By Ghulam Haider
Visitors to Gitex at the Dubai World Trade Centre met humanoid robots and entered an alternative reality through VR headsets on Friday.
They were greeted by Ameca, the world’s most advanced human-shaped robot, one of many robots on show at the event.
Those who wanted to experience a different reality could don a VR headset and enter the metaverse.
Dubai has hosted more than 5,000 companies presenting their latest innovations at the five-day tech event.
Here are the pictorial highlights of the day 5;
The cloud offers data residency and sovereignty, which ensures it is not subject to foreign jurisdictions, chief executive of G42 Cloud says
The financial services industry leads a list of critical sectors that would benefit most from a cloud ecosystem, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s G42 Cloud has said.
With the cloud being the “underlying foundational pillar” for many industry verticals, it provides a level of confidence by offering data residency, as well as sovereignty, which ensures it is not subject to foreign jurisdictions, Talal Al Kaissi told.
“In terms of industries that can actually have a multiplied effect from the cloud, financial services is very big, because it’s very ripe for disruption,” he said.
“The elasticity that the cloud provides gives it an edge versus an on-premises solution.”
Using cloud services to store important data is generally considered to be a more viable solution to an organisation’s requirements because it is, in many ways, safer than using private data centres.
The financial sector, which holds a massive amount of important and personal data, could use the power of the cloud, which is also relatively more economical.
The size of the global finance cloud market is expected to surge to more than $105 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of about 20 per cent from $20bn in 2021, Grand View Research found.
Meanwhile, the overall cloud computing market is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2030 at a 16 per cent CAGR from $369bn last year.
Aside from finance, the healthcare and energy sectors also stand to benefit significantly from using the cloud, Mr Al Kaissi said.
“Security isn’t that much of an issue — if you are able to get people to embrace the concept of the cloud and understand its benefits versus an on-premises site,” he said.
Energy companies, in particular, can create solutions for their industry with bundled services that can come from the cloud. This, in turn, will drive more consumption.
“Any kind of company, public or private, would not want to have the headache of managing their cloud infrastructure, as well as try to ensure they have the best and brightest IT staff,” Mr Al Kaissi said.
“Outsourcing that headache is the next phase for companies to focus on the core of what they do.”
While G42 Cloud is boosting its services in the UAE, he welcomed competition from international industry players, saying it would make the company more competitive.
Global technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle have already set up cloud data centres in the UAE to support the country’s technological push.
“Abu Dhabi is already a hub for the cloud, and it’s quite interesting to see the proliferation of different companies in this domain,” Mr Al Kaissi said.
“It will be good as it enriches the ecosystem by having their presence here; it makes us better.”
Within the next three years, most organisations would have already been past the point of cloud migration, “which is a necessary but difficult step”, he said.
But “once they’re over that hump, we’re going to see interesting solution providers build products and services that can only be enabled by the elasticity of the cloud”, he said.
“As a result, data will be easier to tame even at the large scale that it is being collected in.”
G42 Cloud is a unit of G42, the Abu Dhabi artificial intelligence company, which has geospatial intelligence company Bayanat and data centre services provider Khazna under its umbrella.
It is looking at countries in the CIS and Eastern Europe to expand into, and organisations in those areas are looking to replicate G42’s solutions there, Mr Al Kaissi said.
Microsoft’s cloud portfolio to add $39bn and about 100,000 jobs to UAE economy, study says
Company is in talks with the government for more potential partnerships in highly regulated sectors
Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company, expects its cloud services portfolio to add more than $39 billion and about 100,000 jobs to the UAE economy in the next four years, a study has shown.
About 17 per cent of that revenue will come from the US technology company’s cloud data centre regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, according to the report conducted by the International Data Corporation.
Microsoft’s cloud business caters to the growing number of cloud-born companies or organisations in the UAE that have most or all of their assets on the cloud, said Naim Yazbeck, Microsoft’s general manager for the UAE.
The company is also “continuing” discussions with local authorities on potential partnerships to use its cloud services in highly regulated sectors, he told The National at Gitex Technology Week in Dubai.
Microsoft and its partners will spend about $3.4bn to support local businesses in UAE data centre regions, it said.
“The pandemic created an exponential need for digitisation; everyone required things to be digital, touchless, etc, and technology had been playing a big role. Of course, the cloud enabled all of those,” said Mr Yazbeck.
“The cloud has been a critical factor in allowing many sectors — from education to payments and financial services to retail — to continue to operate.”
The Microsoft study follows the opening of the company’s first cloud data centre region in Qatar, which is expected to add more than $18bn to the Gulf state’s economy and generate more than 36,000 jobs.
The adoption of cloud technology in the UAE and the GCC is growing because of the rise of technology focused young consumers and an evolving digital landscape in the region.
The global cloud computing market was valued at $368.97bn in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of about 16 per cent from 2022 to 2030, with emerging technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning among its primary drivers, according to Grand View Research.
Meanwhile, global spending on public cloud services is expected to rise by more than 20 per cent annually to $495bn this year — about $84bn more than what was spent in 2020 — and hit $600bn in 2023, according to research firm Gartner.
Aside from Microsoft, other global technology companies such as Amazon and Oracle have also set up data centres in the UAE to support the country’s technological push.
Microsoft, its partners and customers are expected to add more than 97,000 jobs to the UAE economy, either through direct employment or through the indirect generation of jobs in other organisations, the study said.
This will include an estimated 29,000 IT jobs, “highlighting the ongoing need for collaboration between public and private entities on skilling programmes to ensure that qualified professionals are on hand to assume these roles”, it said.
Microsoft’s cloud customers and partners in the UAE include the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, the Ministry of Education, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mashreq Bank, DP World, Dubai International Airport and Majid Al Futtaim Retail.
More than two thirds of the jobs created by Microsoft’s cloud business in the UAE will directly deal with the technology itself, while the rest will be at the end-user level, which highlights the need to boost the skills of users, Mr Yazbeck said.
“The challenge is the availability of skills. We are focusing, with the government, on skilling the workforce. You need more skills at a high pace,” he said.
“In specific highly regulated industries, we are looking if there is a way to partner with them so they can leverage the advantages of the cloud.”