Saudi Arabia’s consulting sector has grown by 25 per cent, reveals a report by Source Information Services (SIS). The GCC Consulting Market in 2014 study also adds that, with a growth rate of 18.6 per cent and an overall value of $2.2 billion, the kingdom has achieved the highest progress, when compared with other GCC countries.
With Saudi economy being approximately triple the size of the UAE’s, in addition to the consulting market being less developed, the room for growth is large.
The second highest-performing market, according to the report, is the UAE, with a growth rate of 16.3 per cent and overall value of $644 million, followed by Oman, with a growth rate of 12.1 per cent and overall value of $87 million.
The study also found that existing GCC companies (92 per cent) expect their existing clients to remain spending the same amount of money or a greater sum in the upcoming year, allowing the industry to grow and flourish.
B J Richards, senior analyst at SIS and lead author of the report, says: “Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are far from the only games in town, however, with even smaller markets accelerating at rates that blow the doors off most of the West, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain could, in fact, be excellent investment opportunities, especially for small consulting firms looking for a foothold in the region.”
A large priority for many governments in the Middle East region faced with an influx of investments is to develop a long-term plan for allocating funds to better their respective nations.
Hani Ashkar, Middle East senior partner at PwC, who was also part of the study, adds: “Consulting in this sector is being driven by a continuation of demand from last year and the need for governments to respond to socio-economic challenges that are driving investments in labour infrastructure, housing security, education and healthcare.”
The report also lists that a primary cause for growth in the consulting and financial services sector is new government regulations aimed at rooting out criminal activity, which has led many to seek professional guidance on the matter.