A Middle East Perspective on Top Risks 2022 - Key issues being discussed in the boardroom and C-suite | Executive Summary

Research Conducted by NC State University’s ERM Initiative and Protiviti

The range of uncertainties facing business leaders around the globe in 2022 is overwhelming. Challenges triggered by a rare airborne virus creating a global pandemic continue to unfold, combined with numerous other risk issues, such as growing social unrest, polarization and ever-present challenges ranging from new technologies and digitization innovations to everchanging markets, strategies, and business models. As a result, staying abreast of emerging risks and opportunities is becoming increasingly difficult.

Protiviti and North Carolina State University’s ERM Initiative are pleased to provide this report focusing on the top risks currently on the minds of global boards of directors and executives. This report contains results from our tenth annual risk survey of directors and executives worldwide, including the Middle East, to obtain their views on the extent to which a broad collection of risks is likely to affect their organizations over the next year – 2022. In addition to insights about near-term risks in 2022, we also asked respondents to consider how these risks will affect their organizations a decade from now (in 2031).

This report provides a brief description of our methodology and an overview of the overall risk concerns for 2022 and 2031. It concludes with a call to action offering a discussion of questions executives may want to consider as they look to strengthen their overall risk assessment and management processes.

Top 10 Risks in the Middle East Region - 2022 






Our organization’s culture may not sufficiently encourage the timely identification and escalation of risk issues and market opportunities
that have the potential to significantly affect our core operations and achievement of strategic objectives




Our organization may not be sufficiently resilient and/or agile to manage an unexpected crisis significantly impacting our reputation




Shifts in perspectives and expectations about social issues and priorities surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion are occurring faster
than the pace at which our organization is motivated and able to manage effectively (e.g., recruiting, retention, career advancement,
reward systems, behavioral incentives, shared values and culture), which may significantly impact our ability to attract/retain talent and
compete in the marketplace




Resistance to change in our culture may restrict our organization from making necessary adjustments to the business model and core




Opportunities for organic growth through customer acquisition and/or enhancement may be significantly limited for our organization




Government policies surrounding public health practices, social distancing, return-to-work, crowd limits, and other pandemic-related
regulations and protocols may significantly impact the performance of our business




Inability to utilize data analytics and “big data” to achieve market intelligence and increase productivity and efficiency may significantly
affect our management of core operations and strategic plans




Our organization may not be able to adapt its business model to embrace the evolving “new normal” imposed on our business by the
ongoing pandemic and emerging social change




Anticipated volatility in global financial markets and currency exchange rates may create significantly challenging issues for our
organization to address




The adoption of digital technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, automation in all of its forms, natural language processing, visual
recognition software, virtual reality simulations) in the marketplace and in our organization may require new skills that either are in short
supply in the market for talent or require significant efforts to upskill and reskill our existing employees