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 survey results were presented at the 4th Oliver Wyman/Financial Times CEO Conference on Thursday, January 10th, in Dubai.
UAE confidence levels remain fairly steady and optimism continues to climb: 80% is the highest rating since the surveys began.
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.
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.
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.” Businesswire