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Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region Mega Trends, Forecast to 2030

  • ID: 5134349
  • Report
  • July 2020
  • Region: Middle East
  • 139 Pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
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Evaluating Key Transformational Themes

Economic growth will strengthen in the GCC region despite oil-price complications, mainly due to the economic diversion from the oil sector to non-oil sectors and also due to initiatives and strategies to encourage private enterprises. Apart from robust economic growth, the business environment of the region will also undergo a radical change due to the emergence of new business models. These new business models will emerge due to the digital transformation of industries as well as other social and political changes. Social heterogeneity, which is identified by the differences in income, ethnicity, gender, and age, will exaggerate in this region. This will have a far-reaching impact on business models, economic trends, and also social dynamics. This increasing social diversity will lead to the advent of distinct generational groups such as Gen Y and Gen Z. Rising participation of women in the workforce and the growing affluent class will also have a huge impact on the economic and business environment of the region. Diverse attitudes, motivations, and beliefs among these groups will compel businesses to focus on products and services that are personalized to suit the unique demands of each group. Advancement in technologies like 5G, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and AI will make way for new business models in this region. In the last decade, the GCC region endured major economic transformation, with the aim to diversify its economy away from the hydrocarbon sector. In the coming decade, it is expected that technology will play a very significant role in further transformation of the economy from an oil-dominant to a digital society. Digital transformation in sectors such as retail, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and entertainment will help in the growth of the non-oil economy in the region.

  • Connected Living: Internet is expected to account for 5% of national GDP by 2030 up from 4.1% in 2018. All six markets are expected to launch 5G mobile services by the end of 2020. Hence, several digital initiatives to improve city governance to citizen’s lifestyle will be the highlight of the region.
  • Fintech Revolution: There are more than 250 fintech start-ups in the GCC region across a population of close to 400 million. Regional fintech initiatives will expand fintech activities by 50% in the next 5 years.
  • Online Retail: The GCC retail sector is expected to grow to $405 billion by 2030, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia leading retail sales in the next 5 years, accounting for 77% of total GCC sales. Physical stores will continue to dominate, but online retailing and business-to-business (B2B) marketplaces are also growing.

Socioeconomic trends such as Gen Z growing as a future consumer base, rising GCC affluence, and growing participation of women in work will create future opportunities for this region.

  • Gen Z: Gen Z is expected to account for nearly 1/4th of GCC’s population and thus, is a significant influencer on the consumer base. Gen Z will create equal opportunities for even lesser-known brands as long as the value proposition is experienced.
  • Growing population of millionaires in GCC: UAE is expected to witness 60% growth in the number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) from 2019 to 2030, thus, opening opportunities for numerous luxury products and services markets.
  • Participation of women in the workforce: By 2030, the participation of women in the workforce is likely to cross 50% in most GCC countries, with it reaching 25% in KSA and 31% in Oman. This is expected to add $90 billion to KSA’s economy alone.

Non-oil sectors such as education, mega event projects, and renewable energy will also create future investment and business opportunities in the region.

  • Future of education: Opportunities are abundant in K-12 and tertiary and vocational education. Increasing preference for natives in employment is generating a huge demand for skillset training.
  • Sporting events: The GCC sport event industry is expected to witness 8% to 10% growth till 2030. This will require the development of sports complexes and sports facilities. The demand for hotels will get a boost as sports tourists visit the region.
  • Renewable energy: Cumulative installed generation capacity for renewable energy across GCC is expected to reach 72,300 MW by 2030.

In the next decade, GCC 's non-oil sectors will continue to dominate the economy. Increased digital penetration, advanced technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, robotics, and AR/VR lead to the emergence of Mega Themes that will have a far-reaching impact on the region and create future opportunities for this region.

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Executive Summary

  • What is a Mega Trend?
  • Mega Themes-Taxonomy
  • Mega Theme 1-Heterogeneous Society
  • Mega Theme 2-Connected Living
  • Mega Theme 3-Rise of Platform Economy
  • Mega Theme 4-Economic Diversion
  • Mega Theme 5-New Business Models
  • Mega Theme 6-Mega Events and Mega Projects
  • Mega Theme 7-Health, Wellness, and Wellbeing
  • Mega Theme 8-New Dimensions of Mobility
  • Mega Theme 9-Energy Revolution
  • Mega Theme 10-Cognitive Era

Research Scope, Objectives, and Methodology

  • Research Scope
  • Research Aims and Objectives
  • Geographic Scope

Mega Trend 1-Heterogeneous Society

  • Mega Theme 1-Heterogeneous Society
  • Rising Expat Population in GCC
  • Expat Population Policies Driving Skilled Expat Population in GCC
  • Generation Z-A Growing Consumer Base in GCC
  • Generation Z Customer Profile
  • Rising GCC Affluence Globally
  • GCC Women Participation in the Workforce
  • Women Empowerment Initiatives and Societal Reforms in KSA

