Microsoft Invests $1.5B to Bring AI to the Middle East

Microsoft’s investment in AI technology group G42 is part of its strategy to expand the reach of its AI tech

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

April 16, 2024

1 Min Read
Dubai skyline reflected onto water. The setting sun casts a red glow.
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Microsoft is investing $1.5 billion in UAE-based AI technology company G42 as part of a “strategic investment” to bring its AI technologies to the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

Going forward, G42 will run its AI applications and services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

The two companies will also work together on skill development, providing development support for local talent as well as investing $1 billion in a fund for developers.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, will join G42’s board of directors.

“Our two companies will work together not only in the UAE, but to bring AI and digital infrastructure and services to underserved nations,” said Smith. “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.”

Founded in 2018, G42 is chaired by Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s former national security advisor and a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.

Its portfolio includes Khazna Data Centers, data analytics firm Presight and biotech Hayat Biotech.

G42 and Microsoft previously co-developed AI solutions for the public sector, providing sovereign cloud offerings on Azure.

Related:AI is Booming in the Middle East

G42’s Jais Arabic large language model is also among the available models on Microsoft Azure’s AI Cloud Model as a Service offering.

“Microsoft’s investment in G42 marks a pivotal moment in our company’s journey of growth and innovation, signifying a strategic alignment of vision and execution between the two organizations,” said Al Nahyan.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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