Future of GCC, Forecast to 2025

The Growth Story of the Oil-Dependent Region through Economic Diversification and Socio-Political Reforms

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Over the last 50 years, there has been unparalleled economic growth among the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and they now rank among the world leaders in per capita income. However, the recent oil-price fluctuations have complicated the situation of these oil-dependent economies. GCC nations have recognized that oil resources alone cannot withstand economic prosperity over the long term, and thus they have shift towards diversification of economy.

Almost all GCC countries will undertake social and political reform by 2020 to increase non-oil revenue and increase private sector’s contribution to GDP. In the next decade, GCC will have tremendous growth in mobile connectivity and Internet usage; online retailing and cities will create larger economies than countries. GCC countries will shift towards renewable resources for energy generation to preserve the oil wealth.

This study will examine the various Mega Trends—economic, demographic, social, political, digital world—that will come up over the next decade, how these trends will impact the business environment of the GCC nations, and how they will help the region to survive the oil price complications. The study’s time frame is from 2016 to 2025.


Key Questions Addressed
•     What are the major Mega Trends the region will see in the next 10 years?
•     What would be the impact of these Mega Trends on the economy and businesses of GCC?
•     How will the oil-price fluctuations impact the economy and business of the region and how will the region sustain its economic growth in future?
•     What are the future prospects of this region that would lead to attract more global investments and market attention?

Key Topics
•     Connectivity Trends: Digital future of GCC, Internet economy, mobile economy, Big Data analytics market, eGovernance initiatives, digital inclusion in various sectors
•     Economy and Trade: Economic fundamentals of GCC, Economic Diversification in GCC, future of manufacturing, financial market of GCC
•     Social Trends: Demographic trends, affluence growth, women empowerment, working age demographic dividend, future of halal economy and labor productivity
•     Future of Infrastructure: Infrastructure investment, port development, airport development, integrated transport
•     Urbanization trends: Mega Cities, Mega Regions, Mega Corridors, and urbanization rate
•     Smart is the New Green: Smart Cities and IoT Smart Developments
•     Future of Regional Trade: Transportation corridors, Interconnectivity and Economic Integration
•     Retail Trends: B2C online retail market, top online retailers of the region, and future transformational shifts in retailing
•     Future of Energy Resources: Future energy generation and consumption, renewable energy, power sector growth and investments
•     Future of Healthcare: Healthcare spending, medical tourism, burden of lifestyle disease

