LinkedIn research reveals UAE professionals ready to embrace AI

Photo: Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn MENA and Venture Markets. Image courtesy: LinkedIn

According to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, employees are gearing up for a new way of working thanks to new advances in Artificial Intelligence such as generative AI. 

A majority of employees in the UAE (67%) believe that AI will bring significant changes to their work within the next year, and even more employees (72%) expect AI to significantly impact their work within the next 5 years.

More than three quarters (81%) believe it is likely that AI will function as an “invisible teammate” who assists them with their work in the next 5 years.

The UAE has been investing in AI long before the creation of ChatGPT and the recent uptick around AI. In 2017, the UAE launched its National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031, which aims to put the nation at the forefront of AI innovation in different sectors, an initiative considered the first of its kind regionally and globally.

We see this enthusiasm about AI reflected in the UAE’s workforce as a little over half (54%) are already using AI in their job, with 41% trying out AI tools like ChatGPT. 

The possibilities of AI at work are endless

The lack of knowledge about AI is not stopping UAE professionals from wanting to experiment with it. Although 30% of them say they have not been provided with any formal AI training from their employer, over half (59%) want to learn more, even if they don’t know where to start. 

It is clear that UAE professionals are optimistic about the potential AI can bring to their careers, with an overwhelming majority (98%) saying they are excited to use AI in their work, and a similar percentage (97%) who believe it will help their career progression in some way. 

Most are already thinking of ways AI can help them be more productive with 82% envisioning AI to improve their work-life balance. Over a third (67%) plan to use AI to say goodbye to boring work tasks and assist in answering questions they’re too embarrassed to ask their colleagues, and 63% have progression on their mind as they plan to use it for career advice. 

We also know that more needs to be done to educate professionals on how to use AI as 45% of them feel their colleagues know more about AI than they do, 48% have even admitted to pretending they know more about AI to look ‘in the know’ in front of teammates.

Pairing soft skills with AI skills essential for the future  

Overall, the mood of the nation is one of embracing AI and people are focusing on the skills they believe will complement AI the most, which comes as no surprise as the UAE was one of the first countries to adopt AI.

Professionals in the UAE believe interpersonal skills such as problem solving (66%), time-management (69%), resilience and strategic thinking (67%) will become even more important as AI grows in prominence.

With LinkedIn’s data showing a significant 21-fold increase in global, English-language job listings mentioning AI technologies, including Chat GPT, since November 2022, embracing AI could be a pivotal move for those seeking career development.

Ali Matar, EMEA Growth Markets Leader and Head of LinkedIn MENA, says: “Just as we’ve moved past the pandemic, once again professionals are adapting to another wave of change as generative AI becomes more prominent in the workplace. In a country as technologically progressive as the UAE, where a move towards innovation and integrating new technologies has long been apparent, it is encouraging to see that also its people are embracing the shift. Even more so, our data clearly shows that workers in the UAE are focusing on the many benefits AI can bring to their working lives, including more time to focus on the work they care about and helping with career progression.

It’s also clear that people are eager to learn more about AI and we’re seeing a significant increase in conversations on LinkedIn with members already adding AI skills to their profiles, but our data also highlights the enormous value of soft skills as humans learn to partner with AI– and this is what is now shaping the future of work.”

Top tips

Whether you’re AI-advanced or eager to learn, taking the plunge can help you in your career and job, and LinkedIn’s Career Expert Najat Abdelhadi shares some advice to get you started: 

  1. Learn the lingo: Having the language to talk about and understand AI will put you ahead of the curve. Study up on popular AI skills with resources like LinkedIn Learning where you can find the most popular AI courses unlocked for free until the end of the year. A good place to start is with How to Research and Write using generative AI, and What is generative AI and you can find the full list here. 
  2. Embrace the experts and tap into your network: Reach out to your network to share learnings and stay up to speed on AI by following thought leaders and subject matter experts on LinkedIn, including Allie Miller and Greg Coquillo.
  3. Sharpen up your soft skills: Don’t underestimate the value of highlighting your soft skills in a world being reshaped by AI. LinkedIn’s AI at Work report shows a staggering 25% shift in the skills demanded by various global jobs since 2015. And with AI accelerating these shifts, people can expect a swifter transformation, with the skills required for many jobs to evolve by at least 65% by 2030. The top skills anticipated to be most in demand: problem solving, strategic thinking and time management.
  4. Take advantage of existing tools: Use AI tools already available to you on LinkedIn including collaborative articles — knowledge topics published by LinkedIn with insights and perspectives added by the LinkedIn community. These articles begin as AI-powered conversation starters, developed with our editorial team. Next, with the help of LinkedIn’s Skills Graph, the team connects each article with subject experts who contribute with their advice and insights. Microsoft’s WorkLab Guides also give helpful tips from how to use AI to dominate your task list to how to make in-person time count for your team.
  5. Acknowledge your AI worries: It’s okay to feel a little nervous or overwhelmed with new technology! People felt similarly when the internet was introduced and it’s important to remember that these changes don’t happen overnight. These are long-term changes and you can do the work to be part of the change, not just be impacted by the change of AI. 


*Research conducted by Censuswide and based on 1002 professionals aged 18+ between 23.08.23 and 29.08.23. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

** Methodology for LinkedIn AI report