UAE expects to rebound to 3.9 percent in 2021 despite global economic contraction. However, the economic rebound requires all businesses to leverage growth opportunities through digital transformation.
Digitization reinforcement is critical for healthcare, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, energy, tourism, and retail. The conduct of the said business transformation will become the essential engine of a digital economy.
The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) also emphasizes the need to build a diverse and competitive economy driven by innovative businesses, focusing on the UAE's National Agenda 2021.
TDRA has recently issued national guidelines for Application Programming Interface (API) business and services following the cooperation with Smart Dubai. API will boundlessly link various entities with the government to update and knit coordination, ensuring a better business experience in the UAE.
The UAE aims to enhance the ICT sector by extending logistical and technical support, aligning digital and sustainable development, and orchestrating inclusive economic growth. The initiatives include remote working and learning, e-commerce growth, and e-government services across the nation.
There have been 36 strategic performance indexes in the country's plan, ranging from quality, speed, prices, infrastructure, employment, education, and innovation surrounding ICT activities. One of the indexes was to increase the broadband speed of safe servers by 20 times, generating more than 45.000 job opportunities by the end of the year.
The UAE alone accounts for 31 percent of IT spending in the Middle East, indicating a large consumer base for ICT developments compared to the rest of the region.
To date, demand for ICT products and services has rapidly grown across Asia and Africa, providing opportunities for UAE businesses to export through the API link offered by the government.
Research has shown that the UAE has become an e-commerce leader in the FCC, reaching over USD 20 billion in 2020.
The growth stems from its young population with high purchasing power, 64 percent of UAE's population is under 31 years old active smartphone users. The average online purchase of the country is above USD 300 per person.
Private companies in the UAE have gradually joined digital transformation in their plans to meet consumer expectations.
Over 73 percent of the UAE's consumers have shifted their tendencies toward online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, making traditional means of shopping obsolete.
Research from Simon-Kucher and Partners claims that increasing adoption in payment technologies is one of the most sought from companies shifting to digital.
The report also claims that despite the challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, UAE consumers are among the most optimistic for the new standard culture, showing permanent behavioral changes and promoting online lifestyles for the better.
As one of the world's fastest vaccination rollout providers, UAE's recovery is in sight. Businesses need to opt for a strategy that is sufficient to survive during volatile times and flourish and grow beyond the global's performance.
The integration of a digital ecosystem requires all business players to cooperate in transforming their usual ways of doing economic activities to provide an edge and lead the way for other countries to do the same.