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Government and Public Services

Proudly supporting our government and public sector clients as they pursue their powerful national transformation agendas.

Our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems, and our strategy for achieving this is to work as part of a community of solvers, addressing the two most fundamental needs our government and public sector clients across the Middle East have:

  • The need to respond successfully to the forces of change shaping our world, including technological disruption, resource scarcity, and demographic change

  • The need to build trust at a time when it is both more fragile and more complicated to earn


With more than 40 years experience serving our clients in the region, we deliver outcomes for organisations, stakeholders and communities that make a positive and sustainable impact. Our solutions, from strategy and policy through to execution, are human-led and tech-powered. These solutions are driving real-life results for our region as it goes through a period of massive and fast transformation.

Learn moreabout how we are supporting governments in their transformation journeys

Client issues and challenges

Disruption, recovery and trust in government

The majority of Middle East governments have successfully navigated the crises of the past years while maintaining trust in government. The future belongs to those who demonstrate agility in proactively engaging with the changes that the future brings while delivering on citizen needs and expectations.

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Social development and reform

The social agenda is a top priority for Middle Eastern governments moving forward and is the hallmark of the change sweeping across the region. Employment, poverty, accessibility and regulatory/ judicial reform are issues that underpin this critical area.

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Innovative delivery models

As the region adapts to emerging needs and capitalises on technology, new models of delivery – based on collaboration and partnership will drive the design and execution of government public services. These new models will be based on operational models that capitalise on the region’s vibrant private and non-government sectors.

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A powerful ESG agenda

Environmental, Social & Governance is a top priority for Middle East governments. The region is warming at twice the global average. By 2050, it will be 4 degrees warmer than the 1.5-degrees mark needed to save humanity. Additionally, 9 of the world’s 10 most water poor countries are Middle Eastern.

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Ability to execute and realise the benefits

Governments in the Middle East have set very ambitious transformation plans and visions. These visions need to be paired with the ability to execute and ensure they deliver the intended benefits for citizens and society.

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Our expertise and value

The Middle East is both the most urbanised and one of the fastest urbanising regions in the world. Two-thirds of Middle Eastern populations live in cities – well above the global average of 50%. This places a strategic importance on cities and local government as a priority sector.

New and re-emerging cities

  • One of the most exciting trends in the region, cities are being recreated and developed to directly meet and cater to national aspirations and citizen needs. Future looking by design, these cities are redefining traditional development models and trajectories.                                                                          

Nature-based solutions and a powerful ESG agenda

  • Due to their density, cities are at the centre of the ESG agenda. In the Middle East, the significant consequences posed by current environmental conditions positions ESG at the forefront of policy makers’ agendas. As a result, innovative, nature-based solutions are becoming synonymous with cities and local governments.                                                                                       

Smart, smart… everything 

  • The pandemic pushed local government to the forefront of public service. The emphasis on equity, accessibility and agility has amplified the speed of digitisation and integration of services across local government. In many cases, this requires an upheaval of the ecosystem (both physical infrastructure and human capital), but also ensuring readiness for the future.

Hazem Galal

Partner, Global Leader for Cities & Local Government, UAE, PwC Middle East

+971 4 3043393

Email

Political tensions and geopolitical instability has pushed investment and increased defense spending across the Middle East. With global spending on defense on the rise, the key trends in the Middle East are characteristic of governments worldwide.

Localization in the new frontiers of Defense

  • Cyber-defense is a growing priority – extending beyond earth to space! Rising economic costs, the significant impact of supply chain disruptions to entire nations, as well as the threat posed by ransom-ware to national security will continue to prioritize cyber-defense for Middle East markets further emphasizing the importance of the localization agenda for military industries.                                                 

Multi-domain framework for defense and horizon scanning

  • One of the key outcomes of the pandemic was that it highlighted the role that defense can play in supporting civil power. This trend will likely continue, with defense policies and teams responding more aptly to international events and forming horizon scanning functions.                                                  

Spending efficiency and commercialisation

  • The Defence sector continues to dominate fiscal spending resulting in continued emphasis on spend optimisation, rationalisation and prioritisation across all branches of the armed forces. Most recently, there has been a push towards bundling and commercialising non-core military assets as a revenue generating mechanism.

Ammar Hindash

Lead Partner - ME Defence Practice, PwC Middle East

+966 56 943 3700

Email

Characterised for the most part by increasing inflation and commodity prices, pre-Covid priorities of diversification, fiscal balance and employment will continue to dominate Middle East agendas.  

Diversification to non-oil, knowledge-based and innovative economies

  • National governments in the region aim at diversifying economies and driving talent and innovation agendas, with an increasing emphasis on transition finance in order to fulfil net-zero commitments. Naturally, as a consequence, the imperative for Middle East diversification to non-oil remains to be the focus of policy, strategy and programmes agendas.

Promoting Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

  • Middle East governments are tapping into the potential of their young, dynamic population by encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting MSMEs. With the increasing need for and potential of this sector in achieving multiple objectives, governments prioritise ease and cost of doing business, access to finance, talent and markets for this critical target group.

Creating a conducive environment for Trade and Investments

  • A promising emerging market, over the past years, the Middle East has proven to be a strong contender for foreign and local investors alike. Over the past years, governments have minimised non-commercial risk and provided incentives to attract and retain investments and promote exports from the region.

Philipp Lemmerz

ME Leader, Economic Competitiveness, PwC Middle East

+971 54 793 4259

Email

With ambitious government transformation agendas driving change in the region, and just under 30% of the population between the ages of 15-29; education and lifelong learning is a key priority for the Middle East. The focus on accessibility, inclusivity and relevance of education curricula and skilling programmes has resulted in:

An evolution in how we teach and learn

  • Across the region, innovative partnerships are being formed between educators and industry, digital technologies, as well as government: to optimise access to education, accommodate different learning styles, and cater to special education needs. Increasingly, a more holistic approach to managing the multiple challenges of scale, quality and linkages to the labour market has emerged and will continue to drive education in the region.

