Honoring excellence in the technological space



The UAE’s tech sector is naturally emerging as one of the fastest growing industries in the country, while also setting global benchmarks.

Whether it’s artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cloud computing or machine learning, the country is making giant strides in terms of innovation and progress. The deployment of 5G internet networks is facilitating the proliferation of intelligent services, machine-to-machine communication and connected transport. As a result, significant investments are made in IT infrastructure development initiatives, as well as in technologies that enable efficiency.

In line with the increased focus on the technology sector, Gulf Business is poised to launch new products and initiatives that can provide a better understanding of the sector while highlighting its achievements. While a new magazine is expected to launch shortly (more details to be revealed soon), we are also launching the GB Tech Awards next month to recognize the various organizations and individuals who are leading the future of the regional tech industry.

Despite the fact that the past year has been extremely difficult, the biggest names in the tech industry have delivered some of the best and most innovative digital products and solutions. With the GB Tech Awards, we would like to take the opportunity to toast these important achievements.

The GB Tech Awards will honor and celebrate the success of businesses and individuals in areas such as digital transformation, cloud, cybersecurity, blockchain and artificial intelligence, among others. The event will reward technological and commercial innovation and entrepreneurial excellence. Prices and categories are based on current market trends including:

Consumer technology
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) personal computing device (PCD) market, comprising desktops, laptops, workstations and tablets, grew 36.6% year on year in the first quarter 2021 – the highest annual growth observed in the region since the first quarter of 2006,
according to a recent IDC report. The demand for new consumer technology products is also growing rapidly due to the availability of devices that boost the automation of everyday tasks. With each new development, consumers expect more functionality in their devices, which has forced manufacturers to constantly innovate in terms of technology, design and engineering.

Enterprise technology
The countries of the Middle East, especially those of the GCC, are the first to adopt advanced digital technologies, supported by governments which are aggressively diversifying their economies. Investments in digital transformation and innovation will represent 30% of all IT
spending in MEA and Turkey by 2024, up from 18% in 2018, predicts an IDC report. The public and private sectors have made significant gains in building a robust digital infrastructure that supports innovation and opens up new economic opportunities. This has
has also attracted investment from various technology providers.

Digital transformation
Despite the ongoing pandemic, companies that have made steady progress on their digital transformation journey have demonstrated increased operational resilience. Although there has been a movement towards digital penetration even before Covid-19, the pandemic has accelerated the process,
which is expected to gain momentum in the future.

According to IDC, spending on public cloud services will rise 26.7 percent to $ 3.7 billion in MEA and Turkey this year. The increased demand for cloud-based solutions during Covid-19, the business expansion of market leaders in the region, the growing investments in cloud-based technologies for smart city projects, as well as government initiatives in the space are some of the key factors driving the growth of cloud computing solutions and services.

Artificial intelligence
PwC estimates that AI could contribute up to $ 15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030 and that the Middle East is expected to generate 2% of total global AI benefits, equivalent to $ 320 billion. dollars. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have placed AI at the heart of their economic strategies over the next decade, while countries like Egypt and Qatar have also put in place initiatives to strengthen enforcement. of emerging technology.

Internet of Things (IOT)
The adoption of IoT is already an integral part of the digital transformation process in the Middle East region. Organizations across the region are using IoT to achieve a range of goals, from better use of assets and risk management to creating entirely new business models.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
AR and VR will contribute $ 4.1 billion to the UAE economy by 2030, according to a new report launched by PwC Middle East. Emirates will come from AR ($ 2.8 billion), with VR providing $ 1.3 billion. Technologies will also have an important role
impact on employment in the country, with PwC estimating that 0.6% of jobs (over 40,000 people) “will be improved†through AR and VR by 2030.
The sectors that are expected to have the most impact are healthcare and retail.

Blockchain and fintech
MENA’s fintech sector to reach $ 2.5 billion by 2022 as regional and multinational financial institutions deploy digital platforms to change customer experience, reduce costs and comply with rules data, according to a study published by the law firm Clifford.

The United Arab Emirates – especially Dubai – is at the forefront of the adoption of blockchain technology in the Middle East, with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia also being pioneers in this area. Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 Intends to Use Blockchain Technology to Convert 50% of Government
transactions to a blockchain platform by the end of the year.

In the Middle East, agricultural technology (agritech) is enjoying strong investment interest due to the growing importance of food security. According to Wamda, there have been 33 agreements in agro-tech companies totaling $ 250 million in investment disclosed between 2014 and 2020. With specific regard to the United Arab Emirates, the Abu Dhabi Investment “innovation program” Office (ADIO) extended its agrotech incentive to Dhs 2 billion last year. to boost the development of its agricultural ecosystem.

Cyber ​​security
In line with all of the trends mentioned above, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity has emerged as one of the major growth verticals within the broader tech spectrum as governments across the region strive to create secure digital environments. Supported by advancements in big data storage, AI, and blockchain, the cybersecurity industry, especially in the UAE, is expected to experience strong growth.

The UAE’s National Cyber ​​Security Strategy, unveiled in 2019, aims to create a secure and robust cyber infrastructure in the country. Saudi Arabia was also ranked second in the world for cybersecurity engagement by the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020.

Meet the judges
The GB Tech Awards jury will include two industry experts from well-known GCC organizations.

Dr Lt Hamad Khalifa Al Nuaimi, Head of Telecommunications Division, ICT Center, Abu Dhabi Police Headquarters

Al Nuaimi started with the Abu Dhabi Police Department as a Network Technician in 2002. Concurrently, he obtained his graduate degree at CNET from the Higher College of Technology (HCT), Al Ain City, as well as a BA in Networking. computer science. He then served as a network
Section Chief in the Abu Dhabi Police from 2005 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2016. In 2009, he moved to New York State where he obtained his Masters in Telecommunications Network Management. A strong supporter of telecommunications and technology, he is also the co-founder of Digital Barza, a community of over 100 CIO and CISO members that seeks to accelerate the process of sharing and exchanging knowledge.

Dr Jassim Haji, President, Artificial Intelligence Society, Bahrain

With management and leadership experience in aviation, hospitality, technology and telecommunications for over 30 years, Dr Jassim Haji is an international expert, strategist and researcher in AI and digital transformation.

He started his career with Sprint Telecommunications in London before joining Gulf Air in 1985 as a network engineer and joining the US airline solutions company Saber. In 2008, he joined Gulf Air as director of its IT division. He served on the
board of directors of a hotel and tourism technology provider in the Middle East and member of a SITA board representing the Middle East and North Africa.


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