AI Awareness and Adoption in UAE is High, Says New Report

BCG report says 91% of consumers know GenAI and 34% use GenAI applications In the UAE.

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  • In the UAE, sentiment towards generative AI (GenAI) is overwhelmingly positive, according to new research by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), titled Consumers Know More About AI than Business Leaders Think. This enthusiasm aligns with global trends, which show high consumer awareness and excitement about AI.

    Globally, over 80% of survey participants are aware of GenAI, with a quarter actively using it. Notably, younger individuals under 35 show higher engagement, with 86% awareness and 32% usage, compared to 80% and 20% usage among those over 35.

    The UAE demonstrates more robust engagement and nuanced sentiments towards GenAI. In the UAE, 91% of consumers know GenAI, and 34% use these technologies. Emotions are mixed: 37% are excited, 46% feel conflicted, and 17% are concerned, resulting in a net sentiment of 20% (excited minus concerned).

    Governments like the UAE showcase robust AI engagement, with initiatives like the Falcon 2 AI model designed to compete with Meta and Open AI, positioning the country at the forefront of AI development. 

    “This finding highlights the region’s forward-thinking attitude towards technology and should be a wake-up call for business leaders. The high engagement levels in the UAE show the need for responsible AI frameworks that address consumers’ data privacy concerns. We must continue fostering this positive outlook while addressing the concerns accompanying such seismic shifts,” said  Rami Mourtada, Partner & Director at BCG.

    Excitement About AI in the Workplace

    In the UAE, 67% of employees are excited about GenAI’s potential to enhance their work environment, with only 13% expressing concerns. This reflects a dynamic workforce that sees AI as a tool for innovation and efficiency, leading to a net sentiment of 54% in favor of AI. 

    AI applications are rapidly gaining popularity, and the UAE showcases its readiness to integrate AI at all business levels. To tap AI’s potential, leaders must focus on people, process changes, and technological implementation.

    Implications for Leaders

    BCG report highlights several recommendations for business leaders to leverage GenAI successfully:

    • Emphasize transparency and balanced sales when inventing new consumer applications.
    • Pilot new ideas and products in markets more receptive to AI/GenAI and consider a tailored approach to privacy. 
    • As companies roll out new AI offerings, it is important to reassure customers before the applications scale too fast. 
    • When working with data and technology, it’s important to remember the 10-20-70 rule. Focus 10% of the effort on technology development, 20% on deploying tech stacks, and 70% on change management and other people-related processes. 

    This means that most of the work should be focused on managing the changes that come with new systems rather than relying on data and technology alone.

    Trust is crucial in AI adoption. Leaders must respect consumer and employee concerns while navigating the misinformation-excitement-concern curve and capitalizing on market opportunities. 



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