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Five challenges Gulf businesses must tackle to go digital, according to McKinsey
May 28, 2019 - UAE

Despite many companies in the Arabian Gulf being interested in digitalisation, the transformation and evolution to web-based systems remain limited, according to McKinsey. The consultancy listed five key challenges faced by regional companies trying to become digital.

GCC consumers becoming more price-conscious
May 06, 2019 - UAE

Consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are becoming increasingly price sensitive and demanding, while expecting more convenience, according to a new survey published this month by McKinsey & Company. “I think trend number one from a consumer perspective is that consumers are more and more cautious. What we saw here in the UAE and in Saudi — and that’s true for nationals and expats — that consumers are … spending less and saving more.” Abdellah Iftahy, partner at McKinsey, told The National.

5 Main Shifts in Consumer Behavior in the Middle East
May 3, 2019 - UAE

According to a report published by McKinsey & Company, entitled “Navigating a perfect storm in the Middle East’s consumer sector” surveyed 2,000 consumers in two of the region’s largest economies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Consumers in the Middle East are changing their buying behavior, spending less while expecting more convenience.

Brand loyalty slips in Middle east due to job insecurity: report
May 02, 2019 - UAE

Eight out of every 10 people in the UAE are apparently worried about losing their jobs. That's according to a new report by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which also found that residents are becoming more cost-conscious. Around 40 percent of respondents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia said they are cutting down on spending and paying closer attention to prices. The report also revealed that consumers are becoming less brand loyal.

Start-up spirit
May 02, 2019 - Pakistan

Pakistan has 130 million people under the age of 30, it is an emerging economy projected to continue growing quickly in the coming years. Start-ups have taken off across the nation in an enhanced business environment, while incubation and incentives from the government have attracted new venture capitalists to Pakistan. But the country still has some distance to go in order to reach its full potential.

McKinsey tells how to weather the ‘perfect storm’ in Gulf retail
May 02, 2019 - UAE

The consumer retail market is always dynamic, always changing. But maybe now, especially in the Middle East, it is changing faster and more unpredictably than ever, and companies in this sector are going to have to stay on their toes to avoid getting left behind. The most adaptable will survive and thrive, the rest “will get left behind,” said McKinsey.

MENA’s start-up scene is taking off. Here’s how investors can join in
April 2, 2019 - UAE

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most digitally connected in the world. Around 88% of its population is online daily, and 94% of people in the region own a smartphone. Digital consumption is similarly high in some countries; Saudi Arabia, for example, ranks seventh globally in social-media engagement, with an average of seven accounts per individual.

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce
April 1, 2019 - UAE

Retailers have struggled to compete with the growing popularity of large-scale competitors such as Amazon and Alibaba. The industry is also in the grip of a revolution powered by digital technology, as people shop online rather than in stores. Shopping is becoming more of an experiential activity, during which stores compete for consumers' "share of wallet".

Digital disruption is changing the Middle East consumer
March 26, 2019 - UAE

Middle East consumers are ahead of global percentages in terms of shopping on Amazon, buying groceries online, shopping by smartphone and using digital payments. “Between 2015 and today, 40 percent more consumers [in the UAE and KSA] are more price conscious,” said Abdellah Iftahy, McKinsey partner, told The National.

How to win the data insights battle
March 24, 2019 - UAE

Digital disruption, or digital transformation, is upon us. Industry after industry is witnessing a sea change in every aspect of their business, whether it is understanding – in fact predicting – what the consumer wants, the way in which the products and services that they desire are being designed, how they are being delivered, or creating loyalty for products and services.

Tapping Saudi Arabia's abundant pool of talent
March 2, 2019 - Saudi Arabia

“As Saudi Arabia continues its economic transformation and ambitious programs under Vision 2030, the group of young, dynamic leaders who will ultimately be responsible for driving that vision must prepared to make it a reality,” said Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company.

Globally accepted rules needed to optimise AI potential
Feb 11, 2019 - UAE

Director of McKinsey Global Institute and senior partner at the company Jonathan Woetzel stated, "Presence of developed infrastructure, easy access to technology and committed leadership to develop the technology further are some of the prerequisites for the development of AI and UAE has these factors in abundance. I expect that the UAE will be a leader in the deployment of AI and in its development as well."

