The Gulf states punched above their weight on the global stage in 2023, from leading deal-making around the world to shaping the debate and direction of the energy transition at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28.
Backed by sovereign wealth funds armed with money generated by the oil price boom in 2022, regional economic diversification engines have been at full speed this year, delivering everything from giant green hydrogen projects to a billion-dollar Saudi football spending spree, reports Al-Qabas daily.
A recent report on Al-Monitor said that regional stocks declined after the outbreak of the Zionist entity’s war on the Gaza Strip, but many of them have since recovered. However, the Gaza war has certainly raised regional tailwinds and may scare off some investors, but deal-making in the Gulf still has strong tailwinds.
The report indicated that deal-making in the Gulf was evident during the leading investment forum in Saudi Arabia, known as Davos in the Desert, which was launched on October 24 in Riyadh, and served as an early measure of the investment environment in the region.
Despite the tensions and Wall Street figures expressing concern about the potential impact of the conflict on an already tense global economy, interest in the attractive summit remained strong, and deals were reached, such as the announcement by UK-based asset manager Gemcorp of plans to create a fund worth one billion dollars to bring foreign investments to Saudi Arabia.
The report indicated that Saudi deal-making has continued apace since the outbreak of the war on the Gaza Strip, such as the Saudi company ACWA Power signing an agreement to develop a green hydrogen project worth $4 billion in Egypt on December 20.
Meanwhile, November also saw airlines in the region strengthen, when Emirates signed a deal to buy Boeing aircraft worth $52 billion.
The report added: “The threat of war did not reduce investors’ appetite for initial public offerings in the Gulf. The listing of the Dubai Taxi Company in late November received more than $41 billion in investor requests for a public offering worth $315 million, which is a record demand for an IPO in Dubai. “At a time when it appears that the IPO in the Gulf region will continue production until 2024.”
However, the report believes that the outbreak of war between the Zionist entity and the Gaza Strip may impose some risks on the Gulf states and complicate economic reforms. At the very least, the specter of conflict now looms over the Gulf region, distracting from efforts led by countries in the region.