Abu Dhabi sets up technology investment company MGX amid AI push

Mubadala and G42 will serve as foundational partners

Abu Dhabi set up an AI council in January to develop the technology. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Abu Dhabi has set up a new technology investment company, MGX, to expedite the development of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology as the emirate seeks to boost its future economy.

The new company, announced by the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council on Monday, will explore partnerships in the UAE and internationally, Abu Dhabi Media Office said in a statement.

It will focus on three core areas – AI infrastructure (data centres and connectivity), semiconductors and core technology and applications such as AI models, software, data, life sciences and robotics.

The emirate’s sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Company and AI and cloud computing firm G42 will serve as foundational partners.

President Sheikh Mohamed announced the creation of the AIATC in January. The council is responsible for policies and strategies related to research, infrastructure and investment in AI and advanced technology in Abu Dhabi.

"In MGX, we are establishing a UAE national champion focused on AI and advanced technologies that will shape a future where technology enables a more prosperous, sustainable and interconnected world," Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi and chairman of the AIATC, said.

“Our singular focus is accelerating AI’s responsible and inclusive development for the benefit of humanity, guided by Abu Dhabi’s global investment strategy for artificial intelligence."

The UAE has been boosting the adoption of digital transformation in its economy and society, as the Emirates positions itself as a global centre of innovation.

The push into new technology, and generative AI in particular, is expected to result in strong economic progress.

Gulf nations are expected to reap about $23.5 billion in economic benefits by 2030, as investments in generative AI continue to grow, PwC unit Strategy& Middle East said in a recent report.

The global AI market is expected to hit nearly $739 billion by 2030, from an estimated $306 billion this year, at a compound annual growth rate of almost 16 per cent, data from Statista indicates.

Governments are also poised to benefit from new generative AI technologies, most notably from major players including Google, Microsoft and industry leader OpenAI, the maker of the highly popular ChatGPT.

“MGX builds from Abu Dhabi’s innovation and investment leadership and an extensive network of global technology partners … [it] will further advance the UAE’s role as a home and ecosystem for top technology talent, investors and entrepreneurs,” said Sheikh Tahnoun, who will serve as the chairman of the new company’s board of directors.

Ahmed Yahia Al Idrissi, chief executive of Mubadala’s direct investments platform, will be chief executive of MGX.

MGX’s founding partners, Mubadala and G42, have already worked together on various technology-led initiatives.

They launched M42, one of the region’s top healthcare technology and life sciences companies, and also created Space42, one of the largest geospatial technology companies in the world.

Mubadala is anticipating capital deployments across AI and space technology, two of the hottest global sectors attracting significant investment, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, group chief executive and managing director of Mubadala, said at the Investopia conference in Abu Dhabi last month.

Major entities in the UAE are also leveraging the power of AI to boost their operations.

Last month, Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s largest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, broke ground on its sustainable industrial data centres, paving the way for plans to power its operations with AI.

Abu Dhabi energy company Adnoc, meanwhile, reported that it was able to generate $500 million by using AI solutions in 2023, as it boosts efforts to increase adoption of the technology.

Abu Dhabi's International Holding Company, one of the UAE's most valuable listed companies, last month also announced it will have an AI observer on its board that will help with its decision-making process.

Updated: March 12, 2024, 9:48 AM