SenseTime to Establish EMEA R&D Unit in Abu Dhabi

he presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Professor Tang Xiou’ou, Founder of SenseTime, and H.E. Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, exchanged strategic agreement.

Chinese facial recognition tech unicorn SenseTime signed a deal with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) to base its regional research and development (R&D) headquarters in Abu Dhabi, according to SenseTime’s WeChat account. The initiative solidifies the UAE capital as an emerging hub of technology research in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

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SenseTime co-founder and CEO Xu Li commented, “The opportunity to build a significant operation in Abu Dhabi will allow us to continue progress on the development of our technologies and increase the adoption of AI across the world. Abu Dhabi offers us the ability to focus on innovation in key sectors, opens up a new customer base and more importantly, a new talent pool.”

(From left) Elham Al Qasim, CEO of ADIO; H.E. Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; Professor Tang Xiou’ou, Founder of SenseTime; Xu Li, Co-founder & CEO of SenseTime, took a photo after the MOU signing ceremony.

SenseTime currently has offices in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The Abu Dhabi headquarters will be the company’s first presence in the EMEA region. The regional center will focus on developing AI capabilities across seven different industries including health care, remote sensing and education. The company is expanding on its more than 700 clients including Alibaba Group, China Mobile, Qualcomm and Honda, according to ADIO.

ADIO will provide a comprehensive support package to aid the establishment of SenseTime’s EMEA R&D operations. The agreement marks an important milestone in the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 Accelerator Program that is working to support innovation in order to diversify and build a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

The establishment of the SenseTime EMEA R&D headquarters is expected to begin this year.