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Technology news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Mubadala Investment Company CEO Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak. The Abu Dhabi wealth fund is selling some GlobalFoundaries shares two years after the US company went public

Mubadala trims stake in US chipmaker GlobalFoundries

Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company is offloading some of its holdings in chipmaker GlobalFoundries.  A Mubadala subsidiary is offering to sell $950 million worth of GlobalFoundries shares, two years after the US semiconductor manufacturer went public on Nasdaq. Mubadala Technology Investment Company will receive the funds from the secondary public offering, which […]

The new East Africa cloud service will give customers access to secure, high-speed cloud and AI services across the region

G42 and Microsoft to invest $1bn in Kenya data centre

Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence (AI) company G42 has partnered with US tech giant Microsoft to invest $1 billion in a green data centre in Kenya. The data centre, which will be built by G42 and its partners, will provide access to Azure – a computing platform developed by Microsoft – through a new East Africa cloud region. […]

Bruno Le Maire and Khaldoon Al Mubarak signed a France-UAE agreement on AI this week

UAE and France agree joint investments in AI

France and the UAE are to increase their collaboration in artificial intelligence, including joint investments, as they seek to become leaders in the AI sector. The French economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, signed a strategic agreement with Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chief executive of the UAE investment fund Mubadala and a member of the Abu Dhabi […]

Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) director Dr Esam bin Abdullah Al-Wagait

IBM to help Saudi Arabia train AI models in Arabic

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal with US tech giant IBM to develop the kingdom’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) said on Tuesday that its Arabic language AI model, ALLaM, will be trained on IBM’s platform to run more efficiently. This will also add new language skills […]

Visitors to the Edge of the World, a natural landmark and popular tourist destination near Riyadh. Interacting with local people is important, says the tourism minister

Pressure on Saudi tourism exposes mixed feelings about AI

Saudi Arabia is trying to limit the use of artificial intelligence technology in its expanding tourism industry in an effort to boost job numbers, despite strides being made elsewhere in the sector to make the kingdom a leader in digitalisation.  Speaking at an economic forum in Doha last week, tourism minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb expressed concerns […]

Investment app Sarwa had more than 180,000 registered users by the first quarter of 2023

Investment app Sarwa fined by Dubai and Abu Dhabi regulators

Investment platform Sarwa Digital Wealth has been fined AED1,151,000 ($313,500) by regulators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for offering shares and securities without an approved prospectus. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said on Tuesday that it had imposed a penalty of AED701,815 on the fintech.  On the same day, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority […]

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the pledge ' sets a precedent for global standards on AI safety'

UAE joins AI safety pledge at UK-South Korea summit

Two artificial intelligence companies from the UAE have signed up to a new AI safety pledge and have committed to safe development of the technology. Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute and G42 are among 16 names on the safety pledge that also includes Amazon, Google, IBM, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI and Samsung. The announcement was made […]

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser (centre back) at the signing ceremony for the quantum computer deal with Pasqal

Aramco to use Saudi Arabia’s first quantum computer

Saudi Arabia plans to deploy its first quantum computer, after an agreement between the state oil company, Saudi Aramco, and the French computing company Pasqal.  Pasqal will install, maintain and operate a 200-qubit quantum computer, due for deployment in the latter half of 2025, Aramco said in a statement. Quantum computers use the principles of […]

The funds stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Rain were converted into Bitcoin and Ethereum to disguise their origin

Crypto exchange Rain suffers $15m hack

Rain, a cryptocurrency exchange regulated in both the UAE and Bahrain, has confirmed a serious hack resulting in losses reportedly nearing $15 million.  The exchange said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that customer funds remain secure despite the incident.  The security breach occurred on April 29 and was first detected by blockchain […]

Bayanat says its AID data platform provided information to authorities during April's flooding in Dubai

Bayanat increases funding for climate disaster R&D

Geospatial services provider Bayanat has increased its investment into climate disaster research and development following a strong profit rise in the first quarter of 2024. Abu Dhabi-based Bayanat said gross profit for the first quarter reached AED32 million ($8.7 million), representing a gross margin of 28 percent. Revenues were 12 percent up year on year […]

