Shout out to Ayumi Moore Aoki, Founder & President of Women in Tech, H.H. Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq”; H.E. Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of the Governmental Relations Department in Sharjah; H.E. Sheikha Dr. Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, first  Ministerial post in the UAE, and H.E. Najla Al Midfa, Executive Director of the Sharjah Entrepreneur Center “Sheraa” and the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Complex for hosting one of the most interesting and talked about forums for 2020 and what will most likely still be discussed and influencing its attendees for a some time to come.

The Forum saw the attendance of prominent figures such as global science organizations, women’s empowerment organizations and women entrepreneurs, as well as the directors of Government Authorities and representatives from civil society all brought about by an incredible passion and hope to elevate Women in Tech.

This forum is the first event of its kind in the region. Its importance comes through focusing on women’s leadership in scientific research and technological innovation. The forum plays a significant role in various areas of life and contributes to the leadership of society, embracing a number of global issues that highlight the role of women and their accomplishments with the aim to encourage and enhance a level playing field for Women in Tech. The Forum aims to highlight the role of women in technology and innovation, enhancing their impact at the global level, and maximizing their contributions to social and economic development, as well as inspiring future generations of women to participate actively in building the country.

Key notes coming away were summed up by H.E. Sheikha Lubna AlQasimi, calling on all female attendees to go back into their work place and make time to mentor, encourage and train and upskill one female employment in their organization to encourage women to push themselves further up the corporate hierarchy and into those senior leadership roles.  Sophie Smith, Co-founder and CEO at Nabta Health reminded us of the ‘invisible women’ throughout history which struck a chord with today’s women in Tech and Business. There is a turn in the tide in the right direction and we all play a part if true and real change is to come about. Whatever the journey is ahead of us what is clear is that the Women in Tech Forum is here to stay and for many years to come with I am confident to say we will see many success stories originate from this initiative.

I recommend senior female managers or leaders reading this promote a policy and program in your company today with a focus on supporting females in having a vision and a voice whereby they are encouraged to ‘speak up’ in meetings,  group discussion, company presentations and become visible within the organization as key leadership employees. Trans Skills are happy to look at inhouse training program for your company to enhance and encourage women into a more clear visible leadership role with your organization.

Arab Health, the largest exhibition for healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region, was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre between 27-30 January. Healthcare and trade professionals from over 159 countries came together in Dubai for the Health Exhibition and Conferences. The event was the region’s largest gathering of healthcare companies and industry leaders and a grand showcase of medical technology, products and services. More than 55,000 healthcare and trade professionals and 4,250 exhibiting companies from over 64 countries participated this year. Trans Skills along with it’s healthcare practice lead were delighted to be in attendance this year to meet many of our existing leading healthcare client groups as well as  meeting other new and innovative Groups to continue to grow and develop our channel partners in the healthcare arena.

This year’s exhibition revolved around the theme ‘Connectivity for better healthcare delivery’. To achieve this goal, ‘sectorisation’ formed a major focus for the event with the show floor split into eight distinct sectors, including medical equipment and devices; disposable and consumer goods; healthcare infrastructure and assets; imaging and diagnostics; and preventive and post-diagnostics treatments, among others.

Innovation was once again a hot topic of discussion. The Innovation Hub returned at Arab Health. One zone was dedicated to start-ups, SMEs and innovators, providing them with the opportunity to demonstrate their new products and innovation shaping the future of healthcare. We also saw the return of the Innov8 Talks segment, where eight SMEs and entrepreneurs for each day of the show had eight minutes to present their latest groundbreaking healthcare ideas. Two new forums were introduced this year as well, with a focus on healthcare investment and infrastructure.

In focus were smart technologies and intelligent applications that help drive clinical efficiency, enhance patient comfort, and improve workflow in hospitals and clinics across the region. The customisation, reliability, and innovative design of Humanscale Healthcare solutions give caregivers and industry professionals the confidence to focus medical delivery services where it matters most – patient care and safety.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) in partnership with the Ministry of Artificial Intelligence unveiled its new smart platform for translating sign language for “deaf and dumb” patients into a language understood by the medical team. The ministry also launched the world’s first technique to monitor and measure real-time cerebral blood flow in preterm infants and induce the automatic resuscitation of the infant’s brain using AI. The technology was unveiled in cooperation with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Washington. The ministry’s move comes in line with its efforts to transform healthcare.

