Upcoming Business Technology Trends in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has been a key adopter of technology in the Middle East-North Africa region, and it continues to make investments in technology to solve pressing problems. Anyone in the technology sector thinking about business formation in Dubai would do well to be updated about the major trends, so that he/she could use technology to make a difference.

Accelerated Adoption of 5G

The United Arab Emirates has already achieved the first position among Arab countries for the launch and deployment of 5G networks. It is ranked fourth globally, and more investments in 5G technology are in the pipeline. The Middle East-North Africa region is estimated to have more than 80 million subscribers by 2025.

With lightning speeds, it is Internet-of-Things or IoT that will be the gainer. There will be more consumers buying IoT devices, now that they can all be connected seamlessly using 5G. Industrial IoT in the oil and gas sector means that data collection and monitoring will be more efficient. This is believed to improve internal processes and lead to the oil and gas sector improving its contribution to the GDP by 4.9%, according to a report by STL Partners.

The faster data transfer speeds will in no small way impact telemedicine, which is seeing increased usage in light of the COVID-19 scenario. People are consulting doctors online for minor ailments, a trend that seems to be on the increase. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain too are making large investments in 5G; and the entire Middle East-North Africa region could benefit from Arabic-speaking doctors offering medical advice online.

With the extremely large bandwidth offered by 5G, there will be a greater interest in multimedia content, both local and international. 


Moving Towards Zero Food Waste

The Food and Agriculture Organization, a body of the United Nations, calculates that about 250 kg of food is wasted by each individual every year in the Middle East and North Africa region. Why this figure is of relevance to the United Arab Emirates is because food waste costs the nation $3.5 billion each year.

Restaurants rarely collect data that identifies the type of food wasted or the reasons why the food has to go to waste. This is where technology is making a difference. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in the United Arab Emirates has collaborated with Winnow, a technology company that uses Artificial Intelligence to cut down on the problem. Winnow empowers staff to monitor food waste and thus save on food costs. Restaurants that use this technology are now able to run sustainable and more profitable kitchens.

The Emirates Group is also using Artificial Intelligence to predict the volume of food that will be consumed on each particular flight. The savings on meal and fuel costs may appear minor when calculated per passenger, but collectively they add up to a sizeable figure. Emirates is the largest airline in the world when it comes to the number of international passengers carried. More importantly, it is the largest in the world when referenced against the number of scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown.

A lot of passengers flying long distances means that there is a lot of in-flight catering that must be planned in advance. Reducing the problem of over-catering for flights can lead to substantial cost savings. This makes perfect sense, given that Emirates reported a loss of $5.5 billion for 2020-21, caused mainly by travel restrictions worldwide on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services

The financial services industry has embraced Artificial Intelligence in a major way. Emirates NBD has Eva, an AI-based chatbot as its personal banking assistant. Its lifestyle banking arm has Liv, a conversational chatbot. There is also a customer service robot named Pepper at its branch in Dubai. When it comes to wealth management, Dubai-based Sarwa makes use of artificial intelligence and automation to manage and allocate funds at low costs.

A study reveals that 65% of users prefer automated services for less complicated issues that do not require manual intervention.

It is forecast that by 2023, 40% of insurance companies will automate their claims processes using conversational interfaces powered by Artificial Intelligence. This is expected to improve efficiency and customer response times, as well as lend an element of personalization. The Economist Intelligence Unit believes that insurance companies and banks will increase their investments in Artificial Intelligence by 86%, come 2025.

Contactless payments are also on the rise, as more users become wary of handling cash during the COVID-19 crisis. MasterCard carried out a global survey recently and found that about 70% of those in the Middle East-North Africa region use contactless payments. 79% of respondents further said that contactless payments were easy. Contactless payments reduce checkout times at stores by a factor of ten, shortening the time spent in the queue at checkout counters for consumers.

Other Changes Brought About by COVID-19

At Dubai International Airport, passengers flying Emirates can check in and complete immigration procedures by simply making use of a biometric path. Facial recognition and iris scanning also enable them to enter the Emirates Lounge. They are also able to board their flight without a ticket agent being present at the gate to check their boarding pass.

The trends of Virtual Reality technology and Augmented Reality technology are also on the increase. These technologies, including Mixed Reality which combines the best of both, are expected to add a massive $4.1 billion to the economy of the United Arab Emirates by 2030. Applications include education, logistics, and maintenance/repair sectors.


Artificial Intelligence is expected to bring about $320 billion to the Middle East-North Africa region by 2030. Cybersecurity is one area of interest for the application of Artificial Intelligence. Edge computing is another application of Artificial Intelligence that has been helped in no small way by the rollout of 5G technology.

A&A Associate LLC is a business advisory firm that offers legal and corporate solutions for Dubai offshore company formation. It has a track record of having been of assistance to clients from 100 countries around the world. It currently has a 98% client satisfaction rate and the company’s aim is to do even better.

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