The UAE government is implementing the use of robotics and AI. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai is officially the world’s most popular destination for foreign companies looking to invest in smart technologies.

From 2015 to 2018, the emirate attracted a total of $21.6 billion in foreign direct investments for artificial intelligence and robotics, said to be the highest in the world.

Most of the investments came from the European Union and the United States (US), accounting for $5.7 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively.

The figures were released in connection with the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2019, which will be held in Dubai from April 8 to 10. The event is the world’s leading platform for FDI, aimed at facilitating strategic networking and promoting investments.

The UAE is looking to increase capital inflows from foreign companies, to sustain the economy. In late 2018, a UAE decrees was issued to promote and develop the country’s investment environment and attract FDIs in line with national development policies.

According to the law published in the Official Gazette, a foreign direct investment unit is to be established in the Ministry of Economy. This will be “responsible for proposing foreign direct investment policies in the country and determining its priorities, and setting up associated plans and programmes, and work on their implementation following their approval by the UAE cabinet.”

Organisers of the upcoming annual investment meet said the latest data indicate that Dubai is fast emerging as the global destination for investment in smart technologies.

The AI industry’s economic contribution by 2030 is forecast to reach 33.5 per cent locally and 45 per cent globally.

“Digital growth is significant to the growth of the economy. In the UAE, it is in line with UAE Vision 2021, which aims to position the country as a top spot for tech investments,” said Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO of annual investment organizing committee.

“Disruptive technologies like AI, blockchain, internet of things (IoT) boost the productive capacity of countries and also the global GDP. To maximize its benefits, countries need to integrate new avenues that will drive more investments in these solutions,” added Al Shezawi.

Global players in the investment community, as well as high-ranking policy makers, leading academics and celebrated financial experts, are expected to attend at the upcoming annual investment meet.