Mega Trend 2-Connected Living

  • Mega Theme 2-Connected Living
  • Mobile and Internet Economy of GCC
  • 5G and Beyond
  • Digital Identity for GCC Citizens
  • eGovernance Services in the GCC
  • Future Evolution of eGovernance Services in the GCC
  • Fintech Revolution in GCC
  • Final Frontier Space Jam in GCC
  • Gaming Industry Positioned to Evolve as a Significant Economic Contributor
  • GCC Gaming Market to be Valued at $4.53 Billion by 2025

Mega Trend 3-Rise of the Platform Economy

  • Future of Retail and eCommerce in the GCC
  • eCommerce Participants in GCC
  • The Rise of Dark Industries
  • The Rise of Dark Industries-Impact on Last-mile Logistics
  • Last-mile Food Delivery Market in the Middle East
  • B2B Marketplaces in GCC
  • The Future of Cryptocurrency

Mega Trend 4-Economic Diversification

  • Mega Theme 4-Economic Diversion
  • Economic Diversification-Regional Perspective
  • GCC to Become a $2.82 Trillion Economy by 2030
  • Global Trading Hub-Overview
  • GCC to be a Global Trading Hub
  • GCC Trading Economy-Mega Ports and Regional Competition
  • Future of Education in GCC
  • Growth of the Private Education Sector in GCC
  • Transformational Shifts in the GCC Chemical Industry
  • Key Global and Regional Trends of the Chemical Industry
  • Growth Opportunities in the GCC Chemical Industry

Mega Trend 5-New Business Models

  • Omnichannel Strategy
  • Start-ups Putting GCC on the World Map
  • Servitization Model
  • Circular Economy
  • Case Study-Dubai has Committed Toward Driving Sustainability and Becoming a Circular Economy

Mega Trend 6-Mega Events and Mega Projects

  • Sport Events in the GCC
  • Impact of FIFA World Cup 2022 on Qatar’s Economy
  • Impacts of EXPO 2020 on Dubai/UAE’s Economy
  • Future of Tourism-Growth Drivers of the Muslim Travel Market
  • Mega Entertainment Parks in GCC
  • eSports Activities Rising in the GCC Region

Mega Trend 7-Health, Wellness, and Wellbeing

  • GCC Healthcare Expenditure
  • Burden of Lifestyle Diseases
  • Connected Care and Digital Health in GCC
  • The Growing Cosmetic Care Market in GCC
  • Extended Healthcare Market in the GCC
  • Digital Health-Smart Textiles: The GCC Story
  • The Newest Battleground for the Fight for Fitness
  • UAE Set to Become Hub of Medical Tourism in GCC
  • Medical Tourism in KSA

Mega Trend 8-Future of Mobility

  • Mega Theme 8-New Dimensions of Mobility
  • Integrated and Multimodal Mobility in the GCC
  • Mode Share of Mobility in GCC Countries in 2018–2019
  • Expanding Car Industry of GCC
  • Auto Digital Retail in the GCC
  • GCC Takes Express Lane to Become a Part of a Global Mobility Supply Chain
  • The GCC Rail Network, Connecting the 6 Nations, to Roll Out by 2023
  • Large-scale Rail Network Expansion in GCC
  • Metro Network to Become the Backbone of the GCC Transport System
  • Abu Dhabi to See World’s 1st Commercial Hyperloop in 2020
  • The Dubai Air Taxi Programme-First in GCC

Mega Trend 9-Future of Energy

  • Mega Theme 9-Energy Revolution
  • Growing Renewable Energy Demand in GCC
  • Energy Efficiency Targets Across GCC Nations
  • Power Demand to Rise Across GCC Countries
  • Growth Opportunities in the Energy Sector Across the GCC Region

Mega Trend 10-Cognitive Era

  • Machine Learning and Deep Learning Application Landscape

Future of KSA

  • Vision Saudi 2030 Aims to Make KSA the Investment Powerhouse
  • Mining Sector to be the Main Pillar of KSA’s Economy
  • KSA as a Transportation and Logistics Hub of GCC
  • Tourism will be the Highest Growth Sector of KSA by 2030
  • KSA’s Private Education Sector to Grow Exponentially by 2030
  • KSA to Have a Billion Dollar Entertainment Industry by 2030
  • Saudi Chemical Sector to Offer Huge Opportunities


  • Conclusive Summary-Impact Assessment of the Mega Themes


  • List of Exhibits
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