Media Center


Covid-19 boosts digital payments adoption in Middle East, McKinsey says
August 25, 2021 - UAE

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the uptake in digital payments across the Middle East, with digital wallets and contactless payment methods set to dominate and shape how transactions take place in the future, according to McKinsey. “Even before the pandemic, digital payments were growing rapidly … [the] impressive growth rates have been boosted further by the pandemic,” said McKinsey.

Growth of light product demand to stall in future: McKinsey report
July 26, 2021 - UAE

Demand for light product (gasoline, diesel/gasoil, jet/kero, including biofuels) is expected to level by the mid-2020s, suggests a research report released by McKinsey & Company. The report, titled Global downstream outlook to 2035, forecasts that on current trends, demand will fall by 2.8MMb/d from 2019 levels by 2035; this rises to 11.7MMb/d if the energy transition accelerates.

These futuristic pods could help cities solve their traffic problems
July 22, 2021 - UAE

Transport pods that travel above the ground — often referred to as “sky pods” — are sometimes compared to monorails or cable cars. But they offer greater flexibility, says Stephanie Haag, associate partner at consulting firm McKinsey & Company. “In a cable car, you have one car and it always drives at the same speed,” she says. “[In sky pods] you can use many different cabins on that particular infrastructure,” such as ones tailored for shorter trips in urban areas or for longer distances.

What next for comms in a post-pandemic Middle East?
June 30, 2021 - UAE

A discussion on the essential role of PR in a post-pandemic world, in partnership with ASDA’A BCW.

Comms teams swiftly adopted whatever technology worked to get the job done, video-conferencing being the obvious primary method. Prudencio describes this as “15 years of digitalisation happening in 15 months”, with the pandemic serving to accelerate changes that were only just on the rise at the beginning of 2020.

World Government Summit announces 8 knowledge partnerships to empower the next generation of governments
June 21, 2020- UAE

World Government Summit announced eight new knowledge partnerships, with the most prominent consulting companies and specialized global research institutions, to launch a series of reports and studies to identify the most important trends and new opportunities to support governments and enhance their readiness for the future and the world beyond the COVID-19. Meanwhile, McKinsey & Company’s How Governments Can Accelerate the Value of Digital Health report will focus on the importance of the future of healthcare and digital health. For his part, Panco Georgiev, senior partner at McKinsey in the Middle East and co-author of the report, said: “Digital health can unlock tremendous value for governments in enhancing health systems’ operational efficiency, patient experience, and patient outcomes.”

Here’s how you can manage your IT spends and save more
June 15, 2021- UAE

Top business-IT leaders in a panel discussion on The Economic Times Spectrum shared their experiences on how to manage IT spending. Dr. Chandrasekhar Panda, Senior Director, Digital & Core Tech Strategy, McKinsey & Company believes that if the companies are not managing the demand effectively and do not frame the business case clearly, the stakeholders will raise questions and it might get difficult for the CFO to get the budget approved.

A mentorship program aims to help top Saudi students fulfil their true potential
May 5, 2021 - Saudi Arabia

Now in its fourth year, the highly sought-after scheme selects just 50 students through a rigorous evaluation process from an annual pool of more than 15,000 applicants to participate in an intensive 12-day program. “Given the vast pool of intellectually curious, emerging talent in Saudi Arabia, the country’s youth have immense potential to have a direct impact on the transformations underway,” said Abdullah Saidan, an associate partner at McKinsey Middle East, promoting the scheme.

Qimam Fellowship selects class of 2021 for 4th edition of the program
April 13, 2021 - Saudi Arabia

This year marks the largest applicant pool the program has received since its inception in 2018 with 19,000 applications. 50 individuals were ultimately selected following two virtual interviews with public and private sector leaders. Abdullah Saidan, Associate Partner at McKinsey in the Middle East said, “We are incredibly excited to welcome our fourth cohort for the Qimam Fellowship program. There’s no doubt that these talented individuals will contribute to the massive development in the Kingdom. We hope that through this program we play a small part to enable their future journeys of success.”

8 charts on UAE's shifting consumer behaviour landscape
April 6, 2021 - UAE

McKinsey & Company has surveyed over 500 consumers in the United Arab Emirates to gain insight into the current state of consumer sentiment, as well as trends emerging in consumer behavior. The UAE is most optimistic for economic recovery as compared to other countries. Abdellah Iftahy, partner and leader of the consumer and retail practice at McKinsey, said, “We see that the big changes of 2020 continue to play out this year: shifting to value and essentials, flight to digital and omni-channel, and shock to loyalty.”

