Grant Thornton UAE strives to speak out on matters that relate to the success of your business. Through our publications, we seek to share our knowledge derived from our expertise and experience.

Recent Publications

Saudi Arabia releases its draft VAT implementation regulations

Saudi Arabia releases its draft VAT implementation regulations, which will now be open to public consultation.
The consultation period will enable businesses to share their views on the Draft Regulations by 19th August 2017, before finalising the regulation.
This development marks a pivotal stage in VAT implementation across the GCC, which is anticipated to go live on 1 January, 2018.
To view the draft regulation click here, likewise read our brief summary which showcases the highlights in respect of the regulation.


VAT update in the GCC

With VAT implementation taking effect in under six months, the Ministry of Finance are now providing further clarifications of the rules which will be imposed in respect of VAT within the UAE, furthermore we have seen updates across Saudi Arabia recently, with announcements being made in respect of the registration process.   This short alert summarises the recent clarifications which the UAE have announced, alongside the registration elements required within Saudi Arabia.  

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Women in Business: New perspectives on risk and reward

In 2017, leadership teams are grappling with new conditions of global risk. With few predicting the happenings of recent years, businesses around the world are striving to prepare for the further possibility of inconceivable events.
But businesses should do more than  react to the challenges of our time. As they respond to concrete realities, they must also consider opportunities that promote long-term growth. The need to grasp these chances has arguably  never been greater. We have surveyed the role of women in business for the last 13 years and, in this year’s report, we look at the issue of risk and reward.

VAT: are you ready?

Diversification, changing operating models and promoting smart initiatives led by technology and employment continue to be key trends. In order to promote diversification, governments across the region have introduced various initiatives to reduce the dependency on oil generated incomes and further stabilise the economy.

As part of the stabilisation strategy, we have seen one of the largest legislative reforms which the region is currently undergoing. This reform will see VAT being implemented from 1 January 2018, by way of generating a new source of income Governments. In order to do so successfully and create a tax system which works, the need for businesses to invest time and effort in preparing their processes, structures, systems and people will only increase. 

This simple guide provides a implementation roadmap, highlighting the phases which businesses should be considering in respect of VAT implementation.
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Islamic Finance Insights

Islamic Finance is an important segment of the global financial services market, with exposure across almost 75% of the globe, as highlighted by the IMF. In correlation to the global footprint of Islamic Finance, the segment has an equally important fiscal impact with over 400 banks and 150 Takaful providers offering solutions, equally over $100 billion Sukuk’s are issued per annum. Whilst Islamic finance has emerged as an effective tool for financing development worldwide, including in non-Muslim countries, the industry does need to be mindful of key thematic issues and challenges which it faces.  Islamic Finance specialist, Samer Hijazi, shares a small selection of his insights in respect of the key trends and themes which the industry is being impacted by. The short excerpts cover the following themes:


• Islamic finance & oil prices: where to now?

• Islamic and Christian finance: A shared heritage

• Comparing Sharia’a governance frameworks


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Invest Tech - the era of opportunity

Our lives have continued to be transformed by technology. From the birth of the world wide web in 1990 to the emergence of robotics and digital natives, can no longer ignore the relevance and role it plays to the economic, business and societal environment. The role of digital technology is rapidly shifting, from once providing marginal efficiency to now leading innovation and disruption. Across MENA, business leaders continue to place technological advancement at the top of their agenda, as they aim to promote efficiency to reduce costs and attract digital generations as the workforce of the future.
As highlighted in this report, it is vital that investment is driven within this sector as it continues to rise in relevance at a rapid rate. The technology era in MENA is here – it is here to stay and it is expected to continue rising – therefore ignoring it, is no longer possible.

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Leading the future in the Gulf

The business environment in which Owner Managed Businesses (OMBs) operate within continues to evolve with the emergence of new technology, innovation, changes in financial management, client needs and increased regulation.
Change can often be predicted and thus prepared for, however at times this can be unexpected and unavoidable, requiring robust infrastructure not only externally but internally too, in order to survive the impact that it brings. These changes bring along a range of challenges and opportunities for both businesses within the region as well as external investors, as highlighted in this report.