The steadily expanding healthcare and pharmaceutical segment of Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, the key trade facilitator of DP World, UAE Region, was also under the spotlight at Arab Health 2020. Jafza accounts for nearly 38 percent of Dubai’s total healthcare and pharmaceutical trade by volume and over 30 percent by value. Its client base includes global brands such as Sanofi, Roche, Abbott, and GlaxoSmithKline. The free zone hosts manufacturers such as LIFEPharma, Gulf Inject, and Quest Vitamins and is the regional distribution base for multinational companies, either through their custom-built temperature-controlled facilities or through third-party cool, cold and ambient warehouses.

Built from the ground up, Jafza is the only free zone with the ability to support indigenous manufacturing in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector. It is home to over 162 companies from more than 40 countries.

Pharmaceuticals is one of the six priority industry sectors identified for focused development by the Dubai Government under the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. The strategy aims to increase the total output and value-addition of the manufacturing sector.

When we talk about the growth of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, our thoughts automatically align with the key strategic targets of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. As one of the main contributors to Dubai’s health sector, Jafza has provided support to its customers in every way across the supply chain. Participation in Arab Health 2020 showcased the efficiency of the ecosystem that has been put in place in Jebel Ali and contribute as many building blocks to this thriving business as possible to attract investors from the region and beyond.

By: Carrie Shanahan

Few would argue with the generally held view that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace many HR tasks over the coming years. The great news for the recruiter is that valuable time will be freed up as this new technology becomes integrated. AI will undoubtedly make recruiting easier and faster as well as improving the recruitment process. Allowing AI to assist in the recruiting process can free up time to enable greater focus on hiring the perfect fit for the role rather than the more mundane tasks necessary to find that shortlist of strong candidates.

AI will undoubtedly assist employers beyond simply assessing the candidate’s resume. Complex algorithms will be able to scan candidates’ online profiles and assess overall suitability more accurately. For example, a candidate might be very active in areas of keen interest to potential employers and this can be identified by AI programmes. Candidates will also be able to take advantage of AI by creating a profile for their expertise, goals, career aspirations and values.

Job applicants will also need to acquire additional skills and training to master their engagement with intelligent recruitment platforms. AI video interview platforms use biometric and psychometric analysis to evaluate not simply the quality of answers but also aspects of voice such as quality, speed and energy as well as body language and facial cues. Applicant tracking systems already work on the basis of keywords and other data to analyze the very large number of resumes they receive online. As employers use increasingly complex technology, it is likely that the same tools will be adapted for job seekers to enable more effective applications through predictive analytics.

Recruiters and employers are able to target many more qualified candidates than ever before. Current technology allows searches to be fine-tuned by job title, industry, location, current employer, education and more. This can all be done without ever communicating with the candidate and reach candidates who may be completely unaware of the opportunity that perfectly matches their profile.

Given that AI will level the playing field for vast numbers of potential applicants, simply relying upon online profiles and well written resumes will not be sufficient to get ahead of the competition. Networking within both the general industry and with desired employers will likely be of even greater importance than before the advent of AI. For candidates to stand out, an introduction from a respected employee or adviser will always help to land that first interview and take the candidate directly to the top 1% of applicants. Referrals will likely remain the principal source of talent until data proves otherwise, but AI will be capable of collecting sufficient data from hundreds of thousands of candidates to identify the ideal fit (including most likely to accept an offer) and reach out in a personalized way to start an interview process. AI is already replacing portions of the interviewing process and it not hard to imagine many initial interviews being conducted either in whole or in part by an AI programme rather than a human! Already, courses are being offered to train applicants in conducting interviews with robots as this interview format clearly has a new set of challenges because applicants no longer benefit from social and visual cues. It becomes more critical to have a robust preparation to convey essential information in order to set themselves apart.

