Countries in the Middle East, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, are investing heavily in diversifying their economies using the funds generated from fossil fuel sales. As a result, digital technology will play a significant role in the region’s economic development. Despite the high costs involved in catching up to the US in technology, including building a skilled local workforce and attracting talent from abroad, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have abundant financial resources at their disposal.
This review of 2023 highlights the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) in the Middle East. It includes updates on the progress made at the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, a dedicated AI university in the UAE. Additionally, it features an article on the development of an Arabic Large Language Model in the UAE.
Saudi Arabia is also making progress towards its vision for 2030, aiming to create a vibrant society, a thriving economy independent of fossil fuels, and an ambitious nation.
Smaller economies in the Middle East are also embracing digital transformation. The review includes developments in e-commerce in Kuwait and the introduction of biometric payments. It also explores a major Jordanian bank’s launch of a banking app built on technology inspired by Google.
Overall, the top 10 stories of 2023 in the Middle East showcased the region’s commitment to technology and innovation, as well as its efforts to diversify and adapt to the digital era.