Ernst & Young completes 80 years in Middle East

Ernst & Young, the Middle East's largest assurance and business advisory firm, has completed their 80th year of operations in the Middle East region.

The firm, which currently provides assurance, business advisory and risk management services for many of the largest regional and international organizations in the Middle East, expects to significantly grow its Middle East business over the coming five years and has announced plans to re-open the firm's Iraq office.

Commenting on the re-opening, Ernst & Young's Ahmed Al-Aiban, Chairman and Chief Executive, Middle East, said: 'As one of the world's largest assurance and business advisory firms we feel that there will be a substantial demand for our services in the Iraqi market. We are happy to be back in the Iraqi market as Iraq holds a lot of sentimental value for us. Ernst & Young, Middle East practice was first established by the opening of our Baghdad office in 1923. Re-opening the office also represents an extension of our Middle East plans. We greatly look forward to supporting both the people of Iraq and the many clients that we expect to assist in setting-up and establishing.'

The Middle East practice of Ernst & Young is an independent professional firm and a full member firm of Ernst & Young Global. Since the firm's establishment 80 years ago, the Middle East firm has evolved to provide a full range of assurance and business advisory services to meet all legal and commercial developments within the region, and today the firm's more than 10,000 clients are serviced by over 1,800 staff operating from 16 offices in 12 Arab countries.

Nick Land, UK Chairman of Ernst &Young, who is in Dubai chairing the UK Area leaders' meeting added: 'The Middle East represents a fast growing and sophisticated commercial region which requires the right business advisory services founded on the highest standards of quality and risk management. As a Global firm we have invested considerably in ensuring that all of our offices globally work to the same management standards and methodologies to ensure quality in everything we do.'

Speaking about the firm's regional growth and 80 year history in the Middle East, Ernst & Young's Managing Partner for the Middle East, Fouad Alaeddin, said: 'The Middle East shines through as one of the most dynamic regions of growth and business development world-wide. We at Ernst & Young are confident that we can continue to aggressively grow our business here in the Middle East, and we are very excited about the expansion of our portfolio of Arab business services. There is no substitute for global and regional knowledge and experience, and as the longest running assurance and business advisory firm in the region, we are extremely proud to say that this experience has led us to the enviable position as the largest professional assurance and business advisory firm in the Middle East.'

Fouad Alaeddin added 'Being the largest firm in the region places a responsibility on the partners to contribute to all of the countries in the region and we proudly do that through many ways, including the introduction and promotion of International Accounting Standards to the Arab countries, which promotes global harmonization and transparency. We also assist many professionals studying to obtain professional accreditation, such as CPA and continue to heavily recruit and train nationals in all countries we operate in'.

UAE Country Partner Edward Quinlan also added, 'I had the privilege of joining Ernst & Young, Middle East in the year of our 50th anniversary. At the time I could not have foreseen the immense progress that this region would make in the following 30 years. I am so proud that our firm has been able to contribute to the progress in the Middle East. In particular I am proud of the quality of GCC Nationals that we have trained over those years'.

With a total understanding of the region's assurance and business advisory needs, Ernst & Young's rapidly growing customer base has welcomed the regionally specific business advisory services, in particular the services that support emerging world-wide Islamic Financial Services. The firm expects to significantly grow its Middle East business over the coming five years by the introduction of a number of innovative services specifically created to meet the needs of the Arab business community.

Speaking about Ernst & Young's commitment in the UAE, Hamed Kazim, Office Managing Partner of Ernst & Young, Dubai, said: 'The world is changing so rapidly that traditional ways of doing business are no longer sufficient. This applies to the Middle East and on a more local level, to Dubai. Dubai is fast becoming the hub for many of the world's largest businesses and now, more than ever, businesses need to act with the best knowledge possible and move forward with confidence in order to compete effectively, especially when launching in a new region for the first time.'

'Whether you are in banking or chemicals, pharmaceuticals or computer chips, the unique qualities of doing business in your industry are key to your future. It is not simply a matter of where your sector is today and where it is heading. One of the objectives of Ernst & Young's Middle East firm is to assist the business community in improving the way that they do business. With our regional knowledge and experience we feel confident that we can assist the growing number of Middle East businesses to achieve this goal,'

Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, offers clients the right tools and advice in order to meet the demands of an ever changing and dynamic business world. Ernst & Young has the industry and financial experience to provide fresh perspectives on operating successfully in the new economy. Ernst & Young provides a range of assurance and business advisory services including corporate finance, risk management, tax, technology, business valuation and hospitality & leisure services.

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