Middle East's Gen AI economy could reach $24 billion per year by 2030

26 September 2023 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

Generative AI (Gen AI) could reach nearly $24 billion per year by 2030 within the Middle East, according to a report by consulting firm Strategy&.

The largest impact of Gen AI is expected to be in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where the industry could see a potential $17.5 billion combined annual growth in the next several years. The other GCC countries are also expected to see major benefits. Estimated economic gains are expected to be around $2.6 billion in Qatar, $1.6 billion in Kuwait, $1.3 billion in Oman, and $0.6 billion in Bahrain.

“Given this expected impact and the accelerating pace of new Gen AI advances, executives in the Middle East should seize the opportunity without delay. Companies that merely watch risk falling behind, while their forward-thinking counterparts that adopt Gen AI stand on the verge of gaining a significant competitive edge,” said Strategy& partner Tony Karam.

Middle East's Gen AI economy could reach $24 billion per year by 2030

The media and entertainment industry is likely to be the largest affected industry, with a likely impact of around $8.5 billion across the GCC region. That is followed by healthcare at $3.8 billion, banking and financial services at $3.5 billion, and the telecommunications industry at $2.9 billion.

Generative AI has become a hot topic for a range of industries across the world. Because AI tools can help to alleviate workforces from monotonous tasks through automation, there is some concern over workers becoming redundant in some sectors. The global GDP is expected to be around 14% higher in 2030 thanks to the technology, according to Strategy&.

Though all of this growth is expected of Gen AI, it is, nonetheless, still a new and emerging technology. Many businesses are hedging bets on AI despite risks and dangers, including deep fakes, privacy concerns, harmful content, and biases in the way algorithms work. Beside ethical concerns, organizations will also have to grapple with the accompanying regulation that is already beginning to take shape. That includes the EU’s so-called ‘AI Act’, initially introduced in 2021 but not yet fully implemented.

“Gen AI is more than an advanced chatbot. These large language models (LLMs) trained on extensive textual and, of late, multimodal data, perform a multitude of linguistic tasks, including generation, editing, summarizing, translation, and classification. The ability of LLMs to be fine-tuned for specific applications represents a compelling advantage,” said Karam.

A previous report from another consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, revealed that AI, in a multitude of different forms and applied in a dizzying array of applications in nearly every industry, could boost global productivity by up to $4 trillion per year – a truly remarkable figure.

“Doing nothing is not a feasible option. It’s easy to dismiss a lot of what’s said about AI as hype. Yet as our analysis underlines, without decisive response, many well-established enterprises and even whole business models are at risk of being rendered obsolete,” the Strategy& report warns.