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| 12 February, 2018

AI could be key to move the Middle East from its reliance on oil

Investment in AI technologies could strategically position the region for the years to come

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will contribute $320 billion to the Middle East economy by 2030, equivalent to 11% of GDP, according to PwC Middle East. Investment in AI technologies could strategically position the region for the years to come and help it move away from its reliance on oil, according to PwC experts.

The most significant relative gains in the region are expected in the UAE where AI is expected to contribute almost 14% of GDP in 2030, followed by KSA (12.4%). This contribution for KSA and UAE is similar to the contributions estimated by PwC for economies in Southern Europe and Developed Asia.  

The report highlights that the impact of AI could be even larger if governments continue to push the boundaries of innovation and implementation of AI across businesses and sectors between now and 2030.

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Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC Middle East, said: “The potential for AI adoption varies by industry, the difference is driven by factors such as infrastructure and access to skilled labour, which are considered key enabling factors for AI development.

“The impact on productivity alone will be transformational and disruptive for a region like the Middle East which faces weak productivity levels. Investment in AI technologies could strategically position the region for the years to come and help it move away from its reliance on oil.”

Globally, PwC analysis has shown that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined. Of this, labour productivity improvements are expected to account for half of all economic gains to 2030, while increased consumer demand resulting from AI-enabled product enhancements will account for the rest.

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