Dubai: It didn’t take long for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain technologies to impact companies, as their rise is gradually shaping new business models, optimizing performance and boosting efficiency across the entire economic spectrum. Among the many sectors affected by this digital transformation, are financial markets in the GCC and beyond.On one hand, the integration of AI helps to improve data analysis and enables the swift processing of vast financial data, leading to better decision-making and risk assessment. Automated trading algorithms execute trades rapidly based on market trends and patterns, while AI assists in risk management by identifying and mitigating potential risks through data analysis.On the other hand, Blockchain technology enhances security in financial markets, guaranteeing safe and transparent transactions, which helps reduce fraud and enhances trust in regional financial markets. It also streamlines financial processes, such as settlements and record-keeping, driving efficiency and lowering costs. In Saudi Arabia, for example, Blockchain technology is being used to create a new and simple way to finance small and medium enterprises. As for Dubai, the city has been at the forefront of Blockchain adoption, with ambitious plans to become the Blockchain capital of the world, as the Emirati leadership strives to fully digitize the government by utilizing Blockchain for all government documents, which demonstrates a firm commitment to embracing this technology for various sectors.According to Ritu Singh, Regional Director of Stone X Group Inc., the combination of AI and Blockchain technologies is expected to have a profound impact on financial markets in the Middle East. Singh says: “While the specific investment capital dedicated to AI and Blockchain in this part of the world is not clear yet, their projected impact and the region's advancements indicate a growing interest and investment in such transformative technologies, which contributes to reshaping the financial landscape.”A recent PwC report has highlighted the potential for AI to disrupt markets and foster the creation of innovative services and business models in the Middle East. The report projects that the region will gain 2% of the total global benefits of AI by 2030, with the UAE experiencing the largest impact, amounting to approximately 14% of its 2030 GDP. The report further estimates that the potential impact of AI in the Middle East could reach US$320 billion, with Saudi Arabia anticipated to be one of the economies that will benefit the most from AI advancements.According to The International Data Corporation, it is estimated that the Middle East will be spending $3 billion on AI in 2023 with that amount more than doubling to $6.4 billion by 2026. The region is expected to see annual growth in spending of almost 30% in this technology over the next three years, which is the fastest growth rate worldwide over the coming years. Furthermore, more than 80% of CEOs in the Middle East believe that AI is critical to the future of their businesses, and over 70% of them are investing in such technologies.For FOREX.com, a leading trading company which has its office in Dubai and part of StoneX Group Inc., investing in AI technologies has already started. The company offers customers an AI-based Performance Analytics tool, in addition to giving them access to advanced Risk Management Performance Analytics solutions.In this line, Singh confirms: “At FOREX.com, our commitment lies in delivering the finest cutting-edge tools and market access to our esteemed customers. We firmly believe that AI will revolutionize every aspect of trading, spanning from markets to trading technology, and we are at the forefront of this transformation by offering our customers AI-based tools, such as Performance Analytics. We’ve also introduced an AI index for trading, The BITA Artificial Intelligence Giants UST Index, and other exciting offerings are currently under development.”Recently, a growing number of companies has started using The BITA Artificial Intelligence Giants UST Index, which aims at providing exposure to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector through a selection of companies that are publicly listed in the US with revenue in the AI ecosystem. This includes areas such as microprocessors, data center platforms, machine learning and autonomous artificial intelligence development, among others. Index constituents are weighted by free-float market capitalization and rebalanced semi-annually, while index values are disseminated on an intraday and end-of-day basis. The base currency of the index is USD. However, index values may be published in other currencies when applicable.