“The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least” – this is an old saying in Arabic, which holds true in the UAE today, where a change to shape the economy right Its going on. For a post-oil world.
By definition, the oil economy is all about scarcity: our “black gold” is valuable because everyone needs it, not everyone has it, and the fear of being harder to find – usually, in the wake of Middle East instability. Because of — that means more selling prices and more petrodollars for us.
But, one day, due to the continuous advance of technology, no one will need oil, or we may not have any more to sell; So, the challenge is, what’s next?
Imagine the new United Arab Emirates: a traditional Muslim state with economic partnership, cross-investment and extensive trade with a country like Israel, following the normalization of relations under the Abrahamic Agreement in 2020.
It is an oil economy that is giving way to a digital economy driven by a strategic, public and private investment in artificial intelligence capabilities across the country, a path we have traveled since 2017, led by the world’s first government for AI. One of the ministries is; And our beautiful Dubai, a tax haven, that, 18 months from now, will have a right-sized corporate tax of 9 percent, without the need to tax our residents’ personal income or capital gains, but guarantee that our The treasure will always be full.
The tax announcement in January surprised some for its timing, but the numbers and strategy are good. The United Arab Emirates’ federal tax of 9 percent is one of the lowest regionally. It will not be levied against micro-businesses, as the limit is a net profit of $100,000, and foreign taxes paid by multinationals can be offset by the UAE, so there is no double taxation.
For the United Arab Emirates, which also adopted an international Saturday-Sunday weekend in January, embracing change is becoming the norm.
Enter AI – With machine learning and autonomous robots, the UAE is launching an education and reengineering campaign to transform the economy into an AI powerhouse.
Omar Al Olma, Minister of State for the Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working Systems, outlined in national strategy document How the country will invest in strong data infrastructure to drive adoption of this sector.
“The future of oil is data,” he said.
The AI plan will add Dh335 billion ($91bn) to annual GDP from new business by 2031 and will drive efficiency gains from eliminating hard labor from millions of jobs, replacing those hours with added value effort. To put that gain into context, the UAE had a GDP of Dh1.5 trillion going into 2020.
It follows the first phase of deepening the digital economy and inviting fintechs to the UAE. Meanwhile, our own companies have emerged to conquer the challenges of the UAE, including writing software to embrace the 200 nationalities held by Emirati residents.
Unicorn-caliber clearance from Souk to Amazon and Careem to Uber also confirms that our technology and market understanding are unmatched. Others are set to be listed on the growing stock exchange this year.
“The UAE government knows that its strength lies in combining a strong vision with active participation – investments, legislation and test beds – for technological innovation,” Mr. Al Olma said.
That is largely due in part to the success of Abu Dhabi Global Markets and the Dubai International Financial Center. These evolved from the creation of sandboxes that market players, fintechs and entrepreneurial software developers could access, allowing them to test the plug-and-play capabilities of their products.
The acceleration was thanks to the federal RegLab initiative, which enables the UAE Cabinet to grant provisional licenses to design and test innovations designed for these regulated environments.
For AI, this meant creating data-sharing programs and allowing open access to shared, standardized AI-ready data collected through a coherent data standard.
A key lever is every city or state agency moving forward by feeding its information in the form of Big Data to ingest and understand machine-learning programs, according to UAE’s AI Guide,
Plus, education about AI at every level, including management-level education and coding courses for 4,000 UAE executives, and by bringing a new K-12 curriculum around data science. From immigration to airports, trains to municipal parking, everything here will be fueled by AI.
One of the leaders in the indigenous R&D and implementation capabilities of this ambitious vision is G42, a UAE-born AI and cloud computing company. The G42 is committed to unleashing AI’s full potential and harnessing it in a big way with stealth. Doing it responsibly is very conscious.
Operating the largest cloud computing infrastructure in the MENA region, G42 is developing expertise in the research, development and use of AI for both the public and private sectors to accelerate progress and tackle society’s most pressing problems. Can go
It is hard to imagine how far our emirates can grow in the next decade. But it’s important to remember how it feels like it did a few years ago, when the UAE refocused on technology; From 2015 to 2018, Dubai booked $21.6bn in technology transfers.
Since then, the Abrahamic Agreements with Israel are already bringing more technology adoption and new ideas home; Several important companies from both countries supported President Isaac Herzog’s visit here in January.
The summit marked such a sea change that Middle East neighbors fighting for instability tried to ruin the day, but they failed because of our strong defense systems. Most importantly, our people wanted this alliance to be successful.
Statistics show just how much we can accomplish – if data is the new oil, business is the flame, tax is the light and it shines back on all of us as we dedicate our knowledge, experience and drive to grow in this exciting future. We do.
Less Arab parable, more 1980s pop, but apt for our seaside desert kingdom: “The future is so bright, I have to wear colors.”
Marwan Abedin is the CEO of Flatres.
Updated: June 06, 2022, at 4:00 am