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This article also features in Bahrain. Read more about this report and view purchase options in our online store.

Bahrain Economic Research Highlights

Bahrain, a centre for sustainable finance and innovation in the GCC

Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Al Helaissi, Group CEO and Member of the Board, Gulf International Bank (GIB)

In this Global Platform video, Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Al Helaissi, Group CEO and Member of the Board, Gulf International Bank (GIB), talks about Bahrain's banking sector, a significant contributor to...

The Report: Bahrain 2023

Bahrain consolidated its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by achieving 2.2% GDP growth in 2021 before accelerating to 4.9% in 2022. To leverage the advantage of elevated oil prices, the country...

Highlights from The Report: Bahrain 2023

Fiscal sustainability measures are bearing fruit, with the kingdom posting its largest current account surplus in decades in 2022, at 15.4% of GDP, resulting from a 52% increase in government revenue.

Bahrain Economic Spotlight

Overview

Bahrain's development plans facilitate economic diversification
OBG
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Bahrain’s economy rebounded from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently successfully avoided the worst of global inflationary pressure, largely due to the fact that its currency...

Interview

Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister
OBG
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On upskilling the local workforce and attracting investment

Overview

Bahrain makes efforts to increase renewable energy production
OBG
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Bahrain, known as the birthplace of the Arabian Peninsula’s oil industry, is navigating the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition. While focusing on renewables production, energy efficiency...

Analysis

Bahrain fintech players aiding expansion of Islamic finance
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Bahrain is the seventh-largest Islamic finance market globally, with $41.6bn in total assets at the end of 2022. It has the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East, comprising 38.3%...

Analysis

Bahrain launches new innovation licence
OBG
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As part of ongoing efforts to stimulate growth in the digital economy, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) launched a new Innovation Licence in October 2022, encouraging companies to experiment...

Interview

Sheikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CEO, Bahrain Bourse (BHB)
OBG
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On regional cooperation to promote investment and strengthening local financial awareness

Overview

Bahrain boosts diversification through tourism and financial technology
OBG
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The strategic location of the island country of Bahrain, combined with its business-friendly ecosystem and diversified economy, have seen it emerge in recent decades as an attractive destination for foreign...

Bahrain's development plans facilitate economic diversification
Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister
Bahrain makes efforts to increase renewable energy production
Bahrain fintech players aiding expansion of Islamic finance
Bahrain launches new innovation licence
Sheikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, CEO, Bahrain Bourse (BHB)
Bahrain boosts diversification through tourism and financial technology
 

ESG in Bahrain and the GCC

Economic View

Ahmed Al Shamsi, Managing Director and CEO, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Water Solutions Company (SWS)

On innovative approaches in water conservation and reuse


ESG Intelligence Report

Report: Social and governance considerations in the automotive industry

The rise of connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicle megatrends in the automotive industry are bringing social and governance considerations to the fore of ESG strategic thinking, as innovation leaders revolutionise the way that community transport networks are structured and face up to their responsibilities for how user data is stored and protected. The advent of automated technology holds the potential to improve road safety and decrease traffic fatalities by negating the threat of human error...


Economic News

How emerging markets are navigating the rising cost of solar power

With high energy prices and supply chain disruptions creating shortages of key renewable energy components and materials, emerging markets are reassessing how to build out utility-scale solar power to accelerate their energy transitions. After more than a decade of decline, the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels has risen around the world, due primarily to the increasing cost of solar-grade polysilicon in China. A key component in PV panels, polysilicon spot market prices rose from less than $7 per kg in July 2020 to $39 in August...


Economic News

What does the future hold for Islamic finance?

After remaining resilient in 2020, the Islamic finance segment is performing strongly this year, as an improved economic environment, a rise in the number of large projects and an increased focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors combine to drive demand. Despite the twin challenges of Covid-19 and the fall in global oil prices, the segment’s assets grew by 10.6% last year, according to global ratings agency S&P. Although this was down on the 17.3% growth rate recorded in 2019, it was nevertheless...