Retail Leaders Circle highlight its partners
March 30, 2021 – UAE

The Retail Leaders Circle (RLC), powered by The New York Institute of Management, announced the key partners of its 7th MENA Summit, which will link leading industry figures and stakeholders on March 29, 30 and 31, 2021, under the theme The Great Retail Reset: Disruption, Resilience, and the Power of Collaboration. Commenting on consumer sentiment, Abdellah Iftahy, partner, McKinsey & Company, said: "In our latest McKinsey Global Institute report, the consumer demand recovery and lasting effects of COVID-19, we look at how the post-pandemic recovery in consumer demand is likely to evolve, and which pandemic-induced behavioral changes are likely to 'stick'.

Consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are optimistic about an economic recovery
March 30, 2021 – UAE

In January, the International Monetary Fund revised its 2021 growth estimate for the global economy to 5.5 per cent, 0.3 per cent higher than its October estimate, on the back of the Covid-19 vaccination drive and support measures put in place by the world’s largest economies. “We see that the big changes of 2020 continue to play out this year: shifting to value and essentials, flight to digital and omni-channel, the move to a homebody economy and shock to loyalty,” Abdellah Iftahy, a partner and leader of the consumer and retail practice at McKinsey Middle East, said on Tuesday.

Consumer sentiment in UAE and Saudi Arabia optimistic, McKinsey study finds
March 30, 2021 – UAE

The majority of consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are increasingly optimistic that the economy will recover in two to three months but their overall spending remains low, McKinsey & Company’s latest consumer sentiment survey indicated. "Value and convenience are the primary reason for consumers to spend and try new brands as well as new places to shop," said Abdellah Iftahy, Partner at McKinsey & Company, who led the research on the sentiment survey. "Quality and purpose are also often cited when choosing new brands," he continued.

Why leaders shouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable
February 4, 2021 - UAE

Dr Shamma Hamdoon Al Naqbi, Program Chair - Rabdan Academy, shares a personal journey of leadership, and finds that balance, especially in one’s self, is key.

“I remember when I was accepted into McKinsey’s Qiyada emerging leaders program – a one-year immersive leadership journey for early-stage professionals. I thought to myself, prepare. Prepare for rigour, for reading, for analytics and for a framework driven approach to leadership.”

Opportunities of $3.7 trillion are threatened with being lost to the world’s banks

Partner in "McKinsey & Co.", Dr. Mazen Najjar, said in an interview with "Al Arabiya" that the banks' failure to move to cope with the economic conditions severely affected by the pandemic will provide a ground for losing opportunities for returns estimated at about $ 3.7 trillion until 2024.

Fossil fuels to take a back seat in the global energy landscape
January 29, 2021 - UAE

COVID-19 has caused a short-term dip in global energy demand, while a long-term shift away from oil and other fossil fuels takes on a new pace in the backdrop. A new McKinsey & Company report explores the future of global energy consumption. McKinsey surveyed over 2,000 executives globally, presenting them with four scenarios on how the economy will emerge from the crisis – each with a varying level of virus containment and policy effectiveness. Based on their responses, the broad expectation is that the virus will be contained and growth with resume in the short term.

Paths of Impending Asian technological superiority
December 31, 2020 - UAE

Jeongmin Seong, partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), said in an article that over the last decade, Asia has accounted for 52 percent of global growth in tech-company revenues, 43 percent of startup funding, 51 percent of spending on research and development, and 87 percent of patents filed, according to new MGI research. Seong added that Asia is likely to continue to forge ahead with its technological development. But to make the most of its progress, enhancing technological collaboration within, and among regions, remains a priority for Asia and the rest of the world, he said.

Coronavirus-Stressed Banks May See Cumulative Revenue Loss Of $4.7T Until 2024
December 11, 2020 - UAE

The global banking industry could lose between $1.5 trillion to $4.7tn in cumulative revenue between 2020 and 2024 because of the effects of Covid-19, according to a new report from consultancy McKinsey. Banks will need to fundamentally reinvent their business models to sustain a long period of zero or near-zero per cent interest rates and other economic challenges, according to McKinsey's latest Global Banking Annual Review. “Middle East banks have also been severely impacted across all levers, i.e. margin decline, demand slowdown and increased credit losses. However, capital and liquidity positions remain strong, allowing these institutions to weather the storm,” said Jawad Khan, McKinsey’s banking practice leader in the Middle East.

