Dubai: Oracle opened its first innovation hub in the region on Sunday in a bid to cash in on the growing implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the UAE.
Oracle named the new facility the ‘Zayed Innovation Hub’ and it was inaugurated by Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
Arun Khehar, senior vice-president of applications at Oracle Eastern Central Europe, Middle East, Africa, told Gulf News that the whole idea is focused on Dubai Government and Federal Government’s stress on emerging technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain.
“This will be a key contribution to what the government plans to do. The lab will show the power of the technology to businesses, public sector and the academia. There will be industry solutions relevant to this part of the world,” he said, adding that investments in AI will be integral to drive the future of cloud computing.
“We are aligning ourselves with the vision of the country — Expo 2020 and Abu Dhabi Vision 2030,” Khehar said.
Ammar Al Malik, executive director of Dubai Internet City, told Gulf News that Oracle’s innovation hub is the eleventh innovation hub at the Dubai Internet City (DIC).
“When we started 17 years ago, DIC’s main objective was to get companies from across the world. Now, we are seeing this transform into an innovation hub to develop innovative products. Dubai has transformed itself from a trading hub into an innovation hub,” he said.
Speaking to the media, Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, senior vice-president for technology at Oracle Middle East and Africa, said that AI is the fastest growing initiative ever.
Quoting research firm Forrester’s report, he said that businesses that use AI, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to uncover new business insights will steal $1.2 trillion (Dh4.4 trillion) per annum from their less informed peers by 2020.
“AI will be embedded into the solutions and not as a standalone technology. It will create more jobs than it eliminates but of a different profile,” he said.
As per research firm International Data Corporation’s worldwide semi-annual cognitive artificial intelligence systems spending guide, spending on AI in the Middle East and Africa region is tipped to reach $114.22 million in 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate of 32 per cent for the 2016-2021 period.
Megha Kumar, research director for software at International Data Corporation, told Gulf News that the UAE’s strategy around AI and IoT will be underpinned with cloud being the baseline infrastructure for the realisation of these projects.
“Of all the countries in the MEA region, the UAE is clearly a pioneer when it comes to the use of cognitive/AI systems. Yes, with regards to the AI investments in UAE, it will rise with several sectors evaluating the use of AI to improve customer services, automate business processes and security as well,” she said.