Innovation & digitisation in the GCC

The GCC region is well positioned to exploit the lucrative opportunities that e-commerce offers, given the generational demographic shift that we are witnessing and which will inevitably have a seismic impact on businesses for the future.  Khurram Bhatti, Audit Partner, shares how innovation and digitisation is paving the way for a new group of consumers, who are playing an increasingly important role in the shifting landscape of buyer behaviours across the GCC

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Boards of the future: Steering organisations to thrive

The best drivers think ahead, anticipating potential hazards coming down the road and reacting accordingly. They also recognise when the landscape is opening up and they can safely put their foot down.
This report draws on insight from our International Business Report, plus data and interviews from Grant Thornton teams around the world. It explores what skills the boards of 2025 will need, and what needs to happen between now and then to get there. Businesses should not view these changes we have identified as additional extras. They need to be absolute priorities. If history is anything to go by, organisations that fail to embrace these changes by 2025 may not exist by 2045. It’s time to take the wheel on corporate governance.
To discuss this insight further, please contact Mohamad Nassar, Operational Advisory Partner. 


M&A viewpoint

Whilst 2015 marked a recent peak in global M&A transactions with US$ 3.8 trillion deals, the highest since 2007, there was some diversity in the geographical markets which will be of interest to both vendors and acquirors.
Our M&A viewpoint provides both a global and local perspective with key insights on the year ahead.
To discuss this further, please contact Philip Atkinson, Transaction Advisory Partner. 

The call for change: Women in leadership

The gender agenda and the benefits of having a diverse board and workplace has long been studied, yet we still see no significant change.

But what should we do to ensure this happens and what are the current trends in relation to women in business? We discuss this further in our report as we look at the gender agenda in the UAE, share recent developments and discuss how we can collectively lead change for greater gender parity.

Women in business: Turning promise into practice

The gender diversity issue has been on the business agenda for many years now, yet a third of businesses still have no women at a senior management level.

We know that significant performance benefits come with having a diverse leadership team and there are certainly a large number of women capable of joining such teams. The question is: do they want to? And are businesses doing and saying the right things to appeal to women? Our global report focuses on how businesses can attract a diverse leadership team that can lead them to growth in a volatile and ever-changing business environment whilst sharing insights from senior females from around the world including the UAE.

The global economy in 2016

The spotlight has been heavily focused on the oil & gas sector which has seen a rapid decline in prices, impacting other sectors and economies which are highly dependent.
Drawing on data and insight from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, this report considers the outlook for the global economy in 2016 and explores UAE trends for 2016, along with how the economy has remained resilient.

Tax Alert | 29 February 2016

This alert follows on from the update in December 2015 and is intended to provide a brief synopsis of impending Value Added Tax (VAT) which has been confirmed at 5 per cent from 1 Jan 2018.

To discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How to be cyber-secure: act now, before its too late

Building on our recent GrowthiQ article, which included the latest IBR results, this viewpoint features thoughts and opinions from our Grant Thornton cyber specialists across the global network. It highlights motivations and tactics used by cyber criminals, how organisations can protect their assets and what governments around the world are doing to help minimise the risk of attack.

To discuss this further, please contact us.

Transparency report 2016

Our commitment to quality underpins all that we do. This report is a public statement of Grant Thornton’s commitment to provide high-quality assurance, tax and advisory services to businesses and organisations operating throughout the world.

It is designed to help member firms’ clients, audit committees, regulators and the public, who make up our many stakeholders, understand us better. We will strive to find out what is important to you and make it important to us.

To discuss this report further, please contact us

How to plan for the future

For most businesses, predicting the future can be difficult. This article explains the practical steps that mid-market businesses can take to predict and plan for the challenges ahead.

To find out more about how our specialists can help you prepare your business for the future, please contact us

Strategic dilemmas in insurance

The future of the insurance landscape is changing and the impact of strategy on mid-market companies is increasing.

The Insurance sector in the UAE has recently shown signs of being impacted by the challenging economic environment and lowering oil prices. With new regulation being introduced in January 2015 by the UAE Insurance Authority, insurance companies are still going through the challenge of adapting to the new regulation whilst aiming to remain resilient to economic conditions.

We have identified five key areas that Insurance companies must fortify and guard in the UAE to embrace changes in the market condition. 

