February 25, 2024
GCC Lifestyle

62% of Gulf citizens say AI to positively impact the economy

Ford Trends Report 2024 polls UAE and Saudi citizens

Gulf citizens are optimistic about Artificial Intelligence (AI), according to the newly released 2024 Ford Trends Report, with 62% believing AI will positively impact the economy over the next five years. Despite their positivity, 59% admit to not fully understanding AI.

Trust in government-developed tools stands out in the region, with disparities between Gulf and global sentiments regarding trust in AI builders.

While optimistic about AI’s future impact, 75% of Gulf citizens express wariness about societal agreement on truth due to technology. A resounding 87% in the region feel companies should disclose AI usage, aligning with the global sentiment. Trust in government-developed AI tools is significantly higher in the GCC compared to global preferences.

Shifting priorities

The 2024 Ford Trends Report sheds light on the shifting priorities and resilient mindset of Gulf citizens, optimism towards AI, and unveiling a narrative of self-prioritisation and work-life redefinition.

The annual report, based on 16,086 global respondents across 16 countries, captures the sentiments of 1,008 UAE and Saudi citizens, offering a unique perspective on the region’s approach to life in the face of global uncertainties.

In a world where stability feels elusive, 77% of the global respondents resonate with the sentiment, ‘Prioritising myself gives me a sense of stability in a world that feels unpredictable.”

Notably, Gulf citizens outpaced the global average, with 89% attributing their appreciation for inner peace to the prevailing global uncertainties.

While 62% of Gulf citizens reported feeling anxious at least once a week, the older generations – Gen X and Baby Boomers – stood out, with 68% and 77% experiencing these feelings, respectively.

Meaningful connections

Strikingly, these generations seek more meaningful connections, with 12.6% more UAE and Saudi citizens prioritising self-connection, in-person meetings, cutting toxic relationships, personal needs over others’ demands, and digital detoxing compared to the global average.

Quality of life takes centre stage in 2024, as 62% of Middle Eastern respondents express a willingness to take a pay cut of up to 20% for a healthier work-life balance – a figure driven significantly by Boomers (85%) and Gen X (65%).

The Gulf region also showcases an optimistic outlook on AI’s role in improving work-life balance, with 80% believing it will have a positive impact, surpassing the global figure of 40%.

Traditional family values

In contrast to global perceptions, Middle Eastern responses lean towards traditional family values.

While 62% globally agree marriage is no longer necessary, 53% of Gulf respondents see living with a spouse or long-term partner as their ideal situation in the next 10 years. The region emphasises proximity to family and friends, having children, and multigenerational living.

Despite cheap fuel and a higher proportion of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, 20% of GCC citizens drive hybrids, surpassing the global figure of 8%.

Notably, 78% of Gulf respondents believe that electric vehicles (EVs) are the future, showcasing strong support for sustainable practices in the region.

The 2024 Ford Trends report paints a picture of resilience, optimism, and a delicate balance between tradition and progress in the Middle East.

As the region embraces change while preserving cultural values, societal priorities remain focused on navigating transformative times.

Featured image: 59% of Gulf citizens polled admit to not fully understanding AI. Image: Cash Macanaya

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers trending business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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