UAE Set To Become A World Leader In Future Learning Groundbreaking Virtual Reality Learning Lab To Open In September  

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The first Multiplayer Virtual Reality Leadership Lab built outside of China will be opening its doors to clients in the Middle East this September in Dubai Production City, the region’s leading community for storytelling, publishing, printing, and packaging industries. Brought to Dubai by the region’s leading training company, Biz Group, the Multiplayer Leadership Lab is backed by the latest technology from HTC VIVE™, leaders in room-scale Virtual Reality (VR), and developed by Jenson8, a global Virtual Reality learning content specialist.

Biz Group has created a fully-fledged Virtual Reality Centre at their headquarters in Dubai with numerous pods for multi-person use. The Biz Group Multiplayer Leadership Lab brings the pioneering application of immersive VR technology and unique gamification content, together with expert behavioural psychology. This revolutionises how business leaders and teams learn new skills and thrive in the workplace of the future.

The upcoming launch marks the beginning of a new era for leadership training in the region and supports the ambitious goals of the UAE to help foster future-ready leaders that are equipped to face the challenges that an ever-evolving global business landscape presents. Developing a ‘competitive knowledge economy’ is one of the key pillars of the UAE National Agenda in line with Vision 2021.

“Biz Group has been pioneering the learning space for the past 25 years and is proud to be bringing another global trend to Dubai with the launch of the region’s first Multiplayer VR Leadership Lab,’’ said Hazel Jackson, CEO of Biz Group. “In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, we believe that Virtual Reality accelerates the business impact of our LearningJourneysTM, bringing a disruptive and powerful learning methodology that is truly unique to achieving the leadership capabilities that modern leaders need.”

Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Production City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City, said: “We are proud to host the region’s first Multiplayer Virtual Reality Leadership Lab in Dubai Production City. The Lab is a game changer that will strengthen Dubai’s track record in content creation and purposeful application of emerging technologies, contributing to the UAE vision of preparing future-focused leaders and further growing our innovation-led economy.”

He added: “Our media communities offer an ideal environment for innovation and business expansion. In the past few years, the VR segment has witnessed unprecedented growth due to the emergence of new talent, technologies and content. We are happy to see this technology being used effectively in the areas of corporate training, education, as well as entertainment, providing a wealth of opportunities for investment.”

Congratulating Biz Group for their role in enabling future business leaders in the UAE to foresee the road ahead, Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the SME sector, said the VR Leadership Lab is a strategic addition to the comprehensive entrepreneurial and business ecosystem evolving in Dubai. “Digital innovations will determine the competitiveness and sustainability of the future business environment and leadership. As a Dubai SME company we are proud to see the Biz Group bringing in innovative experiences that encourage technology adoption and best practices in grooming future leaders.”

The launch follows a growing trend in the adoption of VR for training as leaders shift from the limits of today’s jobs to new, previously unimagined futures. Walmart, BMW, Verizon and many other Fortune 500 companies are already using VR to develop soft skills.

Based on statistics from the World Economic Forum, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling by 2022. The Future of Jobs Report 2018, states that “In order to harness the transformative potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, business leaders across all industries and regions will increasingly be called upon to formulate a comprehensive workforce strategy ready to meet the challenges of this new era of accelerating change and innovation.”

According to the WEF report, skills continuing to grow in prominence by 2022 include analytical thinking and innovation as well as active learning and learning strategies. ‘Human’ skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving. Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as well as service orientation also see an outsized increase in demand relative to their current prominence.

Jena Davidson, founder and CEO of Jenson8, explains: ‘’Disruptive technology, disruptive innovation, new competitors and new market dynamics are all challenges leaders have to face today. Our virtual worlds are powerful training environments where players are faced with stressful challenges within unfamiliar virtual surroundings, requiring them to be agile thinkers and adapt to a future-focused world. We believe this cutting-edge technology and truly immersive experience supports the development of evolving leadership capabilities at a much deeper level than traditional training environments can ever offer.‘’

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