GCC economy continues to boost regional consultancy market, says regional expert

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, August 23 - 2008 @ 14:31

This trend is boosting the consultancy industry, according to senior regional consultant.

Zed Ayesh, Managing Director, Flagship Consultancy, says:

“Increasing demand for crude oil in rapidly growing economies will keep oil prices high. This means more wealth for GCC countries with a strong GDP growth year after year, exceeding 6% in 2008. This continued growth of Gulf economies will create unprecedented opportunities for GCC markets to shape and influence global conditions. Big spending by GCC governments, rising investments and growing incomes reflect this growth. This scenario will result in more consulting firms entering the fray.”

Indications of growing demand for consultancy are reflected in several multinational and regional business consulting firms opening new local offices.

In UAE alone, there are over 30 consulting firms, generating fierce competition.

The consultants at these companies are seeking new business with the government and public sectors.

A recent study conducted by Kennedy Information Center, USA, estimates that the public sector now accounts for more than 30% of the global consulting market, and is expected to grow around 9% annually.

In the GCC the ratio of Public vs. Private Sector spending on consultancy is even larger, as government entities move towards restructuring and privatization.

Ayesh continues: “Consulting firms that want to sustain growth need to exploit the opportunities presented by the public sector, which is looking at operating more like a private enterprise, with higher efficiencies and increased outputs. The complexity of transforming the public sector is becoming easier for consulting firms, because government departments and agencies know that they have to change to meet the future challenges. They are therefore willing to hire external consultants to help with that transformation. In addition, they also understand that efficiencies of the public sector can be achieved by introducing best management practices adopted in the private sector.”

Multinational consulting firms realize that there are tremendous growth opportunities in the Gulf and in the UAE.

However, merely robust capabilities and international experience are not enough for a market that presents its own set of challenges.

“Multinational consulting firms are not always successful in providing local businesses and government agencies with really effective tailored solutions, because of the region’s specific requirements which are often beyond global agencies’ understanding or expertise,” Ayesh concluded.

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Saturday, August 23- 2008 @ 14:31 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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