The Business Year

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Jose Diego Manzanera

CEO, Gulf Business Consulting

Ayman Al Wadi

Group Executive Chairman, Al Wadi Holding

Implementing new technologies and navigating the world of investment and visa reform are crucial to providing the Emirates' best consulting services.

What important changes have been occurring in your sector recently?
JOSE DIEGO MANZANERA With Expo 2020 soon approaching, the vision of the leaders of the UAE and especially Dubai is to showcase to the world the latest innovations in technology. In partnership with some of the most innovative companies worldwide, we are bringing the latest technology and most disruptive models in terms of IoT, smart cities, robotics, and AI to the UAE market. Even within our consulting firm, we will be one of the first to implement big data and AI into our export/import business operations. Our algorithms can predict with up to 85% accuracy whether one’s product or services will be successful in a desired market. Dubai’s market has been changing, and certain local companies realized they were for the first-time ever remaining stagnant. Due to these market changes, the same strategies we have applied in the past must be altered and adjusted in order to survive in Dubai’s ever-changing and rapid marketplace. The sector with great potential is technology through AI, virtual reality, IoT, and autonomous transportation. Healthcare also exhibits healthy growth, with new developments to reduce a patient’s pain and suffering and improve health and wellbeing. For example, we are working with a private company from Finland that will provide new innovative treatment to the UAE for post-cancer patients that can minimize inflamed tissues only minutes after its application.

AYMAN AL WADI We have been in this industry since 1997, and due to the market need and the lack of professional standards in the debt management industry, Al Wadi Holding was born. We are proud that Al Wadi Holding celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019. We decided to bring different companies under one umbrella a decade ago by starting to provide debt management, which includes several solutions. Initially, we were providing B2B and B2C services. However, we noticed that there was a huge demand for B2B, and since we are experts in this field, we decided to have more focus. We provide solutions through direct and indirect partners in 194 countries. Under Al Wadi Debt Management, we have domestic and cross border where we provide collections, skip tracing, consultation, training, and outsourcing. We provide legal debt collection through our associate lawyers. We have Al Wadi Business Advisory & Risk Management and Al Wadi Translation Services. This allows us to provide 360-degree business support and corporate excellence to our valued clients and partners. The debt management industry, which is greatly linked to the backbone of the economy, has to be better regulated than other regions. One of our goals is to upgrade our standards. There is no association for debt management in the entire MENA region, which is why we are working closely with the international associations and global authorities to build one here.

What other sectors are showing potential?
JDM Islamic branding and finance will continue to grow. In the next 10 years in terms of demographics, Muslim countries are expected to grow more than any other demographic in the world. This will be translated to a higher demand of Islamic consumers who need to meet the requirements and needs according to their faith and values. The market will definitely continue to grow, and the companies that wish to approach this huge potential market of 2.2 billion people must adapt their products accordingly. Companies in the past that were not manufacturing anything in line with halal rules or regulations are now creating halal-specific products. In some supermarkets in Europe, we now can find halal sections, which was not possible only a few years ago. This is due to the growth of the population in that segment.

AAW We have direct and indirect partners in 194 countries. We also have business partners regularly coming from different countries, looking at the infrastructure, easy government regulation to do business, the advanced legal system, and high security in the UAE. They plan to settle here, build their own business, and purchase property. A common question we receive is “How can I acquire a trading license here?” Such questions show that companies are seriously thinking about having a presence here. Due to our expertise and long experience in the region, we are instrumental in helping them to achieve this goal. This is a sign that global investor interest across all areas of the economy is high.



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