12 Muharram 1446 - 18 July 2024
Sign up for newsletter
Eye of Dubai
Business & Money | Sunday 22 February, 2015 12:03 pm |

89% of MENA respondents consider innovative thinking important for social and economic growth, according to Bayt.com and Dubai International Academic City survey

The Bayt.com ‘Education and Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa’ poll, recently conducted by Bayt.com – the Middle East’s leading career site – and Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) – the world’s largest Free Zone dedicated to Higher Education – has revealed that 89% of respondents in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) consider creativity and innovation to be an important part of their life, out of which, 63.3% consider it ‘extremely important’. Eight out of 10 (84.3%) respondents feel that they live up to their potential to create and innovate.

The poll shows that creativity and innovation are viewed as important by Middle Eastern professionals. 64.9% of respondents ‘strongly agree’, and 24.1% ‘somewhat agree’ that creative thinking is important for driving social and economic growth. In the region, the UAE is perceived to be the most creative country, according to 51.5% of respondents. This is not a surprising perception, as the UAE was ranked 24th for innovation by the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (out of 144 countries).

Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com said: “Creativity is a major cornerstone of the knowledge economy which in turn is recognized as the driver of productivity and economic growth. Indeed, creativity is a great intrinsic motivator, the essence for innovation, and important for the continued evolution of the self and humankind. Without innovation in science, art, healthcare, and management, humanity would not have been able to achieve huge strides of development. Creativity and the ability to innovate is clearly a crucial part of today’s working society, especially for job seekers looking to secure a new position, and professionals who want to succeed at work. From their side, companies must also play a role in encouraging creativity by providing an atmosphere that nurtures innovation and creative ideas, which will be very beneficial in the long run.”

On the career front, the majority of respondents (88.5%) agree that creative thinking and related skill sets are important for getting a job in today’s market, as people are increasingly being asked to think creatively at work, according to 86.9% of respondents. Interestingly, nine out of 10 (89%) respondents say that they are encouraged to think of new ideas at work, and 72.1% claim that their office has creative spaces in which they can relax, unwind and innovate.

“At Bayt.com, one of our core values as an organization is innovation,” continues Masri. “That’s why we provide professionals with as many tools as possible to help enhance and display their creativity. The Bayt.com Specialties platform, for example, encourages professionals across different industries and countries to collaborate, asking each other questions related to their jobs. It’s amazing to see the brainstorming that happens live on the platform!”

The biggest challenge to creativity is money, according to 42% of respondents. Other factors that stifle creativity and innovation according to respondents are lack of knowledge and tools (15.8%), age (10.1%), and not enough time (9%).

When respondents were asked whether standardized education testing systems reduce creative thinking, the majority agreed (75.1%). Add to that, a whopping 73% believe that their creativity is being stifled by the educational system in their country, and 41.9% believe that their country’s education system is not innovative enough to adapt to changing times.

Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of Dubai Knowledge Village said, “The UAE’s top ranking within the Bayt.com study as the most creative country in MENA is testament to the success of the Government’s strategy to develop knowledge-based economy. As we move towards an innovation-based economy, it is important that we identify the barriers to us achieving further creativity and enables us to form a strategy to overcome them, as the Bayt.com study highlights.

“We see an important role for DKV and DIAC in this endeavour, primarily in bridging the gap between industry and academia by encouraging and enabling our universities and training institutes to teach and empower students to become more innovative so as to better prepare them for the workforce, achieving a sustainable economic growth and subsequently moving up in the Innovation Index ranking.”

Data for the Bayt.com ‘Education and Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa’ poll was collected online from October 26 to November 24 2014, with 5,891 respondents from UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
Post Your Comment