For long, the UAE has been deeply invested in emerging as one of the most advanced countries in the world, and now it has turned its focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). This year, the UAE Cabinet adopted the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 with an aim to become a global leader in AI by 2031. The strategy plans to integrate AI in nine core areas of life in the UAE: Traffic, Transport, Technology, Education, Environment, Energy, Water, Health, and Space. Through AI, the UAE seeks to bridge the communication gap between people and organizations, and what better than chatbot to shape this digital transformation goal!

Gartner maintains that by the end of 2019, at least 40% of the enterprises will be leveraging chatbots to boost customer-brand interaction and for business processes. It further says that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with businesses without any human interaction. The UAE seems to be acting on this very seriously. Numerous companies in the region have started using chatbots to facilitate real-time customer support services, thereby improving the customer-brand relationship by leaps and bounds.

To stay ahead of the competitive curve in the e-commerce domain, Whoopey has launched the first e-commerce chatbot in the UAE. The Whoopee Bot aims to enhance the shopping experience by being available on platforms where the customers are – you don’t have to log in to the Whoopey site; instead, you can buy electronic products on Whoopey using the Whoopey Bot on Facebook Messenger.

Chatbot usage in the UAE isn’t just limited to the e-commerce space only. The UAE’s leading financial institution, Mashreq has launched the Mashreq Bot. This AI-powered bot is designed to simulate human-like conversation with customers and help them choose between Mashreq’s different financial products. Apart from this, the bot can also help customers to make balance inquiries and perform both cardless cash transactions and low ticket local transfers. Similarly, Liv, the lifestyle digital bank of the Emirates NBD, has collaborated with US-based Kasisto to create Olivia – Liv’s AI-powered chatbot. Olivia Bot can perform a host of functions, including helping customers make local transfers, block cards, make account balance inquiries, and get real-time customer support. Olivia can also help customers plan their finances better. 

Then again, the UAE Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) launched an intelligent chatbot at the Gitex Dubai in October 2018. The chatbot is designed to enhance the operational efficiency within the MoCD, improve customer experience, reduce processing times, and drastically reduce the operational costs within the Ministry.

These efforts to bring chatbot into the mainstream technological space of the UAE depict how invested it is in furthering its vision for AI for development. What is commendable is that both the government and the people of the UAE know that they need to adopt disruptive technologies, like chatbots, to keep pace with the changing times.

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