Artificial intelligence to add $182 billion to UAE's economy by 2035

Financial services, healthcare, and transport and storage industries likely to see the biggest gains

Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence for the UAE, where AI could contribute $182 billion to the economy by 2035. Photo Courtesy: Edelman
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Artificial intelligence is set to give the UAE economy a $182 billion boost by 2035, according to a new report.

The country's financial sector is set to benefit the most from AI, followed by healthcare, transport and storage industries, according to a report by global consulting services firm Accenture.

“The level of growth that AI stands to bring to the UAE’s economy is unparalleled,” said Amr El Saadani, managing director of Accenture’s Financial Services practice in the Middle East and Turkey. “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."

The UAE has underscored its commitment to developments in tech and innovation with the appointment of the country's Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Omar Al Olama, in a cabinet reshuffle announced in October. The Middle East is facing the critical task of creating more jobs for its fast-growing population of young people. Done in the right way, AI can boost employment, economic growth and business profitability, according to Accenture.

"As the division of labour between man and machine changes, policy makers need to reevaluate the type of knowledge and skills imparted to future generations," according to the report.


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The UAE's financial services sector, healthcare, and transport and storage industries, could see gains of $37bn, $22bn and $19bn, respectively, in their annual gross value added, a measure of the output value of all goods and services in a sector, the report said.

Even labour-intensive sectors such as education and construction will see increases of $6bn and $8bn, respectively, in their gross value added by 2035, as AI enables workers to be more productive, thus boosting profitability.

"While AI-led growth will be felt across a wide variety of industries, 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," Mr El Saadani said.

The report identifies five key strategies for policy makers 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 testbed for social AI; preparing the next generation of workers for the AI future; and minimising the impact of labour market dislocation.

"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," Mr El Saadani said.