The UAE’s Artificial intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office, and Mastercard today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and readiness in the region.
With AI playing an increasingly transformational role across society, an initial focus of the partnership will be dedicated to battling financial crime, securing the digital ecosystem and driving inclusive growth in the UAE and beyond.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, emphasised the UAE government's dedicated efforts towards strategic collaborations with the private sector and leading international companies. These collaborations have been recognised as pivotal catalysts for expediting the adoption of artificial intelligence, a crucial component of the nation's journey towards digital advancement and prosperity.
Al Olama pointed out the significance of bilateral cooperation, underscoring the importance of realising the aspirations outlined in the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031. This strategy aims to consolidate the UAE's position as a leading hub for artificial intelligence. Concurrently, it seeks to foster the development of comprehensive technology-driven frameworks within priority sectors.
Furthermore, he praised MasterCard's efforts in adopting artificial intelligence, as well as their inauguration of a global centre dedicated to artificial intelligence and advanced technology within the UAE.
The signing of this partnership comes as Mastercard unveiled its latest global Centre for Advanced AI and Cyber Technology in Dubai. In addition to developing AI-powered solutions to fight financial crime, the Centre will focus on securing the digital ecosystem and driving inclusive growth. It will also serve as a hub to nurture and hire local AI talent, including data engineers and data scientists, with a remit to accelerate AI innovation globally and service customers all around the world from the UAE.
Ajay Bhalla, President, Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, said, “AI plays a critical role in our operations, powering our products and fuelling our network intelligence to improve digital experiences, while reducing financial fraud and risk. The combination of this latest Advanced AI Centre and our partnership with the Government of the UAE will deliver greater value for our customers and ultimately reinforce trust in the digital ecosystem.”
Mastercard's new centre – drawing on the company’s technical knowledge and expertise – will support a new Innovation Hub in the emirate of Dubai. Under this programme, governments and businesses from across the region will collaborate on new efforts to support the continued digital transformation.
Dimitrios Dosis, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, stated, “The UAE is a global leader in developing innovative emerging technologies to foster economic growth and drive digital transformation. For more than 35 years, Mastercard has invested in the UAE to harness the power of technology for the good of the nation. By embracing the power of AI, we usher in the next generation of transformative technology and support the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031.”
The Middle East is undergoing a rapid technological shift. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), investments in digital transformation are expected to double over the next few years in the Middle East. PwC estimates that AI will contribute US$320 billion to the region and more than US$15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. AI has the power to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, including reducing fraud while helping more people access financial services.
This Centre in Dubai is the latest in a series of investments Mastercard has made in Advanced AI, with existing centres in the US, Canada and India. To date, Mastercard has made use of AI most significantly and successfully in its efforts to enhance cybersecurity and user experiences. By applying a sophisticated AI engine, Mastercard protects more than 125 billion transactions from fraud every year – at speed and scale.