Vol. 2 Issue 3 Public Sector Excellence UAE:

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Excellence Vol.2 - Issue 3, March 2016

No Address? No Problem



Great Strategy, Bad Execution?





Knowledge Management

Meet this month’s local start up inspiration: Idriss and Joy from Dubai-based Fetchr

An inside look at the UAE’s Vision 2021 Vol.2 - Issue 3, March 2016


AED 20 • US$ 6.00

vision2021 17

Ranked th in 2015-16 Global Competitiveness Report


th in the World Ranked Happiness Report, 1st among Arab Countries


Ranked Number in Aviation Safety Standards Compliance


st out of 188 in Ranked Human Development Index



Ranked st worldwide in mobile network coverage, in terms of the percentage of the population covered


Ranked st worldwide in ICT use and Government efficiency


Ranked Number in Foreign Aid as a % of National Income


th in the world in Ranked Economic Freedom Index


Ranked th of 141 economies in Global Innovation Index


th highest GDP per Capita in the World


THEMES United In Responsibility United In Destiny United In Knowledge United In Prosperity

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES Cohesive Society and Preserved Identity . First-Rate Education System. World-Class Healthcare . Competitive Knowledge Economy. Safe Public and Fair Judiciary. Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure. Strong Global Standing.

ENABLERS Skilled Human Capital. Customer-Centric Service. Efficient Financial Management. Good Institutional Governance. Dynamic Government Networks. Effective Legislative Process and Integrated Policy-Making. Effective Government Communication.

Project Management PSE’s Project Management Correspondent Alfonso Bucero presents his latest piece titled “From Strategy to Execution”

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Sharing Excellence AmCham Abu Dhabi honors the winners of its 6th Excellence Awards as business executives and government officials come together to recognize leading enterprises and local contributors

• PAGE 26 06 Word From The Editor

Table of Contents PSE MAGAZINE • 4

A few words from our Managing Editor, Denise

08 Current News and Affairs A summary of the latest public-sector news and current affairs across the UAE

18 Knowledge Exchange Professor Malcolm Morley discusses his insights on competitive advantage and the public sector’s role in raising countries’ global competitiveness rankings

Local Enterprise

In Focus Take a step into the future as PSE explores the UAE Vision 2021 and the ambitious local city plans

Meet this month’s start up inspiration of the month: Idriss and Joy, Founders of Dubai-based Fetchr

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• PAGE 38

22 Empowering Excellence Explore how knowledge management can unlock your organization’s business excellence potential and take you to the next level

34 Benchmarks A look at the top 10 most competitive economies in the world

46 Idea Watch It’s time to get familiar with one of the key technological features of the times: The Internet of Things and the future of digital interconnectivity

50 Off Topic Do you feel that your brain might be getting a bit rusty? Check out these 7 hobbies to train your brain!

42 Build Your Digital Profile Move over Hollywood! Social media influencers are quickly becoming the new celebrities of our age. Explore how Influencer Marketing is taking over and how it can work for your brand PSE MAGAZINE • 5

Word from the Managing Editor


here is no doubt that in the business world, times are getting tough. In today’s increasingly competitive global economy, developing and sustaining a competitive economic advantage has become vital for an economy’s survival. With that in mind, this issue shows us a helpful glimpse into the future as we take you on an inside look at the UAE Vision 2021 and the remarkable improvement and growth plans of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Also on offer are the wise words of Professor Malcolm Morley, who tells us how countries can exploit and develop their pressing competitive advantages and utilise them to take the lead in the global economy. We then take a tour of the most competitive countries in the world in 2015 and how they made it on the list in our Benchmarks segment. Last month, we were honoured to attend AmCham Abu Dhabi’s 30th Anniversary and 6th Excellence Awards Ceremony along with a host of government dignitaries and business executives. It really was a fantastic event that celebrated so many great things about the UAE! Check out Sharing Excellence section to see the lucky winners who were recognised for their contributions to the local economy and society. In Empowering Excellence this month, the mag explores how an effective knowledge management system can enable your organization to reach those new heights you’ve been aiming for. We’ve covered everything from empowering people, to an effective strategy, to the implementation of leading practices across the business. For the project managers, PSE’s project management correspondent Alfonso Bucero offers readers a great piece titled ‘From Strategy to Execution’ that we’re sure you’ll find both enjoyable and equally as valuable. Everyone is familiar with celebrity marketing. It is EVERYWHERE! Big brands are always trying to lure Hollywood celebrities to endorse their products or appear in their TV ads. Well, it might be time for Hollywood celebs to move aside as the new era of social media celebrities take over the influencer marketing space. Find out more about this rapid change in influencer personal in our Build Your Digital Profile section. Over in Idea Watch, we’re investigating how the ‘Internet of Things’ is fast becoming one of the hottest technology trends in business as more and more devices get connected. Take a look here to find the top ‘IOT’ tips and what you need to know to stay in the loop. For our entrepreneurship enthusiasts, don’t miss this month’s local start-up inspiration as PSE meets up with the founders of Fetchr, the new Dubai-based tech start-up that is taking the regional shipping industry by storm. To our subscribers who have contributed their valuable feedback and suggestions, we offer a word of appreciation and continue to encourage our readers to share their opinions via email to info@psemagazine.com. Also, stay tuned for some upcoming competitions with great prizes on offer in our future issues. If you have missed any of our previous issues, or are looking for additional articles, downloads, and professional resources please visit our website: www.psemagazine.com

Best regards, Denise Daane

MAY 2016

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Denise Daane denise.daane@psemagazine.com Deputy Editor Paul Cook paul.cook@psemagazine.com Copy Editor Ford Maddox Brown ford.madox@psemagazine.com Art Director Regis Sudo regis.sudo@psemagazine.com PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Faisal Chareuf Tel: +44747 2011995 faisal.chareuf@psemagazine.com COMERCIAL SALES General Manager Khalid Mohammed Tel: +97150 3188891 khalid.mohammed@psemagazine.com Sales Manager Peter Mushington Tel: +97152 7297978 peter.mushington@psemagazine.com PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE: www.psemagazine.com for more information and visit our Knowledge Centre for useful Project Management and Business Excellence Templates and Resources! facebook.com/psemagazine



JUNE 2016

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Join us in April as we explore the UAE's Government initiatives that are empowering the digital government strategy.


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A look at the UAE's Entrepreneurial Government to how countries around the world support local enterprise

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The Executive Committee of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council reviewed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Abu Dhabi Plan during its meeting in February. The performance indicators were selected according to the best implemented practices and aim to reflect the true impact of projects and plans set by government entities over the next five years. They measure the extent to which the objectives and programmes set in the Abu Dhabi Plan have been achieved through annual targets set for each indicator that highlight the progress and development required to achieve the objectives of the Plan.


A senior delegation representing various executive, legislative and operational spheres of the Abu Dhabi Government recently completed a two-day visit to Google Headquarters in San Francisco, California, USA, which was organized by the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC). The visit was part of the Government’s framework to expand ties and cooperation with the multinational tech heavyweight in the fields of government innovation, knowledge transfer, human capital, education and ICT capacity-building.


World leaders from around the world gathered in Dubai in February for the Middle East’s first Global


Women’s Forum, where stereotypes of Arab women were dispelled and their achievements promoted. More than 2,000 participants and 200 speakers over the two days worked to boost women’s influence, designed plans to encourage greater contribution and promote diversity in the business world. Speakers included Queen Rania of Jordan, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, Mauritian president Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has issued a decision establishing the Executive Committee. The chairman of the committee will be Saeed Eid Al Ghafli, head of the Executive Office. The committee’s members will include the chiefs of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Police, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Muncipal Affairs and Transport.


The Ministers of the UAE’s 12th Cabinet took the oath of office on February 14 before Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also at Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi to see the ministers sworn in. President Sheikh Khalifa called on the Cabinet to work diligently and faithfully to honour the aspirations

of citizens, promote sustainable development and take the UAE beyond the great international stature it already enjoys.


The 4th edition of the World Government Summit under the title ‘Shaping Future Governments” concluded in February with great reception. The summit was hosted in Dubai and featured a keynote address from American President Barack Obama. World leaders, government executives, scientists and media experts from around the world attended the summit which featured forums on the future of renewable energy, government innovation, education, technology, the future of money and much more. Australia’s Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt was awarded the inaugural Best Minister at a summit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.


As part of a major Federal Government shake-up, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced Ohood Al Roumi, 29, for the new post of Minister of State for Happiness, the first of its kind in the region and one of the few in the world. Al Roumi will be joined by a new minister of tolerance, Sheikha Lubna bint Khaled al Qasimi, previously the minister of foreign trade, who became the UAE’s first female minister in 2004. Also joining their ranks will be Shamma AlMazrui, 22, the new minister of youth affairs. The appointments are all part of the Cabinet’s focus on the future, youth, happiness, developing education, and combating climate change.


The UAE’s forthcoming federal bond issue is good news for the country’s banks, which have faced fall-

ing deposits as government-related entities withdraw cash, said the investment bank Arqaam Capital in a research note. However, the government must pass a new law, which is expected to be put in effect in the next six to nine months. Federal bond issuance should allow the UAE to fund almost all of its 2016 fiscal deficit, reducing the need for the government to draw down on bank deposits, or sell assets.


More companies signed up at the Dubai International Financial Centre last year than in any previous year in its history. DIFC’s operating review for 2015 showed a 27 per cent rise in new memberships, a record increase for the 11-year-old centre. There are now 1,445 registered companies in DIFC. They employ just short of 20,000 people, 11 per cent up on 2014.


Moody’s warned that GCC banks could face renewed pressure on their credit ratings, even as new data

showed that government withdrawals continued into January. Government deposits at UAE banks fell by 11.6 per cent in the 12 months to January, scraping levels last reached in 2011, data from the Central Bank shows.


Al Etihad Credit Bureau, the nation’s debt quality watchdog, has started to allow banks to directly access information about those seeking credit using their Emirates ID cards. The bureau’s move comes as UAE banks are increasingly going digital to lessen unnecessary travel and bureaucracy for customers who have become used to managing their lives with their smartphones. The bureau said that through application-to-application protocol, banks can now access a customer’s credit history instantaneously using his or her Emirates ID. Mashreq has been the first bank to sign up to the protocol.


NEWS AND AFFAIRS According to Mercer’s 2016 annual Quality of Living survey, Dubai clinched the regional top spot for quality of living in the Middle East and Africa for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Abu Dhabi. However, when ranked on a global scale of 230 world cities measured for factors including safety, ease of doing business, personal freedom and access to services, Dubai came in 75th place – a spot lower than last year. Abu Dhabi came 81st, down four places from last year. Abu Dhabi ranked highest in the region for safety, coming in 23rd place globally. It was followed by Muscat (29), Dubai (40) and Port Louis in Mauritius (59).


