UAE./PRNewswire/ --The Global Competitiveness Index for 2016-2017 of the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked the UAE at 16th position (out of 138 countries assessed). This position is as a recognition of the gains which have been made from previous years, particularly with regards to technological adoption and business sophistication.
This position further endorses the strength of the UAE amidst the global market, where it is also recognised as the third largest global centre for sukuk, alongside being referenced as the financial services hub for the Middle East.
The global position which the UAE holds has been recognised by Grant Thornton International, one of the world's largest accounting and advisory services organisations, who have appointed United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Hisham Farouk to its Board of Governors.
Amongst a whole host of local accolades, Hisham has been named in the top three for the Middle East and Africa Power 50 list of International Accounting Bulletin.
He is the first appointment to the Board of Governors from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which further reinforces the fact that the MENA region is a distinct and dynamic part of the global economy, and demonstrates the importance that a global firm such as Grant Thornton attaches to it. The appointment also acknowledges that Dubai and Abu Dhabi have become very substantial trading and financial centres in world terms.
Hisham said: "The pace and scale of change in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other MENA countries is truly extraordinary. The young population, changing dynamics of the oil market, and the advent of enabling technology mean that Governments and other stakeholders see the potential to create jobs in a new kind of economy. This will only be possible if the diversification of economies away from hydrocarbons towards services continues."
"In the meantime, there is a shift from the family-business model towards the institutionally-owned business model. This is at a time that the burden of regulation is increasing: the introduction of Value Added Tax in the UAE from the beginning of 2018 is just one example."
"The MENA region is making an epic transition to the Future Economy, and I am honoured to be able to play a role in that as a member of the Board of Governors of Grant Thornton International."
Photo Caption: Hisham Farouk, CEO of Grant Thornton in the UAE
About Grant Thornton:
Grant Thornton International is a global organisation of member firms with 47,000 people in more than 130 countries.
 - International Accounting Bulletin, 2015