Dubai aero taxis by 2026; G42 becomes F1 sponsor
Middle East AI News weekly news digest...
Here’s your weekly Middle East AI News!
Another incredibly busy week and lots of news to share! And it’s shaping up to be another busy year. IDC predicts that digital transformation spending in the META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) region will top $48.8 billion by the end of 2023, as it accounts for a greater and greater share of IT spending.
The World Government Summit (13-15 February) took place in Dubai this week and, of course, AI and emerging tech were a focus throughout the programme! Arguably the biggest news was announced by UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed, promising Dubai flying taxis within three years. We’ve heard Dubai aero taxi plans like this before, so this week I dive into why this flying taxi announcement is different!
There’s plenty of other news below, including a key robotics acquisition by Abu Dhabi’s Edge Group; the UAE;s new 'Industrial Technology Transformation Index'; UAE Central Bank plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC); Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 starts $2 billion blockchain startup fund; and G42’s announcement that it has become a sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One team.
Lastly, you will have heard that UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Al Gergawi interviewed Elon Musk at the World Government Summit yesterday. He talked about AI, being a Twitter CEO and aliens, of course. You can watch the full discussion with Elon here.
Thanks for reading!
UAE urban air mobility set for take-off?
#UAE #UAM - This week, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai revealed via Twitter that the emirate will have flying taxis within three years. Similar announcements have been made in the past, so why is this one different? (Middle East AI News)
UAE Hub71 launches $2 billion to fund blockchain startups
#UAE #Hub71 - Abu Dhabi's Hub71 launches a $2 billion digital asset initiative to grow the Web3, blockchain, and digital asset ecosystem by partnering with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) regulatory body, First Abu Dhabi Bank, blockchain platforms and vcs. (Lara-on-the-block)
Saudi Arabia’s PIF-owned IoT firm partners with Schneider Electric
#Saudi #IoT - Saudi Public Investment Fund-owned Internet of Things Technologies Co., known as iot squared, has partnered with energy automation firm Schneider Electric to tap into the Kingdom’s IoT ecosystem and strengthen its existing R&D capabilities. (Arab News)
UAE to develop AI-powered tutor app for students
#UAE #tutorapps - The UAE Ministry of Education plans to work with tech firms such as Microsoft and OpenAI to integrate the latest #AI technologies into the education sector in the country and create an AI-powered tutor app for students. (Arabian Business)
Cairo University to establish college for robotics and AI
#Egypt #education - Cairo University is to establish a College of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Applications, offering Master of Science degrees and PhDs. The college will initially have three departments: an Artificial Intelligence Department, a Robotics Department, and a Basic Sciences Department. (Egypt Independent)
UAE University team wins first place in Arab IoT & AI Challenge
#UAE IoT - A team of students from the College of Information Technology at the United Arab Emirates University won the first place in the Arab Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence Challenge for their project ' developing a secure password using EEG based Brain Print'. (UAE University)
UAE confirms tech tops national agenda
#UAE #WorldGovernmentSummit - This week's World Government Summit in Dubai reconfirmed #technology's place at the top of the UAE Government agenda. According to the UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs "the power of governments will be measured by their ability to adopt technology”. (Emirates News Agency)
Jordanian tax authority uses AI to audit tax returns
#Jordan #etax - Jordan's Income and Sales Tax Department is using AI to audit tax returns submitted by taxpayers for the first time. Those who submit their tax returns with accurate information are immediately accepted and receive tax reimbursements electronically within a few days after filing. (Jordan News)
UAE AI Office partners with Vista to advance digital economy
#UAE #investment - The UAE’s AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office has announced a partnership with Vista Equity Partners (Vista), a leading global investment firm focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses, to advance the local digital economy. (Emirates News Agency)
Dubai launches robot food delivery pilot
#UAE #dronedelivery - Food delivery robots from online food ordering company Talabat will soon take to the streets of Dubai Silicon Oasis in Dubai as part of a new pilot programme. The delivery robots will serve the residents of Cedre Villas, a gated community in Dubai Silicon Oasis. (The National)
Aramex tests drone and bot delivery service in Dubai
#UAE #dronedelivery - Global logistics company Aramex has tested drone and roadside bot deliveries in Dubai as it explores new delivery technologies. The tests were conducted at the Rochester Institute of Technology in partnership with drone services company Barq EV and U.S. delivery robot startup Kiwibot. (The National)
UAE launches 'Industrial Technology Transformation Index'
#UAE #Industry4 - The UAE’s Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) have launched an Industrial Technology Transformation Index (ITTI), a comprehensive framework to measure the digital maturity and sustainability of factories, and formulate a roadmap for industrial transformation. (Emirates News Agency)
UAE Central Bank launches digital transformation programme
#UAE #banking - The UAE's Central Bank has announced a new programme to accelerate digital transformation in the financial services sector, with initiatives spanning open finance and a new Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) . The new CBDC will be used for both cross-border payments and domestic usage. (The National)
Clarity AI signs MOU with the Saudi Tadawul Group
#Saudi #Tadawul - Clarity AI, the leading global sustainability tech platform, has signed an MOU with the Saudi Tadawul Group, the largest stock exchange in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with a market capitalization nearing $3 trillion, to facilitate the education of Saudi companies. (Zawya)
ADAFSA partners with Khalifa University for AI and IoT
#UAE #foodsafety - Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADFSA) has signed two cooperation agreements with Khalifa University of Science and Technology. The first aims to develop solutions to diversify food import sources using AI, while the second aims to develop smart systems to expand the coverage of inspection and control programs. (Abu Dhabi Media Office)
Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team partners with G42
#UAE #F1 - Abu Dhabi AI and cloud computing company G42 and the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, have announced a multi-year partnership aimed at unleashing the full potential of artificial intelligence. (Zawya)
Presight AI supports UCI World Tour cycling
#UAE #UCI - G42's big data analytics company Presight AI is supporting UCI World Tour cycling through new partnership with the UAE Tour. The company will support the womens and mens UAE Tour via a partnership with the with Abu Dhabi Sports Council. (G42)
EDGE acquires majority stake in Milrem Robotics
#UAE #Estonia #robotics - Abu Dhabi's EDGE Group has acquired a majority stake in Estonia-based Milrem Robotics, a leading European developer of robotics and autonomous systems. The transaction is the largest foreign investment in Estonia’s growing defence industry. (Zawya)
Hydrogen-powered drone to be launched at IDEX
#UAE #Israel #UAV - Israeli company HevenDrones is set to unveil a new hydrogen-powered drone at IDEX in Abu Dhabi later this month, which will have potential uses in construction and the oil and gas sector. (The National)
Thanks for reading Middle East AI News! If you’re not already a subscriber, do subscribe for free to receive this weekly newsletter.