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Deloitte Middle East Point of View: Women empowerment, cryptocurrencies, Fintech, agility in the public sector, Middle East retail sector and Dubai’s affordable housing sector

What are the biggest barriers to women’s access to leadership positions? How will cryptocurrencies and Fintech affect the business landscape in the Middle East? These are some of the topics discussed in the Spring 2018 issue of Deloitte’s quarterly publication, the Middle East Point of View (ME POV), now in it’s 25th issue. The Spring 2018 issue tackles several hot topics: from diversity, agility in the public sector, to the Middle East retail sector, business continuity, and Dubai’s affordable housing sector.

Rana Salhab, partner and Talent and Communications leader, Deloitte Middle East, David Sproul, CEO Deloitte North West Europe and Emma Codd, Managing Partner for Talent Deloitte North West Europe and Deloitte UK, all recipients of the 2017 Financial Times’ HERoes award for champions of women in business, weigh in on what it takes to empower women in the workplace in their article.

“Organizations in the Middle East need to recognize the added value of female talent in the Arab world to the economy as a whole and to their business, and invest in their attraction, recruitment, development, and retention. The role of men and of leadership commitment and inclusive leadership, in particular, are crucial to this process,” explains Salhab.

Changes are also being felt across the Public Sector in the Middle East, as explained by Ghassan Turqieh, Partner and Human Capital Leader at Deloitte Middle East in his article Agile in the public sector.

“Leaders need to consider modernizing their approach to managing the day-to-day business. Particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, women are becoming increasingly involved, heavily encouraged and expected to participate in the workforce. These dynamics will inevitably drive public sector leaders to modernize, embrace changes and deploy appropriate talent solutions, not only to maintain a motivated workforce internally but also to address their citizens’ needs,” explains Turqieh.

Digital evolution is also analyzed in this issue of Deloitte’s MEPOV, with Fintech and cryptocurrencies main topics of analysis. On Fintech, Rajeev Patel, Director and Uthman Al-Basri, Manager, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East caution that “failure to address it early, can trounce even the most dominant of companies […] The use of blockchain technology has enabled the rapid ascent of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin into public discourse, igniting a frenzy of interest while creating fundamental challenges to regulators and money markets.”

On cryptocurrencies, Nipun Srivastava, Director, and Saad Qureshi, Assistant Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East counsel that cryptocurrencies are still “highly volatile” and outline some of the challenges regarding the adoption of cryptocurrencies and some of the ways forward in regulating them.

E-commerce has drastically changed the global retail market say Anish Mehta, Director, and Sachin Bhandari, Senior Manager, Deloitte, UAE in their article, Going digital: the next frontier for Middle East retail. “But this megatrend,” they say, “which has transformed the dynamics of consumer behavior and business models in retail, remains untapped in the Middle East and offers huge potential for industry players.”

Ziad Haddad, Principal, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Middle East talks about Business Continuity Management, the ability of an organization to maintain essential functions during and after a disaster has occurred.

Martin Cooper, Director, Financial Advisory, Deloitte Middle East concludes the Spring 2018 issue with his article The development of Dubai’s affordable housing sector, where he addresses some of the challenges facing this vital yet troubled sector.