Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries




A group for market intelligence professional that interested for the Middle East and North Africa countries.

Location: UAE
Members: 15
Latest Activity: Feb 3, 2017

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Comment by Robert Chaize on January 31, 2013 at 7:21am
Hello Corelia and Richard,

Let me share my experience as I am based in the UAE.

As you mentioned Corelia, the human relationship is very important. You must develop your own network. Oral communication is still very present, mainly with native people. As there are lots of expats coming from Western Countries, the written communications is taking the lead.

Concerning CI itself, this is a concept hardly known in the region. The domestic markets experience a limited competition but it is now growing. The main local companies belong to local families and they avoid too hard a competition.

One point to keep in mind is the fact that rules can change quite quickly in any sense...

But, there is more competition between the Gulf countries to attract investers to develop their business diversification and prepare the "After-Oil" times. This could be seen with Free Zone with 100% foreign investment companies, Telecommunication Regulation Agency less or more liberal, Type of Business being developped (Sports in Qatar, Finance in Bahrain...).

I hope this is brought you further knowledge.
Comment by Richard on August 10, 2012 at 8:28am

Thank you Corelia that was very helpful.  I have done a little CI in this region and did find culture and relations to be very big.

Comment by Corélia Kostovic on August 8, 2012 at 10:14am

Hi Richard,

According to my modest experience in Morocco, I can give a quick overview of my understanding of CI in MENA.

One thing to know about MENA is that the area isn't as homogeneous as we could think, even if religion and classic Arabic are shared by the several countries. It means that ways of doing business and looking for information depends on the country you work on. But you have to consider the different maturity levels of the market, the source of energy (stock oil economy or not), the rate of foreign skilled people working for the Nation, a convenient connection to the Internet, etc. Basically, the area is divided into 4 parts, which means that Maghreb has nothing to do with the Gulf.

The first main characteristic in MENA with CI is the availability of market data. You will find more available info in ME than in NA, according to disparities of richness and the structure of local economies. A richer economy logically produces more info about itself because it got progressively structured.

The second main characteristic is human network. Arab culture is a very sociable culture, and is deeply based on the human factor. A person you know, or a person that recommended you from a friend of her or from a member of his/her family, may give you info without problem. If you come out of the blue and give a cold phone call, then your chances to get info are clearly close to zero. A little problem with the human factor is a trend to give blurry indications or an eventual strike to communicate (this has been the case with the Moroccan administration for a while).

Comment by Richard on August 7, 2012 at 10:04am

How does CI differ in this region as in perhaps Europe or the US?

Comment by Leo Leonidou on January 27, 2010 at 1:16pm
This is a new group. All professional that interested for the Middle East and North Africa countries.

Please feel to join!. It is open for all.

BR, Leo

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