The oil price slide is driving tax reforms across the region as Arabian Gulf economies seek to shore up a potential US$700 billion deficit. All six Arabian Gulf states are planning to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) collectively. Various other tax reforms are also underway. The IMF warned in October that Gulf states would have a combined fiscal deficit between 2015 and 2019 exceeding $700bn if they did not undertake reforms. Since then, several countries have cut energy subsidies, trimmed spending and talked about taxes and privatisation to shore up government revenue.


Abu Dhabi’s fiscal deficit will widen significantly in 2016, as oil prices remain lower for longer, according to Moody’s, the ratings agency. The emirate will run a fiscal deficit of 14 per cent of GDP this year, the ratings agency expects. The agency


estimates that Abu Dhabi ran a fiscal deficit of 13.2 per cent in 2015. Major falls in oil and natural gas revenues are driving the deficits, with receipts falling from 26.6 per cent of GDP to 17 per cent of GDP from 2015. Oil revenues are expected to fall by about 41 per cent this year from their 2014 high. In conclusion, Growth in the emirate is expected to slow to 3.1 per cent this year, down from 3.4 per cent last year.


The Abu Dhabi General Service Company (Musanada) has announced that the construction of AED2.1 billion new highway linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai is 70 percent complete. The road, spanning from Seih Shuaib to Sweihan Interchange, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to Musanada.


The number of road deaths in Abu Dhabi fell by 8 per cent last year, compared to the year before. The emirate recorded 245 fatalities last year and 267 in 2014. The number of traffic accidents fell by 3 per cent, from 1,864 to 1,803, said Brig Hussain Al Harthi, director general of central operations at Abu Dhabi Police. The number of registered vehicles rose by 17 per cent, while new driving licence holder numbers were up 6 per cent over the period.


Motorists in Abu Dhabi will be able to pump their own petrol from the start of next month and pay for

it with a swipe of their Emirates ID cards. Four self-service “smart” petrol stations with a new cashless payment system will be opened as part of a seven-month trial by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company from March 1. Customers will be able to pay for their fuel using their Emirates ID card, Adnoc Plus card or a Smart Tag, a chip installed at the car’s fuel inlet. All three payment methods are linked to an ADNOC Wallet account that can be topped up online. Customers can sign up for an account on the company’s website or at Smart Card centres around the city.


Insurers Daman said 70 per cent of premiums contributed to outpatient expenses and more than half of those cases did not require intervention by a physician. Its research showed 90 per cent of cases did not require antibiotics. A new data-sharing scheme should help to cut health insurance fraud, officials at Dubai Health Authority said. Medical professionals will be given secure log-in credentials to access electronic health records – enabling the authority to track the source of breaches. Each complaint of fraud is fully investigated. Penalties can vary, from a notice letter to a license being revoked or a facility being closed.


A new patient data-sharing project in Dubai will mean tailored health care, improved communication between hospitals and better crisis management. Salama is an electronic medical

NEWS AND AFFAIRS record system for Dubai Health Authority, and the Nabidh scheme is a patient data exchange. Both will be up and running in all 34 Dubai hospitals by 2018, giving patients and doctors a single electronic medical file. A command centre will be established to help crunch patient data and distribute it to hospitals, police and the fire service to help manage crises.


More public libraries will open in beaches and parks in the capital this year, while celebrity storytellers may be visiting the emirates to spread the message of love of reading. There are two libraries at Khalifa Park and Bahya Park , and one at the Family Beach on the Corniche, which has iPads and stocks e-books, e-journals and provides online access to newspapers. Abu Dhabi Municipality’s public libraries unit announced a third park library would open by summer at Al Wathba Park and the municipality also plans to open a second beach library by the end of the year in the freely accessible area of the Corniche.


A new student assessment programme is being introduced for public school students in grades 10 and 11, according to the Abu Dhabi Education Council. Students’ achievement level will now be measured using a concept known as NEDM — No Achievement, Emerging, Developing and Mastered. High school leaders were recently trained on the new student assess-

ment programme, which will “promote a student’s achievement level without the usage of a grading system such as a mark or a percentage,” according to ADEC.


The UAE on Tuesday banned its citizens from travelling to Lebanon and said it was reducing the size of its diplomatic staff in the country. The announcement came shortly after Saudi Arabia urged its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately “for their own safety”.


The Museum of the Future opened its doors to the public at Madinat Jumeirah in early February. Guests were able to view and interact with displays featuring existing cutting-edge technology as well as theoretical devices that would allow us to enhance our mental, emotional and physical capabilities, as well as tell us what career we should be pursuing.


UAE Minister of Energy Suhail Al Mazrouei said he expects supply levels on world markets to “stabilise”, easing pressure on crumbling prices. He expected world demand for crude to rise this year by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) and also said it was “possible” that supplies from nonOpec producers fall by 500,000 bpd. Oil prices surged in mid- February following a report in the Wall Street Journal quoting Mr Al Mazrouei as saying Opec was willing to cooperate with other producers on trimming the global crude supply glut.


A crucial milestone was reached in February in preparing the UAE’s nuclear power plant for commercial operations. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) announced the completion of Cold Hydrostatic Testing (CHT) at Unit 1 in Barakah. The CHT checks that welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant

system and associated high-pressure systems meet quality standards, as per the regulations of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (Fanr). During the testing, previously processed water filled the primary circuit and was circulated by the reactor coolant pumps. These pumps will help to maintain a safe temperature inside the reactor during operations.


Under the patronage of Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, and Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the United Arab Emirates will be hosting the seventh edition of the International Exhibition for National Security and Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi 2016) event. Organized by the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with REED Exhibitions- Middle East, the ISNR Abu Dhabi 2016 will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Center (ADNEC) on 15 – 17 March 2016 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). Major General Staff Dr. Al Ketbi mentioned that the exhibition will host a myriad of events, notably four workshops, 60 educational seminars, IT workshops on cyber risks, 30 technical and educational seminars on information security and 25 technical seminars through the innovation platform of ISNR


Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior recently witnessed the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in the United Arab Emirates and the INTERPOL Foundation, affiliate of the INTERPOL international organization. The aim of the agreement is to enhance and develop cooperation in fighting all types of crimes. The agreement was signed at the Al Ain International Airport, by Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior, representing the MoI, and Elias Michel Murr, President of the Board of the Interpol Foundation.




he business world is plenty of expensive, well-intended strategies that failed in the execution. Some of them make the front pages and the evening news. Many others disappear into desk drawers. All represent a significant drain on resources that could have been used more profitably elsewhere. The spectacular flameouts of Carli Fiorina at HP and John Sculley at Apple are merely a few high-profile examples of CEOs whose strategies failed because of poor execution. Business schools unleash aspiring strategists into the corporate world every year, yet studies have found that less than 10 percent of strategies carry through to implementation. So, around 90 percent of companies fail to execute strategies effectively. However, senior executives regularly hideaway and plan the next big think, leaving the PSE MAGAZINE • 12

execution to the lower echelons. That is precisely where strategy goes awry. When strategy makers neglect the critical connections between words and deeds, they are almost guaranteed to fail. Many executives understand this instinctively, but they lack a systematic approach for identifying the right actions to deliver. Worse, they ignore their own responsibilities towards

people who execute the strategy. Repeatedly, they make broad assumptions about how well the strategy can convert into understandable work, and whether the organization is capable of making the changes needed for the strategy. When executives think of the strategy implementers as mere lines and boxes on a chart, they fail to tap the full power of the enterprise. In the midst of changing tech-


nologies and competitive global markets, senior executives face extreme pressure from customers, competitors and employees. All of these forces place a premium on the executives’ ability to articulate strategy and provide resources for middle managers and workers to implement it within the context of the corporate structure, goals, measurement and reward systems. Often this requires reshaping the organization and creating new types of interactions. Top management’s biggest issue is the failure to recognize that any significant shift in strategy requires changes

throughout the organization. How do you know where your organization will be two years from now? Executives regularly find themselves responding to a simple question: Where do you expect to take your organization in two years’ time? Most executives answer by pulling out their strategy documents and launching into their official presentations. A more important question is - how do you know you will get there? Corporate leaders would come much closer to describing where their organization will be in two years’ time by describing their current investments. The best indicator of strategic direction is an enterprise-wide look at what the company is doing rather than what it is saying. Don’t believe it? Just go back two years and look at the major activities that have been completed in any given company. Compare that record with the strategy the company was espousing two years ago. Chances are that the list of completed actions, along with another list of failed actions, will offer a better explanation of the company’s current position than its twoyear-old strategy documents. What a company is doing can be summed up by identifying the group of projects in which it invests. In fact, for the espoused strategy to become a reality, it must be converted into the packets of work we call projects. Projects are the temporary initiatives that companies put into place alongside their ongoing operations to achieve specific goals. The project is the true traction point for strategic execution. The project builds new

products, new skills, new alliances, or new delivery mechanisms for customers. A company’s project portfolio drives its future value. The project portfolio – the array of investments in projects a company chooses to pursue – is the agent of change, and the success of change initiatives depends on the ability to select and manage these projects. Successful strategic execution requires tightly aligning the project portfolio to the corporate strategy. I call this the engagement domain, where the objectives of strategy meet constraints of resources. It is the fundamental responsibility of executives to ensure that the corporation engages continuously in the right projects and establishes the right priorities in a competitive environment. The engagement domain, which requires companies to engage the strategy via the project investment stream, is the most central of the six domains of strategic execution. Executives have a tendency to think of this kind of work as being too “tactical” to take up their precious time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only by continuously reviewing the project portfolio and consciously realigning the organization can a company bring its espoused strategy to life. Strategy makers can only align the engagement domain by working with and through project leaders at the execution level.

THE STRATEGIC ROLE OF PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT Effective strategy consists of choosing to do the right things. Effective execution means doPSE MAGAZINE • 13


ing those things right. Strategic execution results from executing the right set of strategic projects in the right way. The only path to executing strategy is through project portfolio management. Project portfolio management is always on, whether executives recognize it or not. Everywhere in the organization, people must take thousands of small project investment decisions everyday. If the company’s leaders fail to engage actively in strategic portfolio management, the small but critical daily portfolio management decisions are delegated to the lowest level of the organization. Without clear leadership, individuals will use other decision rules in choosing what to work on: first in, first out, most politically correct, wild guess etc. Portfolio management still takes place, but it is not necessarily aligned with strategy, and it occurs at the wrong level of the organization. PSE MAGAZINE • 14

Many executives fail to understand how crucial is to determine the degree of alignment between investments and strategy. All one needs do is look at the project portfolio to see whether the project work of the organization is aligned with the strategy. Whatever the cause, competent and well-meaning executives routinely fail to integrate and align the work of the organization with the strategic vision of the organization.


