We attended the Dubai People Development Summit last week and were delighted to meet with some people we knew, some clients and lots of meetings with new faces to better understand their challenges.

The Dubai summit came at an exciting time for the GCC region as nears two major global events which will showcase its economic growth and potential foreign investment opportunities. First up, Expo in Dubai which open this Autumn (October) and last for six months. The Expo is likely to make Dubai the world’s second most visited destination (up from 4th in 2018 according to Mastercard).

Secondly, The G20 Summit will be held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) in November.

Overview of our main conversations at Dubai Summit

As we reflect there were three main themes that came up time and time again in our conversations and we wanted to share the 3 main takeaways which we hope will be useful for you in the coming months

The People Development Summit saw a number of global and regional organisations (Including Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia). While organisations felt the general trading environment was challenging, several key areas remain priorities for investment.

If this is something that is an issue for you in your business right now

Predictive Succession Planning & Assessments

A theme that has been coming up time and time again is how do we get better at predictive succession planning? Using data your organisation already has to predict who it should be and can replace your leaders as they get promoted, or leave to other businesses.

Robust methods for succession planning are required as organisations look to grow their own future leaders in line with growth plans. Specifically, the use of assessments in the selection of those with the potential to lead organisations to either grow existing territories or expand into emerging markets.

Leadership Development

Leadership (not management) development was a close second theme in our conversations at the summit.

Most organisations we spoke to highlighted the expectation and reliance of leaders and future leaders (aided by development) as a priority to give their teams and organisations a competitive edge.

Supported Secondments & Internal Mentoring Programmes

The focus was not just about formal development programmes, but a return to special projects, supported secondments and internal mentoring programmes

We’ve seen a lot of interest in making the employee experience more diverse across organisations which often leads to an increase in retention and make employees value the organisation more by allowing them to experience a wider range of roles.

We thought we’d share with you the main conversation starters and concerns for organisations from across the summit. As these probably ring true for you too.

Why not take our Talent Diagnostic Survey which sends you a bespoke personal report based upon where your organisation is at now, and gives your tips and a roadmap to improve.

Are you an HR leader? Take our complimentary Talent Diagnostic Survey which breaks down in detail how you can build, enhance and develop your Talent Management strategy. Upon completion, you’ll receive your own personal report, which we believe will give you the space to step back from your day to day activities, and look at the areas which you want to focus on, but maybe do not have the time to. The survey takes no longer than 5 minutes to complete.


For your business to realise your ambitions, will depend on you identifying and developing your future leaders.

World class companies are obsessed by Predictive Succession Planning. Seeing it not just as a notion or a fad, but as an essential part of their talent strategy, giving it the energy it requires.

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Download our Predictive Succession Planning Whitepaper now if you want to put in place robust processes to engage your future leaders.