by Helen Sanders, Editor, with Alan Kerr, General Manager – Wholesale Banking Group, Dubai & Northern Emirates, and Bhupesh Sharma, Head Mid Corporate Division, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
As one of the most economically dynamic regions of the world, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also one of the most diverse, with a high proportion of both government-owned and family-owned enterprises in addition to publicly listed domestic and foreign corporations and financial institutions. In this article, Alan Kerr, General Manager – Wholesale Banking Group, Dubai & Northern Emirates and Bhupesh Sharma, Head of the Mid-Corporate Division offer insights into the needs, aspirations and solutions for businesses in UAE that are making a direct contribution to economic growth.
Business profile in UAE
UAE has a proud heritage of family-owned businesses, of varying sizes and maturity in their corporate lifecycle: some of which have been operating since the 1950s while others are far more recently incorporated. While many of these owners have chosen to maintain their businesses as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), others have grown into mid-cap companies and large conglomerates with complex needs both domestically and internationally. Owners of these businesses – of whatever size – often continue to play an active management role in their organisations, and in some cases are supported by externally sourced managers, often with international experience. Alan Kerr outlines,
“Many of these family-owned companies are now going through a generational shift with sons and daughters who have been educated at universities in US and UK becoming involved in the business. These highly educated individuals, who have often gained experience in the world’s largest and most respected companies, are now seeking to implement best practices in financial management and processing within their businesses, to enhance investor and stakeholder confidence and maintain their competitive position.”