There is no way for senior management to accomplish a strategic transformation without getting deeply engaged in project management. In some cases, particularly for new strategies, the senior executives themselves must become the project leaders. Unfortunately, most executives have not yet learned the language of project management. Even leaders who emphasize the importance of

strategic action invariably fail to take the next step by recognizing that the most important actions that serve to execute strategy are the projects that will bring the organization from its current state to its desired future state. I do not claim that this is a new idea. However, in my experience, what has been missing is a systematic framework within which to apply decades of important contributions on the subject. The essence of strategy is in the activities – choosing to perform activities differently or to perform differently than rivals. Otherwise, a strategy is nothing more than a marketing slogan that will not withstand competition. I believe execution is a process. It is not the result of a single decision; it is the result of a series of integrated decisions over time. This helps explain why sound execution equals competitive advantage. The hidden language barri-


er prevents many senior executives from communicating effectively with the people who will bring the strategy to life. Executives speak of high-level strategic outcomes rather than specific project outputs, and too often, they fail to link the two. The converse is also true: project managers rarely have the opportunity to think about the strategic implications of their work. They focus on project outputs rather than strategic outcomes. To counteract this dangerous disconnect, corporate executives and strategy makers must eradicate the idea that the details of project management are beneath them. The language of strategy formulation covers high-level concepts such as the company’s identity, and purpose. It connects the collective who, what, and why with the corporate culture and with the goals that will be used to measure strategic success. In the human brain, the

corpus callosum links the two hemispheres to align a person’s actions with her visions and intentions. Research has shown that when the corpus callosum is severed, people are unable to translate their plans into coordinated actions. Similarly, engagement serves as the corpus callosum of strategic execution, if it is severed or malfunctions – if the project portfolio becomes disengaged from strategy – a lethal disconnect is created.


A couple of examples from the mobile telephone industry illustrate two important ways in which faulty translation in the engagement domain can undercut execution. In one instance, a company executed flawlessly, but its leaders failed to notice that they were investing in the wrong projects. The other company failed to invest the resources necessary to manage a crucial project well. In the first case, the Earth-or-

bit satellite telephone service known as Iridium grew out of a complex development program that met all of its targets within its original cost parameters. However, somewhere in its eleven-year duration, the program’s initial strategic goals became irrelevant, as convenient and inexpensive cell phone technologies rose up to replace Iridium’s value for customers. In contrast, the program code-named ‘Odyssey’ at AT&T Wireless represents a different kind of failure. The ‘Odyssey’ number portability program was strategically critical when launched, with an immutable external deadline imposed by the FCC. The program remained crucial throughout its life cycle, but it failed catastrophically in execution. Within months of this dismal outcome, the Wireless division was absorbed at a considerable loss of value to AT&T.


PROJECT MANAGEMENT AT A GLACE Success in execution ultimately depends on two things: whether the planned objectives for each project remain relevant and feasible and whether each of the strategic projects are managed well enough to achieve the objectives that justified it at the time it was selected. In other words: • Do the right projects and programs! Executives must continually ask themselves tough questions about the market considerations for all the portfolio work. What has changed since the last planning session? Are the desired outcomes still relevant in the evolving environment? Should some specific work redirect or even cancelled? Does the strategy require investment in systems that go well beyond the central investment? • Do the projects and programs right! Is the work on plan? Can we view the aggregate status of all work and utilization of all resources across projects? Are the targeted project outputs still relevant and feasible? Do people understand the strategic purpose of each project? Are they making all the necessary connections so that their work can transfer to the ongoing operations? Do they have access to resources? How are they managing changes? Great execution in the absence of reasonable strategy is no better than great strategy with poor execution!


Strategic execution requires a


system wide approach that consistently drives organizations to do the right things. Such an approach helps identify the necessary project investments so that everyone understands what they must do to execute strategy. Together, the leaders and managers must engage in conversations that identify and allocate resources to projects that accomplish three types of work: • • •

Working in the business Working on the business Working to transform the business

Working in business means delivering products/services based on existing processes. Most of the ongoing work in a pure professional services firm or a custom solutions provider is project based. Such firms must engage continually in portfolio management to discern between what to accept and decline. However, even a “make to offer” manufacturer must regularly initiate projects in the business to develop new products on a make to offer basis. Working on the business is about improving current business processes to create better levels of performance. This requires prioritizing projects aimed at improving the current way of designing and delivering. Working to transform the business is almost totally project oriented because transformation involves one-time strategic initiatives to move the enterprise to entirely new ground.

SUMMARY I have emphasized that strategy makers must work together with strategy implementers to achieve strategic execution. Both groups must

recognize project portfolio leadership as a core competency, with different responsibilities at different levels. Everybody has a role to play! Senior executives must take responsibility for communicating the company’s purpose and creating the organizational structure that will further strategic directives. They must translate strategic intent into specific goals and work with project leaders to determine which investments are required to attain them. They must take pains to identify the hidden work of realigning the SEF domains as needed, and undertake the projects necessary to accomplish it. The project leaders must pay attention to the broader strategic picture and understand the organization well enough to identify the barriers to execution. They must also develop the communication skills to help influence the choice of projects, to identify resources, and to seek help with the project work when necessary. When strategic project portfolio management works well, project managers are empowered to lead from the middle with support from the top. This creates valuable learning opportunities for project leaders and begins to sketch out a career path that could prepare them for executive positions. On a personal level, each individual has the ultimate responsibility for deciding how to invest the time, energy, and other resources available on any given workday. At this level, too, the strategic execution framework offers a guide to investment choices both big and small.

@ a glance Background In the UAE Since 1979, Part of Multinational MDS group with over $3.2 Billion Turnover annually. Specialist System Integrator for Infrastructure Services. Specialized in Mission Critical ‘Zero Downtime’ Solution Delivery Representation of Best of Breed Brands in each area Dedicated Customer Support Center in UAE

Areas of Expertise

Technical Achievements & Certifications HP Platinum Converged Infrastructure Partner specialized in computing systems, networking, storage and data center solutions Avaya Platinum Partner Avaya Partner Of The Year - MENA Avaya Contact Center Partner Of The Year Aruba Gold Partner Ruckus Direct Hospitality Partner HP Partner Of The Year Microsoft Gold Certified Partner & Large Accounts Reseller (LAR)




s the world’s trade becomes ever more international places, countries and cities, seek to compete for investment from private sector organisations. This competition for investment is increasingly based upon comparative advantages. Places need to understand, exploit and develop their comparative advantages. Comparative advantages relate to the advantages that places have when compared to the other competing places for private sector investment. They can relate to access to capital, access to skills, access to markets and access to a fiscal framework that provides incentives for entrepreneurialism/ investment and an opportunity to achieve PSE MAGAZINE • 18

a higher return on investment. Comparative advantage can also relate to political stability, physical and social infrastructure, the quality of life, cost of operation, access to academic research institutions, access to clusters of activity, access to raw materials and the established competitive dynamic. When assessing comparative advantages private sector organisations look at their competitive context and evaluate the different advantages that different places provide. Some advantages are more important to certain private sector organisations than others e.g. the unit cost of production or access to an attractive market. Similarly the risk appetite of private sector organisations has an influence on the evaluation of

comparative advantage. This is particularly the case when considering access to markets against the risk of political instability and/or the need to have local indigenous partners to gain access to the market. A private sector organisation will decide where it is best for it to invest. If the public sector is to play a role in achieving investment in their places, whether at the country level or the city level, it must understand the comparative advantages the private sector is seeking. Only then can the public sector focus its efforts to influence the perceptions of the private sector and convince them to invest. Whilst many places seek any and all the investment they can, it is also the case that countries and cities need to decide if there


are any specific market sectors on which they want to focus. Knowledge based companies will look for different comparative advantages to manufacturing companies. Even if the same comparative advantages are sought across sectors it is probable that they will be weighted differently by private sector organisations operating in different market sectors. The public sector needs to understand what is important to the private sector for the market sectors being researched. It needs to understand how the private sector scores the comparative advantages that it seeks when considering investment. This ‘ideal’ score forms the benchmark against which different places can be scored. Each comparative advantage can be scored out of

ten for places within countries and between countries. This is illustrated by the table below:

es are perceived. It is important, however, to receive these messages positively and to use

It has to be remembered that the scoring has to be done from the private sector’s perspective and not the public sector’s. It is the private sector’s perceptions that are important. The public sector should commission independent external consultants to undertake this work to ensure that an objective view is gained of the ‘ideal’ and the scores for each place.

them to provide an agenda for the public sector to address. The radar diagram provides a clear illustration of the relative comparative advantages of different places. If your place is Place A you will see that you need to consider how to improve on cost base, return on investment, fiscal incentives, access to skills and access to markets to improve your place’s attractiveness for investment for the market sector to which the research relates. The radar diagram also illustrates the comparative advan-


This independent assessment can sometimes highlight very difficult messages for places, particularly where the results challenge taken for granted assumptions about how well plac-

tages that you can use positively to distinguish your place from other competing places. In the case of Place A it can promote its political stability, its physical infrastructure, its social inPSE MAGAZINE • 19

KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE frastructure and its quality of life. Positive messages can be generated about the benefits of investing in Place A. The public sector has the ability to influence perceptions in the private sector. For example, it can invest in the social and physical infrastructure, fiscal incentives and skills development required to attract the private sector. The private sector does not expect to achieve a perfect fit with its requirements. It will look at the elements of comparative advantage and trade off what it would ideally like with what it needs to enable it to achieve its objectives. Where the primary objective at this time for a private sector organisation is market penetration its ideal profile for comparative advantage is likely to be different to that of an existing competitor in the market seeking to gain market share e.g. it a new entrant to the market will accept a low return on investment to gain entry to the market. Different private sector organisations view the comparative advantages of places differently depending upon what they are seeking to achieve and the timescales over which they seek to achieve it. Their view of what they require can also change over time.

