Over the past decades, the GCC region has shown considerable economic growth. Various action plans have been developed to diversify the economy and to include sustainable technologies.
The Sustainable Technologies: GCC Market Assessment, commissioned by the Regional Business Development Team for the Gulf region, aims to stimulate interaction between Dutch and GCC businesses. The GCC consists of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. As these countries shift from a dependency on oil and gas to developing more sustainable technologies, opportunities for innovation are on the rise.
Reducing overdependence on oil and gas
The GCC region is energy rich, but water scarce. Economic and population growth in the region has caused a significant rise in the internal energy demand. Historically, the economies of the GCC countries have been based on oil and gas, but the price of oil is volatile. In order to become less dependent on fossil fuels like these, the energy supply in the region needs to be diversified. National strategic visions and action plans increasingly focus on sustainable development. Renewable energy targets have been set, and a market for new technologies is starting to develop. According to the Sustainable Technologies: GCC Market Assessment, solar energy, wind power and waste-to-energy technologies are the most promising alternatives to oil and gas.
Sustainability in the construction sector
The construction sector in the GCC region is growing rapidly, and it consumes a lot of energy. However, with energy efficiency requirements for buildings now in place, the sector is moving towards more sustainable alternatives. For example, energy consumption is reduced by using LED lighting, solar water heaters and sustainable insulation and cooling systems. Upcoming mega events in the region provide ample opportunities for investment.
Although opportunities for foreign investment in the GCC region are increasing, some challenges remain. The Sustainable Technologies: GCC Market Assessment identifies the lack of financial incentives and supporting regulations as potential barriers.
Source: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – Dutch economic network in the GCC region (2018), Sustainable Technologies: GCC Market Assessment