Doha, Qatar: Robust and resilient physical and digital infrastructure is a key enabler for Qatar’s economic development. The country is looking ahead to an era of transformation and growth, which is underpinned by its Third National Development Strategy (NDS-3).

Qatar stands out for its strategic emphasis on AI as a key priority sector. By integrating AI into its NDS-3, it aims to accelerate its economic diversification efforts and establish itself as a leader in AI innovation.

This reflects a broader vision to leverage cutting-edge technologies to enhance its global competitiveness and achieve sustainable development goals, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) stated in its Middle East’s latest Qatar Economy Watch.

Through targeted investments in AI research and applications, and laying a strong foundation of regulations and services, Qatar can continue to position itself as a strategic market within the global technological landscape, demonstrating a commitment to embracing the opportunities presented by the digital age.

Qatar is embedding AI into its national agenda to drive technological sovereignty, economic diversification, and secure leadership in AI innovation. Key strategies include establishing regulatory frameworks, developing sovereign AI infrastructure, forming an AI economic cluster, and applying AI across government and key sectors. These efforts aim to fulfil the country’s NDS-3, enhance global competitiveness, and ensure sustainable development in the digital age.

Four strategic actions have been identified that can fulfil that promise, aligning with the ambitions of the country as part of its NDS-3 and National Digital Agenda (NDA) including - AI regulatory foundation, National sovereign infrastructure, AI economic cluster, and AI government adoption.

Countries in the GCC are actively investing in research and development, policy formulation, and talent cultivation to harness their potential for economic growth and competitive advantage. A race of advanced computing infrastructure and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) is accelerating among nations as they push to build national sovereign capabilities to tap into the power of AI and leverage their wealth of data.

This will enable them to create more robust, and relevant models that fit their needs and reduce their dependence on technology providers. Nations are shaping their National AI strategies and programmes, infusing AI services and solutions into their citizen services, and support capabilities to increase productivity Qatar had put national AI strategy back in 2019 based on six pillars - education, data access, employment, business, research and ethics.

The launch of Al Fanar Arabic artificial intelligence project was announced in the opening address at Qatar Economic Forum 2024 and the country has allocated a package of incentives worth QR9bn to support comprehensive digital transformation. The project will primarily focus on collecting quality data in the Arabic language, contributing to enriching large linguistic models and preserving the Arab identity.

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