Next three years to be transformational for UAE businesses

65% of UAE CEOs think that stronger client focus is a strategic priority in 2017
CEO, Next three years to be transformational for UAE businesses, UAE, UAE businesses


The vast majority of UAE CEOs are confident about prospects for their organisations over the next three years, according to the KPMG 2016 CEO Outlook.

The survey findings reveal that 76% of polled UAE CEOs - compared to 41% of global CEOs -believe that their business will change significantly over the next three years. The survey also found that UAE CEOs believed that growth over the next three years was mainly going to be organic and driven by new products.

Vijay Malhotra, the CEO of KPMG in the UAE and Oman, said: “Change is a constant theme in the UAE. Following the recent announcement that the UAE Innovation Week will run for a month beginning 2018, it is encouraging to note that the findings of our UAE CEO Outlook mirror the UAE Government’s vision for the next three years – with a focus on disruption, innovation and digitisation.

“While some of the UAE findings reinforce global trends and leading practices, we find UAE CEOs are generally more optimistic about the next three years than their global counterparts. This is indicative of the UAE’s shift towards a knowledge-based economy that aims to foster growth and development across non-oil sectors.”

The survey also found that most UAE CEOs have identified a strong client focus as a key strategic priority. Interestingly, three-quarters of UAE CEOs think their organization will be significantly different in three years’ time –almost twice as many as the global response.

UAE CEOs stated that regulatory, talent and reputation were their top three areas to look out for the next three years. CEOs also believed that there was likely to be a significant gap for workers with a range of strategic skills in the short-term, including cyber security, digital, innovation and data and analytics.

While financial incentives were seen as the most effective way of attracting and retaining staff, non-financial methods of securing talent including fostering a collaborative environment and offering new career paths were found to be more effective in the long term.

Vikas Papriwal, head of markets, KPMG Lower Gulf said: “It is very encouraging that UAE CEOs across key sectors remain confident of their ability to successfully transform their business despite a challenging economic backdrop. The time for change is ‘now or never’ and UAE CEOs know what they need to do to stay successful in the short term and emerge as winners.”

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