The United Arab Emirates is projected to spend $23 billion on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in 2024, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
The UAE's ability to adapt to leading technologies such as cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), alongside the nation's never-ending stream of digitalization initiatives presents no surprise as to why it is considered one of the "most attractive ICT markets in the Middle East."
The country's compound annual growth rate (CAGR) - rate of return required for an investment to grow - over the span of five years (2019-2024) is estimated to reach 8 percent. In 2019 alone, the services sector accounted for almost 58 percent of the country's total ICT spending; it is predicted to still maintain its "largest portion" title by 2024.
However, the label "highest recorded ICT CAGR" goes to the software/application division, with a whopping growth rate of 11 percent during the next four years.
"Strong demand for PCs and servers by consumers and businesses, as well as continued investment by companies in IT infrastructure, will boost the sales of the hardware segment in the forecast period," said Senior Analyst at GlobalData Rohit Sharma.
When spending $23 billion on ICT alone, it is natural that return profits are anticipated. According to Sharma, ICT hardware and infrastructure are expected to generate $6 billion by 2024.
Spending across the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector will hit 15 percent, while the energy division will make up 28 percent of total ICT spending.
Dubai is considered the central hub of innovation and technology, not only of the seven emirates that make up the UAE but of the entire ICT vertical across the Middle East and Africa region. The emirate has been pushing smart city initiatives in an effort to make Dubai the "happiest city on earth."
With the expected growth in spending, the development of ICT is predicted to flourish immensely in the future, further cementing its position as a regional base for some of the world's leading technology brands such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and more.
With Expo 2020 Dubai and as part of the emirate's Vision 2021, the ICT demand is gaining momentum exponentially in order to provide customers and visitors the best possible experience. Vision 2021 also aims to make the city environmentally sustainable and completely paperless, with a full digital transformation.
With Dubai's promotion and support of AI, Machine Learning, IoT, and blockchain technologies, its "Dubai Smart City" initiative is banking on investment and spending in the ICT sector.