Colors: Green Color

The Middle Eastern economy is expected to slow down from an estimated 1.5% last year to about 0.6% in 2019, the slowest in almost a decade. According to ICAEW’s latest Economic Insight report, the Middle East GDP growth forecast slowdown is primarily driven by a deeper-than-expected recession in Iran, one of the region’s largest economies. In the GCC, the burden of generating economic growth and employment is expected to fall more on the non-oil sector in 2019. Lower oil prices pose a challenge for a number of GCC countries that rely heavily on hydrocarbon receipts to balance their budgets, notably Bahrain and Oman.

The retail industry increases its overall emotional connection with consumers this year, ranking #5 out of the 15 industries studied in the 2019 Brand Intimacy Report. Amazon, in particular, had a strong year, having the highest increase in ranking and leading the industry for the first time in three years. Its success is followed by Carrefour at #2, and City Centre at #3. Dubai Mall, LuLu, IKEA, noon, Mall of the Emirates, Sharaf DG and Jumbo round out the Top 10, in that order.

The most common factors holding back security awareness programmes in companies are the lack of time and staff rather than budget, although nearly 60% of the professionals surveyed say they are not even aware of the budget allocated to security awareness in their companies. These are some of the key findings of the 2019 Security Awareness Report, the fifth edition of a report produced annually by SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS Institute and a world leader in security training.

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