ChatGPT Bot
UAE businesses are wasting no time to get some helping hand from ChatGPT for their customer-facing bots. This time, their users are ready. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: For UAE consumers, it could well be a case of ‘Hello, ChatGPT…’.

And goodbye to anything that is not super-charged, AI-powered chatbots of the past – and present.

UAE consumers have had various levels of struggling to make themselves and what they wanted understood by chatbots, whether it is an interaction for a banking service or some other need for which they needed an immediate response from that service provider.

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But the tens of thousands of accents that UAE consumers share have often made it difficult to make those chatbots understand. Even when all that was required was a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

So much so, some service providers have cut down the number of steps their users had to go through to connect with a human consultant. In some cases, it’s back straight away to the human element.

This is the space that businesses are bringing their ChatGPT solutions into. This time, UAE’s consumers may be more than ready to give the AI platform the needed support.

Talabat, the delivery platform, recently came up with a ChatGPT-powered grocery shopping assistant. Its UAE-based subscribers of ‘talabat pro’ were the first to get a taste of the beta version of the AI powered solution. Among its services, the solution can even provide info to users on recipe ingredients and items available on talabat’s Mart. (Plus, nutritional details and even cooking tips.)

The interactions of our customers with talabat AI is not only text-enabled, but equipped with the technology to understand what users are asking for and provide them with responses

- Yi-Wei Ang, Chief Product Officer at talabat.

Receptivity among its target users was almost instant, according to a top official. “One of the first things we noticed when it was introduced is that they were curious,” said Yi-Wei Ang, Chief Product Officer at talabat. “Users were promoting it repeatedly to share responses on topics other than recipes and food. I must say it has been insightful and entertaining to see how creative people have been getting, taking to social media to share their queries.”

“It was our intention to launch with the beta version and continue to test the solution along with our customers. We followed a similar strategy when we launched the first autonomous delivery robots in the UAE earlier this year in Dubai Silicon Oasis.”

Talabat’s new AI-supported offerings helps with recipes and cooking tips.

Ang believes this is where AI, ChatGPT and its upcoming peers stand a better chance of connecting with consumers. “We believe that the power of talabat AI is in understanding the content of what you are saying.”

Something that chatbots may have found it difficult to do. “There were two important challenges with traditional chatbots,” said Ang. “One, these were built on pre-programmed responses. Secondly, voice recognition is hard to crack in a region with so many accents and languages.

“This is something that ChatGPT-powered chatbots solved, leveraging Natural Language Processing, which allows the tool to understand the context of conversations and respond with more relevant information.”

Other businesses in the UAE are getting the same ideas.

The super-premium Palazzo Versace Dubai will launching an AI-powered chatbot (in alliance with Asksuite) and which will come integrated with ChatGPT functionality. The plan is to use this to enhance the guest experience.

Travellers are increasingly digital, and they no longer want to make international calls to ask their questions before booking, nor read a lot of information. The future and the present are AI conversational marketing

- David Byrne, EMEA Sales Director at AskSuite on the Palazzo Versace Dubai

What ‘Ora’ – as it has been named – will do is reduce the response time and offer ‘enhance customer support’, according to the hotel company.

Ora will be available to ‘serve guests on the website, WhatsApp, Google, the Meta messenger, and on Rooms (via QR codes). They can book a suite, reserve a table at the restaurant, enquire/ book spa services, and even raise enquiry forms for corporate meetings, social events, and weddings.

Palazzo Versace Dubai
Image Credit: Insta/palazzoversacedubai

It doesn’t end there - the ChatGPT-powered bot allows online engaged shoppers to shop for gifts, cakes, bouquets, and e-gift vouchers on Palazzo Versace Dubai’s e-commerce platforms.

Knowing ChatGPT helps

By now, ChatGPT’s profile clearly has grown into something that students may find easy to help with their homework or exam preparations. Sandeep Ganediwalla, regional Partner at Redseer Consulting, says it’s got to do with the better familiarity that many now have with ChatGPT and its accompanying AI tech.

