This is the sixth edition of our annual UAE Banking perspectives report.

With major sectors like energy and natural resources, aviation, tourism and hospitality, and supply chains facing slower than anticipated activity, the outlook for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries seems to be unpredictable. While banks had to weather Covid-19, they were also on the front line of implementing financial support measures instigated by the government and Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The banking industry would do well to act rapidly to address these challenges while contributing positively to economic recovery.

During a time of seismic change, the UAE government is steadily working to realize its vast potential for growth. In recent years, it has been building an ecosystem that is conducive to the success of the financial services sector. And we are hopeful that the economic rebound will be swift as the UAE rolls out its vaccination program. The standing of UAE banks in the international market seems to be improving, with the sector remaining in a strong position, regardless of potential uncertainty.

In this report, our financial services team explore a gamut of topics of critical importance to the industry. INNOVATING and serving customers is at the forefront of disruption and change, which is supported by a delicate BALANCING act of the core and non-core functions while leveraging the cloud for operational resilience. None of this is possible without the right people and culture; reimagining the employee journey therefore becomes imperative. During this time of rapid developments, GOVERNING and regulating is of immense importance to ensure confidence in the banking sector.

We are delighted to have for the first time in this publication series, an interview with a sector leader about the future of the industry. Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President & Group Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD, tells us how banks are poised to operate a decade from now.  

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