Global banking sector could lose up to $4.7tn revenue over four years due to Covid-19
December 11, 2020 - UAE

The global banking industry could lose between $1.5 trillion to $4.7tn in cumulative revenue between 2020 and 2024 because of the effects of Covid-19, according to a new report from consultancy McKinsey. Banks will need to fundamentally reinvent their business models to sustain a long period of zero or near-zero per cent interest rates and other economic challenges, according to McKinsey's latest Global Banking Annual Review. “Middle East banks have also been severely impacted across all levers, i.e. margin decline, demand slowdown and increased credit losses. However, capital and liquidity positions remain strong, allowing these institutions to weather the storm,” said Jawad Khan, McKinsey’s banking practice leader in the Middle East.

Gulf banks take lead role in companies’ bailouts
November 30, 2020 - UAE

“The sector is vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic, and still a nascent one, however,” says Mazen Najjar, leader of McKinsey & Company’s Kuwait office. “Creating opportunities for private sector employment is critical for the transformation under way in the region.”

McKinsey launches second edition of Qiyada
November 26, 2020 – Dubai

McKinsey & Company has launched the second edition of the Qiyada Emerging Leaders programme – a one-year journey that aims to maximise the potential of top Emirati talent.

Rima Assi, Senior Partner, and Head of McKinsey’s Abu Dhabi office, said: “Abu Dhabi is going through an ambitious transformation that requires the support of young, driven leaders. Through this year-long development journey of self-discovery, we hope to unlock both the personal and professional potential that will better equip participants to drive this transformation.”

Cityscape offers solutions to COVID-19 challenges
November 16, 2020 – UAE

Dubai: Several real estate company officials and some of the participants in the "Cityscape Real Estate Summit", which started in Dubai, agreed that real estate developers are moving more aggressively than ever to meet the needs of the middle class, amid a remarkable tendency for banks to provide the necessary loans, as shown by recent data issued by the Land Department in its annual report. "Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, it has also revealed many new opportunities," said Pierfrancesco Rocca, associate partner at McKinsey Middle East.

GCC consumer behavior signals rise of the ‘homebody economy’
November 10, 2020 - UAE

Dubai: COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior patterns around the world, and the GCC bloc is no exception, according to new research by consultancy firm McKinsey & Company. Besides the abvious human challenges, the study, entitled “Digital: A Spotlight on the New Consumer,” has shed light on the pandemic’s potential implications for the global economy, businesses and employment.

McKinsey’s edad hosts first – ever all – women edition
November 9, 2020 – UAE

McKinsey & Company has launched a special edition of edad to commemorate the program’s 10th anniversary in the Middle East. The two-day program brought together 100 university female students and young female professionals who are just beginning their careers.

Future Hospitality Summit: Adventure travel weathers conronavirus pandemic
October 27, 2020 – UAE

“Adventure travel, which has been a booming industry, remains one of the resilient categories,” Alex Dichter, a Partner at McKinsey and Company, said during the virtual Future Hospitality Summit on Monday.

UAE and Saudi Arabia consumers most optimistic about Covid-19 economic recovery
October 21, 2020 – UAE

The UAE consumers' optimism reflects their overall confidence in the government and system in terms of their interventions and management of the current situation,” Abdellah Iftahy, a partner and leader of McKinsey’s consumer and retail practice in the Middle East, told The National.

How cutting edge medical technology could give us longer and healthier lives
Oct 21, 2020 – UAE

McKinsey study finds innovations could cut the global disease burden by up to 10 per cent - and make people aged 65 feel like they're 55.

Why women’s careers have been hurt the most by Covid-19 – Pocketful of Dirhams
October 20, 2020 – UAE

McKinsey’s research during the pandemic has also found that more female than male employees fear Covid will negatively affect their promotion prospects. And all of this at a time when women were already wrestling with the thorny issue of equality in the workplace and the gender pay gap.

