KUWAIT: The GCC’s Sleeping Giant
Kuwait the Country:
The state of Kuwait is found in the north eastern corner of the Arabian Gulf, about an hour’s flight north of trendy Dubai. The country hosts 4.1 million inhabitants, only 30% of whom are Kuwaiti nationals. The rest, expats, are enjoying tax free salaries, all year round sunshine and a more authentic cultural experience than you might find in the UAE or Qatar. Kuwait developed rapidly between the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s and has been welcoming foreigners for decades who came to modernise infrastructure, maximise oil production and establish economic systems, which became known as the “Golden Era”. However, in the early 90’s Iraq invaded Kuwait, causing oil prices to soar and eventually collapsed the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange. Since then, periods of growth in the economy and infrastructure have come and gone, never quite being able to match the prosperity of days gone by…until perhaps, now.
Kuwait the Market:
Kuwait is a high income economy with its Sovereign Wealth Fund boasting an est. $592bn in assets, making it the 5th largest SWF in the world. That’s the equivalent to half a million for every Kuwaiti citizen. Even with current oil prices on the decline, Kuwait is proving itself to be in a strong financial position, not just amongst its neighbouring GCC members, but globally.
The country’s biggest adversary to growth over the last two decades – where we have seen the rise of Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Qatar – has been the delays in project spending as a result of Parliamentary and Governmental dispute, coupled with good old fashioned bureaucracy. Right now, as we look to enter 2016, that all appears to be behind them and Kuwait’s prospects are looking much brighter. We’re noting government projects pushing ahead as capital expenditure plans role out across the country. These are coming in the form of national healthcare projects, universities, transport networks in the form of highways and a new metro system, shipping ports and of course large scale housing schemes. The knock on effect is that we are also seeing a boost in the public and private sectors who are signing off shopping malls, hotels, private healthcare clinics and public spaces. Kuwait must be one of the few GCC countries at the moment that shows both the ability and willingness to spend, despite the current climate.
Kuwait the Opportunity:
Cavendish Professionals spent the last week in Kuwait visiting existing clients, while also taking the chance to meet with new potential clients, who are planning big deeds for the coming years. Having previously worked with government agencies, top tier international consultancies and local contractors of choice, Cavendish Professionals is ideally situated to assist our new client base in Kuwait to recruit for their high value construction projects. If you are a senior construction related professional and are interested in exploring opportunities in the country, please get in touch today.