Developing comparative advantage requires: An understanding of the market to which the comparative advantage relates. An understanding of the type of organisations that your place is seeking to attract. An objective understanding of how your place, and other competing places, are perceived against what the private sector organisations in (2) above are seeking. A plan for your place to address the elements of the comparative advantage that private sector organisations perceive need to

be improved along with a communications plan to convince those organisations that you will improve them. A plan to promote those comparative advantages for your place that meet or exceed the expectation of the private sector organisations. Whilst there are generic elements of comparative advantage such as it’s a great place to live, work and invest; the places that are most successful in attracting the private sector to invest are those that focus their promotion and action on the specific requirements of market sectors and individual private sector organisations.

Professor Malcolm Morley OBE Visiting Professor

The Lord Ashcroft International Business School Anglia Ruskin University Malcolm is a serving public sector chief executive and a visiting professor. Author of The Public Private Partnership Handbook: How to maximise value from joint working, he lectures widely and undertakes consultancy. He can be contacted at: malcolm.morley@aru.ac.uk PSE MAGAZINE • 20

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Knowledge Management


nowledge management has long been regarded as one of the most useful tools for companies to maintain information and knowledge they have gained. It’s important to know the distinction between data management and knowledge management. Data management refers to the data that you gain from customers


and from other sources that can help you run the business. On the other hand, knowledge management means being able to store, maintain, analyse, and recall the information when needed.


Knowledge management can be thought of as a more system-


Companies that use knowledge management are companies that have realised the importance of human intelligence and who also value their employees. atic way of doing things. Whenever a new employee runs into a problem, they are told to contact senior employees because the senior employees are likely to have faced the same problem and solved it before. In a similar way, if a Microsoft employee discovers a fix to an issue they upload it on their knowledge management system. The next time someone is stumped by the same problem, they can just start the system and see if a solution exists. The important thing to understand is that knowledge management doesn’t just mean that you are storing information; it also means that you’re making a system which is capable of analysing and searching the database so other people can find it just as easily. Saving keywords makes the whole searching process easier and more efficient.


Some of the biggest companies on earth have been practicing knowledge management for more than a few decades now. Knowledge management refers to the act of acquiring, storing, sharing, and using the information that has been gained by an organisation or its employees. Microsoft is one of the large companies that have been effectively utilising knowledge management for a long time. The one

difference between a company like Microsoft and most other companies, is that Microsoft actually opens up their knowledge management system to the whole world. The Microsoft Developers Network is one of the best places online to go whenever you need help with a Microsoft related issue. In simple terms, knowledge management means that whenever someone learns about a way to fix an issue or any help the business, they store it somewhere for everyone to access.


Knowledge management drives business excellence because it allows businesses to retain information. Companies that do not have a proper knowledge management system end up facing many problems when senior employees leave the organization. As Newton once said, “I see farther only because I stand on the shoulder of giants”. What Newton meant is that he was able to make the discoveries he did, only because he was able to use the information and knowledge of other people before him who had already dealt with similar problems. Proper knowledge management in organizations has the same effect. If someone

has worked at your company for many years then they will have learnt many ways of dealing with problems that may not be recorded. When they leave, all the knowledge is lost and whoever is replacing them has to once again go through the process of discovering the solutions to the problems. Knowledge management drives Business Excellence because if knowledge is properly managed, then others can learn from it. When someone new joins the organization, instead of discovering the same solutions, they can go further and work on other problems, finding new solutions, or even creating better solutions. In a proper knowledge management system once an employee has a good idea every employee can also benefit from the same idea. This concept means that knowledge is always being improved over time.


Knowledge is power, and knowledge management allows companies to use this power to drive their performance and innovate. Companies that use knowledge management are companies that have realised the importance of human intelligence and who also value their employees. Professionals know that sometimes you just get stuck on a problem and it can take time to develop a solution. Most knowledge management systems these days have ways for employees to collaborate with each other. This is beneficial because if someone finds a problem with no solution, they can simply post the problem in the knowledge management system. Employees from another department who may have encountered the PSE MAGAZINE • 23

EMPOWERING EXCELLENCE problem can the suggest solutions. This allows companies to collaborate and solve problems of the team.


For knowledge management purposes it’s best to divide knowledge into 3 types: implicit, explicit, and tacit. Explicit knowledge is the knowledge that you can find written down somewhere, such as specifications in a manual or any other such information already available in text form. Implicit information is material that isn’t really spelled out anywhere but can easily be implied from the explicit information available. Tacit information on the other hand, is information that only exists in the mind of a person. Knowledge management isn’t just a technology; it’s also a culture in the workplace. People will only bother to actually share knowledge if your organization supports a culture in which knowledge sharing is rewarded.


One of the most exciting aspects of the United Arab Emirates vision for the future is the desire to build a knowledge-based economy. Becoming a knowledge-based economy would mean that United Arab Emirates would need to develop more powerful knowledge management systems than what is


currently available. As the many different projects involved in the vision of the future are initiated and completed, there will undoubtedly also be a lot of knowledge gained. There really is no country in the Middle East as developed as UAE, which means that the country will be facing completely new problems and applying innovative technologies for the first time. This means the UAE will be creating new standards and practices and this will see the UAE become a real pioneer in the Middle East. In the future we can expect that other countries in the Middle East will join in on the technological revolution and become smarter countries for it. If the United Arab Emirates is successfully able to secure the knowledge it

will gain from implementing its vision, it will in turn be able to export the knowledge and experience elsewhere. This will make UAE one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East

CONCLUSION Ultimately, knowledge management has the ability to make all future projects easier and quicker to implement. Any obstacle that was faced in implementing the initial project can be completely avoided in any future project due to crucial knowledge being gained and recorded. Indisputably, a comprehensive and well-built knowledge management has the power to dramatically change how efficiently a company or business is run. Don’t let it be something you ignore!


Excellence Awards

AmCham Abu Dhabi Announces 2016 Excellence Awards Winners and Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Founding Members, Constitution Writers and Former Presidents of AmCham Abu Dhabi receive 30th Anniversary Pearl Awards.

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t AmCham Abu Dhabi’s 6th Excellence Awards, 16th Charity Gala, and 30th Anniversary Celebration top business executives and government officials came together to recognize leading U.S. and U.A.E. companies, institutions and entrepreneurs for their dedication to strengthening U.S.-U.A.E. commercial relations. The finalists were honored FriPSE MAGAZINE • 26

day, January 29, 2016 with an evening gala at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, with Guest of Honor, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, U.A.E. "AmCham Abu Dhabi is proud to recognize the winners of the 2016 Excellence Awards," said Robert S. Harward, Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi. "This year’s Excellence Awards winners are truly outstanding individuals and organizations; they embody excellence in their business by demonstrating passion and dedication to their work

while continuing the strong bilateral commercial relationship between the U.S. and U.A.E. We are especially proud to celebrate AmCham’s 30th Anniversary and to honor the Founding Members, Constitution Writers and former Presidents and Chairpersons of AmCham who laid the foundation for AmCham’s growth and success in promoting U.S.-U.A.E. commerce, trade and investment.” H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan said, “Tonight AmCham Abu Dhabi celebrates many significant anniversaries and they combine to emphasize

SHARING EXCELLENCE your success in becoming a vital part of our international community. Your success, of course, contributes to the success of the U.A.E. Your businesses energize our economy. American excellence in healthcare, technology, engineering and design, construction, energy, higher education, aerospace and automobiles, and dozens of other specialized fields has helped to propel our country, as we begin our 45th year with confidence and vigor. He continued “The success of AmCham Abu Dhabi in the past 30 years bodes well for the future. I congratulate you on this occasion and hope you will have many, many more years of successful contributions to our country and to the capital city of Abu Dhabi.” U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. Barbara Leaf congratulated AmCham Abu Dhabi on its 30th Anniversary while presenting the Woman in Business Award. In addition, congratulations from the U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba were read to the sold-out audience by AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman Robert S. Harward. The Excellence Awards applaud best in class American and Emirati individuals and businesses for their achievements in the local business community. The winners of the five awards are: Dorian Paul Rogers, Founder, Rooftop Rhythms, received the

Robert S. Harward, Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi, welcomes guests to the 6th Excellence Awards, 16th Charity Gala, and 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Left to Right: The Honorable Barbara Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., presents the 2016 AmCham Abu Dhabi Woman in Business Award to Sana Bagersh, CEO, BrandMoxie, Managing Editor, Tempo and Founder, Tamakkan.

Young Achiever Award, which recognizes a young entrepreneur under the age of 40 who has demonstrated smashing success in professional practice and exemplifies a commitment to excellence by inspiring others in launching U.A.E. based business opportunities. Dorian Rogers is Founder of Rooftop Rythyms, a cultural events-planning initiative and performance-based collective of artists in Abu Dhabi. His culture and arts events which range from Arabic and English poetry open mic nights to live music events have been lauded for exposing emergent Emirati and expatriate performance talent. The popularity of these events have garnered him recognition on both CNN and BBC.

Sana Bagersh, CEO, BrandMoxie, received the Woman in Business Award, which recognizes a working female who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and accomplishment by pushing barriers, overcoming challenges and setting an example of perseverance and professionalism. Sana Bagersh is CEO of BrandMoxie, a leading advertising agency and Managing Editor of Tempo, a community based magazine that promotes design, business and innovation. She is also founder of Tamakkan, an entrepreneurship and leadership organization that offers guidance to small and medium size businesses. Abdul Rahman Saeed Ghanim, Chairman and Founder, Middle East General Enterprises (MGE),

Left to Right: Theresa F. Weber, Executive Director, AmCham Abu Dhabi receives a Special Award for her outstanding commitment to AmCham Abu Dhabi from Robert S. Harward, Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi.

Left to Right: Haitham Al Subaihi, Vice President, U.A.E. Sales, Etihad Airways; James Bowden, Afridi & Angell and Brian Lott, Executive Director, Group Communications, Mubadala Development Company and cohost of the event.