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary
Future of the GCC—The Survival Story after Oil-Price Instability
Key Findings
Digital Future of GCC
Internet Contribution to Economy
Future of GCC Economy—Regional Perspective
Overall Economic Growth of GCC—Past and Future
Impact of Qatar-GCC Crisis on the Qatar Economy
Long-Term Impact of Oil-Price Depreciation on GCC Economy
MENA Demographic Composition in 2025
GCC Affluence by 2026
Economic Potential of Women in GCC
Future of GCC Labor Force
Growth Drivers of Islamic Tourism
Destinations for Muslim Travellers—Regional Perspective
Future GCC Infrastructure Development
Mega Ports in GCC—Million Dollar Projects
Mega Cities of the Future
Transportation Corridors in MENA to Foster Inter-Regional Trade
Future Smart City Projects in the GCC by 2025
KAEC—The Epicentre of the Rea Sea Economy
Online Retailing Business in GCC
Healthcare Expenditure in GCC
Future Energy Consumption in GCC
Increase in Fossil Fuel Savings by GCC
2. Research Scope, Objectives, and Methodology
Research Scope
Research Aims and Objectives
Research Background
Research Methodology—From Macro to Micro
Definitions
3. Mega Trend 1—Connectivity and Convergence Trends
Future Connectivity Trends—Highlights
Digital Future of GCC
Internet Contribution to Economy
Big Data in GCC
Mobile Economy of GCC
Digital Initiatives in UAE
eGovernment Evolution in GCC
IoT Development Across GCC Nations
IoT Changing the Gulf Industries
4. Mega Trend 2—Economic Trends
Future Economic Trends—Highlights
Future of GCC Economy—Regional Perspective
Overall Economic Growth of GCC—Past and Future
Impact of Qatar-GCC Crisis on the Qatar Economy
Economic Diversification—Shift from Hydrocarbons
Economic Diversification Dynamics of UAE Economy
Economic Diversification Dynamics of KSA Economy
Future of Manufacturing
Accelerated Privatization Towards Diversified Income
Sovereign Wealth Fund of KSA
Future of Saudi Financial Market
5. Mega Trend 3—Social Trends
Future Social Trends—Highlights
Global Demographic Composition in 2025
MENA Demographic Composition in 2025
Middle Eastern Affluence in 2026
GCC Affluence by 2026
Trends Driving Women’s Empowerment
Economic Potential of Women in GCC
Economic Potential of Saudi Women
Demand for Services for the Saudi Elderly
Working Age Demographic Dividend
Future of Halal Economy
The Halal Wave—Islamic Finance
Islamic Finance—Regional Perspective
6. Mega Trend 4—Future Sociopolitical Reforms to Survive Oil-Price Complications
Long-Term Impact of Oil-Price Depreciation on GCC Economy
Tax Structure in the GCC
Non-oil Revenue Reforms Agenda in GCC
7. Mega Trend 5—Future of Labour Force
Future of Labour Force—Highlights
Future of GCC Labour Force
Future of Saudi Labour Force
Sectoral Composition of Saudi Labour Force
Mobile Work Force
8. Mega Trend 6—Future of Tourism
Future of Tourism—Highlights
Growth Drivers of Islamic Tourism
Destinations for Muslim Travellers—Regional Perspective
Future of Saudi Tourism
Jeddah—Hub of Medical Tourism
Case Study—King Khalid Medical City in Dammam to serve 7 million people by 2018
9. Mega Trend 7—Future of Infrastructure
Future of Infrastructure—Highlights
Future GCC Infrastructure Development
Mega Ports in GCC—Million Dollar Projects
Future of Saudi Infrastructure
Top transformational shifts to shape airports
Case study—King Abdulaziz International Airport
Future of Integrated Transport
Development of state-of-the art transport infrastructure
Impact of the Qatar Crisis on Infrastructure Projects in Qatar
10. Mega Trend 8—Urbanization, ‘City as a Customer’
Future of Urbanization—Highlights
Mega Cities of the Future
Future of Economic Cities
Mega Cities to Offer Growth Opportunities Across Industries
Transportation Corridors in MENA to Foster Inter-Regional Trade
Skyscraper Cities
11. Mega Trend 9—Future of Smart Cities
Future Smart Cities—Highlights
Future Smart City Projects in the GCC by 2025
Planned Smart City Projects initiatives in GCC
Future of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC)
KAEC—A Base for Multiple Industries
Case study—Transforming Jeddah into a Smart City
Jazan Economic City
Revenue Models for Smart City Projects in GCC
Role of Telecom Players in the Middle East Smart City Ecosystem
Recommendations to Companies in the Private Sector
12. Mega Trend 10—Future of Regional Trade
Future of Regional Trade—Highlights
Network of Transportation Corridors to Foster Inter-regional Trade
KAEC—The Epicentre of the Rea Sea Economy
Increased Interconnectivity and Economic Integration
Impact of Qatar Crisis on Regional Trade
13. Mega Trend 11—Bricks and Clicks
Online Retailing Business in GCC
Opportunities in the GCC Online Retail Sector
Case Study—Souq, the Amazon of the Middle East
14. Mega Trend 12—Future of Healthcare
Future of Healthcare—Highlights
Healthcare Expenditure in GCC
Escalating Burden of Lifestyle Disease in the GCC
Dubai, a Medical Tourism Hub by 2020
15. Mega Trend 13—Future of Energy
Future of Energy—Highlights
Future Energy Consumption in GCC
Future of Sustainable Energy Dynamics in GCC
Increase in Fossil Fuel Savings by GCC
Upsurge of Smart Electricity Meter in GCC
Case Study—DEWA‘s Energy Management Projects in Dubai
16. Conclusion
Key Areas of Growth in GCC
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List of Figures & Charts