Amid banks' Consolidation, retaining dominance of financial intermediation is key
November 29, 2018

In this thought piece in The Banker Middle East, Hans-Martin Stockmeier, senior partner at McKinsey Middle East, talks about how banks have 4 strategic choices in markets where the banking industry is consolidating.

Technology creating the bank of the future
November 21, 2018 - UAE

The bank branch as we know it is in need of reinvention. Most customers now carry a bank in their pockets in the form of a smartphone and visit an actual branch only to get cash or occasionally advice. Changing customer behavior and the emergence of new technologies do not spell the end of branches, but rather the dawn of smart branches, which use technology to boost sales and significantly improve customer experience.

GITEX Technology Week news highlights
October 21, 2018 – Riyadh

During a panel discussion at GITEX, Desiree El Chebeir, vice president, McKinsey Digital’s Dubai office, discussed the importance of gender balance in tomorrow’s classrooms and the strategies for ensuring that the consumers and producers of tomorrow’s innovations are more widely representative of society as a whole. According to Desiree, current female founders of start-ups have provided up to a 36 percent higher financial return compared with a number of male-led start-ups. Yet only 2 percent of venture-capital money has gone to female-led start-ups. There’s a lot of opportunity for economic gain if we integrate women better.

HR Club holds its Forum in Abu Dhabi to discuss “Future Jobs”
October 14, 2018 – UAE

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources held the 5th Human Resources Club Forum 2018 in Abu Dhabi to discuss trends in “Future Jobs”, The Forum hosted Dr. Dirk Schmautzer, Partner, and Stephen Hall, Associate Partner at McKinsey. And they highlighted the impact of modern technology on UAE’s future jobs, workforce, and their skills, as well as the implications of that on governments, and the steps taken to seize opportunities and meet the challenges facing the future workforce.

When It comes to millennials, GCC banks must be paranoid
August 30, 2018

According to associate partners Christian Kunz and Kishan Shirish, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banks must modernize their technology landscape, along with the business and operating model, to enable speed and flexibility. In addition to building internal capabilities, banks will also need to create an ecosystem of players to deliver those products and services, while owning the customer experience.

The urgent treasure hunt for digital talent in the Middle East
July 15, 2018 – UAE

As consumers walk around with eyes glued to their smartphones, businesses know that digital is no longer a buzzword; it is core to their growth and survival. With that realization comes the urgent treasure hunt for digital talent – an opinion piece by Jigar Patel, partner, and Christian Kunz, associate partner in McKinsey’s Middle East office.

Inaugural class of 50 Qimam Fellows graduates in Riyadh
June 30, 2018 – Saudi Arabia

The 50 Qimam Fellows originate from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study from more than 25 universities in KSA and abroad. Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company, stated: “We believe that Saudi Arabia is rich with extraordinary talent and were delighted to take the concept of Qimam under our wing when it was still just an idea. We are a member of this community and incubating and launching the Qimam Fellowship Program is a demonstration of our commitment to the Kingdom through identifying and developing future leaders. I congratulate the first batch of the very talented Qimam Fellows on their graduation.”

Family-owned businesses: planning for survival
June 10, 2018 - UAE

Family-owned businesses (FOBs) are critical to the economy. And yet, they are complex and fragile systems, particularly during times of succession. Globally, family-owned businesses tend to falter at the first transition, from the founder to the second generation; only around 15 percent survive to the third generation. In the Middle East, many family-owned businesses are at this critical transition juncture. McKinsey Senior Partner Ahmed Youssef describes the actions FOBs can take to ensure their longevity. The National: “Succession planning: a medicine for family-owned businesses’ longevity”

The changing face of the asset and wealth management industry
June 4, 2018 - UAE

McKinsey associate partner Kishan Shirish was recently interviewed about the changes affecting the asset and wealth management industry. He explains, “The industry is being reshaped by digital trends, shifting customer expectations, regulatory changes and the decreasing profitability of the model. Rather than a one-off event, the industry’s transformation reflects the continuous pressure to innovate through digital, which will shape customer behaviours, business models, and the industry’s very structure in the long-term.”

