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

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.

NEXA announces strategic investment in UK consultancy Cognition

Dubai: NEXA, a digital and growth agency based in the UAE, has announced a strategic investment in Cognition, a UK-based consultancy firm specializing in marketing psychology and brand creation. The partnership aims to expand the reach of both organisations while leveraging their combined expertise to deliver exceptional results for clients worldwide. The collaboration between NEXA and Cognition will create a formidable team of marketing and consulting professionals. NEXA brings expertise in digital marketing, lead generation, and growth strategies, while Cognition possesses deep knowledge in psychology, decision science, and demand generation. The two agencies have distinct but complementary strengths. Cognition specialises in brand messaging, proposition, and awareness, which are vital for elevating brands. Conversely, NEXA is a specialist in data-driven digital tactics specifically designed for business growth. Together, their specialisations enable them to offer comprehensive solutions to their clients. It also enables the team to deliver an integrated approach to marketing, leveraging cutting-edge digital strategies, profound insights into consumer behaviour, and effective brand activation techniques. The collaboration between NEXA and Cognition promises to provide clients with unparalleled marketing expertise. Furthermore, this strategic collaboration grants NEXA an exceptional advantage — direct access to the esteemed Cognition Scientific Board and its accomplished members. This exclusive privilege enables NEXA to harness the collective wisdom and expertise of the board's distinguished professionals, who are at the forefront of psychology, neuroscience, and marketing science. This direct access ensures that NEXA's strategies remain at the cutting edge of industry trends and are infused with the latest advancements in consumer behaviour insights. Additionally, the integration of Cognition's proprietary model, the Cognition Brain, into NEXA's digital marketing strategies opens the door to a myriad of applications and benefits. By leveraging principles from psychology and neuroscience, the Cognition Brain empowers brands to craft messaging that deeply resonates with audiences and drives impactful decision-making. This aspect of the collaboration reinforces NEXA's commitment to delivering not only data-driven strategies but also psychologically informed and insight-centric solutions for its clients. Amit Vyas, CEO of NEXA, said: "We're thrilled to invest in Cognition and join forces with their talented team. By combining our skill sets, we're confident we can accelerate growth for both our clients and ourselves, while expanding our reach to new markets. We're excited about the unique synergy between our organizations and the opportunities it presents for the future." Tim Witcherley, Managing Director of Cognition, added: "NEXA's investment is a testament to our shared vision of driving business success through innovation and digital transformation. We look forward to integrating Cognition’s scientific and creative capabilities with NEXA's digital marketing expertise to create a truly comprehensive offering for our clients." Both NEXA and Cognition are committed to empowering businesses with the tools and strategies necessary to thrive in an increasingly digital world. This strategic investment is a key milestone in their shared mission to deliver exceptional value and sustainable growth for their clients, while expanding their global footprint.