Posts Tagged ‘qatar ’

MENA 2.0: The Arab Digital Market

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

A new engine of economic growth is quietly emerging in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Demographics, rising purchasing power and a burgeoning private sector are fueling economic development in a region where markets have been fragmented for too long.

Stretching from Morocco to Oman, MENA’s population tops 350 million, making it the world’s ninth largest market. But trade barriers among countries in the region have constrained market growth. Until now.

Today, an emerging trend is disrupting MENA’s traditional market patterns: a growing segment of urbanized, tech-savvy Arab youths is devouring on-line entertainment, gaming and social media, creating demand for digital services that are delivered across borders. Here comes the Arab digital content market.

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Considering the Gulf

Friday, October 19th, 2007

In a recent workshop, conducted by a partner serving the Gulf region, we focused on the challenges and exciting opportunities facing industries in the mineral-rich Gulf region.  It had been a while since my last visit to region and the changes taking place are seismic.

Markets in the region are developing consumer services at an unprecedented rate. We see continued growth throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman. Soaring oil prices there are giving rise to a burgeoning consumer market.

GCC nations are investing substantial resources in their infrastructures, while the service sector is poised to take off.

The GCC has amassed an estimated $1.5 trillion in capital which will fund the rapid development of infrastructure and services in the next 5-10 years. During that time, Dubai’s Palm islands project and the first phase of the Dubailand theme park are to be completed among the region’s many spectacular mega-projects.

The GCC’s airlines are among the fastest growing in the world. Dubai-based Emirates along with its rivals, Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways are in a race to attract affluent, global customers. All three carriers offer improved, innovative premium class amenities and each has announced a stunning array of new offerings for the coming year.

U.S. firms stand to gain significantly by bringing to the region innovative practices, technology and with a flexible stance.   The region inspires a wide-eyed appreciation of how companies, unconstrained by legacy systems and thinking, are leap-frogging technology and business practices.  The region is already driving global innovation and this is only the beginning.

While mature markets are influenced by different drivers, companies in both markets management must continually aspire to higher performance standards in order to compete successfully for rapidly growing consumer markets.

Despite the geo-political instability and their risks just outside the GCC, the opportunities in the region are in the “blue sky” realm—something mature economies haven’t witnessed in my lifetime.