The MENAT Region

A Region Rich in Possibilities

With our long heritage of fostering and nurturing relationships throughout the communities that we serve, Abdul Latif Jameel is a respected guide, partner and trusted advisor in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region.

Hailed as ‘the gateway between East and West’ for thousands of years, the MENAT region sits at the geographical epicenter of global travel, tourism and, of course, commerce, today. Rich in possibilities and ripe for investment, with increasingly ambitious and connected populations, the MENAT countries and their governments are modernizing and developing at an incredible pace.

Together, we can unlock this exciting potential, and build an even brighter future for one of the world’s most exciting regions.

US$ 3.5tn+

aggregate GDP of 16 MENAT countries 2016 World Bank/IMF Data


aggregate population of 16 MENAT countries 2016 World Bank/IMF Data

"At the heart of the world's most exciting markets."

Rif Abou Richeh
Vice President, Abdul Latif Jameel International

"[MENA] 's strategy must be central ... We are focusing on the development of a competitive private sector that can provide economic opportunities to respond to civilian demands.

"Opportunities and Challenges in the MENA Region" - O'Sullivan, M. Ray & J Mendes

Economic Cooperation and Development Organization (OECD)


population under 25 of 16 MENAT countries 2016 World Bank/IMF Data

We see a wealth of opportunities within the MENAT region.
Its citizens share a desire for advancement and, while some  nations face challenges, they all welcome partners to help  them progress.

A Spotlight on New Opportunities

The IMF recently called for improved access to finance to help catalyze entrepreneurship and private investment in the MENAT region.

We’re already here—on the ground, with a deep knowledge of the markets and assets ready to deploy.

Our strong links with governments, financial institutions and brand partners make us uniquely placed to make the right introductions and connections.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is a leading commercial center serving the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia with an internationally competitive and diversified economy. Dubai in particular plays a central role as a regional trade, logistics and tourism hub.

The seven Emirates that constitute the UAE have both extensive natural resources and strong financial sectors, contributing to a large annual GDP, helped by a government vision to create a pro-business environment contributing to sustainable development of the country and a regulatory environment, foreign trade and investment policies to support this. Dubai is a city of both commerce and tourism with plans to become a cultural hub in the region and also a ‘smart city’ through extensive digital connectivity.

In 2013, the Emirate of Dubai won the right to host the first of the World Expo in the Middle East. Keeping with the entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit of the UAE, the theme of Expo 2020 is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, and the event is expected to generate significant economic benefit across the region.

The 2016, World Bank report on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, ranks the UAE first for the third year in a row across Arab countries and 26th, advancing one place, among the 190 countries ranked. 

Abdul Latif Jameel International is based in the Emirate of Dubai in the UAE, and coordinates businesses in a number of international markets.

US$ 370bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


forecast GDP growth 2016 World Bank Data

"Our vision is that we become one of the best governments in providing quality services, nurturing creative minds, building national talent, innovating solutions and adopting international best practices."

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai


Positioned as the bridge between continents, with access to 1.6 billion customers, in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa we see Turkey as one of the most dynamic and exciting economies in the MENAT region.

Turkey is the 18th largest economy in the world and with a sizeable population of approximately 78 million people – Young, dynamic, well-educated, connected and multi-cultural – 42% of whom are under the age of 25.

This large domestic market opportunity includes 48.6 million broadband internet and 73.6 million mobile phone subscribers and 58 million credit card users in 2015.  It’s geographic position also saw over 181 million airline passengers in 2015.  Turkey has had a customs union with the EU since 1996, and in 2015, was the 2nd biggest reformer among OECD countries in terms of its foreign direct investment restrictions 1997 (OECD FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index 1997-2015).

Abdul Latif Jameel affiliate, ALJ Holding AŞ, has conducted operations in Turkey since 1998, from its offices in Istanbul.



projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data

US$ 717bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data

"In Turkey, growth is projected to recover to 3.0 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent, on average, in 2018-19 helped by improved confidence."

World Bank, 2017


Morocco is well placed as a link to the Americas and Europe and is one of the most stable countries in the MENAT region.

Continuing its simplification of administrative procedures for businesses and strengthening the commercial regulatory framework improving transparency, the country launched a number of industry sector plans to stimulate sustainable economic growth. This reform is marked by an innovative approach to public-private partnership with greater participation of the private sector in industry development policies and funding. These strategies are designed to speed the development of key sectors including agriculture, fishery, mining, renewable energy, logistics and as automotive, aerospace and services with high added value.

With a strong economy, an attractive business environment, and a drive into renewable energy, it offers a number of investment opportunities.


US$ 100bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data

“The country makes use of its ability to innovate to build an economic ecosystem aimed at entrepreneurship. Morocco has made significant progress in technological aspects and innovation . . . entrepreneurship still represents a huge opportunity for the future.”

Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) Index 2017


Rich in natural resources and economically stable, Algeria is Africa’s fourth largest crude oil producer and has the world’s third largest reserves of natural gas.

With 3,000 sunshine hours per year, it’s also diversifying into renewable energies. Its strong export revenues create relative macroeconomic stability and it continues to improve the business climate rising seven places in the World Bank’s 2017 ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report.   Algeria reached a series of important investments agreements with other MENAT countries in 2016, and there are a number of recent development initiatives in transportation and infrastructure.

US$ 166bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


Egypt has the largest population and one of the largest economies in the MENAT region.

Its stock exchange has more than 600 companies listed and, despite recent political change, the country is investing in infrastructure projects and inviting foreign investment.

The country has recently adopted a bold reform plan with three pillars of business reform, attracting FDI, and investor care, moving toward fiscal sustainability,  reducing economic risk and increasing investor confidence. 

US$ 330bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


One of MENAT’s leading financial hubs.

Bahrain has a track record as a modern international business economy over several decades, a skilled workforce and liberal business environment, offering 100% foreign ownership of business assets and real estate across most sectors.

Financial services in particular has thrived for over 40 years and was judged the Gulf’s most sophisticated financial market by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2016. Banking forms the largest of the sector and has expanded rapidly. Increased infrastructure development across the region creates a need for structured finance and lending products and trade finance opportunities are increasing with the GCC’s integration into world markets. In the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index it ranked 34 of 137 countries globally, and fifth in the MENA region.

US$ 31bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


Jordan is well positioned as a Middle East transportation hub.

Jordan is gaining popularity as an international business and investment hub with its unique combination of attributes that create an attractive environment for foreign business and investment. 

Strategically located at the convergence of Europe, Asia and Africa, it is a transportation hub of the Middle East with access to the Red Sea through the Port of Aqaba.  It boasts a stable political environment, a skilled workforce and has a firm commitment to private sector development including ‘Free Zones’ and incentives to promote inward investment.  It operates a free market-oriented economy with policies based on outward-oriented, private sector-led approach. Along with significant advances in structural and legal reform this creates an attractive investment climate.

US$ 37bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


Kuwait’s strong and stable economy has a relatively liberal trade policy.

Kuwait has always been a country open to foreign investment – The Kuwait Investment Authority is the oldest sovereign wealth fund in the world tracing its roots to 1953, and the Kuwaiti government is willing to diversify its economy and has launched an open policy to foreign investments. Today, 100% foreign ownership, open markets for foreign trade and foreign direct investment incentives, and large oil reserves, help deliver one of the world’s highest GDP per capita for a young connected consumer population.

US$ 114bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


Lebanon has a multi-skilled workforce, consistently ranking highly in global surveys for the quality of education.

With a non-interventionist stance to private investments, Lebanon offers one of the most liberal investment climates in the region encouraging free market competition and furthering the development of the private sector. Low corporate tax rates and competitive taxation schemes, bilateral investment treaties, many free trade agreements and a regulatory framework that create transparency are also defining factors in encouraging inward investments totaling US$ 2.34 billion in 2015 according to the 2016 UNCTAD World Investment Report. Over 68% of 2015 investment projects were made in the Services, Trade / Retail, and Industry sectors.

US$ 47bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


Oil-rich Oman is developing its non-oil industries for investment, including education, health and ICT.

A key driver in the government’s plans to diversify the economy and create growth and investment opportunities is building a strong infrastructure base.  Nearly US$ 20bn was allocated between 2011 – 2015, to develop the transport infrastructure to strengthen trade, logistics and tourism sectors for growth and investment. Oman’s GDP growth rate has trended positively with the  2014 -19 is forecast at around 4%. Today, Oman’s investment regulations allow 70% foreign participation in companies and various tax exemptions. This rises to 100% in special trade zones. By 2020, the country is targeting a 16% share growth in non-hydrocarbon GDP contribution.

US$ 69bn+

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth 2017 World Bank Data


An economy poised for potential resurgence, abundant numbers of educated and talented people available and a pro-business fiscal environment, Iraq has much to offer.

There are numerous green and brownfield opportunities for investment across all sectors of the Iraqi economy. The Government of Iraq has identified hundreds potential opportunities in key  sectors including construction, manufacturing industry, agriculture, tourism, housing, telecommunications and healthcare.


US$ 180+ bn

GDP, 2015 World Bank Data

7.2 %

projected GDP growth 2016 World Bank Data


  • World Bank Reports
  • IMF Reports
  • OECD Reports
  • World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report
  • UNCTAD World Investment Report
  • GEDI Global Entrepreneurship & Development Institute
  • National Government Investment Departments (various)