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UAE banking sector assets surge to Dh2.87t

The UAE banking sector maintained its position as the largest in the Arab world with the combined assets of all banks growing 6.5 percent to Dh2.87 trillion in 2018 as the amount of credit extended grew five percent to Dh1.66 trillion, according to the UAE Banks Federation.

“As the sector embraces new initiatives and developments, and with increased regulation and compliance requirements, prospects for 2019 and beyond appear promising,” UBF said in a statement on Wednesday.

In its annual report, the UBF shed light on the its significant progress and achievements of the UAE banking sector. While the total UAE bank deposits increased eight percent to Dh1.76 trillion last year, deposits of residents grew seven percent to Dh1.54 trillion as government deposits surged 16 percent to Dh290 billion. Deposits from government-related entities increased eight percent to Dh207 billion, while private sector growth went up by one percent to Dh1.01 trillion, said the report.

In the first seven months of 2019, UAE banks’ saving account balances hit a record of circa Dh165.8 billion during the first seven months of the year, a nine percent growth of Dh13.8 billion against Dh152 billion by the end of 2018, according to statistics revealed by the UAE Central Bank.

The savings accounts for 11.4 percent of the total deposits held by the UAE banks which amounted to Dh1.446 trillion by the end of July 2019. Savings in UAE dirham comprised over 60 percent of the total savings which stood at around Dh140.7 billion by the end of July against Dh25.1 billion in foreign currency, according to CBUAE’s statistics.

The month of May saw the highest growth in savings, Dh8.4 billion, with first quarter witnessing an increase of Dh4 billion. The UAE national banks claimed the lion’s share of savings – Dh149.6 billion by the end of July – Dh131.27 billion of which in dirham and the rest in foreign currency. Savings held by UAE-based foreign banks reached Dh16.3 billion since the beginning of the year until July.

Why investing in people is key for AI revolution

The idea that technologies such as robotics, AI and machine learning will result in a huge number of job losses is an outdated one, since these technologies will also end up creating a fair number of new jobs in the industry, experts said.

Speaking at the Artelligence 2019, Dr Ayesha Al Mutawa, director of strategy and excellence, and head of Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, urged businesses to explore the opportunities that will arise as a result of evolving technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“The UAE has already taken the necessary steps that will enable it to be home to some of the smartest cities in the world,” she said. “There is an investment in technology, the infrastructure necessary for it, as well as a vision from the leadership of the country.”

“Right now, the most important thing is to ensure that we are investing in people that will use these technologies,” she said. “We already have studies telling us that students in high schools and universities will be dealing with a rapidly-changing world when the graduate, so we need to ensure that they are taught all the skills that they will need to excel in the digital world.”

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AI to change health, child safety

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be the launchpad to improving the quality of healthcare and the safety of vulnerable children around the world, experts at the Artelligence – The Artificial Intelligence Forum said on Thursday.

Speaking in a session on the final day of the event, Richard Vdovjak, principal scientist for data science and AI at Royal Philips, noted that a lot of industries stand to benefit from AI.

“We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible,” he said. “One aspect that we haven’t even started exploring properly yet is AI and how it is overlapping in different disciplines.”

One sector that stands to gain a lot from the advancements in technology is the healthcare sector, he said. “Health is a global issue, yet, we continue to see an increase in challenges. By 2020, chronic diseases will account for almost 75 percent of all deaths worldwide. By 2035, there will be a global deficit of about 12.9 million skilled health professionals.

Clinicians, he noted, have never had access to more data, but at the same time, it has never been harder for them to process all that data. “They have too much data and too little time.”

“Healthcare professionals have yet to unlock the full potential of AI, as few are using AI in areas with near-term value such as virtual nursing assistance, preliminary diagnosis and automated image diagnosis. A recent study by Accenture noted that if healthcare professionals were open to leveraging AI’s full capabilities, then key clinical health AI applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026,” he said.

In his presentation, Faisal Mohammad AlShimmari, founder and chairman of the Emirates Child Protection Association, touched upon using AI to ensure the safety of children in the UAE. He highlighted how AI can be used to create a system that identifies and alerts authorities to children that are at risk.

 

Retailers must step up tech game in a safe way

In the highly-dynamic market, retailers must invest in new and upcoming advancements to upgrade store infrastructure and stay up-to-date with current industry trends. Furthermore, technology allows continuous connectivity and the seamless transfer of data across the various devices. As a result, it becomes convenient for retailers to offer premium shopping experiences to retain old and gain new customers.

As e-commerce gains popularity, brick-and-mortar retailers need to improve in-store infrastructure to increase footfalls successfully. Retailers can use people counting to gain a better understanding of the critical drivers of store traffic and identify customer shopping patterns to improve conversion rates.

