UAE emerges as AI leader in the Middle East: IBM study

Adgully Bureau |

New research from IBM paints a picture of the UAE leading the way in AI adoption across the Middle East. Two major studies - the 2023 Global AI Adoption Index and a consumer study on AI in retail - highlight the UAE's proactive approach to integrating AI into business operations and the growing demand for AI-powered experiences from consumers.

The IBM Global AI Adoption Index reveals impressive statistics when it comes to AI adoption in the UAE:

65% Faster Rollout: 65% of IT professionals in the UAE report an accelerated implementation of AI in the past two years.

42% Active Deployment: The UAE boasts the highest rate of active AI deployment (42%) among companies surveyed, showcasing a commitment to integrating AI into core processes.

Strategic Investment: Research and development, alongside workforce upskilling, are priority investments for UAE businesses aiming to sustain AI growth and innovation.

Comprehensive Strategies: 34% of UAE companies already have a comprehensive AI strategy in place, with another 30% actively developing one.

These findings point towards the UAE's strong leadership in AI adoption within the Middle East region.

Consumers Crave AI-Powered Retail Experiences:

IBM's separate study on AI in retail reveals a shift in consumer behavior across the Middle East and Africa (MEA):

  Dissatisfaction with In-Store Shopping: Only 3% of MEA consumers are satisfied with their current in-store shopping experience.

  Mobile Integration: 75% of MEA consumers use mobile applications while shopping, highlighting a desire for a tech-enabled in-store experience.

  Openness to AI: 9 in 10 MEA consumers haven't yet used AI for shopping, but are interested in its potential to enhance their experience.

  Demand for AI-powered Features: 75% of MEA respondents express interest in AI applications and virtual assistants for shopping.

This growing consumer demand for AI-powered experiences underscores the need for retailers to integrate AI technologies and innovate their offerings to meet evolving customer expectations.

These studies position the UAE as a forerunner in the region's AI adoption, both from a business and consumer perspective. With businesses embracing AI for efficiency and innovation, and consumers demanding AI-powered experiences, the UAE is poised to be a leader in the future of AI-driven advancements.