1. Top Economies of MENA, 2025
2. Economic Fundamentals of GCC, 2025
3. GDP Constant Price (% Change), GCC, 2005–20251
4. Current Balance (% of GDP), Crude Oil Price, GCC, MENA, 2010–2022
5. Millionaires, Multimillionaires, UHNWI, Billionaires Population, GCC, 2016 and 2026
6. Major Infrastructure Projects, GCC, 2022
7. Online Retail in Top Categories, GCC, 2025
8. Retail Sector, GCC, 2016 and 2025
9. IoT Spending Growth as a % of ICT Budget, GCC, 2016–2020
10. Key IoT Projects, GCC, 2020
11. Top Economies of MENA, 2025
12. Economic Fundamentals of GCC, 2025
13. GDP Constant Price (% change), GCC, 2005–20251
14. Regional Wealth Distribution, Global and Middle East, 2016 and 2026
15. Women in Senior Roles in GCC, 2025
16. Current Balance (% of GDP), Crude Oil Price, GCC, MENA, 2010–2022
17. Non-oil Revenue Reforms Agenda, GCC, (2015–2021)
18. Contribution to New Jobs, KSA, 2025
19. Mobile Workers, Europe, Middle East, Africa, 2010–2015
20. Major Infrastructure Projects, GCC, 2022
21. Retail Sector, GCC, 2016 and 2025
22. Online Retail in Top Categories, GCC, 2025
23. Renewable Energy Target, GCC, 2030
24. DEWA‘s Energy Management Projects, Dubai, 2050


1. Economic Contribution of the Internet Industry, GCC, 2016 and 2025
2. Total Population, MENA, GCC, KSA, 2025
3. Millionaires, Multimillionaires, UHNWI, Billionaires Population, GCC, 2016 and 2026
4. Population by Gender, GCC, 2025
5. Working Age Population, GCC, 2025
6. Employment by Sector, GCC, 2025
7. Labor Participation Rate, GCC, 2016 and 2025
8. Total Government Expenditure on Transport Projects in GCC, 2020
9. Healthcare Expenditure ($ Billion), GCC, 2016–2025
10. Healthcare Expenditure (as % of GDP), GCC, 2016–2025
11. Total Energy Consumption, GCC, 2016 and 2025
12. Total Energy Consumption by Source, GCC, 2025
13. Total Energy Consumption by Sector, GCC, 2025
14. Fossil Fuel Savings per annum, GCC, 2015–2030
15. Economic Contribution of the Internet Industry, GCC, 2016 and 2025
16. Mobile Economy Potential, GCC, 2025
17. Adoption/Penetration of IoT Across Industries, GCC, 2016–2020
18. Share of Hydrocarbon and Non-hydrocarbon Sectors in GDP, GCC, 2015, 2020 and 2025
19. Population by Age, Global, 2016 and 2025
20. Population Breakdown by Age and Region, Global, 2025
21. Total Population, MENA, GCC, KSA, 2025
22. Millionaires, Multimillionaires, UHNWI, Billionaires Population, GCC, 2016 and 2026
23. Population by Gender, GCC, 2025
24. Female Share in Working Age Population, GCC, 2025
25. Women Labour Force, KSA, 2015 and 2025
26. Labour Force, KSA, 2025
27. Working Age Population, KSA, 2025
28. Population Pyramid, KSA, 2015 & 2025
29. Total Population, KSA, 2015
30. Total Population, KSA, 2025
31. Halal Market: Market Size by Type, Global,, 2015
32. Share of Total Muslim Expenditure by Region, Global, 2015
33. Top Countries by Volume of Muslim Food Consumption Market, Global, 2015
34. Share of Islamic Finance Banking Assets, Global, 2015
35. Breakdown of Islamic Finance Segments, by Region ($ Billion, 2015 YTD*), Global, 2015
36. Government Revenue, GCC and other Oil-Exporting Countries (Algeria, Angola, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria), (as a % of Non-Oil GDP), 2015–2016
37. Non-Oil Tax Revenue, GCC and other Oil-Exporting Countries, (Algeria, Angola, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria), (as a % of Non-Oil GDP), 2015–2016
38. Working Age Population, GCC, 2025
39. Employment by Sector, GCC, 2025
40. Labor Participation Rate, GCC, 2016 and 2025
41. Labor Force, KSA, 2015 and 2025
42. Contribution to New Jobs, KSA, 2025
43. Mobile Workers, Europe, Middle East, Africa, 2010–2015
44. Infrastructure Investments, KSA, 2015–2025
45. Healthcare Expenditure (in $ Billion), GCC, 2016–2025
46. Healthcare Expenditure (as % of GDP), GCC, 2016–2025
47. Total Energy Consumption, GCC, 2016 and 2025
48. Total Energy Consumption by Source, GCC, 2025
49. Total Energy Consumption by Sector, GCC, 2025
50. Fossil Fuel Savings per annum, GCC, 2015–2030
51. Smart Electricity Meter Market: Unit Forecast by Region, GCC, 2016–2025



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