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Generative AI set to fuel $23.5 billion in economic growth across the GCC by 2030

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are projected to have the most substantial impact, with a combined annual economic growth potential of $17.5 billion by 2030.

Generative AI set to fuel $23.5 billion in economic growth across the GCC by 2030
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has had a significant and ongoing impact globally and regionally. Despite concerns like deepfakes, harmful content, and bias, Strategy& Middle East estimates that the widespread adoption of GenAI will persist in the next 6 to 12 months. For every $1 invested in GenAI, the GCC region could expect around $9.9 of economic growth. This indicates a potential overall economic impact of $23.5 billion annually by 2030 in the GCC region.

Additionally, the overall economic impact of GenAI in the GCC region is projected to reach $23.5 billion annually by 2030. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to experience the largest impact, with a combined annual growth potential of $17.5 billion until 2030. Other GCC countries, such as Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain, are also set to benefit, with estimated economic gains of $2.6 billion, $1.6 billion, $1.3 billion, and $0.6 billion, respectively.

Tony Karam, Partner at Strategy& Middle East, said, “These statistics underline the extraordinary potential of Generative AI to revolutionize the Middle East’s business landscape. Executives who seize this opportunity without delay can gain a substantial competitive advantage, while companies that merely watch risk falling behind”. 

The analysis further highlights that the media and entertainment sector will experience the largest economic impact in the GCC, estimated at $8.5 billion. The healthcare industry follows this at $3.8 billion, banking and financial services at $3.5 billion, and IT and telecommunications at $2.9 billion. These sectors are poised to benefit significantly from adopting GenAI technology in the region.

However, Jad Baroudi, Principal with Strategy& Middle East, highlights that despite GenAI’s capabilities, there are also limitations to using the technology. “These models are unsuitable for intricate numerical analysis or critical decision-making processes. Moreover, ethical concerns are associated with risks of bias, unethical usage, and significant computational costs. Mismanagement could lead to misleading or harmful outputs, underscoring the need for strategic deployment of GenAI to achieve maximum impact.” 

Strategy& Middle East advises executives to adopt GenAI solutions aligned with their strategic goals and generate value through specific use cases. Acquiring the right talent is crucial for GenAI’s success in the Middle East.

“In this global race for talent, establishing robust strategic partnerships is imperative for GCC companies aiming to swiftly deploy experienced talent and capabilities. Simultaneously, cultivating an environment that attracts and retains top-tier in-house data science talent is crucial,” said Karam.  

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