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Chip in for the Long term: UAE powers up as tech chief – Generation


The United Arab Emirates is solidifying its position as a global hub for advanced technology and artificial intelligence (AI). This strategic vision hinges on international partnerships in the crucial field of advanced semiconductor manufacturing, a sector recognised as a fundamental pillar for a future built on innovation.

The UAE’s commitment to semiconductors began early on. Through Mubadala Investment Company, a key driver of the nation’s economic diversification, the UAE established GlobalFoundries in 2009. Now a leader in the field, GlobalFoundries is listed on the prestigious NASDAQ Stock Market in the United States. This foresight not only solidified Mubadala’s role as a transformative investor but also positioned the UAE as a major player in the global semiconductor landscape.

Beyond direct investments, the UAE fosters strategic partnerships to address the global demand for advanced chips. These collaborations aim to achieve a vital balance between supply and demand, particularly in rapidly growing markets. Semiconductors are the lifeblood of countless technologies, from ubiquitous smartphones to the sophisticated equipment in hospitals and schools. Their growing importance necessitates a proactive approach.

Further bolstering the UAE’s tech ambitions is the creation of MGX, a technology investment company spearheaded by the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council (AIATC). MGX, with foundational partners Mubadala and G42, a global leader in AI, focuses on AI infrastructure, semiconductors, and core AI technologies. This initiative exemplifies the UAE’s commitment to developing AI and advanced technology for the betterment of humanity, encompassing well-being, sustainability, and global communication.

The combined strengths of Mubadala and G42 create a powerful synergy. Mubadala’s proven track record as an investor in transformative technologies like AMD and GlobalFoundries, coupled with G42’s expertise in AI, cloud computing, and specialised applications, positions the UAE as a magnet for investors, entrepreneurs, and top talent in the tech sector.

By embracing strategic partnerships and fostering innovation, the UAE is carving a dynamic path towards becoming a pre-eminent global tech leader.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) on June 6th announced global semiconductor industry sales were $46.4 billion during the month of April 2024, an increase of 15.8% compared to the April 2023 total of $40.1 billion and 1.1% more than the March 2024 total of $45.9 billion. Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organisation and represent a three-month moving average. Additionally, a newly released WSTS industry forecast projects annual global sales increases of 16.0% in 2024 and 12.5% in 2025. SIA represents 99% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.

“The global semiconductor industry posted double-digit sales increases on a year-to-year basis during each month of 2024, and worldwide sales in April increased on a month-to-month basis for the first time this year, indicating positive market momentum as we approach the middle of the year,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “Additionally, the latest industry forecast projects strong annual growth in 2024, led by sales to the Americas market, which is expected to grow by more than 25% this year.”

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