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$ 4.45tn+

aggregate GDP of 16 MENAT countries 2019 World Bank/IMF Data


aggregate population of 16 MENAT countries 2019 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 2019 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 2019 World Bank report on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranks the UAE first across Arab countries, and 11 th place overall among the 241 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$ 414 bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022 (IMF)

"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 80 million people – Young, dynamic, well-educated, connected and multi-cultural – 43% of whom are under the age of 25.

This large domestic market opportunity includes 59 million broadband internet and 82.9 million mobile phone subscribers and 69.5 million credit card users in 2019.  It’s geographic position also saw over 209 million airline passengers in 2019.  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 2019 World Bank Data

US$ 771bn+

GDP, 2019 World Bank Data

Growth is expected to be 3 percent in 2020, led by private consumption and investment, accelerating further to 4 percent in 2021.

World Bank, 2019


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$ 117bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

“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


Located at the Northern tip of Africa, Algeria is the third most important economy in the MENA region. It is home to over 42 million people and is Africa’s largest country, with a landmass of 2.4 million km².

With a GDP of more than USD $170 billion, Algeria has achieved a 20% reduction in poverty over the past two decades thanks to new social policies aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A country rich in natural resources, Algeria has the 10th largest reserves of natural gas in the world, and it is the 6th largest gas exporter globally. With 3,000 sunshine hours per year, it’s also diversifying into renewable energies. 

US$ 170bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

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Bird's Eye View of Algiers Capital of Algeria


Egypt is the largest Arab nation by population, home to almost 100 million citizens. With a GDP of more than US$ 242 billion, Egypt has demonstrated robust economic growth over the last two years, averaging 5.3% in 2017 and 2018 and sustaining this rate in 2019 to date.

Structural reforms have proven successful, helping to stabilize the economy, sustain growth and lay the groundwork for more dynamic private sector participation in the future.

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. 

Now, Egypt looks to a brighter horizon with new industries emerging and increasing opportunities for job creation.

US$ 250bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2020

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Bird's Eye View of Cairo Capital of Egypt at Night


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. 

US$ 37bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

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Bahrain Towers at Night


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$ 42bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

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Bird's Eye View of Amman Capital of Jordan


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$ 140bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

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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. 

US$ 56bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

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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 over the last decade, with investment regulations allowing 70% foreign participation in companies and various tax exemptions. Growth is expected to accelerate to 3.7% in 2020 driven largely by the rise in natural gas output as production from new fields comes on stream. 

US$ 79bn+

GDP, 2018 World Bank Data


projected GDP growth by 2022

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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

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  • 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)