Consulting Industry Today

4 Reasons Why Dubai 2020 World Expo Will Spur Growth in the Consulting Market

by Hélène Laffitte | Oct 8, 2019 | Regional Specificities

“The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore.”-Fareed Zakaria

Dubai probably is one of the most modern and fascinating cities in the world, a crossroad of cultures and home to 3.13 million people, from 200 nationalities who work there. If you haven’t visited it yet, maybe you should consider it in the future. As a modern business hub, playing an important role, Dubai connects the Middle East to the Far East, and Europe to Asia. One of the major global trade events Dubai 2020 World Expo, will be hosted there. In this post, we will highlight a few reasons why this event will positively affect the city’s economic growth. But before we focus on Dubai, let’s discuss for a minute the Middle East as a region.

The New Middle East – Economically Robust, Politically Volatile

Most countries in the region are moving forward with institutional reforms to diversify their economies and to improve attractiveness for investors.

Oil-related activities are registering a rejuvenated growth while non-oil related activities continue to develop as part of the regional government strategies to leverage oil related surplus.

The region is expected to grow slightly around 2.5% in the years to come. The political instability and the volatility of oil prices could, however, hinder significant investment plans and slow down the growth.

Saudi Arabia plans as part of its 2030 vision, to double their base of SMEs. The country is also heavily investing in technology start-ups both within and outside the country.

The top 3 sectors driving economic growth in the region are:

  • Energy sector, especially in the oil-producing countries,

  • Financial services, and related IT and HR services

  • Government related activities directly connected with education and large-scale infrastructure projects.

Israel, despite its small market size, and limited opportunities to expand locally, remains a very dynamic scene for start-ups, finance, and high-tech companies.

In Turkey, the main drivers of the recovery from the recent financial crisis, are the on-going banking regulations, the Energy infrastructural developments and the growing investments.

As one of the fastest developing markets in the world, according to Joe O’Mahoney, the Middle East welcomed its first Consultants in the 1960s, and the 1970s, when local governments needed help to organize their ministries.

Still today, management consultants coming from Europe, and North America, provide services otherwise unavailable due to the limited number of local consultancies.

As local economies mature, the growth in the consulting market continues, more than twice faster than GDP.

Consulting also helps compensate shortages in skills, and it is not unusual to find entire departments made of expats and consultants. For example, speaking of U.A.E. and Dubai, the local Emiratis population represents just 20% of the overall population.

Beyond Energy, the diversification of the economy is firing on all cylinders driving demand for financial services to manufacturing expertise, as well as infrastructure and defense.

Increase in Consulting Projects

Two major events with worldwide significance that will take will place in the Middle East are Dubai 2020 World Expo and FIFA world cup 2022 in Qatar, They are expected to stimulate the market, and create new substantial consulting projects.

Technology and Digital as well, similar to other countries, serve as catalysts for significant projects in all sectors of the economy.

Top 4 Reasons Why Dubai 2020 World Expo Will Spur Growth in the Consulting Market As Well

World Expos bring together a global business community to share innovation, ideas and make progress on issues of such as the global economy, sustainable development and improved quality of life, and variety of other issues. The event attracts millions of visitors to see and explore pavilions, exhibitions, and cultural events. And as a major event, it boosts the host city’s economy.

1. Stronger Tourism Sector

An expected 25 million visitors to Dubai during the Expo 2020, is already affecting the local economy. There was a 4% increase in the stock market index of Emirates right after it won the bid for Expo 2020.

The construction projects  that were delayed or derailed during the 2008 Global recession, are also back on track. We will see many more flights as well, and overall boost in transportation services.

2. Infrastructure Expansion

World Expo puts a pressing demand on the infrastructure of the city, and Dubai 2020 World Expo requires significant development in that area. Jebel Ali area, where the event will take place, will benefit from new roads, metro extension, buildings, hotels and facilities to accommodate visitors.

3. Impact on the Job Market

Expo 2020 will bring a boom in the job market as outlined here above, due to the increase of visitors, operations, business activity, and so on. The number of new projects directly related to the World Expo is anticipated to create  277,000 new jobs, mainly in the tourism, travel and entertainment sectors, as well as in construction.

4.The Need for Consulting Services

The top 10 consultancies are taking note and have already established digital and innovation outposts in the region.

This influx of investments and Consultants to the Middle East could seem disproportionate when looking at the market size, not much bigger than the Benelux. However, the amounts and profitability of the consulting contracts can probably justify this phenomenon. The scarcity of local mid-sized consultancies reflects a lack of reliable, potentially cheaper service providers.

CEO and Co-Founder at | Website | + posts

Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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