Nearly nine in 10 UAE chief executives are expecting growth in their industry over the next three years, according to a new survey. The CEO Outlook Survey by professional services firm KPMG suggests an optimistic outlook in the country despite current economic challenges. The survey results showed that 64 per cent of CEOs in the emirates were expecting to scale up their current business operations and processes and were far more willing to invest in innovation than their global peers.
Nine in 10 a said innovation was a strong area for investment in general, 84 per cent believed that risk could prompt innovation in certain products and services and 92 per cent expected to make an incremental investment in innovation. In addition, 84 per cent said they were investing heavily in data analytics tools and robotic process automation, followed by cognitive technologies and automation.
This appeared to come partly in response to expected disruption, with almost two thirds of UAE respondents predicting some form of disruption in their sector over the coming years ranging from the introduction of value added tax to regional and geopolitical issues.
“Despite lower oil prices, a new tax regime and geopolitical issues, the optimism shown by CEOs reflects a growing maturity and confidence in CEOs’ and their organisations’ ability to adjust to a new reality and develop other non-oil driven sources of business,” said Vijay Malhotra, chairman and CEO of KPMG in the UAE and Oman.
There were also similar levels of confidence in the wider GCC where 92 per cent of chief executives expressed confidence towards the growth of their industries over the next three years.
KPMG polled 1,200 CEOs globally for the survey but did not state how many were from the GCC or UAE.