Students empowered by choice

  • Student mobility is on the rise, and with the increasing choices provided by top education and skilling providers, students can make informed choices. This is likely to increase as regulators update standards to allow for more flexible degree programmes and interactive/ blended learning becomes more common – allowing for customised, more rewarding learning experiences.

Lifelong learning for the future

  • With the rise in nano-degrees and the skilling of professionals to adapt to an evolving job market, education systems are developing new programmes that adapt to the needs of a changing student cohort.

Sally Jeffery

Global Education & Skills Network Leader, UAE, PwC Middle East

+971 (0)56 6820539

Email

Governments globally are commiting to net zero targets, with 136 countries having already pledged. In the Middle East this includes Saudi Arabia and Bahrain committing to net zero by 2060 and the UAE by 2050. As one of the world’s regions most impacted by climate change, the sustainability agenda presents Middle East governments with important key policy choices and transformation opportunities, as ESG is no longer a nice to have but a must have.

Climate Change & Global Warming

  • The Middle East is warming at twice the global average. By 2050, it will be 4 degrees warmer than the 1.5-degrees mark scientists have earmarked as required to save humanity. As a result, “green” policies and investments are paramount on Middle East government agendas, and range from green financing, to exploring alternative energy sources and technological innovation and solutions.

Water: The New Gold

  • Nine of the world’s 10 most water poor countries are Middle Eastern, with a 2019 World Bank report estimating that water shortage is costing MENA USD 21 billion annually. In recent years we have seen efforts to promote water conservation including desalination, wastewater treatment and cloud-seeding.

The Energy Transition 

  • Almost all the Middle East governments have set their energy transition targets and are transforming them into action, shifting towards a post-hydrocarbon knowledge based economy. The green revolution is supporting the transition to renewable energy, with governments investing in solar, wind, nuclear, green hydrogen as well as in circular carbon economy initiatives and solutions enabling the reducing, removing, reusing and recycling of CO2.

Dr Celeste Cecilia LoTurco

Director, PwC Middle East

+971 50 188 2912

Email

As diverse as the Middle East is, there are a number of pressing issues that drive the policy agendas of governments, international development organisations and community groups alike

A young Middle East: Asset or Liability? 

  • With one of the largest youth populations in the world, the Middle East is also the world’s largest unemployment hotspot. Productively driving the energy, creating 33 million new jobs and supporting social inclusion is key to sustaining livelihoods and importantly, closing off one of the main sources of extremism/terrorism.

Hotbed for Climate Change 

  • Healthy ecosystems are the hallmarks of the wellbeing of communities and societies. The Middle East is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change - a pressing concern given the fragility of the region’s water and food systems.

In & Out: Displacement and Brain Drain

  • Geopolitical unrest and limited social mobility have increased displacement in the Middle East and added pressure on governments. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, 16.1 million (19%) of the 84 million displaced persons in 2021 reside in the Middle East North Africa region. On the other side, survey estimates drawn over the past decade suggest that brain drain is costing Middle Eastern governments between USD1.5 - 2 million annually.

Baris Dincer

ME Leader, International Development, PwC Middle East

Email

The stakes are high for governments worldwide. Government readiness, and its resilience and agility has direct bearing on public confidence and trust, socio-economic development, and quality of life for citizens. 

Re-imagining safety and security

  • The pandemic has shed light on the importance of proactive engagement and prevention in the area of safety and security. This has pushed for an evolution from law enforcement and execution to root-cause analysis and community engagement. 

Collaborative Operational Models

  • In tandem with the changes taking place across all other sectors of government, the safety and security sector is adapting its operating model to engage communities, build partnerships with the business community, and capitalise on the outreach, networks and knowledge of non-governmental organisations.

A multi-disciplinary, digitally savvy cadre of professionals

  • Professionalising the safety and security sector is a key priority for Middle Eastern governments. In addition to skilling and standardising the sector, there is a growing trend to further diversify the backgrounds and qualifications of safety and security personnel.

Muhannad Al-Qaddomi

Partner, ME Government & Public Sector, Consulting, Public Safety and Justice Sector Lead, UAE, PwC Middle East

+971 50 900 9516

Email

After the hit the Middle East tourism sector took during the pandemic – resulting in the loss of over 1.2 million tourism related jobs, the tourism sector is rebounding – with a strong and clear vision of the way ahead.

Innovative partnerships for pragmatic goals

  • Tourism policy makers continuously balance a multitude of priorities, ranging from sustainability goals, global and regional stability, as well as economic capability against their tourism vision and goals. Middle East governments are designing innovative policies and collaborative partnerships to develop sustainable tourism hubs.

New, niche destinations & experiences

  • As governments capture the need to “reboot” after the complete decline of travel, there is a growing market for new, niche destinations and experiences. This ranges from self-discovery, adventure tourism – through to exclusive luxury travel destinations and experiences. 

Digitally enhanced experiences 

  • Capitalising on one of the key learnings from the pandemic, digital technology will continue to be leveraged to ensure a unique customer experience for safety, wellbeing and sustainability.

Nicolas Mayer

Global Hospitality & Tourism Leader, PwC Middle East

+971 4 304 3100

Email

Learn more about how we are supporting the transformation of our region

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Rami  Nazer

Rami Nazer

Middle East Government and Public Sector Leader & Global Advisory Government and Public Sector Leader

Tel: +971 2 694 6800

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