Oracle has opened its new Zayed Innovation Hub, a new centre for AI and machine learning.
The Dubai facility was officially opened today by HE Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.
The hub is intended to be a centre for AI research for private sector, government and academia, and will include access to Oracle machine learning and AI solutions. The centre will cater to the whole of the wider Middle East and Africa region.
The centre has been named in honour of the UAE's first President, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as part of the ‘Year of Zayed' initiative.
Speaking at the opening, the Minister said: "The Zayed Innovation Hub represents a milestone in the Artificial Intelligence space, not only in the UAE but also in the region and to position the UAE as a global leader in AI. We expect this initiative to encourage other technology companies to emulate Oracle in supporting and training students and the Emirati youth."
Arun Khehar, Senior Vice President - Business Applications, ECEMEA, Oracle added: "The success of strategic government initiatives like Smart Dubai and Expo 2020 is underpinned with emerging digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence driving the creation of an automated infrastructure for the realization of these projects.
"The ‘Zayed Innovation Hub', that will serve as the ultimate platform for driving awareness, experimentation and implementation of Artificial Intelligence in the UAE; and the opening of a state of the art Digital Hub in Dubai that has now employed more than 400 cloud sales professionals, are solid evidence of Oracle's commitment to continuously invest in enhancing our local capabilities and service offerings in the UAE."
Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President - Technology, Middle East and Africa, Oracle said, "Forrester predicts that businesses that use Artificial Intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to uncover new business insights will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less informed peers by 2020. An Oracle research also shows an increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence capabilities, with nearly a third (29%) of cloud users citing the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence as a key requirement of cloud.
"However making Artificial Intelligence easy to adopt is critical - a key challenge for organizations is that they can't afford to wait. The ‘Zayed Innovation Hub' will aim to address this challenge by engaging with key UAE audiences by raising their awareness levels, helping drive an innovative approach and also supporting the skills development of next generation of Emirati leaders", added Al Thehaiban.
Oracle is also working the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE in the field of machine learning, Al Thehaiban said, particularly to support the HCT's plans to develop a bachelor's degree in AI.