Frost & Sullivan outlines COVID-19 implications, opportunities in the GCC

April 21, 2020 | By RetailME Bureau

Close-up Portrait of Woman is Holding Global in Her Hands

Like several other economies around the world, the GCC countries have been rendered vulnerable by the COVID-19 crisis, stated research firm Frost & Sullivan. Wholesale & retail trade, transportation & storage and financial & insurance sectors, which accounted for nearly 50% of Dubai’s GDP in 2018, have all been affected.

However, according to Frost & Sullivan, some sectors in the GCC have made gains and exciting opportunities are emerging, while careful risk mitigation strategies are helping others chart a new course for the future.

Sustained infrastructure development and growing segments like e-commerce will moderate the impact of COVID-19 on GCC’s transport & logistics sector. More immediately, the sector will face challenges in the form of supply chain disruption, capacity constraints and cost pressures. However, the crisis will motivate the building of shock-resilient supply chains in food and healthcare logistics, while creating greater impetus for supply chain digitisation. Warehousing space will expand with the establishment of more free zones, even as warehouses gain greater operational efficiencies through the use of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) tools.

Travel restrictions have severely affected the food & beverages (F&B) sector. The Hotels, Restaurants & Cafes (HORECA) segment, which comprises 30% of the GCC’s economy, has been particularly hard hit because roughly 20% of its revenues is related to tourism. Meanwhile, quick service restaurants (QSRs) and fast food eateries have realigned operations to serve only delivery and takeaway orders.

F&B retail is in flux with disrupted supply chains, consumers bulk-buying long-shelf-life products and hoarding/panic buying throwing traditional demand projections into disarray, Frost & Sullivan opines. The nascent e-commerce industry has received a fillip with new growth opportunities for primary packaging materials manufacture.

Despite pockets of growth in network implementation and management services, the IT services sector is likely to decline as a whole. The pandemic will, however, catalyse unprecedented growth in digital services and technologies that enable digitalisation.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 is poised to trigger double-digit growth in telemedicine and virtual care solutions, highlighting the need for higher local production of essential drugs and underpin the growing importance of online pharmacies.

The duration and severity of COVID-19’s impact on economies and sectors will undoubtedly vary. However, companies would do well to set in motion a “look ahead, anticipate and adjust” roadmap, Frost & Sullivan suggests. Over the near term, companies should explore supply chain diversification and leverage new opportunities arising from changing customer demands. Over the long-term, product and service portfolio diversification will be critical to ensuring greater resilience. Externally, strengthening brand equity and shifting sales channels online will be strategically important. Internally, adopting technologies that support workplace and operational continuity will enable companies to hit the ground running following the COVID-19 crisis.


For all the latest retail news from Middle East, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page.


Previous Article Next Article



In a move set to redefine the landscape of the Fast Moving 

Continue Reading

May 16, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Sunil Kumar and Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy, Spinneys

One of UAE’s leading fresh food retailers, Spinneys has announced its intention 

Continue Reading

April 19, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Laura Manning, Managing Director & Founder, BRW Society

Launched in 2019 by Laura Manning, UAE-based homegrown brand BRW Society completes 

Continue Reading

April 5, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Rajiv Warrier, Chief Executive Officer, Choithrams

Since the launch of its first store in the UAE five decades 

Continue Reading

March 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Dr. Dhananjay Datar Chairman & Managing Director ADIL Trading Co. LLC

Dr. Dhananjay Datar Chairman & Managing Director ADIL Trading Co. LLC holds 

Continue Reading

February 29, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Retail

In 1995 regional retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim introduced Carrefour to the 

Continue Reading

February 26, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Prashant Parameswaran, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consumer Soulfull

Tata Soulfull, a leading name in the ‘good-for-you’ snacks and breakfast cereals 

Continue Reading

February 22, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Jean-Luc Graziato, Chief Commercial Officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Retail and Alia Al Harmoodi, Acting CEO of the Environment, Health and Safety Agency

Majid Al Futtaim – Retail, which holds the exclusive franchise to operate 

Continue Reading

February 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Krishna Dhanak, Managing Director, Alpen Capital

In an exclusive interview Krishna Dhanak, Managing Director, Alpen Capital shared insights 

Continue Reading

February 19, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Majed M. Al-Tahan, Co-founder & Managing Director, Danube Online

As digital transformation across the retail industry continues to accelerate, the expectations 

Continue Reading

December 19, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Frederic Levy-Perrault, CEO, Al Raya Supermarket

Saudi Arabia-based grocery retail chain Al Raya Supermarket serves over 100,000 customers 

Continue Reading

December 15, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Ahmad AR. BinDawood, Chief Executive Officer, BinDawood Holding

BinDawood Holding has a rich Saudi heritage, spanning over 50 years, 38 

Continue Reading

December 13, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau

Download Images RetailME Magazine