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Google Contributed Billions To The Middle East Economy In 2021

Google contributed over $3 billion to the economy in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2021 alone.

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google contributed billions of dollars to the middle east economy in 2021

For better or worse, Google is at the heart of the modern internet. Services like Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Drive are used by billions of people around the world, helping them find useful information, establish an online presence, and accomplish their goals, among many other things.

Interested to see how much value it contributes to the Middle East economy, the tech giant commissioned independent consultancy Public First to explore how Google’s products helped people, businesses, and workers, and the findings are astonishing: Google contributed over $3 billion to the economy in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2021 alone.

To be more precise, Google helped support an estimated 12.2 billion SAR (or $3.25 billion) in economic activity in Saudi Arabia and AED 11.3 billion (or $3.08 billion) in the UAE.

In both countries, e-commerce played a vital role in Google’s contributions. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the Middle East were fairly reluctant to shop online. Since the first wave of pandemic lockdowns restricted access to physical stores, e-commerce penetration more than doubled both in Saudi Arabia (from 5% to 10%) and the UAE (from 5.6% to 12.1%).

Other drivers of Google’s contributions include the company’s huge developer ecosystem or the various content creators it helped propel to stardom, such as the Iraqi creator known as Chef Shaheen, whose YouTube channel has around 2.4 million subscribers.

Also Read: How To Find Remote-Only Tech Jobs In 2023

“We see from the numbers that the content creator economy is growing massively…same thing for developers,” says Anthony Nakache, Google’s Managing Director in the Middle East and North Africa. “All signs are showing that there is a growth in the [digital] economy — all components are actually growing.”

On the flip side, any economy that becomes largely dependent on a single company can find itself in an unpleasant situation if the company stops being able to deliver its services, just like when the massive Facebook outage shook the internet in 2021.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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