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Deloitte explores future challenges and opportunities facing family enterprises in the United Arab Emirates

Deloitte explores future challenges and opportunities facing family enterprises in the United Arab Emirates 1

The renowned provider of professional services, Deloitte, hosted over a 100 leaders of UAE based family enterprises at an event held in Abu Dhabi. The event titled “The thriving family enterprise of the future” included a series of key notes and discussion panels which addressed the most pressing topics facing family businesses in the UAE.

“This event provided a great opportunity to connect and discuss the key themes, opportunities and challenges that family enterprises are facing, and how many are responding to implement best practice, drive growth, and ensure a sustainable structure for future generations is in place,” said Scott Whalan, Deloitte Private Family Enterprise Leader. “These best practices could support family boards measure their impact on their business, enabling them to provide the necessary added value through strategic leadership, maintaining accountability and overseeing organizational performance,” he added.

The industry experts covered topics such as the evolving regulatory landscape in the UAE, the structure of the family board, succession planning, the introduction of corporate tax, the role of digitization in driving growth, cyber security risks, the future of audit, as well as aspects related to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).

Abdul Aziz Othman, Bin Hamoodah Trading and General Services said, “It’s been very informative, covering all areas of importance for family businesses. Especially when it comes to topics such as the introduction of the corporate tax, cyber challenges, structure of the boardroom and succession planning.”

Deloitte Private serves private companies of all sizes including local entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), startups, family businesses, large private companies, private equity funds including portfolio companies, and individuals.

Cynthia Corby, Deloitte North South Europe Private Leader for Audit & Assurance said, “Family enterprises in the UAE face a diverse range of challenges, which include some that are unique to the local market and others that are global by nature. We presented insights covering experiences of family enterprises gleaned through our surveys and research across the world, which we believe provide insights to stakeholders around areas they may be grappling as well. This always provides a helpful reflection for stakeholders on what is top of mind and what to prioritize.”

“The introduction of tax in the UAE provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the structure of the family enterprise, not only for tax optimization, but also using this as a catalyst for implementing change that would be required to deliver the long term strategy around succession planning and potential future transactions. At Deloitte through our multi-disciplinary approach to serving our Private Clients, we are well positioned to support local businesses navigate such challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead,” Corby added.

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