Majority of Saudi companies gearing up for future with AI technology: Business report

Arab News
June 19, 2019

Riyadh, Jun 19: Companies in Saudi Arabia are gearing up to take advantage of the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI), according to an in-depth regional business report.

Although firms in the Kingdom remain wary of committing major investment to the emerging technology, many are already implementing data improvement initiatives to prepare for an AI-enabled future.

New research revealed on Tuesday that 89 percent of Saudi businesses indicated AI to be an important consideration of executive management, with predictive technology seen as the most relevant application by 79 percent of companies who took part in the survey.

And experts believe the Kingdom is well-positioned to “leapfrog” other countries in the race toward achieving the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

According to the AI maturity report covering the Middle East and Africa, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Ernst & Young (EY), the Saudi business community is keeping up to speed on developments.

Releasing the report to the media, Thamer Al-Harbi, president of Microsoft Arabia, said: “Saudi Arabian businesses are taking a keen interest in AI from a strategic viewpoint. This bodes well for the future of the technology within the Kingdom as AI maturity begins with executives identifying business problems that need to be solved.

“Saudi companies are gearing up to take their AI agenda to the next level and moving forward by leveraging AI technology in alignment with the National Transformation Program 2020 toward achieving Vision 2030.

“Although they are still near the beginning of the maturity curve, they are well-positioned to leverage global experience in AI, which could ultimately enable them to leapfrog other countries in the next few years,” added Al-Harbi.

Despite AI activity having been relatively quiet in Saudi Arabia over the past 10 years, with a total investment of around $585 million, the Kingdom emerged strongly again in 2018, said the report.

Across industries, there was a significant buzz around the topic of AI, with 42 percent of companies reporting that conversations on the subject were already taking place at non-managerial levels, the highest percentage recorded by any country in the Middle East and Africa, Al-Harbi said.

AI development, though in its earliest stages, is underway. At least 26 percent of businesses reported that they were planning AI activity, while at the same time actively investing in relevant skills.

Pockets of excellence were also shown to be emerging, with 16 percent of companies saying AI was already contributing significantly to their business processes.

While Saudi executives intuitively sense the value of AI, they are conscious that getting too caught up in the hype might blind them to the dangers of investing in technology that is only just starting to demonstrate its commercial value.

As it stands, the main concern for businesses in implementing AI is the diffusion of their resources.

The report found that at least 32 percent of firms in the Kingdom were cautious of spreading their budgetary and human resources too thin, and that the primary focus for most was digitization. Although 37 percent of respondents viewed AI as an important priority, it was not at the top of their list.

Instead, they were actively building the infrastructure needed for digital transformation, starting with good-quality data.

Steve Plimsoll, MENA data and intelligence advisory leader for EY, said: “The biggest problem to date with AI is that it is not always right. AI has given us the ability to make data-driven predictions, decisions and actions faster than ever before, but it is only as effective as the data and algorithms it relies on.

“So, while it’s great to see local companies investing in adoption of AI, the focus must be on building trust that the underlying data and algorithms are reliable, the models ethical and the predictions are measurable and as accurate as they can be. Without trust, AI will never fully move from fiction into reality.”

The report also revealed that in general, Saudi businesses were upbeat about the future impact of AI on their businesses and 37 percent expected it to impact their core business to a very high degree.

Those quizzed were particularly positive about the potential of AI to assist employees in executing their daily functions more effectively.

Currently, prediction was seen as the most relevant application of AI for 79 percent of Saudi companies, with organizations using AI to predict risk and fraud or combining it with intelligent automation to assign workloads to individuals, ultimately optimizing business processes, the report said.

The study added that 68 percent of respondents indicated that automation was one of the most relevant applications of AI in their pursuit of operational efficiency.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 4,2021

Dubai: Abu Mohammed, an Indian expatriate living in Ras Al Khaimah, has won Dh12 million (approximately Rs 24 crore) in the latest Big Ticket draw held in Abu Dhabi today. Mohammed had purchased the ticket with four of his colleagues and will be sharing his prize purse.

The winning ticket number was 027700, bought on August 30. The Big Ticket draw is held on the third of every month in Abu Dhabi.

When host Richard called him, the winner, Abu Mohammed, immediately recognised his voice. He was elated to hear about his win. Abu Mohammed had purchased the ticket with four of his colleagues and will be sharing his winnings.

Abu Mohammed lives with his wife, mother and two daughters in Ras Al Khaimah. He works in a shipping company as an operations coordinator. He has been participating in the Big Ticket draw along with his colleagues for more than a year now.

Abu Mohammed was not watching the live show today, but one of his friends was watching it. The tearful friend, who too had a stake in the prize, was emotional when he informed Abu Mohammed about the win.

Abu Mohamned said he has not taken any decision on what the four friends will do with the prize money.

In the next Big Ticket draw, one lucky winner will walk away with Dh10 million. Other prizes include Dh1 million as the second prize. Six other cash prizes will also be given away. One lucky winner will also win a Range Rover car.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 14,2021

Dubai, Sept 14: The UAE Cabinet has issued Resolution No 83 of 2021, designating 38 individuals and 15 entities on its approved list of persons and organisations supporting terrorism (Local Terrorist List).