Economic News

Carbon emissions: How will the Gulf get to net-zero?

As global leaders in politics and business continue to meet in Glasgow to discuss environmental issues as part of UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), some of the world’s most fossil fuel-dependent countries have launched plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions. On October 7 the UAE became the first country in the Gulf to commit to achieving net-zero. At Expo 2020 in Dubai, the government announced that it would aim to reach the target by 2050, in line with major industrialised markets like the EU and the UK...


ESG Intelligence Report

Report: The future of sustainable finance in Kuwait’s banking sector

The regulatory landscape for Gulf financial service providers is changing, with growing awareness of the need for banking institutions to adopt sustainable finance frameworks and responsible lending and operational practices in order to manage risk and attract international investment. By establishing sustainable finance frameworks, banking institutions are able to structure their sustainable lending practices and strengthen systemic safeguards against social and environmental risks, while also diversifying their funding sources....


Economic News

Sustainable construction in the Gulf: building a greener future?

As industries around the world increasingly turn towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to support their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, focus is sharpening on sustainable construction in the Middle East. Perhaps more so than most sectors, construction could significantly benefit from a shift towards more sustainable practices. A UN report released in December estimated that, including operational emissions, the construction industry accounted for 38% of the world’s energy-related...


Economic News

Is hydrogen the key to the Gulf’s energy transition?

With hydrocarbons-rich countries in the Gulf increasingly looking to reduce their carbon emissions, some in the region are turning towards multi-coloured hydrogen as a more environmentally sustainable solution. Along with renewable sources like solar and wind, hydrogen is seen as a potential low-carbon or zero-carbon fuel that is key to the transition away from fossil fuels. However, it is important to note that there are different types of hydrogen with different impacts on the environment...


Bahrain Economic Research & Views

Economic News

Gulf countries look to space to harness scientific and commercial opportunities
OBG
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In the push to embrace emerging technologies and harness their potential commercial opportunities, Gulf countries are launching new initiatives to bolster their domestic space industries...

Economic View

Mohamed Khalid Ateeq, General Manager, Rain

On the importance of creating a conducive regulatory framework to foster an investment-friendly environment

Economic News

Gulf countries developing regulatory frameworks for decentralised finance
OBG
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As GCC countries look to harness new forms of financial technology (fintech) such as blockchain, deepen their financial services and expand financial inclusion, governments are embracing...

Economic News

Demographic and tech shifts alter the distribution of global talent
OBG
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As the global economy continues to adapt to ongoing macroeconomic shocks, many countries are looking to boost human capital through training programmes, technology adoption and immigration.

Economic News

How generative AI could transform education in the GCC
OBG
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As public and private entities across the world weigh how to utilise generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, GCC countries are embracing the new tool as a way to transform their education sectors....

Economic News

Gulf countries explore e-sports as part of diversification plans
OBG
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As Gulf countries implement plans to diversify their economies and create jobs, they are increasingly investing in the growing industry around competitive video games known as electronic sports (e-sports)...

Economic News

The GCC’s latest efforts to bolster cybersecurity
OBG
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With global geopolitical instability elevating the threat of cyberattacks against businesses and government agencies, the six countries of the GCC are rapidly building more robust and comprehensive...

CEO Survey Analysis

Global CEO Survey: What is on the horizon for emerging markets?

While the recovery period following the Covid-19 pandemic saw the unlocking of major capital in emerging markets, inflationary pressures, fluctuating commodity prices and geopolitical concerns...

Economic View

Safa Sharif Khaleq, CEO, Export Bahrain

On boosting local added value and building a global brand through enhanced export capacities

Economic News

Can proptech disrupt real estate in emerging markets?
OBG
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Emerging markets are increasingly harnessing data and software to disrupt and streamline their real estate markets and meet the needs of young people and businesses...

