The UAE and US: Forging the Future of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Tech

Advanced technology is the newest pillar of a deep and enduring UAE-US relationship built on a foundation of security cooperation, trade ties and cultural exchange.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

Moving from oil to data, from sand to space, from commodities to “compute” – the United Arab Emirates is rapidly reshaping its economy and racing into the future.

The UAE is transforming itself into a global hub and forerunner for next-generation technologies in fields like artificial intelligence (AI), life sciences and the space economy. This is a remarkable shift enabled by visionary leadership, access to clean energy, ample investment capital, a whole-of-government commitment, and a hub and home to some of the world’s best tech talent. 

And the United States (US) is the UAE’s most important partner in this transformation.

Advanced technology and AI are the newest pillars of the deep and enduring UAE-US relationship, which is built on a foundation of security cooperation, trade ties and cultural exchange.

Accelerating this shift, UAE institutions and companies like G42, Mubadala, NYU Abu Dhabi and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center are joining with American counterparts like Microsoft, IBM, the Cleveland Clinic and NASA to launch new businesses, initiatives and missions to space.

In the UAE, we are embracing change and welcoming the future of AI and advanced technology. And we are doing it together with the US.

Learn more about our progress and ambition.

Yousef Al Otaiba
UAE Ambassador to the US

The UAE’s AI Ambitions

Being an early AI adaptor and innovator, the UAE’s AI sector is among the world’s most advanced. The UAE appointed the world’s first AI minister in 2017, created the first dedicated AI research university in 2020, and launched Falcon, a top-rated open-source large language model in 2023. In March 2024, the UAE's Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council launched MGX, a technology investment company with Mubadala and G42 as founding partners. MGX will advance and deploy leading-edge technologies to improve the lives of current and future generations.


The UAE-US AI Partnership

From Nvidia, AMD and Microsoft to OpenAI and IBM, the UAE is forging deep partnerships with America’s leading technology companies. These ventures not only enhance UAE-US relations but are expected to have a positive impact on the Global South. Following Microsoft’s $1.5 billion investment in G42 in April 2024, the two companies announced they are joining forces to build a $1 billion geothermal-powered data center in Kenya. Close government-to-government cooperation is creating a new policy and oversight framework to expand commercial and research initiatives while protecting valuable intellectual property and national interests. 

As Ambassador Al Otaiba wrote in Bloomberg, “...the UAE is working with the US and other partners to write a new playbook for this breakthrough technology. It involves resetting government regulations, reimagining public-private sector collaboration, and reshaping our relations in the world. And it is based on core principles that enable AI to flourish, while putting in place a regulatory framework to ensure its just and ethical use.”

Discover more about leading UAE-US partnerships shaping the future of AI below.

STATEMENTS
Brad Smith, Microsoft

"Microsoft’s investment in G42 will enhance the UAE’s position as a leading AI hub and provide digital infrastructure and services to help underserved nations innovate and grow. We will combine world-class technology with world-leading standards for safe, trusted, and responsible AI, in close coordination with the governments of both the UAE and the United States."

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HH Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council

“In MGX, we are establishing a UAE national champion focused on AI and advanced technologies that will shape a future where technology enables a more prosperous, sustainable and interconnected world.”

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Sam Altman, OpenAI

“The world will need a unified policy to rein in future advances in AI, I think, for a bunch of reasons, the UAE would be set up to be a leader in the discussions about that. The UAE could serve as the world’s regulatory sandbox to test artificial intelligence technologies and later spearhead global rules limiting their use.”

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Naim Yazbeck, Microsoft UAE

“If you look at the UAE vision, their vision is to be an AI-driven nation.. everything they are doing is building towards that perspective.”

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Congressman Mike Gallagher, US House of Representatives

"The UAE is a critical and powerful ally, one that will become even more important for regional and global stability as AI advances."

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Bill Nelson, NASA

"The partnership between the United States and the United Arab Emirates is strong and growing stronger. Together, we are taking giant leaps in science and technology that will further the Artemis campaign, and the future of human space exploration."

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Peng Xiao, G42

“At G42 we made our bet. We believe that the most advanced AI players in the world are centralized around Silicon Valley.”

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HE Omar Al Olama, UAE Artificial Intelligence Office

“[O]ur policymaking and our government is very agile and can move very quickly, we want to ensure that anyone who wants to deploy AI in a way where we can do it in a regulatory environment, the UAE comes first in mind.”

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Afshin Molavi, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

“The UAE is very much on Team USA when it comes to advanced technologies like artificial intelligence.”

Faisal Al Bannai, UAE Advanced Technology Research Council

“I think based on the op-ed that you’ve seen, based on the various engagements that we’ve been having with the US, based on looking at companies like Microsoft investing in G42 – I think these are all signs of closer collaboration when it comes to AI. Whether it is on the AI model itself, whether it is on the chipset side and ensuring the supply of NVIDIA chips and other things, whether it’s looking at furthering investments in chipsets or other areas – there is definitely a closer collaboration that’s happening to further improve areas related to compute, areas related to software partners and areas related to use cases.”

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