2018 - The Year of Turnaround


Newsletter                                                                     January - February 2018 



With the growth rate nose-diving to an abysmal 1.7 per cent, the UAE took a beating last year. However, 2018 promises to be a turn around year. We are expecting the recovery in oil prices to raise the growth rate to 3.3% in 2018. VAT will affect all sectors of the economy and lead to a fundamental change in the way businesses operate in the region. Having said that, VAT represents a fundamental change in tax policy. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, said the economy's outlook is brightening despite regional and global macroeconomic challenges. As the country builds a knowledge- and innovation-based economy, growth will accelerate two years after Expo 2020 in Dubai. Five percent of VAT will help increase government revenues by Dh12 billion per year. It will also boost GDP by about 1.5 to two percent. Most forecasts show Abu Dhabi's GDP growth rising from 3.9 percent in 2017 to 4.7 percent in 2018 - outpacing GDP growth for the entire United Arab Emirates over the same period, according to analysts at Knight Frank in their UAE Market Review and Forecast 2018. Due to Dubai Plan 2021, the Dubai economy should diversify again in 2018, resulting in GDP growth of 3.5%. Overall, a positive outlook and an improved growth rate augurs well for UAE fortunes.

AWARDS GALORE IN  2017 Blue Ocean Consolidates its Leading Position in Training and Development

Blue Ocean, the region's most trusted name for professional development and knowledge transfer, has earned numerous awards for demonstrating its position as a leader. During the Middle East Training, Development and Leadership Awards, held at the Address Hotel in Dubai on October 11, Blue Ocean won the award for Training Provider of the Year 2017. Dr. Sathya Menon, Managing Director, received the Global Training and Development Leadership Award at the World HRD Congress 2017 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai for his exceptional work and contribution as a change leader in international training and logistics. Blue Ocean has established a new benchmark for developing capabilities that directly translate into business profits. Blue Ocean Academy's brand new solutions are particularly relevant in today's resurgent Middle East economy, where investing in employee learning programs underscores a company's commitment to creating a sustainable business culture. In turn, this boosts profitability, fosters loyalty, and motivates staff members to work toward the company's overall success. It is clear that organizations with a forward-thinking vision are committed to making education a part of the organizational culture, and Blue Ocean is ready to help organizations fulfill this very important role. At the Golden Globe Tiger’s Award ceremony, held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in May 2017 Blue Ocean bagged the award for the “Best Training Initiative for Logistics and Supply Chain” continuing to strengthen its no. 1 position in the Middle East. Headquartered in Dubai with a strong presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, Africa and Sri Lanka, Blue Ocean stands on an enviable reputation. It is built on 20 years of training, 80,000 alumni worldwide and a global network of certified trainers, prestigious international certifications and multinational partners.


Training and Certification Programmes to Reach out to MENA region
In a strategic partnership, Blue Ocean, the region’s largest knowledge empowerment enterprise has joined hands with the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), UK, to train and also certify procurement professionals in the Middle East. The partnership comes at a time when the importance of the procurement function is growing in a competitive global environment. As supplies of critical raw materials become more expensive, procurement professionals around the world are playing a critical role in developing strategy. “I am delighted to welcome Blue Ocean Academy as a CIPS study center in the Middle East. They have a track record of providing quality education here in the MENA region and will provide an additional outlet to those looking to achieve globally required procurement qualifications, “ said Sam Achampong, FCIPS, Regional Director, CIPS, Mena. Kurt Warren, Chairman Fellows Committee, CIPS, Mena Region, while launching the Blue Ocean-CIPS program at the Grand Excelsior Hotel, recently said: "The procurement and supply profession is one of the fastest growing and most sought after professions. The introduction of these professionals taking their place in the boardroom as Chief Procurement Officer or Chief Supply Officers is indicative of its importance globally." Speaking at the launch of the program, Warren urged the procurement fraternity: “You have  chosen  to take this opportunity to enhance your procurement and supply chain knowledge. Over the next few months, you will learn from qualified CIPS professionals. They will not only teach you the CIPS curriculum, they will draw upon their knowledge and experience. Blue Ocean is also reaching out to other Middle East countries like KSA, Qatar and Oman with the purpose of upgrading the skills of the procurement fraternity. Also, raising the bar of certified professionals through advanced CIPs certifications.


