Executives in UAE Most Optimistic in GCC Region


Executives in UAE are the most confident when it comes to the future of their company, according to the latest Oliver Wyman/Zogby Research poll. In comparison, their colleagues from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are more modest in their expectations.

About 75% of the executives in UAE have shared that today’s business conditions have greatly improved over the last one year. Amazingly, barely 4% stated that conditions have become worse. Executive opinions in Qatar and Saudi Arabia are quite different. Only 56% of the poll’s respondents from Qatar see an improvement, and just 55% of those who live in Saudi Arabia. In each of the two countries over 20% of executives stated that business conditions have declined over the last twelve months. In Kuwait, the pessimism was even more striking. There, less than 40% of executives were found to believe that things have improved in the past few months.

Executives in UAE are also quite optimistic about the future. Nearly 80% of them think that business conditions will further improve over the next couple of years. Only 6% believe otherwise. In comparison, the future is optimistic for only 60% of executives from Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Another 20% believe that the future has nothing good in store for their companies.

According to the research, the turmoil in the region is one of the factors that affect this rise of negativity among GCC executives. Still, the UAE seems to be one interesting exception here. Nevertheless, executives from the United Arab Emirates do see potential threats for the business conditions in the country. However, the majority of them believe that they will come from the outside. Similar are the attitudes in Qatar. In Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, however, executives expect challenges to come from inside the country.

Among the other findings of the survey is also the fact that more than 60% of executives in the region have stated that a unified GCC currency and single currency will have positive effect on businesses. Again, respondents from the UAE seem to be more optimistic when it comes to that question.

The study predicts that business optimism in Dubai will continue to grow thanks to the Dubai’s Expo 2020 confidence. That could further improve the country’s position compared to other GCC markets. In addition, the research expects that negative business attitude will continue to prevail across other countries in the region. That would be mainly due to the ongoing turmoil in the region, as well as Europe’s constant economic challenges.

The research concludes that UAE confidence registered after the 2009 crisis is really impressive and somewhat surprising. Saudi executives also fall in this category. However, that is not because of their optimism, but of their common belief that business challenges in the country will come from within it.


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