01 December 2013

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.


The top Mena cleantech markets

SAUDI Arabia and the UAE topped the list of the most attractive markets in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) for Cleantech, a report said, adding that Qatar, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt also showed significant potential.

Solar power had the highest potential for growth across the region compared to other types of renewable energy, according to the 2013 Mena Cleantech Survey 2013 conducted by professional services firm EY in collaboration with the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) and Middle East Solar Industry
Association (Mesia).

The survey respondents comprised more than 150 executives from varied industries such as banking, utilities, manufacturing, project development, the public sector, academia and NGOs.

Nimer Abu Ali, Mena cleantech leader, EY, said: “Saudi Arabia and the UAE have large financial resources at their disposal for renewable investments. Although financing is a necessary resource to develop renewable energy, other aspects play a part in market attractiveness such as market size and socio-political conditions.”

Saudi Arabia is expected to be the most attractive market for the next decade because of its ambitious plans and the abundance of financial resources available to King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (Kacare). The UAE is second on the list of attractive markets, mainly due to the long-term renewables strategies of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Energy efficiency remains the top priority after solar energy as the cost of energy is still increasing across Mena. In the GCC, energy efficiency, green building and water are particularly important areas due to climatic conditions, high energy consumption per capita, lack of fresh water resources and the link between water and energy through desalination. Wind energy is the second priority in North Africa following solar power due to the
huge potential.

Saudi Arabia plans to derive 10 per cent of its electricity from the sun by 2020 and up to 25 per cent by 2032. The country could conceivably become one of the heaviest users of solar energy in the world. It aims to be one of the largest sustained efforts of its kind globally, with 41 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity to be installed by 2030.

In the UAE, Dubai has completed the first 13 megawatt (MW) phase of a 1,000 MW solar park, which is part of the plan to generate 5 per cent of electricity through solar energy by 2030.


‘Private sector more attractive’

GCC nationals working in the private sector report significantly higher levels of engagement (45 per cent) compared to their counterparts in the public sector (37 per cent), a report said.

This is despite the perceived attractiveness of working in the public sector and its considerable increase in wages and allowances, according to research by human capital specialist Aon Hewitt, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

Favourable working conditions in the public sector such as job security, status and regulated working hours have traditionally been seen as key engagement factors for nationals.

However, the research findings show that an average of 20 per cent of GCC nationals working in the private sector are at high risk of attrition compared with 24 per cent in the public sector. In addition, the satisfaction level with regards to pay for nationals working in the public sector (32 per cent) was not significantly higher than the overall average (30 per cent).

The findings come from Aon Hewitt’s latest Qudurat study, a pioneering research initiative focused on understanding what drives and motivates talent in the region, with an emphasis on understanding national talent.

The research also revealed that employee engagement levels of GCC nationals have decreased from 51 per cent to 44 per cent in the past two years.

Along with Kuwait, Bahrain reports one of the highest engagement levels for expatriates in the GCC.

Compared to 2010 results, expatriates continue to show consistently high levels of engagement. On the other hand, there is a decline of four percentage points in the engagement level
of Bahrainis.


Mideast leads global consulting market

THE largest consulting firms in the world are investing more time and money into developing thought leadership in the Middle East than any other emerging market or country, a report said.

The Middle East (27 per cent) and China (26 per cent) dominated output across the globe, accounting for more than half of all thought leadership about emerging markets between them, added the new report from Source Information Services, a leading provider of information about the market for management consulting.

The report also found that in terms of volume of material written on the Middle East, Deloitte is producing the most thought leadership with Booz & Company (15 per cent), who used to dominate this market, now falling behind. The other main players in the Middle East are Mercer (13 per cent), EY (8 per cent), and A T Kearney (6 per cent).

Edward Haigh, a director of Source and an author of the report said: “Whilst volume should be balanced with quality, a certain amount of volume is required just to keep a firm front of mind with clients, either in terms of its association with specific topics, or just generally as a service provider.

“But in emerging markets volume also demonstrates commitment: it tells clients that a firm isn’t just turning up to collect a few pay cheques from a fast-growing market, but is planning to stick around for the long term.”


Twitter use highest in Saudi

SAUDI Arabia has registered the highest Twitter penetration in the world with more than 40 per cent of Internet users in the kingdom on the micro-blogging site, said a report.

According to the survey conducted by BI Intelligence, Saudi topped the global list in terms of the ratio of Twitter use, followed closely by Indonesia in the second place and the Philippines, which came third.

In the Mena region, the UAE ranked second in terms of the number of Twitter users with 1.7 million accounts, followed by Kuwait and Qatar.

Information security expert Ammar Mardawi, the executive director of Kindi Company, attributed the rapid spread of Twitter in Saudi Arabia to three main reasons, most notably the availability of high-speed Internet and smart mobile devices.

Smart phone penetration in the kingdom exceeds 72 per cent, he stated.

Secondly, the hot climate makes the Internet in general, and social networking sites in particular, a real resort for the youth. Third, a large group of journalists, intellectuals and athletes, as well as foreigners residing in the kingdom, use the Twitter network to communicate with each other and discuss various social and local issues and developments in the Arab world.

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