The resolution underscores the UAE's commitment to target and dismantle networks that finance terrorism and its related activities.

The resolution demands that regulatory authorities monitor and identify any individuals or entities affiliated with or associated with any financial, commercial or technical relationship and take the necessary measures according to the laws in force in the country in less than 24 hours.

Following is the full list of added individuals:
1. Ahmed Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed Alshaiba Alnuaimi (UAE)
2. Mohamed Saqer Yousif Saqer Al Zaabi (UAE)
3. Hamad Mohammed Rahmah Humaid Alshamsi (UAE)
4. Saeed Naser Saeed Naser Alteneiji (UAE)
5. Hassan Hussain Tabaja (Lebanon)
6. Adham Hussain Tabaja (Lebanon)
7. Mohammed Ahmed Musaed Saeed (Yemen)
8. Hayder Habeeb Ali (Iraq)
9. Basim Yousuf Hussein Alshaghanbi (Iraq)
10. Sharif Ahmed Sharif Ba Alawi (Yemen)
11. Manoj Sabharwal Om Prakash (India)
12. Rashed Saleh Saleh Al Jarmouzi (Yemen)
13. Naif Nasser Saleh Aljarmouzi (Yemen)
14. Zubiullah Abdul Qahir Durani (Afghanistan)
15. Suliman Saleh Salem Aboulan (Yemen)
16. Adel Ahmed Salem Obaid Ali Badrah (Yemen)
17. Ali Nasser Alaseeri (Saudi Arabia)
18. Fadhl Saleh Salem Altayabi (Yemen)
19. Ashur Omar Ashur Obaidoon (Yemen)
20. Hazem Mohsen Farhan + Hazem Mohsen Al Farhan (Syria)
21. Mehdi Azizollah Kiasati (Iran)
22. Farshad Jafar Hakemzadeh (Iran)
23. Seyyed Reza Mohmmad Ghasemi (Iran)
24. Mohsen Hassan Kargarhodjat Abadi (Iran)
25. Ibrahim Mahmood Ahmed Mohammed (Iran)
26. Osama Housen Dughaem (Syria)
27. Abdurrahaman Ado Musa (Nigeria)
28. Salihu Yusuf Adamu (Nigeria)
29. Bashir Ali Yusuf (Nigeria)
30. Muhammed Ibrahim Isa (Nigeria)
31. Ibrahim Ali Alhassan (Nigeria)
32. Surajo Abubakar Muhammad (Nigeria)
33. Alaa Khanfurah - Alaa Abdulrazzaq Ali Khanfurah - Alaa Alkhanfurah (Syria)
34. Fadi Said Kamar (Great Britain)
35. Walid Kamel Awad (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
36. Khaled Walid Awad (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
37. Imad Khallak Kantakdzhi (Russia)
38. Mouhammad Ayman Tayseer Rashid Marayat (Jordan)

Following is the full list of the added entities:
1. Ray Tracing Trading Co LLC
2. H F Z A Arzoo International F Z E
3. Hanan Shipping L.L.C
4. Four Corners Trading Est
5. Sasco Logistic L.L.C
6. AlJarmouzi General Trading LLC
7. Al Jarmoozi Cargo & Clearing (L.L.C)
8. Al Jarmoozi Transport By Heavy & Light Trucks (L.L.C)
9. Naser Aljarmouzi Ceneral Trading (L.L.C)
10. Naser Aljarmouzi Cargo & Clearing LLC
11. Wave Tech Computer LLC
12. NYBI Trading - FZE
13. KCL General Trading F Z E
14. Alinma Group

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 11,2021

Riyadh, Sept 11: The Saudi General Directorate of Passports announced it has started the automatic extension of the validity of residence permits (Iqama) for stranded expatriates outside the Kingdom in addition to extending the validity of visit visas and exit and re-entry visas without fees or charges for all expats until 30/11/2021, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA)reported.

The move comes in implementation of the directives of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

The decision, which was approved by the Minister of Finance, comes in line with ongoing efforts being made by the Kingdom’s government to deal with the effects and repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic.

It also falls within precautionary measures that guarantee the safety of citizens and residents and contribute to mitigating financial and economic impacts.

The Directorate indicated that the extension will be carried out electronically in cooperation with the National Information Centre without the need to visit the departments of passports. The extension process is as follows:

First: Extending the validity of residence permits as well as exit and re-entry visas for residents who are in countries from which entry is suspended as a result of Coronavirus until 30/11/2021.

Second: Extending the validity of visit visas for visitors who are in the countries from which entry is suspended as a result of the Coronavirus until 30/11/2021.

Currently, the countries facing the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Last month, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has issued directives to allow direct entry of fully vaccinated expatriates from countries facing travel ban.

The decision was applied only to those foreigners who have a valid residency permit (iqama) and left the Kingdom on exit and re-entry visa after taking two doses of vaccine against coronavirus from Saudi Arabia.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.