Trends Report

The Middle East And North Africa (MENA) IT Market

Vendor Strategists Must Be Local And Emphasize Political Risk In Planning

November 9th, 2011
With contributors:
Frederic Giron , Ellen Daley , Reedwan Iqbal

Summary

Recent unrest is overshadowing the Middle East and North Africa's (MENA's) credibility as a valuable investment destination, and its political stability as a whole is often questioned. Further, many investors view this region only as an oil and gas destination, so IT investment in MENA is not top of mind. But there is opportunity in MENA, although the promise varies greatly by country. The MENA IT market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% over the next five years, led by the Gulf Cooperation Council subregion. Although investors should be cautious, they can start by entering the three leading markets: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt. Many IT firms have continued to grow in Saudi Arabia and the UAE during this period of unrest. Although Egypt suffered the greatest losses, mainly due to a decrease in public-sector spending, it holds a lot of promise, with its IT market having a projected five-year CAGR of 10.6%.

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