Gulf countries look to space to harness scientific and commercial opportunities
Mohamed Khalid Ateeq, General Manager, Rain
Gulf countries developing regulatory frameworks for decentralised finance
Demographic and tech shifts alter the distribution of global talent
How generative AI could transform education in the GCC
Gulf countries explore e-sports as part of diversification plans
The GCC’s latest efforts to bolster cybersecurity
Global CEO Survey: What is on the horizon for emerging markets?
Safa Sharif Khaleq, CEO, Export Bahrain
Can proptech disrupt real estate in emerging markets?
 

Education: Shaping Bahrain's Future

Economic News

How has the pandemic changed university course offerings in the Gulf?

With the current semester winding up, many higher education institutions in the Gulf are already planning an expanded offering of courses for the next academic year – with a focus on supporting the needs of the region’s post-pandemic economy. As OBG detailed earlier this year, the economic fallout of Covid-19 has encouraged higher education institutions in the Gulf to adapt their course offerings to help drive their respective countries’ economic recoveries. The coronavirus pandemic both highlighted and heightened the importance...


Economic News

Covid-19 and Gulf higher education: are e-learning solutions here to stay?

After rising to the challenge of the pandemic early last year, educational institutions in the Gulf have continued to develop their digital strategies as part of broader plans for the future. Following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, many universities, schools and technical colleges – who were midway through the academic year – quickly adapted to the new situation by adopting digital learning platforms and making learning materials available online. One of those leading the transition was the UAE’s Higher Colleges of...


Covid-19 Response Report

Report: Will digitalisation in UAE higher education spur longer-term economic growth?

The UAE’s robust current account balance cushioned the economy against the twin global challenges of Covid-19 and the oil price drop in 2020. Lockdowns were implemented to protect public health, and Emiratis migrated online. UAE residents were ranked as the best ICT users globally in an October 2020 study from the Portulans Institute, due in part to a number-one ranking for school internet access, underlining the agility of UAE education stakeholders. Continued innovation within the UAE’s education segment will be...


Economic News

Can higher education institutions shape the Gulf’s post-Covid-19 economy?

As Gulf countries look to rebound from the disruption of 2020, higher education institutions are playing a key role in meeting the needs of the region’s post-coronavirus economy. Universities, schools and technical colleges were among the first institutions to innovate following the outbreak of the virus. While many were initially obliged to close, educational institutions quickly adapted to the new situation by making learning materials available online, thus enabling students to continue their studies remotely...


Economic Impact Assessment

Report: Will e-learning transform tertiary education in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia’s tertiary education system is underpinned by a strong network of 28 public universities accounting for 81% of student enrolment. However, the ongoing process of economic diversification is contributing to a rise in admission to vocational training institutes and private universities – helping to raise standards across the board and ensure programmes are attuned to market needs. As new economic growth engines emerge, skills development will increasingly be viewed as a lifelong pursuit that is not limited...


Covid-19 Response Report

Report: How has the UAE responded to Covid-19, and what does it mean for higher education?

The UAE’s efforts to develop an advanced higher education sector, coupled with its robust fiscal position, meant it entered the pandemic from a position of relative strength. This report focuses on the response of policymakers to the challenges presented by Covid-19, and looks in detail at how the higher education sector adapted to the new reality...


The Report: Bahrain 2022

After weathering a series of global and regional challenges in recent years, Bahrain is emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic with strong growth, rising government revenue and a new plan for the future...

Highlights from The Report: Bahrain 2022

Elevated oil prices are helping Bahrain rebound from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and driving an economic expansion that is expected to continue through 2022 and into the coming years...

Bahrain: Economic Analysis

Overview

Bahrain's fiscal reforms aim to support diversification
OBG
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Benefitting from its robust financial services, industrial and manufacturing sectors, Bahrain’s economy is one of the most mature and diverse in the GCC. Although the kingdom has suffered in the wake of sustained...

Interview

Pete Bartlett, CEO, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco): Interview
OBG
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On remaining competitive in a rapidly changing sector

Analysis

Open-banking platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges revolutionise Islamic finance in Bahrain
OBG
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A number of innovations have supported the efforts of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to transform the country into a leading regional centre for financial technology (fintech)...