SHARING EXCELLENCE received the Falcon Individual Award, which recognizes an individual demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustainable U.S.-U.A.E. business relations. As the Founder and Chairman of MGE, he oversees a diversified holding company covering a variety of business sectors including logistics, aerospace and defense, energy, real estate and investments. MGE promotes companies by engaging, sponsoring, partnering or becoming agents to global powerhouses including U.S. companies DHL, Honeywell, General Atomics, and Children’s National Health Systems, to name a few. Kallman Worldwide Inc. received the Falcon Organization Award, which recognizes an organization demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustainable U.S.-U.A.E. business relations. AmCham Abu Dhabi recognized Kallman Worldwide Inc., an export-marketing advocate helping U.S. business capitalize on international trade shows, which has been active in the U.A.E. since 1989. The company has represented a portfolio of the U.A.E. leading exhibits including the ADIPEC Oil and Gas Show, Arab Health, the Dubai Airshow, Middle East Electricity and WETEX. Outreach efforts have touched tens of thousands of U.S. firms and over the last 20 years Kallman has recruited more than 2,400 American companies to participate in U.A.E. trade shows. Strata Manufacturing PJSC received the Bridge of Excellence Award, which recognizes an organization that bridges the gap in bilateral trade relations and demonstrates a commitment to cross-border business alliances or joint ventures. STRATA Manufacturing PJSC, a Mubadala Development Company, is located in Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park PSE MAGAZINE • 28

Left to Right: Sharief Fahmy, Vice Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi and Master of Ceremonies; H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, U.A.E.; Robert S. Harward, Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi.

a multi-faceted development that supports the establishment of a sustainable aerospace industry in Al Ain and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. STRATA is a Tier 1 supplier to Boeing, an American multinational that is the world’s largest aerospace company. In 2015 Etihad received its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with Vertical Fin Ribs made by STRATA. The 2016 Awards included a special award category in honor of the 30th Anniversary of AmCham Abu Dhabi, the Pearl Awards. The Pearl Awards recognize AmCham Abu Dhabi’s founding Individual and Corporate Members, Constitution Writers and former Presidents and Chairpersons and their contributions to enhancing U.S.U.A.E. commerce, trade and investment. In attendance at the event were Founding Individual Members: John McGowan; Founding Corporate Members: Afridi & Angell, CRSS International, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon International Inc., Sayah Engineering Consulting Bureau, Shearman & Sterling LLP and United Techni-

cal Services; Constitution Writers: S. Qaiser Anis, Lavern Heggem, Charles Laubach and Elias B. Sayah; Former Presidents: Charles Laubach, Peter Eident and John L. Habib. Robert S. Harward, Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi, gave a special award to Theresa F. Weber, Executive Director, AmCham Abu Dhabi, for her outstanding commitment to AmCham Abu Dhabi, serving as Executive Director from 2008-2011 and 20132016. Proceeds raised from the event are donated to local charities and educational institutions, in support of U.A.E. aid programs and initiatives. The four beneficiary organizations this year are: Emirates Red Crescent, the Make-A-Wish Foundation U.A.E., the American Community School of Abu Dhabi and St. Joseph’s School. 2016 marks the 16th year of AmCham Abu Dhabi giving back to the community. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of 21 leading Abu Dhabi companies, guests were treated to an elegant and entertaining evening.

AmCham Abu Dhabi, member of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce, has been advocating the development of trade, commerce, and investment between the United States of America, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates since 1986. AmCham is an independent non-profit association of companies and individuals, including Fortune 500 companies and prominent business leaders. As the largest western trade association in Abu Dhabi, AmCham provides a unique platform through which executives pursue common business interests. Through the support of its members, AmCham is the recognized voice of U.S. business in Abu Dhabi. Benefits include: • • • • •

Increased American trade and business opportunities Insight into U.S. and U.A.E. trade policies High profile business and community events Customized business services Sponsorship opportunities


www.AmChamAbuDhabi.org Facebook.com/AmChamAD @AmChamAbuDhabi AmCham-Abu-Dhabi Youtube.com/AmChamAbuDhabi For more information, visit,



Realising theUAE Vision U AE’s Vision 2021 is one of the most impressive visions to have ever been published by a country. The only thing more impressive than the ambitions of this vision is how successful the implementation of the project has been since it was announced. While the infrastructure of the UAE has always been excellent, there are always opportunities to improve life even more for the local populace, and that is essentially what Vision 2021 aims to achieve- to make the UAE one of the most significant, resourceful and efficient places on the planet. UAE had been on the global map for many years as it continued to innovate, break records, and improve its global competitiveness rankings year after year. The World Economic Forum’s global compet-


IN FOCUS itiveness report ranked the UAE 17th and singled out the country’s economy as significantly more diversified than other GCC states. However, in this latest ranking, the UAE had actually slipped five positions from last year’s 12th. The drop is due to the new availability of an indicator on tertiary education, which led to a significant drop in the assessment of higher education and training, as well as a perceived need to strengthen its capacity for innovation by upgrading scientific research. Despite a minor drop, the UAE need not worry as Vision 2021 is working to eradicate any hurdles that face the country. In 2010, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced Vision 2021 at the end of a cabinet meeting. He laid out plans for the future of the country, and the UAE has always been impressive when it comes to accomplishing its long-term and innovative plans.


The overarching ideology is to transform the UAE into a country that is more prosperous and more valuable as a society. The UAE has been rapidly making innovations to rival other countries for a long time; but now, it is planning to leapfrog them instead. The UAE has no desire to emulate more developed countries; it instead is aiming to become the perfect example of a modern developed country. The vision is most impressive because it embraces the past of

the UAE, whilst looking at what steps are needed for continued improvement. The government has made it clear that they are very proud of their history and accomplishments, and that the new vision is about taking the country straight into the future. The official statement given during the launch of Vision 2021 divided the plan into 4 basic themes, each outlining the different types of projects that are to be completed by 2021:

developments are made with all of society in mind. It also means increasing the national standing of the country culturally. The UAE is known for its beautiful building and lavish hotels, but the vision plans to also improve upon local philosophy and culture as a whole. The UAE will now grow focus on ideas, not just its infrastructure. This means increasing the contributions of the locals in the world of art and media.



One of the most important things about the Vision 2021 is the inclusive aspiration to respect the culture and all of the inhabitants of the country. It was interesting that this was the first and the most prominent theme chosen for the vision because it reflects the all-encompassing ethos. What the government has made clear is that they will not be leaving anyone behind in the name of modernism. The vision they have for the future includes all Emirati citizens and all must work together to succeed. This includes making more people involved in the decision making process so the society is shaped by many as opposed to a few.


The vision doesn’t just outline that all Emirati citizens will make the future; it also focuses on everyone being able to partake in the fruits of their labour. The vision aims to have a balanced growth- not one that will result in inequality. This means focusing on projects all over the UAE, and ensuring that

The vision also makes it clear that education is the way of the future. By educating the local populace and increasing opportunities for higher education the UAE government aims to distribute prosperity equally in the country. The UAE also needs entrepreneurs from its own country who are willing to innovate and creatively grow their companies. All of this will need to be implemented for the UAE to become one of the globe’s leading knowledge economies. Focus is also being put on the diversification of the higher education system. By ensuring that even the lowest economic classes can reach the highest educational classes, the UAE government aims to create a country built upon the foundations of equality.

THEME 4: UNITED IN PROSPERITY The UAE government aims to increase the living standards of all of its population. There will a focus on creating a sustainable environment, better schools,


IN FOCUS better public services, and an e-governance framework as well. The aim is to use the great resources of UAE to create a sustainable economy that can keep growing. Relying on traditional methods of earning is no longer enough, diversifying sources of income and diversifying the recipients of the income is the next step to a better society.


While the Vision 2021 is a country-level vision, there are other area-specific plans as well. In Dubai, home of the World 2020 expo, some of the most ground

PILLARS OF THE ABU DHABI 2030 PLAN A large empowered private sector Creation of a sustainable knowledge based economy A transparent regulatory system Continuation of strong and diverse international relationships Emirate resource optimization Premium education, healthcare, and infrastructure assets Complete international and domestic security Maintain Abu Dhabi’s values, culture, and heritage A significant and ongoing contribution to the UAE federation


breaking and innovative projects are under way with the aim to become one of the best cities in the world. In Abu Dhabi, the government aims to be among the top 5 governments in the world. With a continuous push for excellence in government performance led by the countries’ leaders, a competitive environment has been nourished that is driving a positive trajectory towards excellence.


Abu Dhabi’s plan is one of the most impressive strategies we have seen for any cities. The only country with a compara-

bly awe inspiring plan is Paris’s 2050 vision, and that will be realised twenty years after Abu Dhabi has done it. The most impressive part of the plan is how detailed and rooted in reality it is. The plan analyses the current realities of Abu Dhabi and gives directions to improve them. This includes creating a sustainable environment and economy that will increase the living standards of the locals. It details even miniscule points, like which areas would ban tall buildings to preserve views, and divides Abu Dhabi into districts so they can be improved.

ABU DHABI PLAN 2030 HIGHLIGHTS INFRASTRUCTURE AND INDUSTRY Multi-billion dollar public transport system including metro and tram Modern urban development plan to include National Parks, Central Business District, and a Capital City Government investments will fuel healthcare, aviation, media and financial services sectors

DIVERSIFICATION Focus on sectors which aim to grow at 75% per year Non-Oil Contribution GDP, 64% by 2020


Achieve a World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” ranking of 20 out of 175 countries

PRODUCTIVITY AND EMPLOYMENT Reduce unemployment by 5% among Nationals Increase GDP per capita by more than 50% by 2030 Achieve a Global Competitiveness Ranking of 17 out of 125 countries


DUBAI PLAN 2021 The Dubai Plan is a simple yet ambitious plan that focuses on 6 ways to make Dubai “happier” and to reinforce its position as a global centre and tourist destination. The 6 themes in the plan are:


empower and stimulate individuals to become educated, cultured and healthy. This main theme is subdivided into a number of aims, including promoting education, culture and health conscious living.


A tolerant and inclusive society embracing the civic values of Dubai: A society in which people are treated equally and fairly and share a set of core civic values including tolerance, and personal responsibility.



best educational, health care and housing services catering to everyone’s needs. To also provide high-quality housing, education, and health care services that is accessible for all socioeconomic segments of society, with a globally competitive cost of living.

Maintaining an economic growth that is resilient to disruptive shocks because it is underpinned by a diversified base of economic activity. Promoting innovation in business models and increasing productivity of labour and capital, ensuring that Dubai always remains one of the world’s leading business centres.



smart, integrated and connected city with infrastructure that supports the economic and social life of Dubai as a city and one that matches world-class levels of efficiency and citizen accessibility allowing for future growth of the city.

The plan asserts that the government needs to be forward-looking, proactively listening to, and engaging all stakeholders. It must also ensure that its policies and services meet the needs of individuals and society as a wholein the present and the future. It also aims to simplify the lives of people through the provision of smart, high quality government services reflecting the individual activities and institutional requirements.

