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January 14, 2018

UNLOCK Blockchain Forum attracts more than 500 participants 60 Blockchain startups, from 39 countries

The UNLOCK Blockchain Forum which commenced today at the Ritz Carlton Hotel DIFC and which will continue until January 15th 2018 has proven once again that Dubai is a vanguard when it comes to attracting innovative experts, blockchain start-ups, and forward looking attendees.

Al-Iktissad-Wal-Aamal, the organizers of UNLOCK Blockchain forum were not surprised to receive more than 60 blockchain start-ups from more than 39 countries, as well as more than 40 prominent expert speakers, and more than 500 participants.

HE Dr. Aisha Bint Buti Bin Bisher, Director General of Smart Dubai, the office driving Dubai’s city-wide transformation delivered her keynote speech at the [...]

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January 13, 2018

With Digital Emerging as Prevailing Banking Channel, Customers Still Prefer Personal Touch, J.D. Power Finds

Despite the high penetration of digital banking in Australia, when customers have a problem, they still prefer the personal touch, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Australia Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM.

In the past 12 months, 89% of banking customers have used a digital channel to interact with their primary bank. However, customers still prefer to visit the branch or call a bank representative when they have a problem (86%) or question (73%). This is also the case for digitally savvy Millennials, with 85% preferring to speak to a person when they have a problem and 66% when they have a question.

“With most customers choosing to raise a problem or question with [...]

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January 12, 2018

Global Passenger Traffic – Demand Growth Strengthens in November 2017

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for November 2017 showing continued robust demand. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.0% compared to November 2016, the fastest growth rate in five months and up from a 7.3% year-over-year rise in October. Capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.3%, and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 80.2%.

“The airline industry is in a good place entering 2018. November’s strong demand gives the industry momentum. The number of unique city-pair connections now tops 20,000. Passengers not only have more travel choices than ever, the cost of [...]

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January 11, 2018

Entertainment and Navigation Features Increasingly Drive Overall Vehicle Appeal, J.D. Power Finds

Across all vehicle segments, car buyers in India are increasingly considering interior and exterior styling and vehicle performance when purchasing their new vehicle, according to the J.D. Power 2017 India Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM.

“Although fuel economy continues to be a key driver of overall appeal in India, new-vehicle buyers are increasingly opting for added features that enhance convenience and safety,” said Shantanu Nandi Majumdar, Director at J.D. Power. “While fuel economy is likely to remain a key reason for purchase, with increasing disposable income, some consumers may be willing to trade-off fuel economy for added performance, [...]

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January 10, 2018

Emirates SkyCargo wraps up 2017 on a positive note

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, completed a year of strong growth in 2017. The air cargo carrier’s robust performance, set against the backdrop of a resurgent global air cargo market, was underlined by the introduction of specialised customer focused air transportation solutions across a number of industry verticals and by continued investment in infrastructure.

Between January and December 2017, Emirates SkyCargo’s hubs at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) saw a combined cargo throughput of over 2.5 million tonnes.

Specialised, Innovative products and solutions

In response to increasing demand from its [...]

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January 9, 2018

Sharp growth in Saudi non-oil private sector signalled at end of 2017

December data signalled a strong end to the year for the Saudi Arabian non-oil private sector, with a sharp improvement in business conditions. Despite the rate of expansion softening fractionally in the latest survey, the pace of growth remained above the average registered throughout the year. Strong increases in both output and new orders contributed to the upturn. On the price front, input cost inflation accelerated to a 16-month high.

The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the Saudi private sector.

Commenting on the Saudi Arabia PMI® survey, Khatija Haque, [...]

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January 8, 2018

Why “Have a Safe Trip” is Taking on Greater Meaning

By Alastair Paterson, CEO and Co-Founder, Digital Shadows

Have a safe trip! Typically, when we wish someone well before they leave on a journey we are referring to their physical safety while in transit. But, increasingly, there’s another consideration – their online security.

Over the past year, compromises of payment card data from Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, network intrusions against third-party suppliers, and cyber espionage campaigns against visitors using hotel Wi-Fi networks have plagued the travel and hospitality industries. In the spirit of “forewarned is forearmed,” let’s take a closer look at some of the most notable examples of each of these types of [...]

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January 6, 2018

UAE’s non-oil private sector growth hits 34-month high

December data signalled a strong end to the year for the UAE’s non-oil private sector, with business conditions improving at the sharpest pace in 34 months. Steep expansions in output, new orders alongside solid export demand growth underpinned the most recent upturn. In terms of inflation, input cost pressures softened during December, whilst selling prices fell for the fourth month running.

The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the UAE non-oil private sector.

Commenting on the UAE PMI® survey, Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD, [...]

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January 5, 2018

Egypt PMI falls in December, but posts highest quarterly average in over two years

The Egyptian non-oil private sector ended 2017 with a deterioration in business conditions, though the decline over the fourth quarter as a whole was the weakest in over two years. Signs of economic stability and increased capital investment plans underpinned strong business confidence during December. In terms of inflation, rates of increase in input and output prices eased and registered comfortably below their respective long-run averages. Declines in output, new orders and new foreign business contributed to the latest deterioration, however.

The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business [...]

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January 4, 2018

Where machines could replace humans

Written by Emanuela Lertora

Your smartphone and computer are likely to be using Siri, Cortana, or Google Now. These are personal AI assistants that interpret what you are saying and provide solutions. Other applications of AI that surround us are search engines, image recognition (e.g. Google Goggles), spam filters, online help bots, telephone bots, and online ad targeting.

At the high profile end of the spectrum there are also examples like Google’s Driverless Cars, and the recent Go competition between Korean Grandmaster Lee Sedol and Google’s AlphaGo (won by the bot).

Automated Journalism

AP (Associated Press) has been using automation to increase [...]

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January 4, 2018

Dubai Airports reports continued growth in November 2017

The upward trend in passenger traffic continued at Dubai International (DXB) with the hub welcoming close to 7 million passengers in November 2017, according to the monthly traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports.

Passenger traffic at DXB reached 6,953,596 in November compared to 6,581,805 recorded in the corresponding month in 2016, an increase of 5.6%. Year to date, passenger numbers at DXB have risen 5.8% to 80,387,442 compared to 75,947,899 recorded during the same time frame in 2016.

Once again, the most significant contribution to passenger numbers came from the Indian Subcontinent and Western Europe. The two regions were up 7.5% and 8% respectively, and [...]

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January 4, 2018

Automation & Machine Learning for the Market Research Industry

Written by Emanuela Lertora

The benefits of automation is a short list, but it contains some very important items nonetheless. The most widely agreed element is ‘doing more, faster, with less’ (fewer people and/or less money).

Where is Automation Heading?

The crowd shared their short to medium-term aspirations for automation. Key opportunities were:

• Integrating a picture of the customer, with data coming from many sources, being stored in an accessible format, and interrogated with automated tools.

• Increasing the ability of skilled staff to conduct more research and spend more time on insight – they will spend less time on admin, repetition, and [...]

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December 29, 2017

Can Big Data Take Your Company to the Next Level?

As Big data analytics examines large amounts of data, it helps businesses unveil hidden patterns, connections and develop valuable insights. It is an advanced technology designed to make data analysis faster and easier so users can get answers instantly.

Yes, Big Data needs to be a part of your company’s decision-making process because you can not do anything without it, as this is the age where everything is socially influenced along with customer preference signals.

Now, people can connect with each other quickly, and social networks are still gathering active followers and gadgets are flying off the shelves.

These factors make necessary for businesses to dive [...]

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UAE Insights