GCC Consulting Market Expected to Surge Amid Economic Diversification

Industrials Author: EqualOcean News Apr 11, 2024 07:10 PM (GMT+8)

A report published by Source Global Research on Wednesday has highlighted the expected growth of the consulting market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region by 11% this year, with revenues anticipated to exceed $6 billion. The boom in the industry is likely to lead to an increase in employment numbers across the region, contrasting sharply with the global trend of major consulting firms downsizing. Last year, the consulting market revenue in the GCC increased by 13.2% to reach $5.4 billion, while markets in France and the UK grew by only 5.4% and 4.7% respectively during the same period.

Within the GCC consulting market, Saudi Arabia leads with a growth rate of 18.2%, reaching a record revenue of $3.2 billion in 2023, making it the largest consulting market in the region. The UAE followed with a growth of 15.2%, reaching $1.1 billion. Markets in Kuwait and Bahrain also saw increases of 8.9% and 7.2% respectively. In contrast, Qatar’s market experienced a significant decline of 9.8% to $445 million after the FIFA World Cup in 2022, while Oman saw a slight decrease of 0.3%.

Dane Albertelli, a senior research analyst at Source, noted that the GCC is moving against the global economic downturn trend, with central governments continuing to invest heavily in megaprojects and economic diversification efforts, which only bodes well for the entire consulting market. Despite tensions in the wider Middle East and North Africa region due to ongoing conflict in Gaza, the GCC economy has not been significantly impacted so far, and the consulting market is unlikely to be affected unless regional conflicts escalate significantly.

The public sector and financial services industry performed strongly in the GCC last year, growing by 12.6% and 12% respectively, reflecting the healthy state of the GCC market and the scale of government investment in consulting services. Moreover, all sectors saw double-digit growth, with the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries leading with growth rates of 16% and 17% respectively.

Varun Malik, Managing Director of Konsalidon, a digital platform connecting companies with consulting firms, believes that the efforts of Gulf region governments to create better, more dynamic, and prosperous nations are the primary drivers of growth in the consulting market. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, the growth of the consulting industry is largely driven by the country's "Vision 2030" economic diversification agenda, which aims to reduce dependence on oil and move into other high-growth industries such as manufacturing, technology, and tourism. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund supports several projects, including the $500 billion future city of Neom, offering vast development spaces for the consulting market. With the 2023 World Expo and the 2034 World Cup set to be hosted in Saudi Arabia, the private sector's growth is expected to accelerate further.