GOVERNMENT ACHIEVEMENTS We now stand more halfway between the time when the plan was announced and when it is supposed to be completed. During this time, many projects have been completed with improvements already made. A great example of the way the government aims to take the UAE forward is the DEWA’s Sustainable Building that was completed in 2013. It is the most economically sustainable government building in the whole world. The government aims to include similar green directives in every building it constructs going forward. Al Fahidi Souq market, which was completed one year after the DEWA building, had the same sustainable elements in it,

and was the world’s first commercial green construction. One problem the UAE has faced over the years is air conditioning. The summers are hard and during peak times in summer, air conditioning can account for as much as 70% of the total energy usage. In order to combat this, the UAE has started to focus on inventive district chilling initiatives. These are systems that use natural cold water to bring down the temperature in buildings. They use very little energy compared to normal air conditioning systems and are being highly promoted by the government because of this. The innovative technique has already been implemented in many of the

buildings across the UAE. Masdar City is another remarkable achievement that marks the UAE’s continued steps towards its great vision. Masdar City is a model eco-friendly city that has been developed close to Abu Dhabi. Few countries in the world have the resources and the commitment for a project this ambitiously impressive. Everything about the city is efficient; even the streets are designed to act as wind tunnels so they can channel natural air conditioning to homes. These are just a few of the achievements that reflect the commitment of the government towards its goals.





ompetition is the cornerstone of true development in our capitalist world. The free market concept is based on competition that creates the best product for the customer. Economists around the world condemn anti-competitive mea-


sures because they feel that they suffocate innovation and growth. We have seen a lot of innovation and disruption in the last two decades; some of the biggest companies in the world right now did not even exist a decade ago. So how do countries around the world compare in terms of their levels of productivity? Well,

the 2015-2016 World Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum has helped shine some light onto that very question. From the report, the World Economic Forum sets its definition for what it means by “competitive” as such: “We define competitiveness as the set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of an economy, which in turn sets the level of prosperity that the country can earn.” There are 12 different pillars of economic competitiveness, such as education and infrastructure, upon which the ranking is based. According to the World Economic Forum these are the 10 most competitive economies in the world right now:


United Kingdom


The United Kingdom doesn’t have a huge economy, but it is one in which the participants have the right opportunities to grow. It isn’t surprising to see that many of the biggest companies in the last decade or so are from the United Kingdom; the country has an excellent infrastructure in place for its citizens. The levels of education, healthcare, and infrastructure all led to it being ranked so highly when compared to the rest of the world. The reason that United King-

Sweden was at number 10 spot in last year’s competitive ranks but it has moved up to land at 9th this year. This is due to the government’s strong commitment towards developing its own citizens and its workforce. Sweden has one of the best educational infrastructures in the whole world. Education is free for most citizens and academic and research contributions are highly encouraged by the government. Any Swede who writes a book gets a grant from the government for their work. Such policies ensure that the playing field in Sweden is level, and people from different walks of life can create their own businesses due to a strong financial safety net and great education.

dom is at number 10 and not higher is due to its geographical and macroeconomic position. Its geographical location severely limits its production capabilities, as it becomes uncompetitive to import so many inputs. The government also has a lot of debt that pushed United Kingdom down to the 10th rank. It is still a very impressive economy though, and the UK is a place where people are encouraged to participate through great education.

Finland The next time someone tells you that Finland is too socialist, just show them where they stand in the world competitive index. The reason that Finland is so high on the list is because of its excellent infrastructure. It is only at 8 because of the small size of its market; with a total population of 5.5 million the country cannot compete when it comes to GDP numbers. Finland also has excellent financial security for its people, which in turn, makes them more prone to take risks and participate in entrepreneurial ventures. PSE MAGAZINE • 35


Hong Kong

Hong Kong may have a confusing form of government, in some ways independent from China while still in a sense a part of China. Despite this, it does have the 7th most competitive economy in the world. Hong Kong reaches this high rank due to the potential of its markets

and great infrastructure investments made by the government. Hong Kong was once lagging behind the times but the country has developed greatly in the previous decades, which provides a lot of potential for investment and growth. Hong Kong does have its issues however, such as a lack of business sophistication and the lack of innovation in the industries.

Netherlands Throughout this list, it is clear that economic competitiveness is driven by infrastructure investments. Though the financial markets of Netherlands are not as strong as some of the other countries in this list, they still rank highly among the pillars of economic development. A fantastic policy on education means that more of the population are ready to be a part of the workplace. Netherlands also has one of the safest environments in the world and obstacles to starting businesses are very low.



Visiting Tokyo feels like time travelling to the future; it may well be the greatest and largest human settlement in all of history. Japan overall has a fascinating relationship with technology, and they seem to embrace it much more than most other countries. Japan ranks so highly in the world competitiveness index due to their investments in infrastructure. The country currently is facing a huge stagnation period when it comes to the economy though; and this has led the government to take unprecedented measures to fuel growth. If Japan’s current moves play out the way they are intended to play out, we might be seeing Japan ranked even higher next year. The Japanese government applied negative interest rates, a tactic that is unheard of in developed countries. This was done to prevent the act of saving and instead promote investments. It might well work to increase the competitiveness if there are no unintended consequences to the move.



It is hard to believe that Germany has managed to grow so much despite being in such an unstable position till just a few decades ago. Germany invested early in its infrastructure and its institutions and is reaping the

rewards now. Germany also has a great economic environment and the government has done a great job with its economic policies. The nation is one of the few developed countries that do not have a looming debt problem that could threaten to derail things in the future.


United States of America No competitive list is complete without America. America is widely known as one of the most competitive markets in the whole world. The USA has a great financial industry and funding is readily available for the right business ideas. The only reason America is at number 3 and not in the top 2 spots is the large amount of debt that limits the government’s ability to invest in infrastructure.

Singapore was one of the worst financially hit countries in the 90s. The growth and development that has happened in just two decades is incredible. Singapore is very small, which keeps it from being a major player in the world market, but the market itself is very competitive. Like most of the top countries in this list, Singapore too has managed to become competitive due to investments in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. Singapore is one of the most expensive places in the world to live in but that doesn’t stop businesses from opening and succeeding.

Switzerland is on this list for the same reason as Netherlands and Finland, but it takes the number 1 spot because it managed to achieve more success than any of them. Switzerland is often seen as the model world economy due to the high amount of focus on developing its people. With some of the best education and training in the world being provided for free, it is not surprising that the participants in Switzerland’s economy can compete on a level playing field. The market may be small, but within it there a lot of potential for companies to step up. PSE MAGAZINE • 37


No Address?

No Problem

Meet Idriss and Joy, Founders of Dubai-based tech start-up Fetchr

While at an event in Silicon Valley California seeking funding, Idriss Al Rifai met Joy Ajlouny, a Palestinian serial entrepreneur based in California. While on stage, Idriss spoke passionately about solving the problem of no addresses in the Middle East and the effect this has on emerging markets. This appealed immediately to Joy, who had found difficulty shipping her e-commerce companies packages to the Middle East due to the lack of a properly developed address system. After meeting they both connected their ideas on logistics and last mile issues that affect so many e-commerce companies. They both knew that with their combined experience, they may be able to change the face of delivery and help grow e-commerce in the Middle East. After this chance encounter, Joy decided to join the company and attempt to build and improve the e-commerce market and things have prospered from there

About the Duo:

Idriss Al Rifai is an entrepreneur passionate about disrupting the Middle East retail market with technologies and customer-centric services that enable the growth of e-commerce in the region. Idriss has developed and optimized a last mile delivery specifically for e-commerce needs and requirements in the Middle East. In 2013, Idriss founded MENA360, which has evolved to become a full end-to-end logistic solution for e-commerce companies in the region. MENA360 has more recently rebranded to fetchr with the launch of its peer-topeer delivery app. Idriss also boats degrees from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris


and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. For over 20 years, Joy Ajlouny has been an e-commerce industry professional whose business and fashion influence has spanned the globe. Joy is the co-founder of Fetchr, a Silicon-Valley backed Technology Company based in Dubai, aimed at solving emerging market shipping logistics. Fetchr is the first start-up in the Middle East to be funded by a top venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Prior to Fetchr, Joy founded Bonfaire, an internet-based VCbacked discovery platform for luxury footwear and accessories. Bonfaire was acquired in 2013 by fashion e-commerce giant Mode Operandi, owned by LVMH and Condé Nast. While women have raised only 2.7% of venture cap-

ital funds, Joy has successfully raised funds for two companies from some of the most prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firms. Joy has also been a strategic advisor to fashion startups, venture capital firms and major fashion publications. Joy’s personal style and keen sense of fashion is a product of her extensive travels. PSE Magazine were lucky enough to catch up with the enthusiastic pair recently for a chat on their company Fetchr, startups in the UAE, and much more: PSE: What is the story behind Fetchr? Tell us a bit about how Fetchr works and the services offered. The name “Fetchr” was derived from a few ideas. We needed a name that would not be regional specific. It also needed to make sense with regards to what we do, our vision and purpose. We wanted the brand to be a fun and playful approach to a serious product. We are the first delivery logistics business to have a consumer friendly brand like this. This is in stark contrast to typical delivery


brands that end with an “EX”. Fetchr is a logistic company that offers the latest in technology to solve the problem of no addresses. With the fetchr app a customer can pinpoint their exact location, this ensures that customers never miss a package. You use your phone to shop for everything and now with the fetchr app you can use it to ship anything anywhere. We have eliminated missed packages and annoying phone calls asking for directions. We use your cell phone number as your address. It’s a new way to send and receive packages, no address required! We deliver for anyone who needs to deliver anything, anywhere. We do delivery for some of the largest ecommerce and retail players in the market as well as a long tail of SME’s. Fetchr’s vision is to enable all deliveries through technology. We want to be the world’s easiest, fastest, most convenient way to ship anything anywhere. We want to make shipping as easy as shopping, making delivery and pick up as easy as 2 clicks. We want to

change standards for delivery. Download the app, snap a picture of what you want to send, pinpoint your location with a convenient time for pick up and a fetchr driver is on his way. Once the parcel is safely delivered, the sender receives a notification. It’s that simple! As an app, we do not require the address of the receiver, you just simply provide a mobile number. A driver is then dispatched at the scheduled time to the phone’s location, and can be tracked in real time. The receiver is then notified that they have a delivery via the app. They choose a delivery time, and the package is brought right to their GPS location. Once the parcel is safely delivered, the sender receives a notification. In our pursuit to push new standards for delivery, we are also currently in the process of allowing any customers to receive any packages via the Fetchr app no matter where they are coming from. The packages would all come to Fetchr warehouse and then be delivered via our app with the same level of PSE MAGAZINE • 39

