DLA Piper, a global law firm, has revealed the key findings from its survey of business leaders in the Middle East and found that over two thirds, 69%, are confident about their company’s revenue growth for 2012.

The results indicate that although the region is not exempt from the economic issues facing other regions, such as Europe and the US, there is optimism in the Middle East for the coming year, despite the regional challenges it faces.

Almost half (49%) of respondents were quite confident about their company’s prospects for revenue growth in 2012, with almost a fifth (18%) feeling very confident. The survey asked business leaders, across the region, including the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, for their thoughts on the coming year, looking at a number of different themes, including: revenue growth, business expansion and M&A activity.

Nearly two thirds of respondents (65%) expect to grow their revenue organically, with 23% expecting it to grow through a mixture of natural development and acquisition. When asked about geographic expansion, the Middle East region was the most popular focus: 44% see the Middle East as a growth area. Slightly less, but a fifth of respondents (20%), anticipated international expansion.

“It’s encouraging to hear the business community in the region speak so positively about the coming year,” commented Abdul Aziz Al Yaqout, Regional Managing Partner, DLA Piper Middle East.  “There continues to be extensive commentary in the media about the world economy and how businesses are coping with global market volatility, but it is clear that with the combination of its move towards building a knowledge based economy, underlying wealth created by the region’s natural resources and its position as an emerging economy located between east and west, the outlook remains relatively positive in the Middle East.

“The region does have major challenges to face over the coming year, especially in countries faced with regime changes, however with high confidence levels we hope this will translate into an increase in market activity with investors confident to focus on regional opportunities. DLA Piper will continue to canvas the market to ensure the advice it offers clients is based on solid business sentiment as understanding the ‘business of business’ is invaluable for our growth and development.”



Michael Byrne

Before joining SME Advisor as an Assistant Editor in 2010 I obtained a Bachelors Civil Law Degree (Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, in 2005. I worked as a trainee lawyer in Dublin, Ireland, specialising in defence litigation and criminal law before obtaining a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Cardiff in 2009. At present I am the Editor of SME Advisor Middle East, which is a publication within the CPI Business Group. You can follow me on twitter: @mikey_byrne or @SMEadvisorME. Also, you can join me on Linkedin (Mike Byrne) or at (SME Advisor).