With emphasis placed on digital economy development in various countries of the Middle East, there have been significant efforts to extend and strengthen banking services. Countries such as Qatar, Oman, UAE and Bahrain are nurturing and empowering their financial sectors. With several countries racing towards becoming the fintech hub for Islamic banking, Middle East Banks have realised the urgent need to transform their Learning and Development for preparing their employees to win in the digital-first world. 

Middle East financial services are transforming – L&D needs a fresh approach

Middle East financial services are evolving exponentially and are strongly impacted by digital disruption. Banks are adopting technologies like cloud, AI, blockchain etc., to meet changing customer expectations. Countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Jordan are making strides towards fintech development. Banks have witnessed a shift from cashless payments to digital payments.

Digital wallets have become the most preferred mode of payment in several middle eastern regions. The UAE fintech landscape has witnessed an increase in facial recognition technology being used as identity verification in several digital banks. 

Banks in UAE, Israel and Saudi Arabia are creating CDBC as the new means of payment. 

As per research, 80% of central banks in the Middle East are engaging with central bank digital currency (CBDC) work in some way, with 50% already in the experimental or pilot phase.

The Middle East has seen a considerable increase in digital and neo banks. Moreover, open banks have gained traction in middle eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The swift digital transformation in the Middle East has even boosted the expectation of banking customers. The L&D team of middle eastern banks need to level up and revamp their strategies to prepare the employees to address the challenges of the innovative digital baking ecosystem.

Amidst digital transformation, banking employees need enhanced skills to humanise the banking experience and offer utmost customer satisfaction. Without a digitally competent workforce, Middle Eastern banks will find it challenging to navigate the digital transformation tide and succeed.

As per a study around $11.5 trillion of cumulative GDP growth is at risk in G20 countries if the digital skills gap is not addressed

New learning and development strategies are needed to speed up the adoption of the latest technological trends and capitalise on various opportunities. 

Middle East Banks’ L&D transformation: Embracing new learning trends in 2022 

Obsolete L&D strategies won’t be effective in the modern banking world where employees have to be well-versed in technologies like AI(Artificial Intelligence), Blockchain and RPA (Robotic Process Automation). They need the right tools, resources and skills to make better financial decisions and offer personalised experiences to their customers at various touchpoints. 

Here are some of the 2022’s latest trends that L&D professionals of Middle Eastern banks must be aware of to make employees  future-ready

learning and development MIddle East Banks infographic

Applying customer centricity mindset to learning and development 

In the user and customer experience era, we walk the extra mile to be customer-centric. However, are we putting in the same efforts to be learner-centric? 

Employees are the first step towards offering an optimum banking experience to the customers. So it is crucial to modernize learning and focus on the learners’ voice. It is important to ensure that you are offering the learning material that a specific employee wants to learn.

Personalisation is crucial to address individual digital skill gaps. Through an AI-based LXP, you can create personalised learning journeys tailored to each employee’s specific needs.  Moreover, to be a customer-centric bank, it is important to put employees in different situations to prepare them for any challenge that comes their way while serving the customers. Conduct assessment and mock calls to ensure the banking employees can confidently manage any situation. Give them ample opportunities to practice and apply what they’ve learnt to work. 

Emphasising on skills for tomorrow to create a future-ready workforce 

Banks of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and other parts of the Middle east need to build the right skills to continue competing to meet the short and long-term financial goals. Due to digital disruption, new roles are emerging in middle eastern banks. Identifying the right skills needed for the future is a prerequisite for success in a new reality where uncertainty and changes have become the new normal. With Disprz role-based skilling, you can discover trending skills for different job roles and benchmark them to stay ahead of the skill velocity curve. 

The banks are expected to move beyond traditional training and reskill employees to build new skills and capabilities for efficiently building and managing client relationships through digital channels. One of the leading banks in Oman shifted from conventional training to online learning for upskilling and reskilling their knowledge workforce. They could disseminate knowledge faster and assess progress through analytics. This proves a little tweak in learning strategy can help achieve better output to build a future-ready workforce.

Click here to read the full case study. 

Using storytelling to convey the value of upskilling 

Most bankers of Middles East are trying to adapt to the new reality to survive the turbulence of disruption caused by digital transformation. However, the fast pace of changes has taken a toll on many banking employees. They don’t have time for learning as they try to put their best foot forward to thrive amidst the stormy weather of digital disruption. However, most of them fail to understand that, without the right skills, they won’t be able to address the roadblock that’s holding them back from offering a great experience to their customers.  Moreover, several employees resist digital transformation. They are not willing to move out of their comfort zones due to certain doubts and fear of failure. The right skilling techniques can help the employees overcome the resistance and see the bigger picture. 

Storytelling is one effective strategy of 2022 that can help capture the attention of these busy employees to convey the value of upskilling. Help them visualise how upskilling has helped the top performers fulfil their goals. Outline the strategy and road taken to reach the desired outcome. When employees see the benefits of investing their time in learning, they will be motivated to learn and expand their skill set.

Making banking L&D more engaging with gameinar 

Regulatory compliance and in-depth product knowledge are imperative for bankers to engage with customers. However, complex regulations can sometimes be hard to grasp. Moreover, banking professionals find it even more difficult to understand certain terms when the compliance training is uninteresting. 

Well, gamified learning is the secret ingredient L&D professionals can use in 2022 to make their skilling and compliance training more engaging. Quizzes, polls and roulette wheels can be used smartly to have interactive sessions with the banking employees. Moreover, Disprz Gameinar offers leaderboards to strike healthy competition and trigger self-improvement activities. 

Try Disprz Gameinar now to find out how it can help in engaging and skilling your banking employees. 


Digitalisation has surged in the Middle East post-pandemic. By rethinking their learning and skilling approach, the L&D team can prepare their employees for delivering optimum performance in any circumstances. A complete skilling suite like Disprz can be a helping hand for the L&D professionals to create a future-ready banking workforce. From onboarding to upskilling and taking the employee to the next level, you can manage an employee’s complete lifecycle with the end-to-end learning solution. See a preview to experience Disprz in action.