LOCAL ENTERPRISE transparency and predictability. PSE: Is Fetchr a regional first? What makes Fetchr so unique? Currently existing delivery businesses operating in the region are working hard to bring delivery standards up to par with standards that have existed for almost half a century in the western world. We are not trying to catch up to what everyone else is doing but looking leap frog beyond existing shipping businesses and standards. Fetchr recognises that the world is changing through technology. With our technology, we bypass the need for a conventional address system in itself, using technology and cell phone as a way to find customers. We think that it is about time someone integrates last mile operations with the customers that are out and about, finding a way to connect the dots in the cloud. As a mobile app for deliveries, we are leading the way, however we anticipate that there will be a flurry of copycat attempts. Last mile delivery is one of the greatest reasons why e-commerce has not reached its full potential in the Middle East. Our mission is to empower delivery through technology. Other address finding apps only offer a location service while Fetchr offers the utility and convenience of peer-to-peer delivery and offers an end-to-end solution for ecommerce businesses. Our core strategy is to provide a legitimate service that connects people and makes their lives easier. We are solving a real issue that everyone has face at some point and by enabling deliveries for ecommerce, we solve their biggest challenge. We have been thrilled that Apple chose to feature us on the App store, thereby recognising the same needs in the market that we are exposing and solving. PSE MAGAZINE • 40

Fetchr will also invest heavily to raise awareness around service and technology, but ultimately the app needs to be useful and accessible in order for us to gain popularity in the app ecosystem. PSE: In general, do you feel that the UAE is a good place the start a business? And more specifically, what are your thoughts on the fast growing tech scene and the opportunities that exist for tech start-ups? As the space becomes more mature, competition becomes tough. We are however still very far from the level of saturation you can experience in the US or in other more mature markets. It is still a great time to start an online business though as the market grows more than 30% year over year. Some segments of the e-commerce space are becoming more competitive; ultimately giving better value for money to the end consumer. E-commerce is booming in the region, catching up with where it should be based on the key metrics that are driving e-commerce worldwide: broadband penetration and smart phone penetration. I see the growth of e-commerce as a very healthy one as it strides across multiple verticals and segments. Delivery companies are aware that this segment was under-catered and are now trying to find solutions to the specific concerns of e-commerce: lead time, cash collection cycle and return rate. Fetchr already understood that 3 years ago and we have developed our whole strategy and product precisely for this segment. PSE: What do you have in store for the future of Fetchr? Fetchr currently operates in the UAE, Bahrain & Saudi Arabia. We have a dedicated expansion plan to bring Fetchr to the

rest of the GCC within the next few months. We are also going to be using the majority of our funding for expansion throughout the Middle East and beyond, using a mix of our own fleet and outsourced drivers. Additionally, we are in the process of setting up international logistics partners who will enable international delivery via the app. We also currently have existing partnerships with inbound freight and cargo businesses. What’s more, we’re even building out our outsourced driver network which will enable faster delivery on demand. We are looking to launch a plethora of new features too. We are constantly improving our product and value growth. One of the next features we are going to launch is international peer-to-peer deliveries, allowing anyone to send a package internationally just by pressing two buttons on their cell phone. PSE: Last but not least, what are some of the key pieces of advice you would offer to UAE based entrepreneurs and start up enthusiasts? There are multiple challenges in the e-commerce space in the region. These mainly concern the quality of the delivery services, the legal environment (or the lack thereof to operate an ecommerce business) and funding. The list is long. Dubai, however has an ideal entrepreneurial energy where things happen. The start-up community is burgeoning! Despite these massive challenges e-commerce has shown tremendous growth in the past few years across the Gulf. This growth represents a fantastic opportunity for any retailer or individual who want to reach a regional audience with very limited upfront costs.




nfluencer marketing is not a new thing – marketers have known for a long time that influencers can affect the way the general public thinks. One thing that has changed however is the way influencer marketing works. The advent of social media has brought a whole new dimension to influencer marketing. This has ultimately led to increasing influencer marketing budgets and increasing exposure to products through influencer marketing… PSE MAGAZINE • 42


Influencer marketing works on the principle of ‘voice of authority’. If you respect someone and their views you are more likely to listen to what they’re saying, and you’re more likely to purchase the products they inform you about. We have seen this tactic used in marketing for a long time in television ads, newspaper ads, and billboards. Famous people are also utilised in advocating products and using their status to endorse the product. Sometimes the person advo-

cating a product is related to the product or brand somehow. They might be experts in the same industry or they may have a famous job related to the product. For example, you’re likely to see racing drivers in advertisements of tires, oil, and other car related products. The most interesting thing however is that this isn’t necessary. People think of celebrities as their role models, which means that they want to do the same things or own the same things that a celebrity does. So, this means that you can use influencers who have no re-

BUILD YOUR DIGITAL PROFILE marketing were in official advertisement of the product. Social media has now completely removed this limitation. These days you have constant access to celebrities. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, celebrities can post updates that are seen by millions of people around the world in their own style without any limitations. It has become very popular for celebrities to use their official Twitter pages and Facebook pages to market products for which they are ambassadors. Instagram has also been great for influencer marketing. Within this new wave of social media influencer marketing, Instagram and Twitter are actually used more than Facebook for marketing because of their more casual nature.


lation to your product or the industry and still see a marked increase in the perception of your product. That is why you see sports stars often starring in the advertisements of completely unrelated products like watches, shampoos, cars, and much more. This is because these celebrities are people who have the power to influence others because people want to emulate the celebrities they respect.


Previously the only access we had to celebrities was through television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. This meant that we only had access to prepared and edited snippets of conversations from celebrities. The only places where the celebrities could actually do influencer

Social media hasn’t just changed the way influencer marketing works; it has also changed who can be an influencer. Before social media, most influencers were big name celebrities that could only be afforded by big organisations. Social media has made it much easier for niche communities to attract influencers and for influencers to form active roles in niche communities. The contemporary youth has completely different influencers compared to the influencers of the past, YouTube celebrities for example, reflect the changing landscape of influencer marketing. For many of us in the professional world there is no concept of a YouTube celebrity. For us, YouTube is a place where we go watch videos about things that we already know. For the younger generation however, YouTube has become a replacement for TV. There are Channels they follow and YouTube stars

that they also follow though all levels of social media.


Thanks to the new world of influencer marketing it is now possible for small businesses to embrace and use influencer marketing for themselves. It is not hard to find an influencer who will be relevant to your products. If you are selling fitness equipment then you can simply look online for fitness communities and perhaps get one of the more popular social media celebrities to mention your products in their posts. If you look at any of the Fitness celebrities on Instagram you can see that this is already happening. Every 3rd, 4th, or 5th post on Instagram shows them posing with a product which they say helps them get fitter and it seems to have a real effect. The best part is that there are now influencers for almost any industry out there. This even includes industries involved in business-to-business dealings or other technical products that one might not think has influencers. There are experts on the Internet providing advice for the oil industry, the construction industry, the services industry, and they are all influencers that you could theoretically approach to market your products.


The youth these days doesn’t really spend a lot of time on the television, radio, or newspapers. Instead, they spend most of their time online in different communities. Because of their vast online knowledge, younger people are also very adept at avoiding online marketing materials and often use ad-blocking software so they do not have to see PSE MAGAZINE • 43

BUILD YOUR DIGITAL PROFILE any advertisements. Influencer marketing allows companies to overcome this obstacle. By using influencers they can have the younger generation follow their advertisements and marketing materials without it looking too blatantly like an intrusive advert.


If you want to succeed through influencer marketing then what you have to find the influencers that will have a positive impact on your industry. Finding influencers for retail products is easyanyone that is popular with the public will be a good influencer as long as they do not make controversial art or statements. Local celebrities are great influencers if you are a small business. For example, local radio or television stars can have a lot of influence in local tastes. Bloggers

are also very big influencers. The cosmetic industry these days is being powered through blogging. Younger customers engage with bloggers online and really value their opinions about new cosmetic products. If you are in a B2B industry then you will most likely find influencers on LinkedIn or Facebook. Both LinkedIn and Facebook have experts from different industries writing articles and giving advice about the industry. This is true for almost every industry we know of. Through these sites, you can find influencers for construction, finance, medical, sales, and any other industry you can think of. It is also worth noting the people who have a lot of followers commenting on their posts and asking them further questions. These are the influencers that can make a difference.

Imagine the impact of getting an expert in the construction industry to talk positively about your construction related products. It’s easy to see why influencer marketing works. You will have to budget accordingly according to the industry you are in though. One important thing to keep in mind is that influencers aren’t just a celebrity. Influencers actually need to have the public’s trust or their words will have no real effect. There are some famous people out there who may be notorious but are not trusted by the public. If you choose someone as an influencer for your product you need to know that the response to his or her endorsement will be positive. Focus on finding trustworthy people in your own industry and you will see your perception soar in no time.

Influencer Marketing Key Stats and Figures

23 30


Fastest growing online customer acquisition method 23% Growth Rate

People are spending most of their “media time” on social media:



Those aged 12 to 32 spend 30% of media time consuming user-generated content i.e Social Media. Compared to 23% of media time watching TV

59 49

59% of marketers plan to increase % their influencer market-

ing budget over the next 12 months.

Young Audiences trust social media celebrities more:


Survey of 13- to 24-year-olds reveal: 62% would try brands recommended by a YouTube celebrity. Just 49% would act on a Hollywood’s star’s recommendation.


The Internet

of Things T

he Internet of things might seem like a buzzword to some, but it actually represents a fascinating new prospect of technology that may end up changing human societies forever. The Internet of things allows autonomous activity to be synchronized across devices, which means that the things around us can collaborate to help us. The information technology has had an enormous impact on the way we live and it is easy PSE MAGAZINE • 46

to see how quickly things have changed just in our lifetimes.


Remember when cell phones used to be brick sized devices that could only make calls? At the time they seemed futuristic, but in just 20 years the future has brought us technology we couldn’t have ever imagined. We now have smartphones in our pockets that are more powerful than the personal computers we used a de-

cade ago. The Internet too is a crucial platform that has completely changed the way human societies work, live and interact. Every new Internet development that seems cutting edge is in reality just the start of more things to come. We have only been investing on Internet technologies properly for a few decades now but the dividends have far been beyond what we could have imagined. The Internet of


things is the latest avenue of information technology that will completely revolutionise the way we work and live. To understand the Internet of things, we must first look at differentiating it from the Internet of humans.


The things we are used to associating with the Internet; such as email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other websites can all be considered the Internet of humans. Our Internet is based on devices talking to devices. When we click on a video it is transmitted from the server to our computers. The distinguishing factor is that the

information is supposed to be conveyed to a human. Whatever the method of communication may be, the final recipient of the information is meant to be a human.