High Optimism: UAE consumers sold on recovery
October 17, 2020 – UAE

More UAE consumers are sanguine about the recovery of the economy now compared to four months ago and they see the economy rebounding faster in the next couple of months, says a new survey. As many as 61 per cent of UAE residents believe now that the economy will rebound within two to three months and grow just as strongly as or stronger than before Covid-19 against 57 per cent at the end of June, according to a McKinsey & Co survey.

UAE consumers sold on recovery
October 18, 2020 – Dubai

More UAE consumers are sanguine about the recovery of the economy now compared to four months ago and they see the economy rebounding faster in the next couple of months, says a new survey. As many as 61 per cent of UAE residents believe now that the economy will rebound within two to three months and grow just as strongly as or stronger than before Covid-19 against 57 per cent at the end of June, according to a McKinsey & Co survey.

Covid-19 accelerates changes in global payments industry
October 3, 2020 – UAE

Global payments revenue in the first six months of 2020 contracted 22 per cent, or $220 billion, from a year ago due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report by McKinsey & Company. The management consultancy expects revenue for the entire year to be about $140bn lower than in 2019, a 7 per cent decline from a year earlier.

Digital space reshaping Saudi consumer spending amid COVID-19
September 11, 2020 – KSA

The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of global business, and consumer spending is no exception. Abdellah Iftahy, partner at consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, told Argaam that the pandemic has not only overhauled how and where consumers choose to spend their money, but their lives as well.

Virus raises risk of cyber pandemic, experts warn
August 20, 2020- Saudi Arabia

Saudi companies looking to carry on “business as usual” during the coronavirus pandemic have faced unprecedented challenges amid the growing threat of cyberattack, according to cybersecurity experts. The digital meeting was moderated by Mahir Nayfeh, partner at McKinsey & Company, who highlighted the important role that digital transformation is playing during the lockdown and how varied models help to avoid cyberattacks.

World counts coronavirus pandemic’s runaway economic cost
August 12, 2020 – UAE

An article by Frank Kane explains that the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and the ongoing damage it is doing to the global economy will cost us USD12 trillion in lost economic output by the end of 2021 — roughly USD1,600 per human being on the planet. He points out that there is not going to be some global tax collector visiting each household in the world to demand the cash. For one thing, McKinsey estimated that spending by governments could actually reach around USD30 trillion by 2023 as the unpredictable effects of the pandemic lingered.

6 Things That Need To Change For The Financial Sector To Become Fully Digital
August 12, 2020- UAE

Although banks have been dabbling in digital for some time, until recently they hadn’t truly embraced a fully online approach. However, in the last few months leaps and bounds have been made towards a transformation in the financial sector.To find out what the future of digital banking might look like, Forbes Middle East gathered regional and international fintech leaders for an exclusive webinar exploring “Disruptive Digital Banking.” The webinar was moderated by Sonia Wedrychowicz, Senior Advisor at McKinsey.

Supporting the 10 million meals campaign
May 20, 2020- UAE

Melvina Tarazi, partner at McKinsey & Company: ‘’The way that individuals, businesses, charities, and volunteers have rallied together to deliver meals to those in need, is a wonderful expression of the compassion and spirit of this special country. I am truly grateful to be able to give back to a community that I have called home for decades.

Mindfulness coaching sessions for frontline staffers
May 11, 2020 – UAE

Members of staff at SKMC will receive dedicated training from Aberkyn experts, through 90-minute sessions on how to build team resilience and deep connections with self and others to remain healthy in relationships in day-to-day practice as well as provide renewal, focus and energy.

Breaking the glass ceiling in the Middle East
April 13, 2020 - UAE

Rima Assi was one of the first two women senior partners in the Middle East at McKinsey and Co, one of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms. She tells host Amina Taher about her work-life balance as a single mother, the time she was mistaken for the receptionist and her love of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Together, We Can Keep Our Community Safe” - Joydeep Sengupta, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
April 5, 2020 – UAE

Joydeep Sengupta, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, talks about his commitment towards the business community and society during these difficult times and supporting government’s efforts to ensure our safety.

GCC consumers currently the most positive according to latest McKinsey poll
April 3, 2020- UAE

McKinsey & Company boss Kevin Sneader recently made the comment that following the coronavirus crisis nothing would return to normal, but a new survey from the management consulting giant suggests that the citizens of Saudi Arabia and the UAE might not share the same view – with almost 60 percent of those canvassed expressing confidence that the economy will grow to become “just as strong or stronger” than prior to the pandemic.

