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UAE, GCC embrace digitisation faster in Middle East

Ralf Wintergerst, chairman of and group CEO of Giesecke+Devrient.
Ralf Wintergerst, chairman of and group CEO of Giesecke+Devrient.

GCC is the seven largest export destination for Germany outside Europe.


A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 12:14 AM

Last updated: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 12:17 AM

The UAE and Gulf countries are significantly embracing digitalisation while broader Middle East firms are still operating in the traditional model and are stuck to legacy systems, says a senior official of Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), one of the world’s leading providers of secured payments and solutions.

Ralf Wintergerst, chairman of and group CEO of Giesecke+Devrient, says Germany and the UAE share many similarities when it comes to digital transformation as they both recognise the great opportunities for their economies, and they also cope with similar challenges such as post-Covid recovery or the ongoing search for digital talents.

“What I find intriguing is the speed with which Gulf countries are adopting digitalisation, especially as the UAE have a digitally savvy and very youthful population. This younger segment shows in a very high acceptance rate of next-generation technologies,” said Wintergerst.

UAE – Most important locations worldwide

Giesecke+Devrient has been present in the UAE for more than two decades. Hundreds of German companies currently have a presence in UAE while Germany’s exports reached $18.4 billion in 2020. GCC is the seven largest export destination for Germany outside Europe.

Wintergerst added that the UAE is one of the most important locations worldwide, covering functions like sales, project management, services, and logistics.

He said the UAE and the GCC are not only great markets but important partners in this part of the world.

“Our partner countries are moving forward quickly and have greatly embraced digitalisation. However, companies in the Middle East are still facing some challenges. Among those are legacy systems for example that do not support digitised infrastructures or a reluctance to adopt full digital transformation while maintaining traditional operating models. Digital transformation is a process and partnering with technology leaders can support and accelerate this adoption,” Wintergerst added.


Giesecke+Devrient says digital currencies are gaining momentum in interest and popularity, with the recent figures showing more than 110 central banks currently engaged in studies or pilot schemes for the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

“Actually, there has been a dramatic shift within a year – from questions whether a country will, to which countries won’t be exploring a CBDC. Apart from technical considerations, regulatory and supervisory aspects must also be taken into account,” he added. — business@khaleejtimes.com

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