To discuss how Grant Thornton, can support you further please contact us


Transform your business with the Internet of Things

Every business can benefit from the Internet of Things – just start small and choose wisely when deciding which operations you want to target 
Does your workplace have smart lighting that only comes on when it detects motion? Does your heating and air conditioning work in a similar way? Or maybe you have a refrigerator in the kitchen that orders food direct from the supermarket when supplies run low.
If you use any of this technology then you’re already part of the Internet of Things (IoT) – a network of business or consumer devices with embedded sensors, communications and analytics enabling them to respond to the external environment.
Our latest GrowthiQ shares further details, to discuss your requirements and how Grant Thornton can help please contact us

Navigating the changes to International Financial Reporting Standards

This publication is designed to give Chief Financial Officers a high-level awareness of recent changes to International Financial Reporting Standards that will affect companies’ future financial reporting. It covers both new Standards and Interpretations that have been issued and amendments made to existing ones.
To discuss this further, please contact Khurram Bhatti.

Tax Alert | 15 December 2015

This alert follows on from the update in September 2015 and is intended to provide a brief synopsis of the impending Corporate Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT).

To discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Leading the future in the Middle East: The evolving role of owner managed businesses

The business environment in which owner managed businesses (OMBs) operate within continues to evolve with the emergence of new technology, innovation, changes in financial budgets, client needs and increased regulation. Change can often be predicted and thus prepared for, however at times this can be unexpected and unavoidable, requiring robust infrastructure not only externally but internally too, in order to survive the impact that it brings.
This white paper as written by our CEO, Hisham Farouk sets out to discuss how the role of the owner managed business needs to evolve to meet the needs of the future in the Middle East.
To discuss this white paper further, please contact us

Preparing your growth journey: Enhancing value through operational improvement

There is no debating the vast level of change which an organisation will need to go through in order to prepare for its growth journey. To guide you through the process we outline the key considerations which you will need to take, alongside providing you with a comprehensive solution of services which Grant Thornton are well-versed in offering.
To discuss how Grant Thornton can work with you during this phase, please contact us.

IFRS viewpoint: Common control business combinations

Our ‘IFRS Viewpoint’ series provides insights from our global IFRS team on applying IFRSs in challenging situations.  This issue considers how to account for a common control business combination.
To discuss this further, please contact Khurram Bhatti

IFRS viewpoint: Inventory discounts and rebates

Our ‘IFRS Viewpoint’ series provides insights from our global IFRS team on applying IFRSs in challenging situations. This issue considers how a purchaser accounts for discounts and rebates when buying inventory.
To discuss this further, please contact Khurram Bhatti

IFRS Viewpoint: Related party loans at below-market interest rates

Our ‘IFRS Viewpoint’ series provides insights from our global IFRS team on applying IFRSs in challenging situations. This edition provides a framework for accounting for loans made by an entity to a related party that are at below-market levels of interest. Common examples of such loans include:
• inter-company loans (in the separate or individual financial statements)
• employee loans.
To discuss this further, please contact Khurram Bhatti

Integrated Performance Management: How is it aligned with shareholder value?

In order to enhance shareholder value and align employees’ efforts with this overarching objective, businesses have been introducing and implementing various performance management tools and techniques.
This white paper sets out to outline the principles and benefits of Integrated Performance Management and how it is aligned with shareholder value.
To discuss this white paper in further detail, please contact Komil Ahmetov.

New business models: disrupting the disruptors

Hotels have largely been dismissive of any threats to their core business model over the past five years. But by 2020, the exponential growth of various online platforms will have forced them to change and innovate. The good news is that traditional hotels have numerous options at their disposal: rethinking the experience they offer, unbundling pricing, setting up new partnerships and more. 
The past twenty years has seen a lot of changes in the way hotels are marketed and sold, not least thanks to OTAs and price comparison sites (and apps) and with the emergence of Airbnb which is on the rise in the UAE - we discuss how hoteliers can continue to meet the needs of tomorrows guests. 
To discuss this megatrend in further detail, please contact us

The political party: Identifying emergent stability

Amid the increasing uncertainty wrought by a series of geo-political flashpoints, real estate investors are seeking out returns in overseas territories known for their political stability. This is happening despite macro-economic conditions being on their firmest footing since the 2008 financial crisis, with strong messages emerging from most advanced economies.
Where investors find these pockets of stability they gain greater confidence, allowing them to seek greater returns through bolder investments. However, investors would do well to avoid assumptions of where political stability is found. Countries and governments that make progress and legislate to create greater levels of certainty open up a host of potential new opportunities for real estate investors of which the UAE is known to be one.
Our megatrend report shares key insights from the UAE in relation to emerging Real Estate & Construction trends.
To discuss the report further, please contact Osama El-Bakry.