Majority of UAE and Saudi consumers confident their countries’ economies will rebound quickly
April 2, 2020- UAE

A majority of UAE and Saudi consumers are optimistic that their countries’ economies will rebound within two to three months despite the crippling effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, a new survey from global consultancy McKinsey found.

Saudi consumers are optimistic on recovery
April 02, 2020- Saudi Arabia

Consumers in Saudi Arabia are among the most confident in the world that the economy will recover after the slow down because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but they are still reining in spending while the emergency lasts.That is the main finding of a survey conducted in the Kingdom by international consulting firm McKinsey as part of a global analysis of consumer sentiment in light of the virus’s impact on normal economic life.

Dubai Chamber launches series of webinars to support business continuity
April 01, 2020- UAE

Dubai Chamber launched the webinar series on Wednesday by organising the first online workshop in cooperation with McKinsey & Company, which was attended by more than 150 participants. The webinar dealt with best practices for remote work for the private sector, the challenges that may arise from this shift in organisational work and structure, and the mechanisms, procedures and technologies used.

Gemma D’Auria & Aaron De Smet share their 5 methods of crisis management
March 25, 2020 - UAE

For many decades, we at McKinsey have helped leaders navigate all manner of crises across sectors all over the world. While different challenges require different responses, and even though the current climate is new for all of us, we’ve found it useful to draw on our years of experience to identify some practices that can help. Here are five practices that can help you lead your organization through this unsettled time.

Retail In The GCC A Region in Transition
March 11, 2020- UAE

When it comes to shopping, Middle Eastern consumers are experienced and increasingly savvy. Retail is a favorite cultural pastime and informed consumers can’t get enough luxury items, in-store experiences, and the latest fashions. That said, the GCC markets are changing, amid shifting economic currents and the rise of digital.

Why Arab countries must give women a fair chance
March 8, 2020- UAE

As the world marks yet another International Women’s Day (IWD), the resonance of an occasion dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in different fields is being felt in a changing Middle East. As experts who spoke at the recent Global Women’s Forum Dubai noted, achieving gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a key driver of change, yet the region’s female workforce participation level is the lowest in the world.

Top jobs for women in Mideast set to double but challenges remain
March 8, 2020- UAE

The proportion of women in professional and technical jobs in the Middle East is set to double over the next decade, but women in the region still face a higher number of challenges than elsewhere in the world if they are to bridge the gender gap.

International Women's Day Women can help 'turbo charge' Arab economies but reforms needed
March 7, 2020- UAE

Women are “not yet sufficiently integrated” into high-productivity sectors in the Middle East said Rima Assi. She called for a “paradigm shift” in the years to come and “Many countries and organisations have made significant progress by implementing policies and creating environments that lead to greater parity,” Ms Assi said. “There is real momentum, yet challenges remain.

How artificial intelligence can revolutionize the Middle East energy sector
February 23, 2020 - UAE

Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role in the near future in the utilization of energy resources — including renewables such as solar and wind power — according to a report that draws on research conducted by the American management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

McKinsey report findings released at GWFD 2020 says 4IR is key to opportunities for women in MENA
February 19, 2020 - UAE

During a session at Global Women's Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020’s Economy Hub, Chiara Marcati, Partner at McKinsey & Company, who has been involved in various projects related to gender diversity and inclusion over the past decade, said that "advancing gender parity in the region stands to be such a driver of change." Marcati explained that the Fourth Industrial Revolution can create opportunities for women through automation, digitisation, online platforms and the rise of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship ecosystem in transition
February 18, 2020 - Pakistan

Entrepreneurship has become a hot topic in Pakistan; and the digital startup progress particularly in the last 6-7 years has been visible and vibrant. From rising middle income group to rising 3G/4G subscriber base to growing digitization and e-commerce, the potential is well acknowledged. The landscape has transitioned with the emergence and growth in not only the startups, but also the supporting players, events, activities, and funders.

