GCC News: GCC consulting market hits $3bn for first time


The GCC consulting market passed $3 billion in revenues for the first time in 2018 – growing at 9.1 percent, largely driven by an uptick in demand in Saudi Arabia.
In addition to the strong demand for consulting support for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, clients in the UAE continue to generate good levels of demand for consulting services, up 7.3 percent to $849 million.
This data is published in a new report by Source Global Research, a research and strategy firm for the global professional services industry.
Source said that this positive picture is set to continue in 2019. With the economic diversification agenda expected to remain, and digitisation work to increase, the GCC region is expected to record its first year of double-digit growth for five years – 10 percent in 2019.
The report also found that healthcare and pharma was the fastest growing sector for consultants (up 12.6 percent to $216 million), closely followed by the public sector (up 10 percent to $965 million).
Risk and regulatory work was the fastest growing service line amid a raft of regulatory changes and a growing emphasis on corporate risk, it added.
Zoë Stumpf, head of market trends at Source Global Research, said: “Though the news in the GCC consulting market is overwhelmingly positive, there are a number of headwinds with the potential to impact growth. For instance, the impact that recent international censure has had on foreign investments and the fluctuating price of oil are sources of concern for some consultants.
“Firms are also challenged by the fact that this remains a difficult market to serve. While clients are becoming more specific and value-driven in what they want from consulting partners, many firms remain frustrated at the difficulties of getting paid on time, especially in Saudi Arabia.”
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