Historically, chatbots were not successful as the data parameters, interface and algorithm were nascent

- Sandeep Ganediwalla

“Now, algorithms have improved, the responses are more human-like and processing power for all the large unstructured datasets exist. So, the adoption and satisfaction around AI-powered chatbots in this new cycle will be higher as they are smarter and more customer-centric.”

ChatGPT has its uses for businesses and consumers – but handle with care
Integration of ChatGPT can benefit consumer retailers, but it's important to take into account the specific use cases and potential challenges.

Introducing AI chatbots can lead to enhancing the overall shopping experience. For instance, they can provide 24/7 customer support, offer personalized suggestions based on their preferences and purchase history, as well as handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously.

The most promising and game-changing thing among others might be integrating an AI model into an e-commerce search engine. By using this tool, consumers would be able to better search for the appropriate products, compare them and receive tailored recommendations.

On the other hand, there are some considerations to keep in mind when introducing AI chatbots in the retail field. Trustworthiness and accuracy are the first ones. Language models may occasionally generate incorrect or misleading information, which could impact customer trust and satisfaction.

Bottom-line: if the ways we want to use ChatGPT in retail align with the capabilities of current language models, and the retailer addresses the potential challenges adequately, then it might be a good idea to introduce it.

- Leo Dovbenko, CEO and co-founder of YallaHub.

The second is contextual understanding: language models may struggle with understanding complex or nuanced queries, requiring more sophisticated algorithms or human intervention to provide accurate responses.

- Leo Dovbenko, CEO and co-founder of YallaHub.

There is a receptive audience too

When testing out to new tech – and ChatGPT itself sure counts as one – having an in-built audience will help UAE businesses go for it and help deliver results the ordinary chatbots couldn’t. Hussam Kayyal, Chief Revenue Officer at FOO, thinks it’s all in the receptivity.

“Many consumers in the UAE are eager to explore the full potential of ChatGPT,” said Kayyal. “They are fully open to consuming content generated by ChatGPT or interacting with AI-driven bots that offer a human-like experience. As long as it addresses their service needs and responds to their inquiries promptly.”

UAE consumers are fully open to consuming content generated by ChatGPT or interacting with AI-driven bots that offer a human-like experience, as long as it addresses their service needs and responds to their inquiries promptly

- Hussam Kayyal, Chief Revenue Officer at FOO

Clearly, it’s in the promptness in understanding what the user/consumer wants. If ChatGPT-powered bots can understand and deliver faster, a big part of the getting used to is done.

“The use cases are common across different verticals and most businesses in the UAE will be open to experimenting,” said Kayyal. “The winners will be those who integrate AI into their value chain and their core offering to elevate their existing business model, rather than simply adding it on as another tool.”

Point taken.

Not just for retail or service industry

Businesses across industries can conceivably deploy ChatGPT or its allied AI technology into their operations, whether that’s people-facing or for other operations.

“We are definitely seeing increased traction across industries such as retail, e-commerce, automobile, logistics and supply chain,” said Jaya Kishore Reddy, CTO and co-founder of “Even BFSI (banking and financial institutions), with every customer conversation having a discussion around Generative AI.

For enterprises to connect with their end users and drive business impact, a more comprehensive end-to-end conversational AI solution is required

- Jaya Kishore Reddy, CTO & co-founder of

“ChatGPT has most certainly contributed to lowering the barrier of entry for anyone who is not a professional in fields such as coding and content writing. At the same time, it also raises the ceiling for output for those who are already skilled in those functions.”

Consumers must keep close tabs too
As with any new-age tech, there could be gaps that scammers might find ways to exploit.

Bottom-line: Consumers need to maintain strong defence too.

“With interest in AI and chatbots arguably at an all-time high, users are turning to the Apple App and Google Play Stores to download anything that resembles ChatGPT,” said Sean Gallagher, Principal Threat Researcher, Sophos.

“These types of scam apps—what Sophos has dubbed ‘fleeceware’—often bombard users with ads until they sign up for a subscription.
They’re banking on the fact that users won’t pay attention to the cost or simply forget that they have this subscription.

They’re specifically designed so that they may not get much use after the free trial ends, so users delete the app without realizing they’re still on the hook for a monthly or weekly payment.

- Sean Gallagher, Principal Threat Researcher, Sophos