Emerging AI Leaders: Saudi Arabia Excels, Israel Dominates MENA Region

by | Jul 4, 2023

In the rapidly evolving realm of artificial intelligence, Saudi Arabia and Israel have emerged as leaders, showcasing their remarkable strategies and achievements. A recent comprehensive study conducted by Tortoise Media on global AI reveals that Saudi Arabia has taken the lead in government strategy, while Israel has established its dominance in the Middle East and achieved a high global ranking. Let us delve into the details of these impressive accomplishments and explore the AI landscape in the MENA region.

Saudi Arabia, with its ambitious National Strategy for Data and Artificial Intelligence (NSDAI), has set its sights on becoming a global frontrunner in AI. Launched in late 2020, this visionary strategy aims to attract a staggering $20 billion in foreign and local investments by 2030. This forward-thinking approach has propelled the Kingdom to claim the top spot for government strategy in the global AI index. Saudi Arabia’s dedication to AI development is evident in its commitment to fostering innovation and creating a thriving ecosystem for AI research and development.

While Saudi Arabia leads in government strategy, Israel shines as the powerhouse of AI in the Middle East. Securing a strong 7th position in the global AI index, Israel outperforms its regional counterparts by a significant margin. It stands alone as the only country in the MENA region to make it to the top 10. With a thriving tech industry and a strong focus on innovation, Israel has become a global hub for AI research and development. Its remarkable achievements in the AI sphere highlight its unwavering commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also demonstrates its prowess in AI infrastructure, securing an impressive 4th place globally in this category. The UAE’s robust AI infrastructure encompasses factors such as reliable internet and electricity, as well as the capabilities of supercomputers. This achievement reflects the UAE’s unwavering dedication to building a solid foundation for AI development and implementation. With state-of-the-art facilities and a supportive environment, the UAE is well-positioned to foster AI innovation and attract top talent.

In the MENA region, several countries have been making significant strides in enhancing their AI presence and capacity. Egypt, ranking 23rd globally, and the UAE, securing the 24th position, showcase their commitment to AI development. Turkey follows closely behind in the 27th spot, while Qatar impresses with its AI research, placing it in the 17th position globally. These countries are investing in AI to drive economic growth, improve public services, and foster innovation.

However, in the global race for AI dominance, the United States and China continue to lead the way. The United States secures the top position in the global AI index, reflecting its immense investment and commitment to AI development. China closely follows, showcasing its dedication to advancing AI technology. Singapore, which takes second place globally, outperforms Israel, highlighting the nation’s remarkable achievements in the AI sphere. These countries’ commitment to AI research and development is evident in their continued efforts to push the boundaries of technological innovation.

The MENA region is poised for exponential growth in the AI sector. According to the International Data Corporation’s 2023 Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, the compound annual growth rate for the region is projected to reach an impressive 29.7% from 2022 to 2026, with an estimated market value of $6.4 billion by 2026. This growth is expected to be the fastest globally, underscoring the region’s potential to become a major player in shaping the future of AI.

As the world embraces the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, countries across the globe are vying for supremacy in various facets of this technology. Saudi Arabia’s strategic vision and Israel’s outstanding performance in the MENA region exemplify the region’s determination to make a significant impact on the global AI landscape. With robust infrastructure, groundbreaking research accomplishments, and a thriving ecosystem, the MENA region is well-positioned to become a prominent player in shaping the future of AI.