Diversification in the Middle East: An Opportunity Full of Surprises

Diversification in the Middle East

Why would Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s biggest oil production companies, be taking delivery of a wind turbine?

Remarkable as it may seem, this news is not surprising at all to those who know the Middle East region well, with the region’s fervent effort of economic diversification for 2017 and far beyond.

We’ve blogged here before about how the Middle East is seeking to move away from its reliance on oil and the opportunities that this change in approach brings both to the region and the world.

Vision 2020 has recently been joined by other initiatives such as Saudi 2030 and clearly, the region’s diversification movement is gathering pace.

This trend will continue in 2017, and the Middle East is looking increasingly well positioned in what is a rapidly industrialising world. Despite fluctuations in the price of oil – fluctuations that arguably add urgency to diversification plans – the region benefits from having some of the lowest energy prices in the world.

As globalisation continues to force national and multi-national companies to streamline their operations, heavier and more energy intensive industries are expanding their operations in the region.

We’ve seen continued growth in the uptake of our offering in heavy industries that supports this notion, and there’s no reason to think this won’t continue this year.

Blog: ConnectedProduction: Oil and Gas Optimisation and Digitisation.

We see manufacture of CPG and food and beverage continue to grow quickly while other manufacture, such as aircraft parts, shows that the Middle East is determined not to limit its opportunities in any direction.

From my perspective, the Middle East is an incredibly energising and vibrant place to be working. With a young and well educated population (nearly 30% of the Middle East is aged between 15 and 29, according to YouthPolicy.org) the region is ideal for the rapid development of new industries.

The synergy between our vision for The Connected Enterprise and governmental commitments to pursuing a diverse industrial future make the next few years very exciting indeed, for both the company and the region.

The very DNA of Rockwell Automation is in manufacturing – either serving end users directly or through OEMs. We've been on the factory floor for 114 years. We believe in industry and are uniquely well-positioned to understand our customers’ needs, whether the plant is working on a local, national, or international scale.

Blog: Making the Middle East Ready for the Next Industrial Revolution

Our offering has grown with mechanised manufacturing throughout our history, and with the advent of the Industrial IoT and Smart Manufacturing we're ideally suited to deliver solutions that benefit both the factory floor and the management suite, as well as IIoT solutions that connect these two levels and reach far beyond the factory gates.

Looking ahead at the rest of 2017, apart from looking forward to Abu Dhabi hosting the eagerly anticipated Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in March, it’s clear to me that the companies with the best growth opportunity are those seeking to help diversify the region’s economy through modern IIoT enabled industrial technology.

Those companies taking advantage of a Connected Enterprise approach to their processes and importantly to their human assets will be at the heart of the continued good news story that is Middle East industry.

Neil Enright
Posted February 27, 2017 By Neil Enright, Regional Sales Director, Middle East, Rockwell Automation
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