Ghalya AlAli named as EY's UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year

28 January 2019

Emirati student Ghalya AlAli has been named as EY’s UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year, beating out eleven other finalists in the event’s second year.

Established locally last year as an initiative to encourage Emirati women to pursue careers in the private sector, particularly with respect to the transaction services and corporate finance segments, the second annual UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year has been selected by Ernst & Young: Ghalya AlAli, a student from Zayed University who was named ahead of eleven other national finalists at a ceremony in Dubai.

Open to female Emirati university students undertaking bachelor or masters studies in accounting, finance, banking, economics or political science (or those minoring in accounting etc. while studying in another field), this year’s UAE Corporate Finance Woman programme drew applications from nine local universities, with a dozen stand-out participants picked to compete in the final following preliminary qualifications.

Applicants were asked to address how they would create a lasting legacy as a future Emirati leader, and were further required to submit their thoughts on a recent business transaction in the Emirates that was of personal interest, with those chosen as finalists then participating in group workshops and one-to-one interviews with regional EY leader and professionals from the firm’s transaction advisory practice.Ghalya AlAli named as EYs UAE Corporate Finance Woman of the Year“It was an honor to spend the day with these inspirational young ladies and speak to them about their ambitions for the UAE as well as personal career goals,” said Rana Sanyoura, a partner with EY’s MENA transactions practice and the event’s regional sponsor who has been with the firm for nearly 20 years. “We at EY were truly impressed with the talent, critical thinking, and creativity exhibited by the finalists.”

AlAli will now go on to compete in London at the end of next month against fifteen titlists from all over the world, including winners from the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and for the first time Saudi Arabia (to be announced this month) – with the global awardee granted a month-long all-expenses EY internship to visit the firm’s transaction advisory practices in multiple international locations. The other UAE finalists have also received internship offers from EY.

Last year, the global crown was won by Lena Förster, who spent time in Sydney, Dubai and New York during her global internship and remains with the firm’s office in Dublin, while local winner Aliaa AlMheiri continues to study a BA in economics at New York University in Abu Dhabi. “This has completely changed my perception of what corporate finance is and how it can impact the wider community,” AlMheiri said of her experience. 

“I am proud to be representing the UAE at the global competition in London in February, and I look forward to using my newfound knowledge in my studies and to kickstart my career,” said 2019 winner AlAli. “I believe that the competition is a unique opportunity for young Emirati females such as myself to expand their horizons on the opportunities available to them in the business and finance world.”

EY estimates $33 billion boon to UAE economy from Expo 2020 Dubai

16 April 2019

Professional services firm Ernst & Young has outlined the potential economic impact of Expo 2020 Dubai to the UAE economy, concluding a possible $33 billion windfall in gross value add and a near 50,000 full-time equivalent jobs per annum to 2031.

With the Expo 2020 Dubai global showcase now just around the corner – and expected to attract 25 million visits from across the world during its six month schedule from October next year – professional services firm Ernst & Young has released an economic impact report for the event, calculating a US$33 billion (AED122.6 billion) boost of gross value added (GVA) to the local economy from 2013–2031 along with contributing more than 900,000 ‘job years’.

“Expo 2020 Dubai is an exciting long-term investment for the UAE, and is expected to have a significant impact on the economy and how jobs are created directly and indirectly,” said EY MENA Transaction Advisory Services partner Matthew Benson, adding; “Dubai aims to use the event to further enhance its international profile and reputation. The event will celebrate innovation, promote progress and foster cooperation, and entertain global audiences.”

According to the report, the six months of the Expo – the first to be held in anywhere in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia in the event’s 168-year history – will contribute around 1.5 percent of the UAE annual forecast GDP, with the analysts taking in ‘direct’ increases in economic activity, ‘indirect’ benefits of increased supply chain demand, and ‘induced’ benefits from increased spending by employees of participating firms to arrive at its $33 billion figure.EY estimates $33 billion boon to UAE economy from Expo 2020 DubaiConsidering further the planning and legacy phases, EY has in addition estimated AED 4.7 billion in investment to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) during the pre-Expo phase, supporting approximately 12,600 job-years, with the Expo expected to support more than 900,00 full-time equivalent (FTE) job-years in total in the Emirates from 2013 to 2031 – equivalent to some 49,700 FTE jobs. Meanwhile, strong legacy planning will ensure the ongoing benefits.

“Over 80 percent of the Expo built environment is planned to be retained for District 2020, and eventually expand into a city covering more than four million square meters,” states the report, adding that District 2020 aims to support the UAE’s future vision as to sustainable economic development and an innovation-driven economy, with a supportive business environment for key growth industries such as logistics and transport, tourism, construction, real estate and education.

“Although the Expo event lasts less than a year, the positive economic impact continues far beyond the event,” said Jamie Torrens, EY MENA’s head of Economic Advisory in its transaction advisory service division. “Across the period of our study, spanning the Pre-Expo, During-Expo and Legacy phases between 2013 and 2031, Expo 2020 is expected to support billions of dirhams of Gross Value Added (GVA) and thousands of jobs in the UAE.”

As a breakdown, the three largest impact areas across the full study period will be events organisation & business services (contributing over half of the overall figure) followed by construction and then hospitality, while transport, storage & communications will be another significant contributor during the life of the Expo and its planning phase. Retail will also see a boost during the legacy period, with nearly 550,000 jobs years created in this period across sectors.

“This independent report demonstrates that Expo 2020 Dubai is a critical long-term investment,” said Expo 2020 Executive Director Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali. “Not only will the event encourage millions around the world to visit the UAE in 2020, it will also stimulate travel and tourism and support economic diversification for years after the Expo, leaving a sustainable economic legacy that will help to ensure the UAE remains a leading destination for business, leisure and investment.”

Related: Accenture and SAP roll out next-generation technology for Dubai Expo