The UAE government partners with Mastercard to accelerate adoption of AI

Firos BF | | Reading Time: 7:13 minutes

Dubai: The UAE’s Artificial intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office and Mastercard today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities and readiness in the region. An initial focus of the effort will be dedicated to battling financial crime, securing the digital ecosystem, and driving inclusive growth in the UAE and beyond.

H.E. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications emphasized the UAE government's dedicated efforts towards strategic collaborations with the private sector and leading international companies. These collaborations have been recognized as pivotal catalysts for expediting the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, a crucial component of the nation's journey towards digital advancement and prosperity.

His Excellency pointed out the significance of bilateral cooperation. He emphasized the importance of realizing the aspirations outlined in the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031. This strategy aims to consolidate the UAE's position as a leading hub for Artificial Intelligence. Concurrently, it seeks to foster the development of comprehensive technology-driven frameworks within priority sectors.

Furthermore, His Excellency praised Mastercard's efforts in adopting AI, as well as their inauguration of a global center dedicated to Artificial Intelligence and advanced technology within the UAE.

Investing in Enhanced Innovation

The signing of this partnership comes as Mastercard unveiled its latest global Centre for Advanced AI and Cyber Technology in Dubai. In addition to developing AI-powered solutions to fight financial crime, the Centre will focus on securing the digital ecosystem and driving inclusive growth. It will also serve as a hub to nurture and hire local AI talent, including data engineers and data scientists, with a remit to accelerate AI innovation globally and service customers all around the world from the UAE.

“AI plays a critical role in our operations, powering our products and fuelling our network intelligence to improve digital experiences, while reducing financial fraud and risk,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “The combination of this latest Advanced AI Centre and our partnership with the Government of the UAE will deliver greater value for our customers and ultimately reinforce trust in the digital ecosystem.”

Mastercard's new centre – drawing on the company’s technical knowledge and expertise – will support a new Innovation Hub in the Emirate of Dubai. Under this program, governments and businesses from across the region will collaborate on new efforts to support the continued digital transformation.

"The UAE is a global leader in developing innovative technologies to foster economic growth and drive digital transformation. For more than 35 years, Mastercard has been investing in the UAE to harness the power of technology for the good of the nation. By embracing the power of AI through this new partnership, we are ushering in the next generation of transformative technology, and actively supporting the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031,” said Dimitrios Dosis, president, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard.

The Middle East is undergoing a rapid technological shift. According to IDC, investments in digital transformation are expected to double over the next few years in the Middle East. PwC estimates that AI will contribute $320 billion to the region and more than $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. AI has the power to address some of today’s most pressing challenges, including reducing fraud while helping more people access financial services.

Heritage of AI Innovation

This Centre in Dubai is the latest in a series of investments Mastercard has made in Advanced AI, with existing centres in the US, Canada and India. To date, Mastercard has made use of AI most significantly and successfully in its efforts to enhance cybersecurity and user experiences. By applying a sophisticated AI engine, Mastercard protects more than 125 billion transactions from fraud every year – at speed and scale.

However, today we stand at the precipice of yet another transformative leap in technology, fuelled by the accessibility of generative AI. With its ability to create new content and predict a wholes series of next steps, it has the potential to transform customer experiences, enable personalized interactions and reshape industries.

At Mastercard we are using generative AI for many purposes, including through synthetic transaction data to supercharge fraud detection and boost approval rates. Our Centre in Dubai will help us develop these new and ground-breaking use cases, and with this knowledge we plan to establish additional Advanced AI Centres across the globe, to drive continued innovation.