Workers at a semiconductor plant in the Netherlands. Qatar's investment in France's Ardian comes as global demand for semiconductor chips is surging

QIA invests in French semiconductor fund Ardian

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has announced plans to make an anchor investment in Ardian Semiconductor, a new entity established by the French private equity firm Ardian.  The move underscores the Gulf state’s bet on the crucial role of semiconductors in powering digital and green transformations in key areas such as […]

Flooding in Dubai. Sadeem co-founder Mustafa Mousa is aiminig to 'change the way the cities handle their flood management'

Flood warning startup Sadeem to seek more funding

Tech startup Sadeem, which provides patented flood-warning systems to cities worldwide, will raise further funding this year, its co-founder told AGBI. The Gulf is among the driest inhabited regions worldwide, with on average less than 130 mm of rainfall annually, academic research shows. Yet when rainfall does occur it is often torrential and sustained, and […]

SWVL CEO Mostafa Kandil Video length: 04:15

Unicorn SWVL survives share slump to turn a profit

Scaling back operations, chasing profitability over investor funding and divesting from acquisitions has resulted in the Middle East’s first unicorn finally turning profitable.  Egypt-born ride hailing app SWVL has survived a turbulent time during which the Nasdaq-listed startup faced the possibility of being delisted.  SWVL was valued at $1.5 billion when it went public in […]

Saudi US China Amit Medha

Saudi Arabia willing to drop China for US tech alliance

Saudi Arabia will sever technology ties with China if the United States compels it to, the chief executive officer of Alat, an investment company backed by $100 billion in capital from the Public Investment Fund, has revealed. According to Bloomberg US officials have told their Saudi Arabian counterparts that they will have to decide between […]

Watching the launch of the Hope Mars probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. The centre's assistant director says private sector involvement is essential

Private sector ‘always better’ says UAE space industry head

The UAE is working to lure greater private sector participation in its space industry, according to an official from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.  “We are putting a lot of effort towards including the private sector in our projects,” Mohammad Al Ghafri, assistant director general of the aerospace engineering sector at MBRSC, said this […]

Binance CEO Richard Teng told AGBI the company spent $213m on compliance measures in 2023

Binance clamps down on suspicious UAE crypto trades

Binance has blocked hundreds of thousands of suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in the UAE as it ramps up compliance efforts, senior executives have told AGBI. The business, which is the world’s largest crypto exchange, received nearly 60,000 law enforcement requests from governments around the world in 2023 after heightened regulatory scrutiny. Meera Judge, the Dubai-based director […]

A constant consumer shift towards e-payments and an increase in consumer spending are behind the growth in card payments in the UAE

Card payments market in UAE to be worth $139bn in 2024

Card payment transactions in the UAE are expected to grow 13 percent to AED511 billion ($139 billion) this year, thanks to a constant consumer shift towards e-payments and an increase in consumer spending. The London-based analytics company GlobalData has forecast that the UAE card payments market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of […]

Rasan, a fintech company, owns Tameeni, the first and largest insurance aggregator in Saudi Arabia by gross written premiums

Saudi fintech Rasan to sell 30% stake in IPO

Saudi Arabia’s Rasan will be the first fintech to sell a 30 percent stake in an initial public offering (IPO) on the local stock exchange. The company will sell 22.7 million shares in the flotation, which includes 5.3 million new shares.  Book building for institutional investors will start on May 12 to 16, while bids […]

UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and Adnoc group CEO Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber (top centre) will become chairman of AIQ

Presight takes majority stake in Adnoc-G42 AI venture

The data analytics company Presight is acquiring a majority stake in AIQ, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and G42. Under the agreement, Presight, an Abu Dhabi-listed company, will own 51 percent of AIQ, with Adnoc keeping the remaining 49 percent, a statement released on Wednesday said.  Previously, G42 held 40 […]

Abu Dhabi's Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Mubadala Investment Company and Kelix Bio announce plans to collaborate on R&D into biopharmaceutical technologies

UAE considers R&D tax incentives to help SMEs

The UAE is considering plans for a research and development tax incentive scheme to boost its ambitions to become a regional centre for homegrown innovation. The Ministry of Finance said it has launched an official consultation on the possible implementation of the tax incentive under the UAE corporate tax law.  The consultation will be open […]