Deloitte experts discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality and insurance sectors, customer behavior, and how CFOs are weathering the storm in the latest edition of Deloitte's Middle East Point of View magazine.
Alex Rankin, in his article The pandemic playbook, looks at insights into the levers utilized by CFOs as they respond to COVID-19 and subsequently recover and thrive. He says: "it is clear that the vast majority of regional CFOs are firmly focused on the short term and keeping their companies financially afloat. Time will tell whether the operational, tactical and strategic changes made in this time of crisis are retained, the extent to which efficiencies are realized or perceived risks crystalize."
This new environment brought on by COVID has had an immense impact on customer behavior, says Jean Abou Assi. In his article Ready, set, elevate!, he discusses the impact of the pandemic on customer behavior, "If a business manages to successfully care for their customers, listen to their needs and concerns, and always meet them where they are, they are bound to thrive and prosper, provided they never ignore the human in Human Experience."
Jude Rodrigues and Krishna Kumar study the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry and its effect on audit operations. They say: "Businesses heavily reliant on travel and human interaction are the hardest hit, while the indispensable segments (for example, pharmacy, food retail, essential services) remained resilient." The authors see the effects of the pandemic as "an opportunity to do things differently, by using new, or flexing the use of existing technology. There could continue to be restrictions on travel to client premises and audits might need to be performed remotely."
As travel restrictions ground planes and affect the travel and tourism industry, travel insurance policy sales have also plummeted, only one of the negative ripples on the insurance industry in the UAE. In their article, The business of uncertainty, Elias Ma'ayeh and Thomas Sam look at How COVID-19 is impacting the insurance sector in the GCC and write that, in the GCC, where the challenge of the pandemic has been "compounded by reduced oil prices, the effect has been mixed."
From his point of view, Zaid Selman in his article COVID-19 implications for data centers, notes that the productivity of employees working from home means that "large internet companies are likely to purchase and utilize more spaces in data centers, making collaboration between providers of enterprise software, network infrastructure and facilities more integral to their respective strategies."
Abi Man Joshi, Marios Fokides and Fehar Jallu, in their article, Mandatory Disclosure Rules update look at new reporting standards and say: "this is the perfect time for intermediaries/relevant taxpayers with businesses in the EU to think about their DAC 6 compliance management programs."
Karim Labban and Rani Abou Hamdan look at The Saudi Arabian Bankruptcy Law and find that it is expected, "to have an even more critical role in the turnaround of Saudi corporates in light of the more recent dual shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of oil prices." In their article A step in the right direction, they note: "this constitutes a very positive step in the right direction as it is critical to boosting investors' confidence and, accompanied by other government-led transformation initiatives, seeks to improve the ease of doing business in the Kingdom."