2022 was all about “clouds” in the UAE’s tech industry, but now AI is taking the lead. The best part is that the AI spending spree is just getting started, with many businesses still in the planning stages. AI will be everywhere at Gitex 2023, the Middle East’s biggest tech show. The UAE government entities are at the forefront of this AI adoption, integrating it into their services with impressive sophistication. Just last week, the Abu Dhabi healthtech company M42 introduced its Gen AI platform, Med42, which provides quick and accurate medical responses. UAE businesses have shifted their priorities from Metaverse adoption to AI investments. The government, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, is spearheading AI spending through their National AI strategies. This has led to additional investments in the development of the AI ecosystem and exploration of new AI use cases. The Gulf’s AI investment spree is just beginning, with organizations making commitments to digitize their services. Most organizations prefer AI solutions from third-party providers rather than developing in-house capabilities. The region has also seen the emergence of AI companies and startups specializing in industry-specific solutions. The Middle East and Africa are expected to experience the highest growth in AI spending globally, reaching $6.4 billion in 2026. Large enterprises are already investing in AI, while mid-sized businesses are showing a less mature investment pattern. The UAE is one of the top countries exploring AI, but it ranks low in the number of AI startups originated. The AI revolution is already visible in the UAE’s stock markets, with companies like Bayanat and Presight providing successful IPOs. Multiple businesses have integrated AI into their services, improving pricing, routing, estimations, and productivity. AI is expected to automate a significant part of day-to-day tasks in the next 18-20 months. Tripler, a property lead generator, uses “humanistic AI” to understand and predict human behavior. It took them four months to develop a program that can read humans from their voice. The need to deploy AI into business operations is becoming clearer, and enterprises need to focus on how to obtain AI solutions. Waiting to make a decision may not be the best choice, as the AI bandwagon has gained too much speed.