Majority of Middle East consumers plan to spend more this year
February 11, 2020 - UAE

E-commerce in the Middle East is growing at about 30 per cent year-on-year, Abdellah Iftahy, partner and leader of the consumer and retail practice at McKinsey Middle East, told The National. A yet to be released McKinsey study of 1,000 consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia found overall sentiment is improving. About 49 per cent of people in the kingdom are optimistic about the country’s economy, compared with 39 per cent in 2019. In the UAE, the figure is 46 per cent, compared with 40 per cent last year. “The big shift this year versus the previous year is the consumer sentiment is actually improving for the first time since 2015,” Mr Iftahy said.

Panel Saudi Arabia is booming in terms of e-commerce
February 11, 2020 - Saudi Arabia

Abdellah Iftahy, a partner at McKinsey & Company told Arab News: “I think this retail summit happening in Saudi Arabia is a big sign of the importance of retail in the Kingdom.” Citing a survey by McKinsey on Saudi consumers, he said: “Half of them think that the economy will be positive this year. Last year it was 40 percent, that’s now up 10 percent.”

Retail leaders gather in Riyadh for consumer industries summit
February 9, 2020 - Saudi Arabia

In a survey of consumer sentiment to be released on the opening day of the summit, consultants McKinsey said consumer sentiment is improving for the first time in five years in the region, especially among Saudis, who are upbeat about the economy, with 45 percent giving positive survey responses.

Prestige Saudi leadership program for top student talent launches latest edition
January 30, 2020 - Saudi Arabia

A prestige Saudi leadership development program aimed at nurturing the Kingdom’s top young talent on Wednesday launched its third edition. Abdullah Saidan, associate partner at McKinsey Middle East, said: “Given the vast pool of intellectually curious, emerging talent in Saudi Arabia, the country’s youth has immense potential to have a direct impact on the transformations underway.

Sustainability needs ‘good governance and good disclosure’
December 15, 2019 - Saudi Arabia

The GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI), a non-profit organisation for board members, concluded the 7th annual GCC BDI Chairman Summit with a strong message to corporate boards in the region: “Corporate governance matters enormously to the nature of our economies and the kind of growth we want to see.”

For his part, Conor Kehoe, guest speaker and Senior Partner Emeritus and Special Adviser at McKinsey & Company, said: “How can directors add more value – for shareholders – and also well beyond?”

UAE online seeks out category winners
December 1, 2019 - UAE

A McKinsey report estimates that fashion-related sales in the Gulf amount to $50 billion. Sure, much of that still happens at brick-and-mortar stores, but by now online has been able to draw in a growing share of that dollar spend. And these spends are quite substantial — the average per capita spend on fashion in the UAE is estimated at $500 by McKinsey, and that swells to $1,600 a person in Saudi Arabia.

The GCC’s $50bn fashion sales market sees growth despite global slowdown
November 22, 2019 - UAE

With annual fashion sales of $50 billion (Dh184bn) and some of the world’s highest per capita spending, the GCC market presents “significant opportunities” amid a pessimistic global outlook for the industry, according to a new McKinsey study. Annual spending per person reached approximately $500 in Saudi Arabia and $1,600 in the UAE, found the fourth annual The State of Fashion report from the consultancy, published on Thursday.

We need to equip young people for the jobs of the future from a pre-school age
October 22, 2019 - UAE

The new reality is one in which 45 per cent of jobs will be automatable by 2030. The automation potential will vary across sectors: jobs requiring repetitive routine work such as manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will see more than 50 per cent of its work done by smart devices. Jobs that require emotional intelligence and creativity such as the arts, health care and entertainment will only see a 29 to 37 per cent automation rate.

Gulf needs to become a digital talent builder rather than an importer
October 8, 2019 - UAE

Even though many businesses in the Gulf region are interested in digitization, only a few of them have moved aggressively while many companies are testing the waters and wondering how to move from strategy to action. Digital transformation is all about deploying technology to solve business problems.

“Talent is the number one challenge in digital transformations, globally and locally. Culture is an essential factor in attracting, developing and retaining digital talent,” Abdulkader Lamaa, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, told TechRadar Middle East.

How global companies are bringing women-friendly work benefits to the UAE
September 11, 2019 - UAE

In the UAE, the government has taken important steps indicating that gender balance is a national priority. Last year the UAE cabinet endorsed a bill ensuring equal pay for men and women. Currently in 46th place in the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index, the UAE aims to be one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality through its Vision 2021.

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 6, 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 2, 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 2, 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 2, 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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