Dubai, UAE – Coursera, one of the world's largest online learning platforms, partnered with YouGov, an international research, data, and analytics group, to commission a study of over 500 business leaders in the UAE. The study aimed to uncover perceptions of generative AI and its impact on businesses and the workforce.
According to the study data, an overwhelming 83% of UAE businesses stated their readiness to integrate generative AI into their operations. Furthermore, 82% have already implemented it for their existing offerings, with 51% stating extensive implementation covering all functions.
Additionally, the study revealed that 85% of business leaders believe generative AI will reshape their customer offerings or business operations in the next three years, with 91% considering it crucial for business growth.
The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 reaffirms UAE's position as a global hub for AI. It places emphasis on attracting talent for future jobs, funding research and innovation hubs, developing suitable infrastructure and data ecosystems, and establishing a balanced legislative environment.
While UAE business leaders highlighted the potential benefits of generative AI for improving their enterprises, they also expressed concerns. Job displacement (55%), data privacy and security (49%), and lack of transparency in decision-making (43%) were cited as the top risks of implementing AI in operational functions.
The study further revealed that 50% of business leaders believe generative AI will change the required skills for the workforce. Notably, 87% of respondents expressed the desire for new employees to possess the necessary AI skills. Moreover, 2 in 3 of surveyed companies plan to use online training to upskill their employees and bridge the AI skills gap.
"The remarkable implementation of generative AI and UAE companies' commitment to embracing this transformative technology highlight the nation's successful investment in shaping the future. This strategic move aligns with ongoing digital transformation efforts, unlocking unprecedented efficiency and productivity for the workforce,” said Kais Zribi, General Manager for the Middle East and Africa at Coursera. “Data from our study emphasizes the importance of continuous learning for both employees and job seekers, empowering them to proactively adapt to the ever-evolving demands of the modern workplace."
The AI market in the Middle East is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. According to PwC, AI is projected to contribute close to 14% of the UAE’s national GDP by 2030, while the Middle East is expected to capture 2% of the total global benefits of AI in 2030, equivalent to USD 320 billion.
Currently, Coursera offers over 770 AI and Machine Learning (ML) courses, with 1.7 million enrollments globally between January and April 2023. The company recently announced an array of AI-powered learning tools and features, including Coursera Coach and AI-assisted course building.
Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with more than 124 million registered learners as of March 31, 2023. Coursera partners with 300+ leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, Specializations, Professional Certificates, Guided Projects, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a B Corp in February 2021.