DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--()--Continued uncertainty – stemming from events both within and outside the Middle East – looms large on the minds of the 157 senior executives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar polled by Oliver Wyman and Zogby Research Services in late December, 2012. The optimism uncovered in previous polls remains high, but has been dampened by ongoing fiscal worries in the Eurozone and by continued risks to the large and complex projects characteristic of the Gulf region. The survey results were presented at the 4th Oliver Wyman / Financial Times CEO Conference on Thursday, January 10th, in Dubai.
“Comprehensive and flexible frameworks to manage ongoing uncertainty and emerging risks will be critical as government and business work together to sustain and enhance the region’s competitiveness.”
When asked to rate their firm-wide structures and processes in place to manage uncertainty, only 22% of all polled answered “no issues – we have an established firm-wide process to manage risk.” In the UAE, 69% of senior executives said their processes were either “mixed” (different parts of the firm have their own processes) or non-existent. Saudi executives were similarly negative, with 36% admitting they have no processes in place to manage risks.
Other highlights from the survey include:
- Saudi optimism and confidence levels, while still high, have dropped in the past year: 61% is the lowest rating since the surveys began in 2009.
- UAE confidence levels remain fairly steady and optimism continues to climb: 80% is the highest rating since the surveys began.
- At 63%, the number of Saudi execs who are "satisfied with their government’s handling of economic challenges” is the lowest since we began. Only 15% are "very satisfied."
- Feelings of urgency for reform stemming from the Arab Spring are down across the region.
"Surveying executives twice annually has enabled us to keep our finger on the region's pulse and to discern trends as they develop,” says James Zogby, the Managing Director of Zogby Research Services. “Right now I'm watching the slow decline in Saudi confidence levels."
“This ongoing research provides a unique window into the attitudes and beliefs of senior managers in the Gulf region on important issues, managing risk not least among them,” notes Mark Robson, a Dubai-based Partner in Oliver Wyman’s Global Risk and Trade Practice. “Comprehensive and flexible frameworks to manage ongoing uncertainty and emerging risks will be critical as government and business work together to sustain and enhance the region’s competitiveness.”
For more information on this survey series, visit the Oliver Wyman website at www.oliverwyman.com/gcc_survey_7.htm.
About Oliver Wyman
From the firm's offices in Dubai, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi, Oliver Wyman serves clients in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and beyond. Our MENA-based consultants are recognized industry experts representing 24 nationalities and speaking 17 languages.
Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across 25 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC). Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.
Zogby Research Services is a public opinion research firm that conducts polls and analyzes attitudes across the Arab World.