Building tomorrows billion dollar businesses: Playbook for a new tech world

Almost 20 years since the dot-com era, the Nasdaq is reaching levels last seen during the previous boom. At the same time, we are witnessing business model changes driven by architectural transformations which could disrupt the global technology and media industry. 
Recognising that there are as many pitfalls as there are opportunities for growth in the new tech world, we explore how tomorrow’s businesses are responding – helping you to ask and answer the right questions at the right time.
To discuss your needs or the report in further detail, please contact us.

How to be cyber-secure

The latest GrowthiQ ‘How to be cyber-secure’ explores the reasons behind the global increase of cyber attacks and how businesses can mitigate the threat. 
Paul Jacobs, global head of cyber security, draws on a number of examples of cyber security breaches from across the globe and explores how businesses can insulate themselves from the growing threat of cyber attacks. 
To discuss your cyber security needs, please contact us

Women in business: the value of diversity

Greater diversity in decision-making is said to produce better outcomes. For businesses, better decisions means stronger growth, so it is in their interest to facilitate the path of women. The concern is that recent improvements in the access to education for women, especially in emerging markets, has not translated into higher proportions of women reaching the top of the corporate ladder.
Our 'Women in business: value of diversity' is a short report which looks at global and local trends in relation to women in business.
To discuss this report further, contact us.

Brand matters: winning the battle for relevance

As consumers use online intermediaries to find the most economical rooms in a convenient location for their trip, hotels face a future in which the strength of their brand has dwindling influence over customer choice. But the hotels that can get branding right in a digital era face a clear opportunity to grow market share.
Our megatrend report shares both global and local insights and asks what can hoteliers do to win the battle for relevance.
To discuss this report further, please contact us.


Going beyond borders: Where to grow your business

We developed the Global Dynamism Index (GDI) to help business leaders understand the growth opportunities and challenges in 60 leading economies.
Globalisation is accelerating. While businesses are looking to unlock new revenue streams and governments are encouraging economic diversification, the increased connectivity of the digital age is lowering barriers to entry, opening up more international growth opportunities for dynamic businesses.
The UAE has been cited as the leading economy within the Middle East & Africa within the report.
To discuss the content or your growth strategy further, please contact us.

Tax Alert | 9 September 2015

This alert is designed to provide a brief synopsis of the impending Corporate Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) that is currently in discussion.

To discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Family succession challenges

The latest GrowthiQ article – Keeping it in the family – explores the unique and sensitive challenge of succession planning in family owned businesses.
In this article, our family-owned business experts, Annika Hall in Grant Thornton Sweden and our CEO, Hisham Farouk give their insights on why business leaders need to take the emotion out of decisions and focus on growth potential. 
To discuss this further, please contact us.

The changing role of Audit - whitepaper

The concept of transparency and rotation has been a long standing debate in relation to the audit market both within the UAE and globally. More recently, there have been developments globally, particularly in the EU with the recent audit reforms being introduced to promote transparency and independence. This debate has led to many other emerging economies embracing the notion of the need for such reforms especially in countries where commercial decisions are predominately relationship focused. Grant Thornton and the ACCA have produced this whitepaper which shares insights from leading CFOs in the UAE on the changing role of Audit

The digital ready hotel: recruiting tomorrows talent

Hotels are assessing how they can use digital technologies and data analytics to deliver memorable guest experiences. As 2020 approaches, they will need to make digital a part of everything they do – from marketing and distribution to in-room entertainment. But most hotels don’t have the talent, technology or organisational structures to achieve this, especially in the UAE where a lack of skilled workforce has persistently been cited by business leaders as a constraint on growth.
Our megatrend report shares both global and local insights and asks what can hoteliers do now to recruit tomorrow's talent?
To discuss this report further, please contact us.

Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on Commercial Companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

This alert is designed to provide a brief synopsis of the Articles which have changed and maybe either applicable or relevant for your consideration.
To discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Foreign Account Taxation Compliance Act: Assessing the impact to Financial Institutions in the UAE

Since its enactment, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) implementation has evolved.  The complications surrounding the new regime are wide-ranging for financial institutions within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We have produced a short guidance publication aimed at the financial services sector within the UAE. 
The publication titled ‘assessing the implications’ focuses on the regulation, provides an overview of the reporting requirements and shares practical elements to address when implementing the requirements of the act.
The information presented in the publication should not be viewed as an alternative to specific consultation which is required in respect of the implication to taxation, compliance, accounting, audit and general business issues which may arise through the adoption phase.

Oil prices: the wider impact

Linda Beal global leader for the oil and gas sector at Grant Thornton, says, oil and gas companies are facing significant challenges

Who would have thought that the price of oil could fall so far, so quickly, for so long? Certainly not the oil and gas industry itself, which continues to experience significant challenges as a consequence of reduced oil prices.

Paramount among those is the fall into limbo. Just over 42% of oil and gas companies will be putting their strategic plans on hold in 2015 as a result of the prolonged drop in oil prices, according to a recent Grant Thornton survey of senior executives in the sector.

Corporate Governance: the tone from the top

In light of growing international interest and scrutiny of corporate practices we set out to explore how three major aspects of governance – the role of culture, board composition and strategic planning – are affecting businesses around the world.
Corporate governance: The tone from the top top draws on draws on 1,865 telephone interviews with business leaders in 36 countries through our International Business Report (IBR), and 86 in-depth interviews with board directors in eight countries to answer five critical questions in corporate governance today.

Automation: the benefits and challenges

Rising labour costs and the quest for productivity are driving businesses to automate. 

North America and Europe have long known what it’s like to lose jobs to low-cost labour markets around the world. Now China – one of the biggest beneficiaries of that trend – is finding out too. Whereas in other economies, such as the UAE businesses are looking for more innovative solutions which involve an element of automation to further promote efficiency.

Outsourcing: Beyond technical expertise

The outsourcing of back-office processes is now a well entrenched business practice at companies around the world. Approximately two out of every five businesses use it as an important means to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and, in many cases, ensure compliance.
This report explores what companies look for in their outsourcing relationships.
To discuss this report or your outsourcing needs in further detail, please contact Atul Varma

Risk and reward: putting mobile personalisation at the heart of the business

With the Expo 2020 set to add $24 billion to the UAE economy and create innumerable opportunities due to the increased demand in various sectors namely leisure and tourism (with an estimated 25 million visitors expected to arrive), the need for hoteliers to change and implement emerging technology has never been needed more so than now.
To meet the needs of the guests of tomorrow, what do hoteliers need to do in the UAE to embrace this demand and ensure that they truly stand out amongst the competition? With the increase in demand, there is also said to soon be an increase in supply – so how do you attract the future traveler and ensure they remain brand loyal? How will hoteliers keep up with new emerging technologies which are being developed and championed by millennials – the guests of tomorrow?

Transparency report 2015

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. This report is a public statement of our commitment to provide high-quality assurance services to businesses and organisations operating throughout the world. It is designed to help our member firms’ clients, audit committees, regulators and the general public, who make up our many stakeholders, understand Grant Thornton. Our stakeholders rightly expect us to have people, processes and technology in place that result in actions that are in the public interest, including delivering high-quality audits.

This report also contains information about how member firms provide high-quality tax and advisory services to their actions that are in the public interest, including delivering high-quality audits. This report also contains information about how member firms provide high-quality tax and advisory services to their clients.

Global M&A snapshot 2015

Companies are increasingly focused on high-quality strategic transactions, with less time spent on investigating peripheral opportunities, according to our annual tracker of business leader M&A intentions. Despite some familiar challenges and uncertainties, underlying growth is relatively strong in many developed economies, while other key metrics such as interest rates, employment and availability of funding are also positive. The historically cyclical transaction market may well be at a point where the objectives and valuations of buyers are broadly aligned according to our research.

