Middle East engineered products and services are witnessing rapid growth and undergoing significant transformation. Liberalization, private-sector participation, and the desire to keep up with the rapidly growing needs of commuters, shippers, travelers, and tourists have all driven sector development. Key Industry trends are:
This demand is spurred by swift-growing economies and an intensified focus on developing tourism across the region.
Significant government investments are being made throughout the region to increase the capacity of transport infrastructure and improve service levels, particularly at airports and seaports.
To cater to the demand for transport and logistics services, governments are gradually opening up the various sectors to competition and reducing controls (for example, developing new airline models, abolishing monopolies in public transport).
The private-sector has been quick to jump on the opportunities made available by the government through privatization and liberalization schemes. The private sector is thus taking an increasing role in the transport sector, either in the form of operators (for example, mass transit, airports, seaports), owners (for example, new airlines), or investors (for example, major build-operate-transfer (BOT) programs for rail and airport infrastructure). Public–private partnerships are on the rise, and their popularity is expected to continue.
Dubai is now a globally recognized transportation and logistics hub, and other cities and countries are heavily investing to enhance their own network appeal through multimodal schemes backed by investments in infrastructure (for example, logistics parks, sea-to-air multimodal links). In doing so, they are leveraging the region’s central location between Asia and Europe.
The region is witnessing an unprecedented wave of industry restructuring, with state-owned incumbents leading the way through major reorganization programs, introduction of professional management, and increased transparency in governance. Additionally, private equity and investment houses are heavily investing in new ventures and, along the way, attracting qualified talent from all over the world.
In order to capture opportunities and derive benefits from investments in the rapidly growing engineering products and services sectors, policymakers, regulators, incumbent state-owned operators, and private-sector owners and operators are called upon to address a number of challenges:
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