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Constantinus International Award


A celebration of 25 years of the ICMCI

A collection of best practice and activities of member Institutes

Consulting Institutes in the Arab World

The ICMCI 2010 Annual Conference in Jordan included a panel discussion on the Consulting Institutes in the Arab World; the panel participants had clear objectives, facts, and key issues, they identified challenges, and were able to summarize findings and come up with a set of recommendations that will shape the work plan for the coming years.

I would like to start my summary by thanking the members of the panel for their participation, and they are:

  • Egypt: Mr. Tamer Abbas, CMC – Managing Director, Rising Stars Consulting  (IMC-Jordan Full Member)
  • Lebanon: Mr. Mazen Khattab – Group Director of Strategic Marketing, Comium. Mobile Holding Group (IMC-Jordan Full Member)
  • Syria: Mr. Nawaf Zeidan – Senior Training & Development Consultant, SME Support Programme / SEBC
  • Libya: Mr. Mohamed Wefati – Managing Director, Horizons Development Studies & Consultancy (IMC-Jordan Full Member)
  • UAE: Mr. Yousuf Abdulla Al Mulla – Acting CEO, The Consulting Office

The clear objectives of our panel can be summarized as follows:

  • Assessing the main issues and opportunities to set up IMCs in Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Egypt and the UAE.
  • Assessing the main challenges to set up IMCs in Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Egypt and the UAE.
  • Identifying the role of IMC – Jordan in supporting regional IMCs.
  • Identifying the main steps of establishing IMCs in the different countries of the region.

To characterize the Arab Consulting Market, we need to understand the nature that rules this market. It is a price competitive market with a low entry barrier, where most of the demand lies with the public sector that plays a major role in its dynamics as the preference is usually high for the big consulting firms. Each country’s market is considered small if viewed individually; however, looking at the whole Arab World, we can see that the market is large, widespread and diverse.

Having said that, and in order to be able to address the needs of our diverse market, we as IMC-Jordan will support emerging and newly established IMCs in the region until we are able to create a MENA hub that will focus on joint efforts to further spread the ICMCI/IMC culture and thereof the CMC designation which will assist in developing more industry focused/service line specialized consultants.

In order to reach our objectives, information about each country was put together to give us better insight. The following table summarizes this information: 





Government Budget (Billion)






























Abu Dhabi





In addition to the above fact sheet, key issues/ opportunities and challenges were identified and summarized for each of the listed countries:


Key Issues and Opportunities

Main Challenges


  • The presence of numerous local and international consulting firms;
  • Local Management Consultants are found both in Egypt and abroad;
  • NGOs are deemed extremely active in Egypt; and
  • A huge number of international donors are found in Egypt which makes it possible to find a donor to assist in financing the establishment of IMC Egypt 
  • Creating a Database for local consultants whether based in Egypt or elsewhere; and
  • Finding an international donor in order to Finance IMC Egypt.
  • Convincing consultants in Egypt to join IMC – Egypt.


  • The presence of numerous local and international consulting firms;
  • The management consulting field was first introduced in the early 80’s;
  • Most Lebanese consultants are working in Management Consulting Firms in the GCC countries or South Africa; and
  • The establishment of NGO’s is considered easy in Lebanon.
  • Creating a Database for local consultants whether based in or out of Lebanon;
  • Presence of a huge number of local- consultants outside Lebanon.
  • Finding local and/or international donors to finance IMC Lebanon – for a 2 year period- with an initial     anticipated cost of US$ 200,000 due to the limited size of activities for the first two years.


  • Syria is deemed inexperienced in the Management Consulting Field;
  • Given that Management Consultancy is newly introduced in Syria , high growth for this field is anticipated in the upcoming 10 years;
  • Management Consulting should focus on both Private and Public sectors, with a special attention on privatization; and
  • The Public Sector is presently considered the dominant sector in Syria
  • Creating a Database for local consultants whether based in or out of Syria;
  • Finding local and/or international donors to finance IMC Syria – for a 2 year period- with an initial anticipated cost of US$ 200,000 due to the expected limited size of activities for the first two years.


  • Akin to Syria, Libya is considered inexperienced within the Management Consulting Field;
  • With regards to Management Consultancy, Administrative Training is the area of work that Libya depends on most;
  • Assignments carried out in Libya are conducted by foreign Management Consulting Firms;
  • Lack of national consultants holding a Senior Consultant position or other superior titles;
  • The Government currently supports and pays attention to Management Consultancy related activities; and
  • The Government is likely to finance IMC Libya if the idea is adopted.
  • Creating a Database for local consultants and
  • Convincing the Libyan Government to finance IMC Libya.



  • Most International Management Consulting Firms – with well known names- reside in the UAE;
  • Management Consulting Firms located in the UAE conduct assignments for several countries abroad;
  • The Government constantly focuses on Management Consulting related- activities; and
  • The Government may support the establishing of IMC UAE. 
  • Lack of National Consultants present in the UAE in general and in Dubai in particular;
  • Building a Database comprising both native and non-native Consultants; and
  • Promoting IMC UAE, in order for International Consulting Firms to show interest in its establishment. 


The findings and conclusions of the panel were highlighted as follows:

  • Finding local or international donors to finance the IMC in each of the above-listed countries with the initial investment and fund requirements ,for the next two to three years, anticipated at  US$200,000 – >US$ 300,000.
  • Building a database for local and international consultants and consulting firms;
  • Convincing local as well as international consultants to join the IMC; and
  • Licensing IMC from Government as a not-for-profit or a NGO.

Accordingly, the recommendations for each country consisted of the following main actions:

  • Form a founding committee that consists of a minimum of ten consultants to start the process of registering and licensing the IMC;
  • Obtain the preliminary approvals from ICMCI;
  • Licensing from the local authorities;
  • Prepare a three year business plan for the organization;
  • Find the appropriate fund from local or international institutions to finance the initial two to three years of the IMC operations;
  • Commence operations.

Prepared by

Dr. Hamdallah Mubarak, CMC

Chairman – IMC-Jordan 

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