The same is not true about the Internet of things. On the Internet of things the final recipient and decoder of the information is a device, not a human being. While the information may still be used to provide a service to a human being, a machine that decodes it. The Internet of Things basically refers to the concept of our devices collaborating together to make our lives easier. The Internet of Things is

meant to provide autonomous technologies. For example, we already have self- driving cars being tested on our roads. Tesla already has limited self-driving capabilities in the latest update for its vehicles. Now imagine that the car uses your phone’s Internet to inquire about traffic conditions and chooses the quickest route home. This is the concept of the Internet of things- Devices interacting. Imagine your phone being able to tell your air conditioner that you are on the way home, based on GPS location. The air conditioning could the turn on so you arrive home to a pleasant, cold room.




The Internet of Things combines many different types of technologies to exploit their full potential. Our advancements in hardware, our advancements in information technology, and our advancements in artificial intelligence, are all a part of the Internet of Things. It opens up new possibilities for devices that will change the way we live. Transportation will be changed completely; and it is entirely likely that automatic cars will outnumber manual cars in a few decades.


The Internet of things will allow vehicles on the road to interact with each other and drive in the best and most efficient way possible. Accidents will be a thing of the past as the Internet of things allows vehicles to communicate and ensure there are no collisions. Uber, which has become an Internet darling, also aims to have a fully automated fleet within two decades. This means there will be no more Uber drivers, just Uber vehicles that will drive to the passenger and then to the destination automatically. We will also be able to provide faster and better medical care than ever before. Imagine an ambulance being automatically driven on a programmed route by a powerful computer? Devices are also being developed that can monitor a patient’s health and hail an ambulance if any warning signs are given.


An important function of the Internet of things is efficiency.


We harm the environment and lose a lot of energy just because people are careless. All this will be eliminated once the Internet of Things is in effect. Your home’s power will be automatically adjusted for your use; unused lights will go out by themselves and devices will shut off when there is no one home. This will result in us lowering our energy emissions use by a wide margin.


The development in healthcare is perhaps the most exciting prospect for IoT. The Internet of Things will aid with monitoring patients, provide assistance, and even begin automating life saving procedures. It will also help us get fitter by tracking different metrics from our body and recommending activities, as well as being able to remind us to take our tablets on time. An efficient monitoring of our health and lifestyles will help all of us get fitter and live longer.


The smart city concept is based wholly on the IoT. We will have cities being cleaned automatically by robots, based on data collected by sensors. We will also see pollution levels being maintained properly with real time metrics of how healthy the air of a city is. We will even be able to become more involved with democratic processes through e-governing features.


The Internet of things is not just a possibility; it is an emergent phenomenon that cannot and will not be avoided. As our technology converges it will col-

laborate for our benefit. There is no way to predict where we will be in 50 years because of the pace of development in the last 50 years. What we are sure of though, is that things will continue to become more and more automated. Most of the menial tasks we go through will be eliminated because they will be done automatically. The implications of the IoT for the public sector are immense. It will allow us to truly collaborate as the technology in cities and nations are honed to increase the quality of our lives. The Internet of things allows for truly smart environments. We could have whole infrastructures of cities interact with each other through sensors and make changes as necessary. For example- we’ve already seen traffic signals that use basic sensors to turn red or green; but newly developed smart signals will talk to the cars on the road, and to traffic updates in order to reroute traffic in the most efficient way possible. Pollution levels will be also be easier to manage, as any pollutant in the air will be detected automatically. The Internet of Things will be implemented at different rates throughout the world but its development is rapidly evolving. Countries with a communication infrastructure that can handle double or triple the current load will be able to exploit it much before other countries. It is predicted that countries and cities in the Middle East, which have invested a lot in their infrastructure in the previous few years, will be able reap the most benefits of this exciting new technological development.


Intelligence is one of those things that we have just begun to understand. Previously it was believed that people only have capped capacity for knowledge, but science has proven that this isn’t true. The reality is that with the right effort, you can actually make your brain work better. One of the most striking

scientific discoveries is that the brain can actually create its own new pathways. The neurological connections in your brain can be increased, which then results in you being able to think about more things at a faster speed. What this essentially means is that any new activity you do consistently will result in your

brain becoming more and more adept at it. You can hack this process to increase your overall intelligence by focusing on activities that create pathways in places that will be useful for you in day-to-day life. Here are 7 activities that will help create those neurological pathways and help mould your mind!

Brain Games

Games that tax your brain are very beneficial for intelligence. Activities like puzzles, board games, and card games keep your brain exercised. These games utilise multiple parts of your brain and keep it stimulated. A game of poker, for example, may be played for entertainment’s sake but the mental process undertaken whilst playing is astonishing. You have to determine the probability of your chance to win consistently and you have to keep an attentive track of what cards are on the table. You also have to assume what cards the other people may have, and have to be ready for someone else to have the better hand. Reading other people’s body languages to make the right decision is also an important part of poker. Poker seems more like actuarial science than a game when you look at all the ways it stimulates your brain.



Medium of Music: The the Mind Music has long been known to affect the way our brain works. Musical therapy is even used for developmentally challenged people in order to increase their level of understanding and make their memory better. Scientists have theorised that learning an instrument and playing may be one of the best things you can do for your brain. The brain can be exercised much in the same way as your body can be exercised. Regular exercise benefits the brain just like regular exercise benefits the body. With physical exercise there are many different types of workouts for the different parts of your body; the same is true for mental exercises. Some of them increase your memory while others improve your reflexes. The reason

music is so much more beneficial than many other activities is that it is the mental equivalent of a full body workout. Music is an activity that helps you utilise all the facets of your brain. You need to learn how to play the instrument, which means you need to memorize the method of playing and remember music notes, which improves memory. You also need to be able to create and write music while playing, which in turn improves creativity. You need to be disciplined too when doing things such as playing a song in tune or practicing, so your music also helps you with observation and perseverance. Truly, the act of playing a musical instrument is both therapeutic and rewarding and if you persevere with an in-

strument, your mind will be thanking you for the music!

Power in Pages Reading has always been considered to be an activity for smart people, though there are people who think only intellectually stimulating books should be read. Research has shown that it doesn’t matter what you are reading; you will end up increasing your level of intelligence. It doesn’t matter if you are reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter; your brain will improve because of your reading hobby. Reading increases your brain’s capability of understanding things. Whilst reading, our mind is not only taking on information, but also undergoing a cognitive process of decoding symbols for comprehension. It is an activity in which you have to read words and keep a mental note of where the story is going. Reading is also great for stimulating your imagination, as books make you visualise the places, people and much more. It is said that people who read are better managers in the workplace because they can understand and empathise with the work environment. PSE MAGAZINE • 51


Take Your Brain to the Gym Too Regular exercise isn’t just something you need to do in order to be physically fit or attractive; it can also increase your brainpower. Exercise is beneficial for the brain due to the re-

lease of BDNF. BDNF is a protein that is released when you exercise your muscles. It improves memory and allows you to focus more by increasing your concentration levels. If you keep work-

ing out regularly your brain will keep getting the BDNF protein and as you develop your concentration levels your intelligence will keep increasing.

Speak a New Language Have you ever noticed that smart and accomplished people are often bilingual? This isn’t a coincidence. Research has shown that bilingual people are much better at solving problems than those who only speak one language. We think the way we speak; our mental process is dependent on us being able to talk to ourselves and deduce the solution to the problems we are facing. Being bilingual is like having a different approach towards the same problem. By thinking in more than one language you are no longer restricted by the limitations of a single language. This is very important when dealing with executive level problems and crucial decisions that need to be made. It isn’t surprising that people who can talk and think in more than one language are often in an executive level job. PSE MAGAZINE • 52


Master the Art of Meditation Meditation is a beautiful form of mental exercise that is also extremely easy to start doing. In our world devices deliver us information faster than we can process it and it is no wonder people often become overwhelmed or stressed. Meditation has long been known to decrease the amount of stress one has on their minds. Stress reduces your creative prowess and can stop you competently dealing with situations in work or in your

day-to-day life. By meditating you can keep your brain working at a high rate without feeling exhausted. Prayer is a great example of a powerful form of meditation which allows the brain to take a break as you focus on your prayers. Alleviating stress will only have a positive effect upon your mind. People who meditate find it easier to close deals and get what they want. Through meditation you can overcome the

mental blocks obstructing your thinking and instead realise your true power. Often, our anxieties keep us from doing things that we want. With meditation though, you can learn to combat the negative thoughts that keep you from thinking creatively or solving your problems. Simply find a quiet corner in your home and office and start meditating. Keep at it and you’ll see the effect in no time!

Keep Testing Your Knowledge

lose the knowledge you gained years ago is to keep testing your ability to recollect things you have learnt in the past. Even if you do not do well at these tests, you will find that you suddenly know and remember much more than before. Another great tip is to keep a notebook and write new ideas and pieces of knowledge in it. You can keep revisiting the notebook and keep the ideas and knowledge fresh in your mind.

Research has shown that recall is based on the amount of time that has passed by since we thought about something. If you haven’t thought about something for years, it will take you a much longer time to recall it when needed. One way to keep your brain fresh and not



Join the Debate:


: Is a casual dress code benefi-

cial for the company and boosting employee morale? Here are our favorite submissions:

I definitely believe in a flexible dress code that allows for casual dress within appropriate guidelines. I think this is a great way to allow employees to feel comfortable at work and surely can have a positive effect on employee morale. In particular, employees who are not customer facing and who generally do not interact with external stakeholders should be allowed to dress more casually, especially if their work involves technical and ICT related tasks such as programming and spending most of the time on a computer. I am a software engineer, and personally, dressing comfortably is a key priority for me to be able to perform efficiently at work. Therefore I would definitely argue that a casual dress code can significantly boost employee morale and create a more comfortable work environment.

I believe that a professional dress code is still an important factor in setting standards within an organization. I firmly believe that without clear guidelines regarding dress code and other employee behavior related policies, individuals will tend to slip out of the norm and get “too comfortable�, which is something that I have seen lead to a certain lack of professionalism. Dress codes are a good way in reinforcing strong corporate values and safeguard against the misuse of a casual dress code or lack thereof. Secondly, a professional dress code reinforces positive and professional customer and interdepartmental perceptions. Omar Saleh Department of Municipal Affairs

Mike Elson Dynamic Enterprise Solutions


Should Social media sites be blocked at work if not job related?


Whether you choose to stroll amongst the cafĂŠs of the Corniche, or savour the hustle and bustle of the Central Market, a serene oasis awaits your return. You will be captivated by Arabic splendour and tones and textures as warm as the welcome you will receive.

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