both its healthcare and education sectors.

When it comes to healthcare, the Gulf country is moving towards revolutionizing the sector via AI. In Dubai, the Health Authority has already outlined a strategy that uses AI and robotics to largely automate surgeries and other procedures.

It’s also integrating AI in aviation and transport Industries

The UAE is taking serious steps to transform its aviation and public transport sectors using AI techniques. The country’s flagship carrier, Emirates, is currently working on developing an AI-powered assistant that will support airline customers from pre-flight to post-flight.

In 2018, the UAE’s aviation authority signed an agreement set to explore the use of AI in the country’s air traffic management.

UAE officials also aim to automate a quarter of the country’s transport systems by 2030. So people in the Emirates could be flying in air taxis in the next few years.

The UAE supports AI startups

Startups working on developing AI technologies and projects find a positive environment for growth across the UAE.

There are 29 registered AI startups in Dubai alone and the city provides them with all they need through innovative initiatives and tech programs.

It aims at relying on AI for its economy in the future

According to research conducted by PwC Middle East, the UAE will hugely benefit from the global technology revolution because it has highly invested in AI.

The field is set to contribute the most amount of money to the country and is estimated to contribute almost 14 percent of the national GDP in 2030, which is equivalent to $96 billion (353 billion dirhams.)

AI transforms operations in different industries

As per the recent studies, AI technology stands to make the greatest impact on industries associated with marketing services, production, and supply chain management. While that being said, the horizon of AI can extend much beyond and has the potential to sway each and every industry out there. Machine learning would make the management systems more effective to automate, predict, and respond with the efficiency that humans can’t.

AI in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has always been ready to embrace innovation in technologies. Augmented reality and predictive analysis tools are already a part of it. With the introduction of AI and machine learning, organizations can keep their inventories lean, impose superior control on costs, implement better planned preventative maintenance measures, etc., to ensure every operation are well-organized and are less prone to errors.

AI in Retail

AI would change the way retail companies deal with their business operations today. The next-gen technology gathers and processes a massive amount of customer data and draw a meaningful conclusion from them. This empowers retailers to create immaculately personalize the shopping experience for the customers and provide emotional responses to their queries. This way, businesses would experience a significant rise in customer loyalty and sales.

Preparing for AI integration across all departments

Although AI in business management solutions is a relatively new concept, organizations are rapidly accepting it. This evolution is sure to have a great advantage in the landscape of the future. However, it also gives rise to the challenge to ensure that the organisations are equipped with necessary strategies and plans to support this technological advancement.


It is clear that the UAE is committed and dedicated to innovation and technology. With Smart Dubai shifting focus away from the traditional sectors the UAE, with the combination of legal support and push for innovation, is poised to become a hub for innovation.

However the spread of AI and IOT raises questions that our laws will need to adequately address: whether it is from a moral perspective, a resource perspective, an emotional perspective or one of innovation.