Global Economy in 2015

2014 was the year in which the global economic recovery took hold according to our International Business Report, not just in in the UK and US, but in some of the European economies hit hardest by the sovereign debt crisis: Ireland, Spain and even Greece showed nascent signs of recovery. However, recent economic, political and social turmoil is weighing heavily on business leaders’ minds as we enter 2015.
Drawing on more than 10,000 interviews with business leaders and international economic forecast data, this report explores the growth drivers and constraints facing dynamic businesses over the next 12 months. 
We also explore UAE trends for 2015 and how the economy has remained resilient.
To discuss this report further, contact us

A global guide to business relocation

Many companies from large multinationals to entrepreneurial businesses are choosing to relocate part or all of their operations to new territories. There are a number of cost and commercial reasons why a group may consider relocating, but it is also important to understand the consequences. The key to successful business relocation is early planning, clear commercial objectives and careful execution. Our relocation guide provides pragmatic advice for executives, including outlining the drivers of relocation, the types of activity commonly relocated and the commercial, cost and tax factors of popular relocation destinations.
Grant Thornton member firms around the world have significant experience in advising clients on how their businesses can benefit from relocation. The highest profile cases involve full corporate migrations or inversions – the head office and holding company structure transferring to a new jurisdiction.
However the options are numerous and the right answer may be much simpler, from setting up a regional hub to offshoring support services. We hope you will find this guide useful in assessing whether business relocation is right for you. If you would like to discuss the next steps please contact your own Grant Thornton adviser or one of the Grant Thornton contacts listed.
To discuss this guide further, please contact Atul Varma on 

Hotels 2020: Welcoming tomorrow's guests

The hotel industry is going through a period of unprecedented, irreversible change and will look very different in 2020 than it does today. We shed light on some of the biggest questions facing the sector – how will hotels attract the business and leisure guests of tomorrow? How can they compete in a digital world? And what will their future business models look like?
Drawing on interviews with international hotel operators, industry futurists and Grant Thornton hospitality and tourism specialists, this report provides hotel leaders with guidance on how they can prepare for the consumer-led economy of 2020. 
To discuss the report in further detail, please contact us.

Women in Business: the path to leadership

Women in leadership has been a long standing matter with greater leaps being made around the world. Can the same be said for the UAE? Can more be done in the Middle East to promote females on their path to the boardroom?

To put it simply: when women thrive, businesses thrive. If an economy is only using half of its most talented people then it immediately cuts its growth potential. Drawing on 5,404 interviews in 35 economies conducted through our International Business Report and 20 in-depth interviews with senior business leaders, this report finds that women’s advancement is being constrained by a number of factors, from entrenched social norms and gender bias to parenthood and archaic business practices.
Read further here and to discuss anything within the report, please do contact the editorial team. 

Private Equity Report 2015

Private equity has always focused on creating value and helping promote growth in portfolio companies. Since the industry began, private equity firms have tried many ways to meet this ultimate objective – and with varying success. Now, post the global financial crisis, the question being asked more than ever is: how can private equity deliver its value-added promises? 
The fourth edition of the Grant Thornton Private Equity Report, an annual survey of 175 senior industry practitioners around the globe, finds a new focus on returns rather than entry multiples; secondary buyouts increasing in importance; and thirdly the significance of management in delivering the new plan. 
To discuss this report in further detail, please contact us

Special Edition on IFRS 9 (2014)

Following several years of development, the IASB has finished its project to replace IAS 39 ‘Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement’ by publishing IFRS 9 ‘Financial Instruments (2014)’. 
This special edition of IFRS News takes you through the requirements of the new Standard.
To discuss this further please contact Khurram Bhatti. 

Strategies for Growth

The magazine draws on the collective insights of professional leaders, in addition to exploring some of the dynamic markets across the globe including the UAE.
It also features some key entrepreneurs who share their vision to further emphasize how businesses can become dynamic to achieve their growth strategy
To read the magazine click here

Corporate social responsibility: beyond financials

Investor calls for transparency and the rise of social media have thrust the impact businesses have on the economy, the environment and society more firmly into the public spotlight. Drawing on more than 2,500 interviews with business leaders in 34 economies through our International Business Report (IBR), insight from the leading children’s charity UNICEF and Grant Thornton leaders, this report looks at what companies are doing to make their operations more sustainable and why, and considers the role integrated reporting can play in improving transparency and decision making.

A new global standard on revenue for the construction sector

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and U.S. FASB have finally issued their new Standard on revenue – IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from Contracts with Customers’ (ASU 2014-09 or Topic 606 in the U.S.). This bulletin summarises the new requirements and what they will mean for the construction industry.

