UAE's focus on innovation results in high trust

The United Arab Emirates continues to be one of the most trusting countries in the world, including around driving innovation, according to the 2024 Edelman trust Barometer.

The latest report, which surveys 32,000 people in 28 countries, focused on innovation and found that while the world grapples with disruptive change and hesitation towards the implementation of innovative solutions to address today's challenges, the UAE instead embraces innovation thanks to the country's long term focus on the topic.


Innovation is well managed in the UAE

All four institutions are trusted to integrate innovation into society, with the Government most trusted, followed by Business, NGOs and media.

There is also an opportunity for business to play a key role in driving innovation

76% of respondents in the UAE said that if business partners with government more, they will trust technology-led changes, compared to 60% globally.

While trust in industry sectors are high, trust in their innovations could be higher

While trust in Technology (87 per cent), Energy (86 per cent), Healthcare (84 per cent) and Food and Beverage (82 per cent) is high, garnering increased trust in sector-specific innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (71 per cent), Green Energy (82 per cent), Gene-based medicine (62 per cent) and genetically modified foods (46 per cent) must be bolstered.

Scientists and government leaders are trusted to lead on the implementation of innovation

Scientists (83 per cent) and government leaders (80 per cent) are expected to lead from the front, followed by leaders of multilaterals and technical experts.

Most information about new technologies and innovations is derived from social

68 per cent of respondents revert to social media for news on innovation, with online news in a close second at 60 per cent.

Confidence in effective regulation drives adoption

Trust that innovations are effectively regulated will result in increased confidence.

For innovations to be accepted, people need to see the benefit to their future

When people understand the positive effect innovations can bring and have control over how innovations positively affect their lives, they are more likely to embrace them.

Explore the findings 

4 Ways to Restore Trust in the Promise of Innovation


1. Implementation is as important as invention

Mismanaged innovations are as likely to ignite backlash as advance society. With breakthroughs like AI, vaccines, and green energy on the line, explaining the science and managing impacts is essential.   


2. Business must partner for change

Business is most trusted to introduce innovation into society, with an emphasis on partnering with government. CEOs need to safeguard jobs and take a stand on emerging ethical concerns.   


3. Science must integrate with society

Scientists are still trusted. To build trust in expert recommendations, explain the research, engage in dialogue, and harness peer voices as advocates.   


4. Give me control over my future

When people feel in control over how innovations affect their lives, they are more likely to embrace them, not resist them. Listen for concerns, be open to questions.   

Explore the findings 


Innovation is key to a thriving economy in today’s competitive world. It leads to the creation of new technologies and services that can drive a nation forward. The results of this year’s report demonstrate the remarkable impact the UAE’s focus on innovation is having. The UAE has set the pace for a culture of innovation that is evident in daily life.

The UAE also emerges as a model for the world to follow in government and businesses partnering for change. While the government is most trusted to integrate innovation into society, the opportunity is for business to continue to partner with government to build even more trust in technology-led changes.

Omar Qirem, CEO, Edelman Middle East



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The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 24th annual survey. The research was produced by the Edelman Trust Institute and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between November 3 and November 22, 2023. Learn more >



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