Major Boost in Online Expenditure in UAE

Online services are one of the most convenient ways to make your work done. After all who doesn’t want to sit at home in all comfort and complete their task. The concept of online services is really being liked by the people of UAE and that has been proved by the rise in online investment has been grown tremendously.

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According to the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government's (MBRSG) ‘Arab World Online 2017' report, the online investment has risen from $2.7 billion to $7.3 billion.

The report indicated that 40% of the more than 20,000 respondents are said to do the online shopping and engage in retail activities at least once a month. And 33% people indulge in online government services on a monthly basis.

"According to our research, there are more than 460 million personal IoT devices in the Arab region used by 173 million internet users today. The number of personal IoT devices will almost double to 890 million by 2020 and will interact with 208 million users in the region," said Fadi Salem, MBRSG's Director of Research and Advisory and author of the study.

"This infrastructure of Internet-connected things and people, will trigger new digital transformations and enable technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution, such as Artificial Intelligence, to go mainstream in the Arab region. This will require new sets of policy responses."

The report also suggests that the people living in the Middle East are happily embracing new technologies and development. For an instance, more than 70% of online users are ok to use 3D printing applications if it is available at an affordable price. And more than 50% people are interested in using personal robotics, virtual reality & driverless car applications.

However, people were doubtful in using Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. And the very few people agreed for the UAVs and drones. The chatbots have proved to be of great help when it comes to customer services and commercial purposes. Many users were also reluctant about their privacy and safety of their data.

"Clearly, artificial Intelligence applications provoke the most concerns among people in the Arab region. In total 59% of internet users in the Arab region are concerned about AI in general or about AI-related applications such as driverless cars, which makes it a priority area for policy responses by governments in the region" Salem added.

He also said, "The top 5 cyber Arab internet users are cyberterrorism, cybercrimes, cyberbullying, fake news online, and commercial exploitation".

Almost 75 percent of the online users have been a victim of hackers in the last two years like virus, hacking, bullying ransomware etc.

So people should take measures which will keep their data safe. But unfortunately ‘netizens’ do not bother to take proper precautionary measures. One out of five online users do not use antivirus application and do take up a cybersecurity measure. Only 4 out of5 people use the Firewall application when visiting a website.

As per the report, the government makes policies that keep track with the change in technical advancements like digital economy skill building example coding workshops.

"It is important to highlight that upskilling, education, and research and development, are the top three areas where policy responses are required for this new era of development according to the survey findings," said MBRSG Dean Professor Raed Awamleh. "Policymaker should take note of the public awareness and appreciation of what priorities should be put in place to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution."

Almost 92% web users use the internet monthly for socializing and 79% people use the internet for news.

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