Samia Bouazza

Managing Director, Multiply Marketing Consultancy

We are in an extremely exciting time in terms of technology, especially as marketers. Technology allows for improvement through immediate feedback whereas before, brands had to rely on focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires to improve services. Today, artificial intelligence (AI), whether it is via chatbox or facial recognition, allows brands to assess consumers' real interests and reactions. Another major benefit brought by technology is time saving. A firm will be able to gather more data and push the line that drives greater interests, resulting in growing the top-line and reducing costs. With technology, advertisers can also better track how well their messages and campaigns reached their target audience. We can do more testing via digital platforms and other technological tools and save our clients' money on marketing. In this way, AI can turn marketers into more proactive planners and include them more in the development of a product. In Abu Dhabi, the government is keen to empower technological change in a number of industries, such as fast-moving goods, banking, real estate, and leisure. It is interesting for communication experts to follow those changes and identify new opportunities.

Boris van Thiel

CEO, Union Iron & Steel

Early 2018 saw high local demand projected at 320,000 tons of steel rebars a month by Emirates Steel, which controls the market and sets the price monthly. Emirates Steel can produce up to 180,000 tons, while the remainder will be covered by other mills and imports mainly from Oman at the moment. The key drivers of the economies of GCC countries are the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors. After a slowdown in the last few years, the government has sought to diversify its sources of income by investing in other areas. Now that the price per barrel has stabilized, ADNOC is investing in further projects, showing there is more capital to be invested in infrastructure upgrades or lighthouse projects that benefit everyone. This creates a multiplier effect, and the private sector will follow from this development, including the steel industry. The oil price in June is a positive signal, and I remain optimistic about the long run. Indeed, it takes some lead time until the effects are felt in the steel industry, as the project development phase does not need steel.

Reyadh AlMehaideb

Vice President, Zayed University

As a comprehensive university, we have research strengths in multiple areas: IT security and data analytics, environment and public health, accounting and other business fields, social sciences, and innovations in education and other fields. As we have this expertise, we look for partners who share similar specializations. We have around 250 research projects annually in these fields, and around two-thirds of these are in collaboration with international research partners. In addition, there are a number of contract research projects funded by government agencies for specific objectives. The learning outcomes of Zayed University are based on a core comprising of the skills to be learned by all and are modeled after 21st century skills. They include critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills, as well as technological awareness and knowledge of relevant IT tools. We also have student councils for clubs and training programs. Students learn though experiences; thus, the quality of the learning experience is important. Thus, we encourage students to apply their skills in classroom projects and the wider community through volunteerism and other activities outside the campus.