IFRS News Special Edition on Revenue landscape

After more than five years in development the IASB and FASB have at last published their new, converged Standard on revenue recognition – IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from Contracts with Customers’. IFRS 15 replaces IAS 18 and IAS 11 and will affect almost every revenue-generating entity that applies IFRSs. Convergence has been challenging and sometimes controversial. Against that background, we see this Standard as a landmark achievement that will provide a major boost for investors looking to compare company performance across borders.

To discuss the recent changes, please contact Khurram Bhatti.

Fraud Awareness Training - the do's and don'ts


Our Fraud and Forensic team can work with you across each phase of your lifecycle, from start-up through expansion and growth phases, tailoring our service and approach to align with your current business needs

One of the ways to identify and profile the risk of fraud is via training. Fraud Awareness training can be structured in different ways. From a one day course covering awareness and tips on conducting investigations to a more indepth training course.  We can customize to your sector or business and incorporate references to your codes of conduct, hotline arrangements etc.

To obtain a copy of our Fraud Awareness Training Publication which looks at the do's and don'ts and to discuss this further please contact us.

Outsourcing: driving efficiency and growth

Businesses have been outsourcing key processes to third parties for many years, but it was perhaps around the turn of the 21st century that the term ‘outsourcing’ started to gain traction. This report looks at the outsourcing trends in the UAE and globally.
To discuss this report or your outsourcing needs further, please contact Atul Varma

Dynamic businesses at the forefront of M&A activity

The Grant Thornton International Business Report 2014 highlights an increasing importance for M&A in driving growth. There is a clear acknowledgment from the 12,500 businesses surveyed that acquisitions will be needed to supplement existing operations.
To discuss this report further, please contact us.

Expo 2020: A high stakes event

At the end of November 2013, Dubai was chosen to be the host city of the World Expo 2020. Dubai is the first Middle Eastern city to host an Expo. Official comments from the governments of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and almost all coverage in the mainstream media has been overwhelmingly positive. However, one of the most important questions can only be answered with research that is proprietary, original and systematic. It is: what do the people who live and work in the UAE really think about Dubai Expo 2020? 

Drawing on data and research from Insight Discovery, this report looks at the themes and trends arising as a result of the win. 

Focus on: UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a rapidly developing economy with an approximate population of 8 million. Its GDP was estimated at US$390bn in 2013, making it the 29th largest economy in the world and the second largest in the Middle East. Its GDP per capita is approximately US$43,000, the 19th highest globally.

Drawing on data and insight from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this short report considers the outlook for the economy, including the expectations of 200 business leaders interviewed in the UAE and more than 12,500 globally, over the past 12 months.

Microclimates of opportunity: Real Estate & Construction Report 2014

This report draws on more than 700 interviews with business leaders in 45 economies to understand how the real estate & construction sector is recovering from the financial crisis, where the opportunities lie and what businesses are doing to keep their operations running smoothly and free from fraud.

Women in Business - From classroom to boardroom

We have been tracking the proportion of women in senior management since 2004. Over this time we have seen very little change apart from a dip during the financial crisis, with research suggesting women were hit disproportionately hard by the global recession. This year, the proportion of women holding senior roles in business around the world remains at 24% - identical to the results in 2013, 2009 and 2007.
The global report, ‘From classroom to boardroom’ follows the careers of women from school and university to jobs and the boardroom, revealing the challenges women face along the way. 

Hotel Investment 2014: Finance on a different level

The global financial crisis had a major impact across all industries, and the global hotel industry was no exception. The crisis led to a widespread fall in asset values and, for a time, a restrictive lending environment.
This report describes the critical issues affecting hotel finance in 2014. It draws from in-depth interviews conducted with 20 hotel industry experts, including: senior representatives from hotel brands, banks, private equity and Grant Thornton partners who advise hotel industry clients.

To discuss the report, please contact us 

Transparency Report 2014

The 2014 Grant Thornton global transparency report is a public statement of our commitment to providing high quality assurance services to organisations operating throughout the world.

Global Economy in 2014

Drawing on data and insight from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this short report considers the outlook for the global economy in 2014.

Doing business in the UAE 2014

This guide will provide an overview of the financial, business and legal infrastructure, as well as a key insight into doing business within the UAE. This guide has been prepared for the assistance of those interested in doing business in the United Arab Emirates. It does not cover the subject exhaustively but is intended to answer some of the important, broad questions that may arise.

