A Call to Advance Adoption of Artificial Intelligence Across the Global Finance Industry

Global Economies

Arif Amiri is Chief Executive Officer at Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

The global finance industry has started to recognise the potential of Artificial Intelligence to help advance the sector. For several years, the UAE and DIFC have been AI champions. DIFC is currently hosting an AI Festival which we hope will encourage broader adoption across the MEASA region as well as globally.

Staff Writer

Published: 24/02/2022

3 min read

Even now, we are one of the few countries in the world to recognise its importance at a country level, having appointed His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama as Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence back in 2017. His appointment has helped enhance country and government performance by investing in the latest artificial intelligence tools and technologies and applying them in various sectors.

The UAE’s focus aligns well with a report by PwC which highlights that the country is expected to rank in the top three in the world globally for AI contribution, next to China and North America by 2030.


Innovation and positively disrupting the financial services industry has been at DIFC’s core since we were established 17 years ago. As the industry has evolved so has our approach to innovation. Back in 2017 our focus on AI increased when we launched the DIFC FinTech Hive.

Since then, we have attracted over 500 financial and innovation firms to operate in DIFC. They represent over 60 per cent operating across the GCC region. We have seen the industry and our clients rapidly embrace AI and other technologies, especially since the start of the COVID pandemic nearly two years ago.

Did you know that AI in the Financial and Professional Services sectors is expected to make a 13.6 per cent contribution to the Middle East’s GDP by 2030? This is more than double the 6.3 per cent contribution AI is expected to make to legacy industries, such as energy, utilities and resources that the region’s economies where heavily reliant on.

AI is important to our industry for many reasons. For example, it enables automation which improves speed and efficiency. AI can help organisations meet client and customer needs more accurately – and in turn personalise their product and risk-based offerings. It can also help with compliance monitoring and reduce financial related crime. Collaboration between

Government, DIFC experts and the private sector, we can collectively increase our contribution to the UAE’s GDP and remain at the forefront of financial innovation.