Complex Made Simple

Businesses landscape to change in MENA: What you should know

* Many UAE CEOs worried about 2017 and also that recession is imminent

* Majority of CEOs believe their businesses will experience “significant change” in next 3 years

* 91 per cent of UAE CEOs expect their organisations to grow

* Regulatory risks, talent risks and reputation risks considered ‘most significant threats”


Economies in the Middle East region, especially in the GCC, are impacted by regional and international events, as the region increasingly opens up to international markets.

With this comes volatility, which was witnessed through major international events such as Brexit, Donald Trump’s win of the US elections, persisting low oil prices and, most recently, the Italian Referendum outcome.

Many are worried about 2017 and the years ahead and many more are quite concerned about an upcoming recession, amid other negative predictions.

However, constant change seems to be the name of the game – at least this is what the UAE’s CEOs agree on. They share what they know about the coming three years in business in the KPMG 2016 CEO Outlook.

Here are the three most significant predictions:


(7 Jobs that will not exist in 2017)


Significant changes ahead

The majority of surveyed CEOs in the UAE believe their businesses will experience “significant change” over the coming three years. This forecast doesn’t only apply to the regional business view, as many CEOs see their organisation will become different.  Less global CEOs forecast major changes to their businesses over the same period of time.

However, the UAE CEOs’ outlook is positive, as 91 per cent of them expect their organisations to grow in the coming three years. Globally, only 89 per cent of global CEOs expect growth.


(4 ways the Fourth Industrial Revolution will transform your business)


Sources of growth

More than half of UAE’s CEOs believe organic growth is the most likely source of increasing economic success. These have already indicated that their revenues increased over the last three financial years.

Organic growth would start from incorporating the correct approaches and one of these is prioritising a strong, client-focused strategy, according to 65 per cent of surveyed CEOs.

Also, streamlining internal processes is found to be a key execution accelerator for 20 per cent of the CEOs. Developing new products was selected as the top investment area over the next three years, according to 13 per cent of surveyed CEOs.


(These new laws will help your business grow in Dubai)



Regulatory risks, talent risks and reputation risks are considered as the ‘most significant threats” to the businesses growth and sustaining economic success.

However, the UAE CEOs are bold, as two-thirds of them believe they are taking approximately the right amount of risk in their businesses, in order to achieve their growth strategies.