Tryst with technology is a long game in the UAE. Vision 2021 has positioned the country on the world map of technological innovations and digital adoption. In the pre-pandemic phase, the UAE rose to 12th place in the world digital competitiveness ranking by IMD (Source- National News, UAE). In the post-pandemic era, the UAE is emphasizing more on digital transformation leveraging the power of digital across departments in multiple sectors. Let’s discuss today the technology impact in the UAE in pre & post-pandemic phases in varied sectors:
In 2019, the UAE was already leading amongst the top 20 countries in the world for AI impact in the healthcare sector (source – Linkedin). AI became the budding healthcare technology in the pre-pandemic era. Machine-Learning algorithms were used for a safe exploration of chemical and biological interaction during the drug-recovery process. With AI-aided technology, a rapid and accurate diagnosis became possible. AI-ML engines helped the medicine sector in 3 ways-
- In delivering personalized recommendations for specific dosages to patients
- Identification of high-risk patients
- Automating reminders to doctors/patents/nurses
From the year 2020 onward, the UAE saw a major surge in healthcare technologies like AI-IoT-powered Telemedicine Apps. Virtual & remote patient-doctor medical care has become popular now. Telemedicine is connecting patients and doctors over mobile apps. App-based healthcare is benefitting people for online consultation, purchasing of medicines, etc. The technology is helping hospitals in asset management such as inventory- control, pharmacy, environmental monitoring. Home-confined elderly patients are getting on-time treatment via alert mechanisms and several other means assuring the best care to them.
While shopping in grand malls and physical retail in-stores was a popular trend amongst the consumers, e-commerce also saw a good surge. Digital technologies facilitated e-commerce and physical retailing, both, as 2-3rd of small retailers reported high revenues as well as greater footfalls thanks to the digital payment system and mobile wallets (source – NationalNews/VISA). Leading global and local players entered the UAE market – GooglePAy, ApplePay, SamsungPay, Beam Wallet, Etisalat Wallet, all of them impacted retail in a progressive manner. Younger generations just started embracing digital-driven solutions and e-commerce in the region.
E-Commerce, online retail is the buzzwords post covid era. Consumers are now increasingly concerned about safety protocols and want a shopping experience over their mobile apps. Contactless payment services like e-wallets, online payment modes like a credit card, or debit card are facilitating the retail sector in the country.
Classrooms in schools focused on blackboards and digital boards, both. AI (Artificial Intelligence), E-Books, Robotics, and an array of technologies revamped the UAE educational scenario. The impact of technology in education was such that it was considered as a major driver for preparing children for jobs in the future. As the 4th industrial revolution was increasingly shaping the entire world, technology would be equipping students for ‘tomorrow’s jobs’(Source- Arabweekly).
Edtech, e-learning, is getting traction in the country as a popular learning &teaching tool. There’s been greater adoption of digital technologies, Viz.AI, BlockChain, AR/VR, Blockchain, Sensor-based IoT, etc.VR/AR apps have entered the digital classrooms while AI-ML-based online learning, e-content are dominating the education world in the UAE. Technology is personalizing learning and encouraging real-time teacher-student collaboration.
In the pre-pandemic era around 2018, new regulatory changes and technology disruptions impacted the UAE banking sector. As per the 3rd edition of the KPMG’s annual UAE banking perspectives report, digital technologies like Blockchain, AI, Fintech emerged as the primary technological disruptors. As per this report, these technologies might help banks to achieve cost-optimization and improved operations. In fact, in this phase, banks started adopting RPA (Robotic Process Automation), AI-enabled automated decision-making by extracting data from emails, and other types of data sources.
Digital technology is serving as a major enabler for the banking sector in the entire UAE. AI applications helping in fraud detection while NLP chatbots giving valuable recommendations. Compliance reporting, financial transactions, onboarding customers, opening accounts, etc. are the areas technology empowering massively nowadays. Big data analytics give real-time insights and predictive analytics helping in the decision-making process. Blockchain, DLT, Open Banking are the disruptive technologies transforming the banking sector post covid era.
Technology as Booster
Technology has come out as a major economic booster for the UAE. Government departments, private companies, businesses across industries are hugely impacted by digital. The pandemic has taught one immortal lesson to businesses/SMEs in the UAE – Adopting resilience through Digital Technology.