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UAE digital technology spending to reach $20 billion by 2026

A new report says the contribution of digital economy to the country's GDP is likely to be 19.4% within the next decade.

UAE digital technology spending to reach $20 billion by 2026
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Using automation, robots, and data in the coming years will lead to huge opportunities for wealth creation and disruption in the UAE.

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, within the next ten years, the UAE will be in a good position to increase the share of its digital economy in GDP from 9.7% to 19.4%. 

The government’s “We the UAE 2031 strategy” will assist the nation’s digital economy strategy even more.

Over the next three years, the UAE will spend $20 billion on digital technology, including IT, telecoms, and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain, and robotics, according to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group.

According to the report, digital technology will account for 25% to 30% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) over the next ten years. It will contribute to over two-thirds of the productivity growth over the previous ten years.

“For government decision-makers, the digital economy’s expansion carries major strategic implications,” the report noted.

“Positioning economies appropriately can help them remain competitive, overcome productivity lags and maintain resilience against internal and exogenous shocks,” it added.

The report stressed the importance of policies that support investments in digital infrastructure and R&D into technologies like AI and robotics and foster innovation by fostering a training or recruiting environment for highly qualified and specialized individuals.

Governments may assist in addressing a broad range of issues that are gaining importance, such as digital inclusion, social prosperity, and questions around digital ethics, by working with other public institutions to coordinate strategic priorities.

“For governments, the digital economy is not an elective. It marks a profound departure from how economies have historically been organized and regulated,” said Faisal Hamady, managing director and partner at BCG.

“Tackling this brave new world head-on will prove essential to remaining competitive and relevant on the global scene,” Hamady added. 

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