Published: Jan 2014 (all statements and facts are reflective of this date)

Hunger for Growth: Food & Beverage Study

The Food and Beverage industry is poised for growth around the globe. After years of uncertainty, retrenchment and delayed investments, industry executives are once again looking to invest in new products, new capacity, new distribution channels and new markets. Even in countries still shaking off the recession, executives expect growth and plan to capture market share at home and abroad.
Hunger for growth examines these trends and more. More importantly, it offers perspectives on how executives can manage change and sustain profitable growth by understanding the new industry landscape, developing strategies that leverage new trends and efficiently executing on their plans.
Hisham Farouk, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton UAE discusses how the report resonates in the local market. To view the Radio 1 interview, click here

Time for a new direction: Fighting fraud in Construction

The presence of fraud and corruption in Construction can take many forms; from falsely representing the numbers of hours a contractor works, through to collusion when bidding for contracts or paying bribes to secure a contract. These inevitably increase costs and, in the case of bribes, inflate the contract price.
This report makes a range of recommendations to the Construction industry to help it avoid being a weak link in the fight against fraud and corruption, including a phased, five-step protection process; and a robust programme of tests, responsibilities and corrective measures.
To discuss this report further or to find out how our Fraud and Forensic team can assist you, please contact Danny McLaughlin, Fraud and Forensic Partner 

Global Private Equity Report 2013

Now in its third year, the report provides a global snapshot of the opportunities and challenges within the private equity industry as seen from a practitioner’s perspective. The differences in what it means to be an active player in specific global markets are examined, as are the key themes that resonate around the world.

Highlights of the report can also be viewed via the Grant Thornton UAE YouTube channel:

Transparency Report 2013

The 2013 Grant Thornton global transparency report is a public statement of our commitment to provide high quality assurance services to organisations operating throughout the world.

VAT in the UAE | 9 May 2016

Following the announcement earlier this year, confirming that the UAE will implement VAT at a rate of 5% from 1 January 2018, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have released additional details on the impending introduction.
Our recent alert provides a highlight of the updates which have been announced which suggests what businesses can be doing now to prepare and provides further insight on the intended reporting plan.
To discuss this further, click here to contact us.

The rise of the cross-border transaction


The IBR report highlights that the UAE and Singapore are two of the countries most interested in growing through cross border acquisitions. 

Women in senior management: setting the stage for growth


This report, based on the latest research from the International Business Report (IBR), explores the global shift in the number of women at the top of the business world and examines ways to make this growth permanent and parity possible.

Global Economy in 2013

The International Business Report (IBR) is a quarterly survey of the views and expectations of both public and privately-held businesses. Launched in 1992 in nine European countries, IBR now interviews 3,200 businesses in 44 economies every quarter. The total number of individual business leaders interviewed per year is over 12,000.  The data for this report are principally drawn from interviews conducted between December 2011 and September 2012.


To find out more go to

Global Private Equity Report 2012

Now in its second year, the report provides an analysis and review of 143 in-depth interviews with senior private equity practitioners from around the world. 

This year the report includes a 'special report' on global growth opportunities with the results providing insight into new "high growth" markets that private equity is looking towards.

Highlights of the report can also be viewed via the Grant Thornton YouTube

Global Dynamism Index 2012: business growth fundamentals

In 2011, Grant Thornton commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to research the business growth environments of 50 economies chosen on the basis of economic importance, size and region.  Subsequently, 406 senior executives, from a broad range of countries and industries were interviewed. Using the previous iteration as a baseline, the current iteration of the index, GDI 2012, looks at the progress of each economy over the past 12 months.

Women in senior management: still not enough

The past 12 months have seen women take the lead in some of the toughest economic and political environments: Christine Lagarde became the first female to head the International Monetary Fund, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has emerged as the key figure in solving the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and Maria das Gracas Foster has taken over at Petrobras, becoming the first woman to run one of the world’s top five oil companies. This short report, based on our latest International Business Report (IBR), explores why this issue matters, the current state of play and what is being done about it.


Grant Thornton UAE is a member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (Grant Thornton International) which is one of the world's leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. These firms provide assurance and specialist business advice to privately held businesses and public interest entities. Services are delivered independently by the member and correspondent firms within Grant Thornton International, a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organised as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales. Grant Thornton International does not deliver services in its own name or otherwise. Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership.