The Middle East consulting industry could see at least an 18% decline in 2020 revenues as a result of Covid-19’s impact on the regional and global economy, erasing the past two years of gains, according to Source Global Research, a provider of research on the global management consulting industry.

This comes off the back of a very strong year in 2019 for the consulting industry in the Middle East. For example, the market in Saudi Arabia, which accounts for roughly half of all Gulf Cooperation Council spending on consultancies, grew by 12% to a value of $1.6bn last year, said Source Global Research. 

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With much of the demand for consultancy services coming from the public sector, it remains to be seen how governments across the Middle East respond to the crisis and to what extent they redirect funds away from consultancies. 

Foreign direct investment to the region’s consultancy industry has remained stable and strong over the past decade but the global pandemic looks set to break this trend, according to fDi Markets. As most parts of the world’s economy take a hit, global FDI flows are expected to drop by 30% to 40% across all sectors, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.