The Middle East has embarked on a seismic economic transformation, as countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia reduce their economic reliance on oil and gas revenues.
Technology is being harnessed in two ways by these countries. An IT sector is being established with overseas markets in its sights, while technology such as artificial intelligence is being used to support other emerging industries in the region.
Furthermore, it’s important that IT professionals watch the region, as countries such as the UAE desperately need new talent and are opening up to IT professionals from across the world. These IT specialists could take part in world-leading IT projects backed by willing governments with deep pockets.
Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 Middle East IT stories of 2021:
The UAE has launched multiple programmes as it bids to be a world-leading location for artificial intelligence innovation.
The United Arab Emirates is offering visas to coders across the world as it attempts to attract talent to support its economic diversification.
If all goes according to plan, within a few years, one million people will live in Saudi Arabia’s “city of the future” – and every one of them will depend on a fleet of self-driving cars.
New UAE data protection regulation is on the horizon, a year after a Dubai-specific law came into force.
SMEs in the Gulf region have accelerated their digital transformations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital learning technologies in the Gulf region’s education sector.
Bahrain has completed its 5G roll-out, which will support its IT infrastructure in creating the right environment for technology firms.
Leading comms tech provider and local Oman operator begin 4G and 5G fixed wireless access deployment for services covering homes and businesses throughout the country.
The Middle East is accelerating its take-up of digital healthcare technologies following lessons learned in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saudi Arabian organisations will spend about $11bn on IT this year, with emerging technologies high on shopping lists.