UAE’s diversification will help service industry, innovation

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The country’s recent cabinet reshuffle — which aims at economic diversification, reducing oil dependence — will boost the national economy, according
to Dr Vasiliki Kostami, a renowned academician and management guru.
She emphasised a that the reorganisation targets at bringing about an improvement in the service industry in the country. Citing UAE as an investment magnet in the post oil scenario she told Emirates Business, “The focus of the UAE’s Economic Vision 2030 is the diversification of the economy away from oil. The UAE has worked towards this direction for some time now and this is mirrored in the fact that its economy does not rely heavily on oil revenue, especially when compared to
its regional competitors (around 70-80 percent are non-oil revenues).”
“In fact, there is a constant effort to invest more on infrastructure, services and tourism and this is further supported by the Government’s actions in enabling the growth of other sectors,” stated Kostami, who is working as Assistant Professor of Management Science and Operations at London Business School.
Kostami feels that as the UAE is recovering after the decline in oil prices, what’s needed now, is a steady follow-up for continued development and a change in direction of government spend would help serve to benefit thecountry.
“In terms of the service industry, the Expo 2020 is a great example. More than 25 million visitors are expected to attend the Expo. Infrastructure is being put in place to accommodate the anticipated visitors. The service industry will have an important role to play in all this. This is the right time to employ innovation to improve and further develop skills that will reassure investors that the right kind of environment exists in the country, thereby making it more attractive for them,” she said.
The outcome of the overhaul would serve as a positive element for the service sector in numerous ways. First, several government services will gradually get outsourced privately creating new job opportunities, space for innovation, and efficient operations. She further added that the service operations should employ innovation to improve and further
develop skills.
While talking about the importance of diversification in service sector, Kostami added, “The UAE has taken the right steps towards trying to improve the situation by encouraging diversification and these steps have been ignaled to the investors. There needs to be a constant effort to improve service quality, customer contact centres and reliability. Staff quality and wellbeing should be carefully considered.
“I am happy to see that there are local companies, apart from the known multi-national ones, in the list of the 2016 Great Places to work in UAE by GPTW (Great Place to Work), like Leminar and Fun City. All this will lead to an increase in productivity, and better customer experience, and consequently, it will provide a boost to the UAE
economy,” she underlined.

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