Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of the fastest growing segments in the Middle East. Some estimates suggest that in the GCC alone, the segment will grow to account for $920bn by 2022.
With more than 40 per cent of the region’s population under the age of 25, encouraging entrepreneurship and building an ecosystem that supports SMEs is a national priority for many countries.
The rise of social media has allowed SMEs to reach communities and markets through creative marketing and promotions. By using digital platforms, businesses can share their offering with a larger audience and change the conversation on important issues by expressing their ideas and imagination. In a recent YouGov study commissioned with SMEs in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, nearly 72 per cent of the 910 participants reported a strong presence on social media.
Here’s a roundup of the businesses and sectors in the region that we anticipate will capture the world’s imagination on Instagram in 2020.
Gaming is one of the most profitable forms of entertainment in the world. Globally the industry is worth nearly $150bn. The Middle East and North Africa currently accounts for a mere 3 per cent of that value; however, the region’s gaming industry is forecast to increase by 12 per cent between now and 2022, representing the strongest growth rate in the world.
In the region, mobile and tablet games are incredibly popular, as they make up 58 per cent of the market. As the sector thrives, we are sure to hear and see more from MENA’s gaming champions as they unlock their potential.
The Middle East is expected to roll out an unforgettable welcome to travellers from around the world in 2020. With many destinations featured high on travel lists for this year, we’re expecting a rise of Instagrammable content across the region.
The revival of tourist favourites like Egypt promise new attractions to discover such as the highly anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, while the UAE is gearing up to host the Expo 2020, billed as the ‘world’s greatest show’.
Adding to the increased excitement is Saudi Arabia opening up to tourists.
Advocating and promoting a greener lifestyle has led to a global awakening in responsible production. The movement knows no borders with a growing emphasis on consumers and businesses championing ethical practices that support fair trade and mindful consumption.
Expect to see greater impact both offline and online as access to information and the availability of eco-friendly products and services grows around the world.
As societies seek to develop their creative economies, the design industry is experiencing a wave of support from governments, the private sector and the general public. In terms of growth, according to the MENA Design Outlook report by Deloitte, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are the largest design markets in the MENA region.
Headline events such as Dubai Design Week and Saudi Design Week are complimented by the region’s growing talent.
Beauty and fashion
Will 2020 be the year that more Arab brands breakout onto the international stage? Fashion brands are reaching across the globe further and faster than ever before and we expect this to continue to grow with the help of Instagram’s popular shopping features, which continues to change the way people shop from the creators.
Following the success of brands such as popular cosmetics line Huda Beauty, the region’s beauty and fashion sector is bound to experience a further surge in global awareness, influencing fashion and style beyond the Middle East.
Priya Patel is Product Marketing lead at Facebook Middle East