Interview

Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications
OBG
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On cooperating with neighbouring states and private investors to develop an integrated rail network

Overview

Legislative changes boost Bahrain's competitiveness
OBG
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Bahrain’s new Law for the Encouragement and Protection of Competition (Competition Law) was published in the Official Gazette on July 19, 2018, and its provisions – with the exception of Chapter 2...

Overview

Bahrain's capital markets strengthened by growing debt market and digital innovation
OBG
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Despite facing challenging macroeconomic headwinds, in addition to illiquidity and limited levels of free-floating shares, Bahrain’s capital markets have been among the best-performing in the GCC in...

Bahrain's fiscal reforms aim to support diversification
Pete Bartlett, CEO, Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco): Interview
Open-banking platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges revolutionise Islamic finance in Bahrain
Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications
Legislative changes boost Bahrain's competitiveness
Bahrain's capital markets strengthened by growing debt market and digital innovation
 

Report: How can Bahrain stand out as a post-pandemic investment destination?

Bahrain entered the pandemic with the most diversified economy in the GCC, which meant it was not overly susceptible to the sharp drop in the oil market. The country also benefits from some of the lowest...

2021-22 GCC Economic Reports beyond Bahrain

Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap

Report: What is the post-Covid-19 outlook for GCC chemicals and petrochemicals?

The GCC chemicals and petrochemicals industry demonstrated considerable resilience in the face of Covid-19 and oil price fluctuations. With economic diversification a leading concern for GCC...

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: Can agri-tech offer sustainable solutions to GCC food security challenges?

Food production in the GCC has long faced obstacles ranging from water scarcity to a lack of arable soil – factors that are being exacerbated by climate change. Prior to Covid-19, imports...

Market Profile Video

Saudi Arabia’s economy is positioned for growth in the coming years

This Market Profile video highlights how the Kingdom’s diversified approach to economic development is helping to position it as one of the fastest-growing G20 economies in 2022...

Future Readiness Report

Report: Is the Gulf shipping and logistics sector future-ready?

In the wake of a period of severe disruption to global trade, Gulf shipping and logistics companies are adapting to government efforts to boost self-sufficiency in the region...

Post-Pandemic Prospects Report

Report: How is the Covid-19 pandemic re-shaping the global oilfield services sector?

The global oil industry had yet to recover from the price crash of 2014-15 by the time the pandemic hit in early 2020, which meant that upstream operators and service providers were already grappling...

Market Profile Video

Highlights from The Report: Qatar 2022

This 16th edition of our national macroeconomic analysis shines a spotlight on Qatar’s efforts to leverage its abundant natural gas resources and its status as host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to...

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: Was Oman's banking sector resilient enough to support economic stability during the pandemic?

Oman’s economy was heavily reliant on hydrocarbons when the pandemic began, creating fiscal pressures as demand and prices fell. However, the country was able to rely on...

Covid-19 Response Report

Report: How is the pandemic shaping the future of Abu Dhabi’s health care sector?

Sustained investment and foresighted policy initiatives meant that the UAE and Abu Dhabi had developed a modern and effective public health system prior to the pandemic, supported by...

Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap

Report: How can Dubai’s economy bounce back from Covid-19?

Dubai’s diversified and digitalised economy was able to absorb the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic relatively well. The emirate enjoys some of the fastest internet speeds and most advanced...

Report: What is the post-Covid-19 outlook for GCC chemicals and petrochemicals?
Report: Can agri-tech offer sustainable solutions to GCC food security challenges?
Saudi Arabia’s economy is positioned for growth in the coming years
Report: Is the Gulf shipping and logistics sector future-ready?
Report: How is the Covid-19 pandemic re-shaping the global oilfield services sector?
Highlights from The Report: Qatar 2022
Report: Was Oman's banking sector resilient enough to support economic stability during the pandemic?
Report: How is the pandemic shaping the future of Abu Dhabi’s health care sector?
Report: How can Dubai’s economy bounce back from Covid-19?
 
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