Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India (in the right) and Omar Bin Sultan Al Obama, Minister of AI, UAE, signing MoU

The AI Agreement Between India and the Arab Emirates

Fostering Growth Opportunities with a Memorandum of Understanding on Artificial Intelligence

Alex Moltzau
4 min readJan 8, 2020


Since I decided to look at international Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategies I thought it was worth looking at different international agreements in regards to AI. According to the Gulf News:

The partnership will generate an estimated $20 billion (Dh73.4 billion) in economic benefits during the next decade.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, and Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO of Invest India, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, here to create a bilateral Atrificial Intelligence Bridge. The MoU was signed in July 2018.

It is said by the parties that the collaboration seeks to elaborate the dynamic nature of technology and innovation through convening a UAE-India AI Working Committee (TWG) between the UAE Ministry for Artificial Intelligence, Invest India and Startup India.

So who are the different units?

UAE Ministry for Artificial Intelligence

The United Arab Emirates may have done something quite clever by making their own ministry for AI:

Investing in the latest AI technologies and tools to enhance UAE government performance and efficiency

In September the 10th 2018 they trained 500 Emirate youth through internships with Dell EMC. On March the 6th 2019 they held the think AI initiative, a series of strategic roundtables. On April the 30th 2019 they held the AI Everything Summit.

B.R.A.I.N — The UAE National AI Program — anchored with strategic and integrated plan to drive the use of AI to enrich, enhance and enforce government initiatives and programs in all sectors: Social & Community Development, Government Services, Global Partnerships, Information Dissemination, Insights and Analytics and National Security.

The first Batch through the programme launched by UAE National AI Programme in partnership with Kellogg College at Oxford University came forth in May 2019.

They have a partnership with Microsoft as well:

The partnership with Microsoft focuses on the following:

  • Identifying and developing technological solutions based on artificial intelligence to achieve the United Nations goals of sustainable development,
  • Enhancing the use of artificial intelligence in all government bodies in the UAE,
  • Establishing an integrated and global framework for governance and AI ethics,
  • Contributing to achieving the outputs of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Invest India

They are the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and act as the first point of reference for investors in India.

Invest India, set up in 2009, is a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

Since it is the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, Invest India focuses on sector-specific investor targeting and development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India.

In addition to a core team that focuses on sustainable investments, Invest India also partners with substantial investment promotion agencies and multilateral organisations.

Invest India actively works with several Indian states to build capacity as well as bring in global best practices in investment targeting, promotion and facilitation areas. Thus its collaboration with UAE on artificial intelligence.

Startup India

Startup India is an initiative of the Government of India. The campaign was first announced by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his 15 August 2015 address from the Red Fort, in New Delhi. The action plan of this initiative, is based on the following three pillars:

  1. Simplification and Handholding.
  2. Funding Support and Incentives.
  3. Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation.

In terms of private investments:

  • SoftBank, which is headquartered in Japan, has invested US$2 billion into Indian startups. The Japanese firm has pledged to investment US$10 billion.
  • Google declared to launch a startup, based on the highest votes in which the top three startups will be allowed to join the next Google Launchpad Week, and the final winner could win an amount of US$100,000 in Google cloud credits.

How Will this MoU Play Out?

It remains to be seen how this memorandum of understanding will play out going forward, as there has been no clear news of further collaboration between the states or announcements with follow-ups, neither has there been any clear website as such. At least having an understanding of collaboration is a start that can be carried onwards by Indian and the UAE startups or established companies.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 218. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My current focus for 100 days 200–300 is national and international strategies for artificial intelligence.



Alex Moltzau

AI Policy, Governance, Ethics and International Partnerships at All views are my own.