26 May 2024 09:20

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Findings of KPMG CEO Outlook report

UAE and Omani CEOs are more optimistic about the future prospects of their businesses than their global counterparts, with more than half predicting growth over the next three years.

This is according to the fourth annual global KPMG CEO Outlook, which interviewed 1,300 chief executive officers around the world, across a broad range of key industries. The study included interviews with CEOs in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman, who shared their views on the opportunities and challenges they and their organizations face.

The study found that technology continues to command considerable attention as an enabler and disruptor. Data privacy is also understandably high on the CEO’s agenda. And even with the greater reliance on data-driven models and analytics to make decisions, CEOs are still relying on the value of their experience and intuition to make strategic decisions on the future of their firms.

As CEOs are reconfiguring their workforces for a future where smart machines and talented people work together, the vast majority (86 percent) feel that AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.

Over half of UAE and Omani CEOs say that becoming the victim of a cyber-attack is increasingly likely. Cyber security has become a regular topic in the boardroom, with focus from governments and regulatory bodies on the rise. 

An increasing number of CEOs are also concerned they are not keeping up with millennial habits and their requirements. As many as four in ten UAE and Omani CEOs say their organization’s biggest challenge in meeting the needs of millennials is to understand how the needs of this generation differ from those of older consumers. Half (48 percent) believe they need to reposition their brand to target millennials. 

In a digital economy, where new technologies are constantly reshaping industries and business models, the ability to innovate quickly is a strategic imperative. Seven in ten (68 per cent) of CEOs in the UAE and Oman say that acting with agility is the new currency of business and being able to respond to change without losing momentum is key. 

Nader Haffar, CEO, KPMG Lower Gulf, said: “The fourth edition of the KPMG CEO Outlook Survey finds that chief executives are generally optimistic about the economy and the growth opportunities that disruption and transformation offer. 

“At the same time, they are working to address their exposure to a few headwinds, including driving growth from new digital business models and revenue streams. Achieving growth will require CEOs to combine equal measures of resourcefulness with realism, while being open to new thinking, acquiring more skills and challenging convention.”

The CEO Outlook report shows that, for the future, UAE and Oman CEOs recognize that they will need to address the challenge of supplementing traditional revenue streams with new sources of growth. 

Therefore, they will need to challenge the status quo in their organizations, stimulate new thinking and take innovation to a higher level than before to drive the next stage of growth and evolution and help translate the confidence they are feeling into business reality.

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