Blue Ocean, the region’s largest professional knowledge empowerment enterprise, has forayed into leadership management training. It's also striking a strategic partnership with the prestigious Institute of Leadership Management (ILM), UK. The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) is Europe’s leading management training organization. We are partnering with Blue Ocean to spark professionals and also transform them into innovative and skilled leaders. Students at Blue Ocean Academy can now join the largest awarding body for leadership and management qualifications in the United Kingdom. The training of Blue Ocean for ILM certifications will be available at its public batches as well as corporate training programs across the Middle East : UAE, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. ILM-Blue Ocean certifications help managers increase staff efficiency as well as motivation. This is for their businesses to run at an optimum level of productivity. Training courses cater to the needs of individual organizations and their leaders. You can upgrade from industry-leading qualifications and membership services to specialized learning resources. Furthermore, we base ILM products and services on thorough research and evaluation against best practice standards. ILM membership services support a rapidly growing community of practicing leaders and managers. It also provides continuous professional development at every stage of a manager's career. A comprehensive research program supports ILM programs to empower professionals. It is to also improve their leadership and management skills, knowledge and performance in all sectors, from finance to the armed forces accordingly.

Hall of Fame


Blue Ocean, the region’s  largest knowledge empowerment enterprise, has launched a comprehensive training program on Value Added Tax: Implications, Challenges & Roadmap. This is for procurement professionals as GCC countries prepare to introduce VAT on all goods consumed from January 1, 2018. While VAT is in use in 140 countries around the world, GCC countries are still struggling with its adoption and impact. VAT is a consumption tax levied on final consumers. It's optional and you can only collect it when you add some more value. Blue Ocean training programs focus on four key areas:
  1. Understanding VAT
  2. VAT Accounting
  3. Challenges of VAT
  4. VAT Implementation.
Mr. ​Rehaan Ali Khan, Blue Ocean trainer of VAT, stated, "The introduction of VAT will lead to a change in the balance of power. There will be an interesting learning curve that will certainly enable market corrections as well as new employment opportunities." Dr. Sathya Menon, Academic Director of Blue Ocean Academy, said, "The implementation of VAT in GCC countries is an interesting and new phenomenon. Companies are facing multi-dimensional challenges ranging from delayed announcements of legislation to expected disruptions. Hence, this covers a number of business areas. In the absence of clear guidelines and also internal expertise, the need for learning in this area has increased manifold." "VAT Blue Ocean's training programs have been designed with particular attention. This is to one of the most vulnerable areas likely to be affected by the implementation of VAT: procurement.  A radical realignment will be required to address challenges, both in terms of legal issues and processes arising from VAT implementation," explains Mahendra Yadav. He is a VAT training consultant at Blue Ocean Academy.

Developing Human Capital in time for 2020

      Debasree Banerjee FROM EDITOR'S DESK

Focus on transforming HR practices to groom local talent

Dubai is well on its way to becoming a center of human capital, exporting knowledge and labor to other GCC and North African countries. Experts agree that there is an urgent need to develop human resources policies. The goal is to retain and develop local talent in time for the Dubai Expo 2020.
The first step in the transformation journey is to understand the dynamics of the workforce and the skills they need to acquire expertise.  So far, three main directions have emerged: Branding through digital marketing, virtual collaboration, cross-cultural competency. There is a growing consensus on the skills to watch for and cultivate for the future: Learning, Thinking, and Specialization. Experts have predicted that by 2020, the UAE's private workforce will be split between those working for large corporations. It can be small and medium-sized enterprises, and the self-employed. In the coming years, the number of employees working for small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs will increase significantly. The propensity to work for large corporations and multinationals may decrease. The perspective of workers in the employment scenario will change. Employers will value obedience, diligence, as well as expertise. Responsibility will lie with employees who can take initiative, are creative and are passionate about their work. Increasingly, the focus is on implementing talent and HR organizational acceleration strategies. Globally, the best HR practices are those that drive talent, globalization, growth and innovation. Cutting-edge talent development must combine on-the-job learning, project assignments, and talent networks. It's also time to rethink the relationship between learning and work: especially where and how learning is delivered. More should be expected from leaders at all levels. Leadership development needs to be directed at more and younger people. The concept of continuous development should be embraced, as should that of continuous improvement. Integration of work, social and also community opportunities.

CORPORATE OFFICE DUBAI Blue Ocean Academy P.O. Box 116687, Suite B2505, Latifa Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Opposite World Trade Centre, Dubai, U.A.E Call Us : +971 4 3148500

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