Dubai: Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to boost total economic growth in the UAE and Saudi Arabia by $397 billion (Dh1.46 billion) by 2035, an Accenture report shows.
The report looked at 15 industries in the UAE and 13 in Saudi Arabia to determine the potential sector-specific impact of AI on the economies of the Middle East.
In the UAE, AI has the potential to boost economic growth in the UAE by 1.6 percentage points and add $182 billion to their annual gross value added (GVA), which measures the output value of all goods and services in a sector by 2035.
The research found AI will have the greatest impact on the financial services, healthcare, and transport and storage industries in the UAE, with increases of $37 billion, $22 billion and $19 billion, respectively, in GVA.
Even the labour-intensive sectors of education and construction will see increases of $6 billion and $8 billion, respectively, in their GVA over the same period, with AI enabling people to be more productive, thus leading to gains in profitability.
“The level of growth that AI stands to bring to the UAE’s economy is unparalleled,” said Amr Al Saadani, managing director of Accenture’s Financial Services practice in the Middle East and Turkey.
He said the nation’s leaders already understand the impact of this powerful technology, evidenced by the appointment of the first Minister of AI last year.
In Saudi Arabia, AI is expected to increase GVA by $215 billion and boost profitability by an average of 38 per cent, leading to an economic boost of $14 trillion by 2035.
While AI-led growth will be felt across a wide variety of industries, Al Saadani said the financial services sector has the most to gain — which isn’t surprising, given that many of its jobs can be significantly augmented with AI and machine learning.
Moreover, Accenture have shown that banking executives globally are taking action to transform their businesses through the use of AI.
The report identifies five key strategies for policymakers to consider when looking to implement AI: growing the local talent pipeline using AI; advocating for a code of ethics for AI; becoming the global test bed for social AI; preparing the next generation of workers for the AI future; and minimising the impact of labour market dislocation.
“With governments in the region looking to break free from a decades-long dependence on oil, AI can act as a key driver to future growth,” Al Saadani said.
“However, to overcome the social and economic challenges that can arise from a shift of this magnitude, governments will have to put in place a robust roadmap to enable their countries to fully reap the rewards of this powerful technology,” he said.