Brick-and-mortar retailers can also gain customer data through other concepts such as heat-mapping analytics. This allows them to identify the popular areas and the success rate of promotional strategies in-store. Many firms also heavily rely on Wi-Fi analytics to gain capabilities in a highly-competitive market. It helps in effectively managing the day-to-day operations within the firm. Moreover, it helps to gain an understanding of the areas that require improvement and track assets in-store. However, this system is not accurate and may not record customer data if their devices are switched off or on flight mode.

Retailers can also utilise in-store beacons to track customer movement in-store through Bluetooth-based transmission as it generates high customer engagement. Moreover, it allows firms to transmit product information to customers to generate awareness conveniently. However, it becomes difficult to limit the range in which the data is collected and accurately gain customer information.

Due to rising online threats, customers demand more secure shopping experiences. As a result, retailers must invest in a safer online strategy to collect and store valuable customer data. One such approach is to introduce artificial intelligence software. According to a recent market study, over 60 percent of business executives plan to incorporate AI-based technology in their infrastructure to maintain a competitive positioning in the market.

DHA, Mubadala healthcare partner for long-term care

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amana Healthcare, a Mubadala Healthcare company and the region’s leading US accredited provider of specialised long-term care, post-acute rehabilitation and home healthcare services.

Dr Younis Kazim, CEO of Dubai Healthcare Corporation (DHC) at DHA, said: “This MoU is in line with DHA’s strategy to continue providing high-quality specialized medical services in the Emirate of Dubai. We are pleased to be partnering with Mubadala Healthcare, through its specialised post-acute care provider Amana Healthcare, to provide long-term care for the people of Dubai on par with the very best healthcare providers in the world.”

The MoU reaffirms DHA and Amana Healthcare’s shared commitment to providing world-class long-term care to patients in the Emirate of Dubai.

Mark McGourty, CEO of Amana Healthcare, said: “This partnership with Dubai Health Authority is well in line with our shared vision of providing excellence in healthcare for the people of the United Arab Emirates. We are confident this partnership will help improve patient experience and quality of life for people who need Amana’s specialised long-term care in Dubai, ensuring that they have access to world-class care right in the UAE.” –

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Retailers must step up tech game in a safe way

In the highly-dynamic market, retailers must invest in new and upcoming advancements to upgrade store infrastructure and stay up-to-date with current industry trends. Furthermore, technology allows continuous connectivity and the seamless transfer of data across the various devices. As a result, it becomes convenient for retailers to offer premium shopping experiences to retain old and gain new customers.

As e-commerce gains popularity, brick-and-mortar retailers need to improve in-store infrastructure to increase footfalls successfully. Retailers can use people counting to gain a better understanding of the critical drivers of store traffic and identify customer shopping patterns to improve conversion rates.

Brick-and-mortar retailers can also gain customer data through other concepts such as heat-mapping analytics. This allows them to identify the popular areas and the success rate of promotional strategies in-store. Many firms also heavily rely on Wi-Fi analytics to gain capabilities in a highly-competitive market. It helps in effectively managing the day-to-day operations within the firm. Moreover, it helps to gain an understanding of the areas that require improvement and track assets in-store. However, this system is not accurate and may not record customer data if their devices are switched off or on flight mode.

Retailers can also utilise in-store beacons to track customer movement in-store through Bluetooth-based transmission as it generates high customer engagement. Moreover, it allows firms to transmit product information to customers to generate awareness conveniently. However, it becomes difficult to limit the range in which the data is collected and accurately gain customer information.

Social element to drive future jobs: UAE AI Minister

With the artificial intelligence industry evolving, new types of jobs will emerge that don’t exist today and the social element will be the key driver for the jobs market in the coming years, said Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

“The issue of job losses and workforce migration due to AI is being addressed globally. Actually, every era brought new type of jobs over the last thousands of years of human civilisation. In the next era, the type of jobs that we are going to have will evolve and social element is going to be key driver,” Al Olama said in his keynote address at the Artelligence – the Artificial Intelligence Forum in Dubai on Wednesday.

The event is being hosted in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review GCC. AI experts from the UAE and abroad across public and private sectors are in attendance at the two-day forum.

Mohammad Galadari, Executive Committee member and Director, Galadari Brothers, and Hesham Khoory, Director, Galadari Brothers, presented a momento to the minister.

“The next era is going to bring jobs that don’t exist today and those jobs that we don’t understand today. But we do know that there is need to be more agile and proactive,” he said at the forum.

“Add AI to every single sector and you will find a successful model that is going to change the world. we need to work together to make sure that AI impacts us positively.”

The minister praised His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his visionary leadership.

“His Highness is a visionary leader that see things much further ahead than most of us. The people were talking about negative impact of AI and why AI should be stopped. His Highness had said that AI is going to impact every single government and we need to start preparing now. I have been blessed to be given chance to overcome this challenge,” he added.

Al Olama called for working jointly to ensure that AI impacts the society and companies positively as the deployment of this technology without understanding it could harm businesseses. He pointed out that Muslim Arabs were leading the world for hundreds of years in science and deployment of technologies but they lagged behind for not adopting just one technology – the printing press.

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