Major projects undertaken by the GCC nations is expected to boost the region’s consulting market which is expected to exceed $4 billion in revenues in 2023, thus posting a market growth of about $1 billion in two years.
In 2022, the GCC region’s consulting market registered a growth of 15.9% to reach $3.87 billion, with double-digit growth recorded in every sector, according to the latest annual report entitled “Market” by Source Global Research.
Looking ahead, the GCC is also becoming one of the “most lucrative destinations” globally for foreign direct investments, which in turn is supporting the consulting market, said Source.
The Source report said that Saudi Arabia’s consulting market, which is the largest in the GCC region, grew faster than the overall market in 2022 at 17.5%, with revenues reaching a record $2.1 billion.
The UAE recorded the second-highest growth rate in the consulting market last year at 14.3%, with revenue hitting $841 million. Qatar and Oman recorded a growth of 14.2%, Bahrain at 13.8% and Kuwait at 13.7%, the report added.
Dane Albertelli said that the region’s economic ambitions, compounded by favourable oil prices, mean that both the volume of work and its complexity are rapidly increasing, especially in the field of digital and organisational transformation.
This is the main reason why 78% of the clients in the region say their use of consultants will increase in the coming 12 months, Albertelli said.
“With long-term economic plans such as Vision 2030 reaching the implementation phase, we’re once again expecting double digit growth in 2023, but with a slightly gentler uplift than in 2022, with strategy and technology services continuing to be the key demands,” Albertelli said.
“While no region is immune to the turbulence of the current macroeconomic environment, the GCC region is certainly faring better than its European counterparts. Fifty-six percent of GCC clients think the economic climate is improving against 43% in France and 25% in the UK. When we consider the impact of global factors on business confidence, a sizeable proportion of clients in the region, while still in the minority, view these as opportunities rather than challenges,” Albertelli added.
Saudi Arabia Leads
Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, recorded the highest annual growth rate among the world’s 20 biggest economies in 2022 and the Kingdom’s economy expanded 8.7% in 2022 on higher oil prices and the strong performance of its non-oil private sector, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report.
As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has taken up several projects to diversify its oil-based economy. It has been wooing foreign investors and supporting participation of private sector in various fields to create new jobs to give a fillip to the economy.
According to the data released by Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) released in March this year, the Emirates, which is another major economic powerhouse in the GCC region, has registered a growth of 7.6% last year, the highest in more than a decade. The UAE is MENA’s second-largest economy and is expected to expand 3.9% this year and 4.3% in 2024, the Central Bank said.
The Source Global Research report further said that the consulting market for financial services and public sector, rose 15.4% each to $1.1 billion and $982 million respectively as GCC countries channelled their respective sovereign wealth funds into initiatives to ease their reliance on the fossil fuel economy.
Likewise, cybersecurity consulting services grew the fastest, increasing by 19.4% to $362 million in 2022. “As cybersecurity is an area in which clients particularly struggle to recruit, it’s a strong growth market for consultancies to exploit,” the report added.