Lands of opportunity

10 April 2012
Rebecca Ellinor, managing editor, Supply ManagementThe countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
 (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait) are evolving and the procurement profession is doing so with them. Professionals in the region report that procurement is no longer an add-on discipline, supplier relationship management is now recognised as key, even in firms that just a few years ago didn’t have purchasing departments. Purchasers at Yas Marina Circuit work very much on the frontline during Formula 1. Muna Abdulla Bin Zouba’a says she’s involved with everything from ticketing to the “pits and paddock” during this time. One of the key shifts surrounds work to reduce reliance on oil and gas. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation is one organisation working on alternatives. It was created in 2009 to develop a programme to meet the country’s increasing energy requirements and you can read about procurement’s part in the process here. The GCC states also want to move away from a dependence on expatriates filling so many roles, but for the time being there are plenty of opportunities. As we explain, you might earn up to three times your current salary, but you will need to endure searing heat for four months of the year and get to grips with a different culture. The approach to doing business is also different, as we explore here with a look at negotiations. And to support procurement in its increasingly important role, CIPS’ full-service institute for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will open in November.
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