Ultimately, neither employers nor applicants should be unduly concerned by the use of AI in the recruitment process, as the objective of the selection process remains the ideal matching of employer and employee for their mutual benefit and satisfaction. AI will simply improve this matching.

TOP 12 things you should know about DEWS

DIFC will be implementing its DEWS policy starting February 1 , 2020. If you are operating within DIFC or just someone who wants a quick understanding about it, here are 12 quick things you should know.

  1. Following Global Standards – DIFC’s wants to replace the end of service gratuity (EOSG) with a funded workplace savings plan. The aim is to align benefits with global retirement savings standards.


  1. Mandatory for all DIFC employers– All DIFC employers are obliged to participate. A Qualifying Plan will require a Certificate of Compliance from the DIFC Authority and shall have to adhere to the Qualifying Plan requirements that will be set out in the Regulations to the Employment Law.


  1. Multiple Scheme options – Employers can choose the DEWS scheme or opt for a 3rd party provider as long as it accredited by DIFC and the value is equivalent to that of DEWS.


  1. Designed for Expats – DEWS is designed to replace the current end-of-service benefit entitlement for expatriate employees only. The plan will not include the UAE nationals or GCC nationals with social security accruals. However, employers or employees may choose to voluntary contribute.


  1. Flexible changes – Employees can control their portfolio they’ve invested to on demand. The changes can be done via the website or mobile app without incurring charges.


  1. Cost – The overall cost for DEWS Plan has been settled at 1.33% at the Plan commencement date, which is within the price range of 1.25% to 1.50% targeted by DIFC during the competitive bidding process selecting the service providers to the DEWS Plan. This includes trust, administration and investment services.


  1. Access – Employees can access their benefits in any country, provided that the bank account to which the proceeds of such benefits will be paid must be in the name of the employee or the beneficiaries nominated by the employee. Information on employee portfolio are accessible online via desktop or mobile application


  1. Implementation urgency – Participating employers are required to enroll with the DEWS Plan prior to the Plan commencement date (February 1, 2020). Enrolment with a qualifying Plan will be mandatory requirement.


  1. Required HR changes – Employer are expected to make necessary changes to their internal HR/ admin systems in order to:
  • make mandatory contributions for eligible employees
  • deduct the amounts relating to employee voluntary contribution from employee payroll
  • upload monthly contribution files
  • transfer the relevant amount to the bank account of the DEWS Master Trustee for investment
  1. Multiple entities in DIFC – Companies that have multiple entities in the DIFC will have separate accounts for each entity at the time of launching DEWS.


  1. Payroll on Excel – All information is required to be uploaded in a specific format.


  1. GDPR Compliance – The new administration system will be compliant with the relevant Data Protection regulations. The system will be hosted by Amazon Web Services in Dublin and all employee data will be stored there.

By: Daniel Mackay

In 2019, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) started the transition on replacing the current end of service gratuity (EOSG) to a new scheme called the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS). The aim is to reform the existing scheme to a model that can compete with global best practices and to augment UAE’s drive in becoming a global stage for attracting and retaining talented workforce.

By August of the same year, DIFC appointed a Master trustee, a Plan Administrator and an Investment adviser to oversee the DEWS Plan.

Employers are allowed to use a 3rd party scheme provided that it offers a DIFC qualified and accredited alternative scheme. The alternative scheme should meet the stringent requirement, including providing employees with the same level of contributions as DEWS and obtaining a “Certificate of Compliance” from DIFC. Failure to participate in DEWS will result in financial penalties.

The program will take effect by February 1, 2020, placing all existing defined benefit arrangement on halt and contributors commencing to the trust scheme.

Changes will allow employers to clearly identify their liabilities to employees and relieve them through the chosen system and allow these payments to be made throughout the year rather than a lump sum upon termination of employment, which in turn brings cash flow benefits brings. It is a big step, as organizations now have to change their provision models from a provision-based system to actual cash accruals and have to offer employees greater certainty that they will receive their entitlements at the end of their employment.

If you would like to discuss any aspects of DEWS and/or require any assistance with compliance, we’d love to hear from you. Call Daniel Mackay, Head of Business Development at: or 04 295 8770.