Regional Overview of Middle East and Africa Cities

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Mar 2019

Most Sub-Saharan cities are forecast to grow fast, in some cases doubling in size (in terms of consumer spending) in just a decade. However, even with such fast-paced growth they will still remain modest consumer markets by any developed market standards. At the same time, the region‘s most-developed and high-income consumer markets will remain concentrated in Israel and the Gulf area.

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Regional Overview of Middle East and Africa Cities

Key Findings

Cities in Israel lead the region by a number of indicators

Tel Aviv is the region‘s top city by GDP, share of population by higher education, and number of high income households. Other cities in Israel are smaller but similarly well performing.

The affluent Middle East cities in oil-rich countries face exceptional demographic challenges

A few Middle East cities stand out as affluent and significant consumer markets of the region. However, by any standards, a huge share of population in Saudi Arabian and Gulf cities are immigrants, often living without their families. This disproportionately boosts male and working-age populations in the cities, correspondingly shaping consumer markets.

Urbanisation of Sub-Saharan Africa countries is the most rapid globally

Urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase from 40% to 47% of total population in just over a decade. This implies particularly rapid growth for the area’s key cities, as some (eg Luanda, Dar es Salaam, Kampala) are expected to grow by 60% or more.

Most Sub-Saharan Africa cities are still small consumer markets, even if growing at astonishing rates

Apart from population growth, some economies in Sub-Saharan Africa are also expected to post strong economic growth - such as Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, which are expected to at least double their GDP by 2030. Correspondingly, economic growth will be driven by major cities in the latter countries, and consumer market size growth is expected to follow. However, even with such rapid growth, total consumer spending will remain at around USD20 billion in 2030 (at constant value terms) in the fastest growing city, making them comparable to second- or third-tier markets in the advanced economies.


Key findings

Overview of Key Trends

Middle East and Africa largest urban consumer markets
Global context
Middle East and African cities by consumer market size
Development of income per household in MEA cities
Key indicators for Middle East and Africa cities
Quick recap on key urban indicators

Consumer Profiles

Mapping major cities in Passport ’s Middle East and Africa region
Population growth in MEA megacities
Consumer expenditure growth in MEA megacities
Top markets with high income households
Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa differ in their consumer spending structure
Structure of c onsumer e xpenditure in k ey c ities
Consumer spending
London, Paris at early demographic transition stage thanks to migration
Forecast change in population by age by city
Natural increase: global comparison
Possession of durable goods: key cities
Key trends in household possession of durables

City Rankings

GDP rankings
High income household rankings
Education rankings
Rankings by household access to broadband internet
Quick recap on city rankings

Megacities Snapshot

Abu Dhabi city profile
Cape Town city profile
Dubai city profile
Johannesburg city profile
Lagos city profile
Nairobi city profile
Riyadh city profile
Tehran city profile