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Power Letters 2024: Naim Yazbeck, general manager, Microsoft UAE

Power Letters 2024: Naim Yazbeck, general manager, Microsoft UAE

We are committed to helping the UAE realise the potential of the Microsoft Cloud to add $39bn to the UAE economy and generate almost 100,000 jobs

Naim Yazbeck of Microsoft

As we stepped into the new year, the echoes of 2023 resonated with one clear theme: the Year of AI. At Microsoft UAE, this wasn’t just a buzzword – it was the driving force behind some of the most exciting achievements, impactful collaborations, and innovative solutions alongside our customers and partners.

Our state-of-the-art cloud datacenters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which celebrated their fourth anniversary this year, once again served as the bedrock of this transformation. Through them, we democratised access to the latest AI breakthroughs, empowering government institutions, businesses, and individuals with the tools and resources they need to build their own AI applications and drive innovation.

Take, for example, our collaboration with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi. Leveraging the enterprise-grade cloud services delivered from our UAE facilities, we are advancing the use of AI and digital technology in healthcare to improve patient outcomes, increase efficiencies, and enhance health research and service.

The arrival of the Azure OpenAI Service in our UAE datacenters, which coincided with the visit of our CEO Satya Nadella to the UAE, marked another significant milestone both for us as Microsoft UAE and for the country’s innovators. We formed our multiyear, multibillion-dollar partnership with OpenAI in line with our joint commitment to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratise AI as a new technology platform. By bringing this suite of powerful AI models, including GPT-4 and DALL-E 2, to our UAE datacenters, local and regional organisations can develop innovative AI applications such as virtual assistants, content generation, code generation, image editing tools, and more.

As we enter 2024, our ongoing strategic collaboration with G42 will take this progress to the next level through the availability of sovereign cloud offerings that will allow the UAE public sector and regulated industries to use new platform capabilities for securing sensitive data. We will also jointly develop AI-enabled industry-specific solutions for health and life sciences, energy, sustainability, and projects of national significance. And we will expand our Azure services footprint in the UAE via Khazna Data Centers, a joint venture company between G42 and e&,

But it’s not just about the latest technology. we understand the human element is crucial. That’s why the introduction of Microsoft Copilot, our everyday AI companion, through our Early Access Programme and its subsequent launch, marked a pivotal moment in our journey in the UAE this year. Our latest Work Trend Index report found that 64 per cent of employees today are struggling with having the time and energy to do their job, and this makes them 3.5x more likely to also struggle with innovation and strategic thinking. As a result, nearly 60 per cent of leaders have stated that a lack of innovation or breakthrough ideas from their teams is a concern. Copilot tackles this head-on, automating tedious tasks and freeing up valuable resources.

We are committed to helping the UAE realise the potential of the Microsoft Cloud to add $39bn to the UAE economy and generate almost 100,000 jobs. That’s why we continue to support the government and private sector in preparing workforces of today and tomorrow with the skills they need to succeed and advance the digital economy.

We continue to work tirelessly to achieve our global mission of becoming carbon negative by 2030, and we are helping organisations of all sizes and industries across the UAE reach their own sustainability goals. This includes empowering B2B tech startups, whose creativity and innovation are crucial for a sustainable future.

Our vision for 2024 is clear: to continue expanding our innovation footprint and solidify the UAE’s position as a regional leader. We are enthusiastic about the journey and the positive impact our advancements will continue to have on this region.

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