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Sehteq raises $20 million; Sheikh Mohammed approves UAE AI action plan
Here’s your weekly roundup of Middle East AI News!
A $20 million funding round for AI-powered health insurance tech startup Sehteq, Saudi and UAE startup competitions, reviews of Dubai and Saudi Arabia's fintech ecosystems, plus many other stories today.
On the policy front, Sheikh Mohammed has approved a UAE action plan for AI and digital economy, and Saudi's GACA promises a new comprehensive drone law in the near future.
Meanwhile, if you scroll down to the end of newsletter you'll find PwC Middle East's new Capital Projects and Infrastructure Survey, which finds that interest in AI has surged since March.
Stay safe and have a great weekend!
#UAE #insurtech - AI-powered health insurance tech startup Sehteq, has secured a $20 million investment from its anchor investor 971 Capital. Sehteq is among the top three health insurance providers in the UAE and ranks ninth on the global insure-tech list, based on funding, (Wamda)
#UAE #startups - The Annual Investment Meeting in partnership with the Sustainable City's Bedayat incubator will host a UAE Emirates Startup Roadshow to be held 17-20 September in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. (Zawya.com)
#Saudi #startups - Fifty new tech startups developing innovative solutions and applications have entered the Technology Pioneers Program of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). (Saudi Gazette)
#UAE #startups - The 20 finalists for the Global Maker Challenge, organised by the Global Prosperity Initiative are competing for prizes and mentorship worth up to $1 million. Shortlisted finalists have harnessed machine learning, AI, smart materials or cloud-based networks. (Khaleej Times)
#UAE #AIstrategy - His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the UAE's action plan on AI and digital economy, Future plans focus on developing financial cooperation, the freelance economy, digital markets, and digital content. (Gulf News)
#Saudi #drones - The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) promises a comprehensive update of Saudi Arabia's regulations governing a mechanism for import, distribution, operation and registration of drones for commercial and recreational use. (Saudi Gazette)
#UAE #fintech - Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is not only the country’s financial and commercial hub but has become one as well for both the Middle East region and beyond. (Fintech Times)
#Saudi #fintech - Fintech Saudi has revealed in its annual report 2019/20 that it is seeing the emergence of a growing fintech industry in the Kingdom. The number of operating fintechs has increased three-fold in a year, from 20 in 2019 to 60 this year (Asharq Al-Awsat)
#UAE #fintech - Twelve early-stage fintech startups from MENA have been selected to take part in Village Capital’s accelerator, Finance Forward MENA 2020, part of a multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation and PayPal to support entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions to challenges around financial health. (SME10X)
#UAE #smartcities - Etihad Energy Services (Etihad ESCO) will join Moro Hub’s newly launched Smart Cities Command and Control Centre. Etihad ESCO will use the centre for its businesses and management services. (Tahawultech)
#Saudi #education - AI is set to transform education in Saudi schools as part of a landmark technology partnership deal. Numou Center for Education, in Dhahran, has teamed up with Century Tech, a London-based education company, to create a new AI-powered learning platform designed specifically for the needs of Saudi students. (Arab News)
#UAE #education - Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence, AI, university, has announced the launch of online courses for its accepted inaugural cohort students ahead of the academic year starting on 10th January, 2021. (Emirates News Agency)
#Saudi #fraud - Saudi Arabia has established a ministerial committee to oversee the national program to combat commercial cover-up and to propose solutions and initiatives to eliminate the practice. Under the directive, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) will build an index to measure the percentage of suspected cases of commercial cover-ups. (Salaam Gateway)
#UAE #Israel #coronavirus - G42 Healthcare, part of Abu Dhabi-based AI firm Group 42, has signed a preliminary agreement with Israel's NanoScent to develop, distribute, and manufacture a test that detects COVID-19 from exhaled air, UAE state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday. (Reuters)
#UAE #coronavirus - As part of the UAE’s vaccine trials, volunteers will receive a wearable device to monitor their health after the UAE’s vaccine sponsor, UAE AI firm Group 42, partnered with Boston-based tech firm, Whoop. (Gulf News)
#Saudi #coronavirus - Saudi Arabia's AI-based Covid-19 Index had been crucial in forecasting the virus’s spread, Dr Esam Al Wagait, director of the Kingdom's National Information Centre told the Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit last week. (The National)
#MiddleEast #infrasctructure - Two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed in PwC Middle East's Capital Projects and Infrastructure Survey post 3 March 2020 identified AI and machine learning in their top five, compared with just 50% in a pre-COVID-19 survey. (PwC Middle East)