Dubai Chamber to announce winners of 3rd Dubai Smartpreneur Competition
April 24, 2018 - UAE

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is set to announce the top three winners of the 3rd edition the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition during the closing ceremony of the ArabNet Digital Summit 2018 on May 1st. This year’s judging panel is joined by Andriy Radchenko, Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey.

How are consumer buying preferences shifting across the Middle East region?
April 22, 2018 - Saudi Arabia

The 2018 Middle East Sentiment Survey by McKinsey & Company reveals that consumers in the region are becoming more cost-conscious, less brand-loyal and rapidly shifting purchasing behaviours. 'Approximately 55 per cent of consumers are now actively looking for savings across markets, with those in Saudi Arabia leading the way,’ says Abdellah Iftahy, associate partner at McKinsey Middle East, during an interview with CNBC Arabia.

Arab Women’s Forum
April 10, 2018 - Saudi Arabia

"I'm often struck when I do team workshops in the the imbalance that I see," said Nicolai Nielsen, expert associate partner at McKinsey, in his discussion of the power of parity at the inaugural Arab Women Forum in King Abdullah Economic City. 'There’s a push for equality in the work place, but more still needs to be done', added Nielsen.

Retail Leaders Circle
March 28, 2018 - UAE

Our latest survey of Middle East consumers reveals that they are becoming more cost conscious, less brand loyal and rapidly shifting their purchasing behaviors. They are finding creative ways to spend less and actively considering alternate brands. The survey was launched at the Retail Leaders Circle in Dubai by McKinsey's Peter Breuer and Gemma D'Auria. 

Digital potential to drive growth in the region 
March 25, 2018 - UAE

According to a recent McKinsey study, MENA has realised only 8% of its digital potential. Western Europe has achieved 15% and the U.S. has captured 18%. For financial institutions, the potential in the region is significant.

McKinsey is Knowledge Partner at IoT Middle East 
March 13, 2018 - UAE

‘In 2018, we will see more lighthouse sites for industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions’, says Enno de Boer, a partner at McKinsey Digital. ‘Currently, there are 40 innovation cases and the region has good scope to have lighthouse sites in every sector, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia,’ he added. Christos Sermpetis, partner at McKinsey, said that three major technology innovations are happening right now and they are data and connectivity; artificial intelligence and flexible automation.

Winning with Talent
March 12, 2018 -  UAE

“The most important ally for a CEO who is trying to drive more focus on talent is a board that is equally committed to talent as a driver of the long-term success of the company," said Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey, in an interview about his new book, Talent Wins.

Dubai Chamber launches third Smartpreneur Competition 
March 4, 2018 - UAE

A special event to introduce this year's competition featured a panel of experts, including McKinsey partner Vinay Chandran, who leads McKinsey Analytics in the Middle East. The competition is seeking innovations in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Transformation.

INJAZ Al-Arab enabling Arab youth to drive the economy forward 
February 20, 2018 - UAE

Akef Aqrabawi, President and CEO of INJAZ Al-Arab, wants education opportunities to reach one million students in the Arab world by 2022. INJAZ's programs are backed by a number of companies, including McKinsey. 

Qimam Fellowship Program launches
February 18, 2018 - Saudi Arabia

The Qimam Fellowship Program launched in Saudi Arabia aims to identify, develop, and empower the most promising university students to achieve their full potential. The program is supported by a number of companies, including McKinsey. “Our business model in the region relies on identifying and developing talent,” said Tom Isherwood, partner at McKinsey & Company. “We look forward to playing a role in creating new opportunities for Saudi's next generation of business leaders, especially as we stand at such a transformative moment in the social and economic evolution of the Kingdom.”

McKinsey is Knowledge Partner at World Government Summit 
Feb 11-13, 2018 - UAE

Ahead of the World Government Summit, McKinsey analysed six countries — Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — to determine the impact automation could have on the region. Nearly 45% of existing jobs in the Middle East could be automated in the near future, the McKinsey study shows. 

Digital tools can reduce construction costs and boost productivity
November 18, 2017 - UAE

Construction-related global spending is increasing year-on-year by an average of 3.6%. Ghassan Ziadat, VP of Major Projects at McKinsey, explains how the adoption of digital technology could improve costs and productivity by up to 15% in this opinion piece.


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