10 Muharram 1446 - 16 July 2024
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Eye of Riyadh
Government | Monday 22 April, 2024 11:33 am |

Dubai family business survey highlights focus on growth, technology adoption

The Dubai Centre for Family Businesses, which operates under the umbrella of Dubai Chambers, has revealed the results of a survey conducted to gauge the opinions, aspirations, and strategies of the next generation of family business members in the emirate.


The survey was aimed at developing a better understanding of the changing dynamics of family businesses, as well as the strategic directions favoured by their future managers.


Issued by global consulting firm PwC in collaboration with the Dubai Centre for Family Businesses, the 2024 survey identified the top priorities for the next generation of family business members during the coming two years. A total of 889 respondents from 63 countries participated in the survey, including a group in Dubai.


Expanding into new sectors and markets ranked first on the list of priorities for Dubai’s next generation of family business members, with business development second and the adoption of new technologies following in third place. Among the next generation of family business members worldwide, business development came first, followed by expansion into new sectors and markets in second place. Talent management and attracting and retaining the best young talent ranked third.


Comparing the priorities of Dubai respondents with their global peers, the survey indicates that the next generation of family business members in Dubai is the most focused on expanding their businesses into new sectors and markets as a top priority over the coming two years.


The results of the survey revealed a strong interest in generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the majority of respondents expressing a desire to leverage this technology in the future to stimulate innovation and drive greater efficiency in their companies.


Some 87 percent of young family business members in Dubai expressed a personal interest in generative AI, well above the global average of 82 percent. The survey also revealed that respondents in Dubai are more familiar with generative AI than average, with two-thirds feeling personally familiar with the technology compared to 53 percent of their global peers.


The report noted the role that generative AI can play in enhancing profitability, operational efficiency, and customer experience, reflecting respondents’ views on the technology’s transformative impact on their business operations. Around 32 percent of respondents in Dubai believe generative AI will increase their companies' profitability within 12 months, which is higher than the global average of 21 percent.


Among the next generation of family business members surveyed in Dubai, 42 percent of respondents confirmed they are aware of succession plans within their family business; however, many did not participate in the preparation of these plans. The majority of participants indicated that they find it easy to understand the different provisions of family protocols and constitutions.


45 percent of respondents stated that the ability or readiness of the current generation to retire can create challenges with the succession process.


Participants identified the key benefits of AI as increased operational efficiencies, improvements to employee productivity, and an enhanced customer experience. AI was also identified as a catalyst for adopting new technologies, enhancing the digital capabilities of the workforce, and achieving business growth.


The survey demonstrated that family business members in Dubai have a strong understanding of family values and goals, as well as the rights and duties of all business owners. The majority also expressed a desire to assume a leadership position or role in governance management within the next five years. The findings also highlighted positive expectations among the next generation of family business members in terms of their future careers, including learning and growth opportunities within their family businesses.


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