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Gulf tech trends to watch in 2024

Technology tech trends man laptop ChatGPT ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2023 and research firm Gartner predicts that more than 80 percent of enterprises will integrate generative AI into their applications by 2026 Pexels/Matheus Bertelli
Gartner predicts that more than 80 percent of tech enterprises will be using generative AI by 2026

Technological breakthroughs in 2023 have transformed society and the world economy, but we must always look ahead. These are the cutting-edge discoveries and technologies that will define 2024.

Quantum computing

Quantum computing – using the principles of quantum mechanics to tackle problems too complex for traditional computers – is set to revolutionise industries. 

Global tech giants including AWS, Microsoft, and Google are investing heavily in the field, and related consumer spending is projected to surge from $1.1 billion in 2022 to $7.6 billion in 2027, according to market intelligence firm IDC.

Applications of quantum computing range from cryptography (using code to secure information) through to improving energy systems, as discussed between the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority and Canadian quantum computing company Xanadu earlier this year.

Xanadu also recently partnered with Abu Dhabi University to enhance quantum computing skills for students.

Green tech

Sustainable, clean, green and climate technology will be at the epicentre of 2024, which means it is critical to ensure that the use of IT is efficient, circular and sustainable.

Technologies such as AI and blockchain will help to drive energy transition and environmental impact projects in key sectors in the Gulf including recycling, electric vehicles, green construction, clean energy, agricultural technology and carbon capture.

Generative AI

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can produce various types of content, including audio, text and imagery. 

While its initial steps have been interesting, 2024 is poised to reveal its full potential. Forecasts by US firm Gartner predict that more than 80 percent of businesses will integrate generative AI into their applications by 2026, a substantial leap from less than 5 percent in 2023. 

“Demand is increasing for generative AI in many industries such as healthcare, life sciences, legal, financial services and the public sector,” says Arun Chandrasekaran, VP analyst at Gartner. 

Manish Ranjan, senior research manager at IDC META in Dubai, adds: “A vital aspect to monitor will be how companies grapple with the financial and skill-related challenges inherent to operating these resource-intensive models.”


Blockchain, a method of recording information that makes it impossible or difficult for a system to be changed, hacked or manipulated, is likely to continue its transformative journey. 

In 2024, experts anticipate advancements in interoperability, scalability and security, paving the way for widespread adoption across industries. 

“Organisations have become more vulnerable to privacy concerns due to shifting of work patterns such as hybrid and remote work and scattered IT architectures, thereby fuelling the demand for blockchain solutions,” Indian research firm Business Market Insights said in its 2028 blockchain market forecast report.


The escalating threat of cyberattacks underscores the critical importance of cybersecurity, transforming it from a mere priority to an absolute necessity. The UAE alone is forced to deter 50,000 cyberattacks every day.

Scams involving AI-generated voices is set to grow in 2024, according to cybersecurity firm Trellix.

Rafael Pena, a researcher at Trellix, says these consist of scammers using “psychological manipulation techniques to deceive individuals into taking specific actions, such as disclosing personal information or executing financial transactions.”

However, cybersecurity compliance should also play a more prominent role, with privacy regulations including the UAE’s Data Protection Law setting the stage for stricter data protection requirements, according to Joseph Carson, chief security scientist at software company Delinea.

Carson says more regions and countries will adopt similar regulations, and that these will also be boosted by the increased use of AI and machine learning.

“These technologies will be used to automate threat detection and provide real-time insights, making it easier for organisations to stay compliant.” 

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