Middle East’s digital economy to grow from $180 bn in 2022 to $780 bn in 2030

UAE releases Arabic software that can power GenAI apps
Middle East’s digital economy to grow from $180 bn in 2022 to $780 bn in 2030
Digital economy

UBS, a multinational investment bank and financial services company, estimates the Middle East’s digital economy will grow from $180 billion in 2022 to $780 bn in 2030 or roughly 20 percent growth per annum.

This would make the Middle East one of the fastest-growing digital economies globally. UBS estimates may prove to be conservative as the digital economy penetration as a percentage of the region’s GDP could rise from 4.1 percent in 2022 to 13.4 percent in 2030, This is still below today’s 15 percent or so penetration levels in advanced economies like the US.

Read: UAE’s e-commerce sector set to contribute majorly to MENA’s digital economy

From an investment point of view, the strong growth outlook should provide solid opportunities in faster-growing Middle Eastern segments. These include internet, software and data centers as well as prospects in the private equity/venture capital space.

UBS believes it’s a very early stage of the digital ascent in the Middle East (It believes the region is where China was 10–15 years ago and India 5–10 years ago when the digital inflection began), with only 4.1 percent penetration of the broad economy.

Supported by favorable demographics, strong policy support, solid funding, rising innovation, and low penetration rates, we expect the Middle East’s digital economy to grow to $780 bn in 2030 or roughly 20 percent.

 Arabic GenAI

Engineers and researchers at Silicon Valley released an advanced Arabic language software that can power generative AI applications.

The new LLM called Jais has 13 billion parameters that combine Arabic and English data, making it bilingual.

Supercomputers produced by the Silicon Valley-based Cerebras Systems helped create the LLM.

Jais is named after the highest peak in the UAE. It is a collaboration between Cerebras, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, and Inception, which focuses on AI.

Jais will be available via an open-source license.

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