The evaluated Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) E-performance Index 2021 indicates development and progress for all six of its members. Published by Orient Planted Research (OPR), the market research unit of Orient Planted Group (OPG), in collaboration with information and communication technology (ICT) expert and independent researcher Abdul Kader Al Kamil, evaluates the member countries on several different parameters indicative of the growth of the countries.
The GCC, originally known as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, is an intergovernmental and economic association that unifies six countries of the Persion Gulf – Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Qatar. The core objective here is the development of the member countries by bringing about a structural reform that reduces their future dependence on oil.
Of all the members of the GCC, UAE leads the others with a 67.83 Index score followed by Saudi Arabia 59.01, Qatar at 58.50, Bahrain at 57.65, Kuwait at 55.10 and Oman at 55.0. Nadi Abou Zaki, MD, OPG, believes that each member country is growing and advancing at its own pace, with sincere and severe focus on the development of technological infrastructures and further paving the way for economic diversification.
Mr. Aryan Singh, CTO, TensaX Innovation lab observes that the willingness of government agencies in the area for technological integration and innovative approaches for the enhancement of industry processes is a significant factor towards growth in different sectors of the countries. The GCC countries have been investing in the integration better information technology (IT) solutions along with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a variety of areas including healthcare, technology, food services, aviation and education.
UAE has been anticipated as the fastest growing economy in the GCC. With several significant initiatives in place, UAE observed around 70% of its economy being focused on the
non-oil sector, with other member countries showcasing similar growth, according to ICAEW’s Economic Insight report’s predictions for 2019. In actuality, UAE was seen to be
the fastest growing economy within the GCC in 2019.
According to Global Data, the UAE’s expenditure on ICT is expected to observe a (CAGR) of 8% in 2019-2024, with Qatar expected to see a 9.2% CAGR, Oman 11.3% CAGR, and Bahrain with 8.6% CAGR. The initiatives and reforms implemented by the Gulf states is showcasing their growth in technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Information Technology (IT), and technological innovations.
Combinations of factors are leading the way for UAE to grow at a faster pace. These consist of (but not limited to) stimulus packages from the governments, escalated digitalization initiatives along with revised regulations and policies for ease of doing business in UAE, including modified visa regulations. Another factor that has possibly had a positive impact is the 2020Expo. Although it had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, its plans resulted in growth in technology and the hospitality sector.