The Arab World Unbound: Tapping into the Power of 350 Million Consumers
August 2012, Jossey-Bass
This groundbreaking book reveals the myriad opportunities presented by the Arab World's market of 350 million consumers, who collectively wield the ninth-largest economy in the world. Based on the author's firsthand research, including hundreds of market visits and more than 600 interviews at companies doing business throughout the region, this book shows how globally interconnected and vibrant the Arab markets are.
Through a rich blend of data and anecdotal observations, it chronicles how, by respecting the region's culture and religious norms, hundreds of local and multinational companies and entrepreneurs are creating successful businesses in this large and growing marketplace.
- Hundreds of interviews and illustrative examples peel away stereotypes about Arab consumers to reveal diverse, vibrant and entrepreneurial consumer markets
- Explains how multinational companies, such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Proctor & Gamble, and leading regional companies are working successfully in the Arab nations
- Shows how Arab entrepreneurs, both men and women, are shaping the regional and global marketplaces
- Vijay Mahajan, author of two previous award-winning books on emerging markets, is one of the world's most-cited researchers in the business and economics sector
As the global marketplace continues to expand, this book offers anyone interested in investing in the Arab world an expert perspective on the boundless business opportunities.
Preface: A Consumer Rihla xi
PART I DISCOVERING THE ARAB WORLD
1 DRINKING RED BULL IN DAHIYEH 9
The Arab Market Is Vibrant and Globally Interconnected Arab Consumers Control More Spending Power Than You Think
The Shadow Economy
Shades of India and China
Opportunities Beyond Crude Oil and Abaya
Household Spending in the Arab World
Beyond Boycotts and Barriers
Chicken Fights: Local Competition in the Arab Market
The Global Emergence of Arab Brands
A Worldwide Hub: The Globally Connected Arab World
The Arab World Is Neither CNN’s nor Al Jazeera’s
2 THE DIVERSITY OF THE ARAB WORLD 51
No Harm in Haram
Not All the Consumers in Arab Countries Are Arab
The Diversity of Arab Consumers
Segmenting the Arab Consumer Markets
Embracing the Diverse Habits of Arab Consumers
The Market Dominance of Saudi Arabia and the GCC
Saudi Arabia’s Influence Within Other Markets
Think Regional, Act Local
3 ISLAM MATTERS: THE IMPACT OF THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM ON CONSUMERS IN THE ARAB WORLD 87
The Difference Between Culture and Religion
Why Shahada Matters
Why Salah Matters
Why Sawm Matters
Why Zakat Matters
Why Hajj and Umrah Matter
Islam in the Everyday
PART II TAPPING INTO THE WELL OF ARAB CONSUMERS
4 THESHABAB: TAPPING INTO THE ARAB YOUTH MARKET 127
The Shabab Demographic Dividend
The Shabab Crave the Best Brands, Wherever They Come From
The Shabab Generation Is Molding the Consumer Market
The Shabab Generation Is Changing the Arab Workforce
The Shabab Are Transforming the Private Sector
The Shabab and Education
The Shabab and Marriage
5 ARABIA TWO: TAPPING INTO THE ARAB MIDDLE CLASS 157
The Rise of the Middle Class Is Changing Arab Consumer Markets
Identifying the Arab Middle Class
Tapping into Arabia Two
Tapping into Arab Consumer Power at All Levels
Urbanization, Modern Trade, and Arabia Two
Arabia Two and the Balance Between Tradition and Modernity
6 TAPPING INTO THE MARKET OF ARAB WOMEN 185
Arab Women Have Money to Spend
Educated Women Are Reshaping the Arab Market
The Arab Woman as a Consumer
Inside and Outside: The Dual Identities of Arab Women
Tapping into the Arab Beauty Market
The Arab Woman as Wife and Mother
Arab Women as Head of the Household
The Veil Doesn’t Hide the Arab Woman’s Mind
Arab Women as Business Leaders
Arab Women Are Reshaping the Region on Their Own Terms
7 TAPPING INTO THE ARAB TECHNOLOGY MARKET 229
The Spread of Internet Use Opens Up New Paths to Consumers
The Rise of Social Media
Tapping into Arab E-Commerce
Using Technology to Recapture the Golden Age
On the Go: The Market for Mobile Phones
Building the High-Tech Industry in Jordan
The Technological Arab Spring
8 TAPPING INTO THE ARAB MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT MARKET 257
Television Advertising in the Arab World
Arab Cinema and Film
Dancing in the Desert: Music in the Arab World
Art in the Arab World
Books and Bookstores
The Birth of an Arab Superhero
9 TAPPING INTO THE ARAB DIASPORA 299
Linking the Diaspora to the Arab World
Remittances Constitute a Critical Piece of Many Arab Economies
Tapping into the Arab Diaspora
The Arab Diaspora Has Made a Name for Itself
Tapping into Opportunities Around the World
You Can Go Home Again
The Diaspora Is Bringing Different Worlds Together
PART III CONCLUSION
10 REBRANDING THE ARAB WORLD 335
Capturing the Region’s Yalla Energy with a New Arab Brand
Sustaining the Yalla Energy of Family Businesses
Harvesting the Yalla Energy of Arab Youth
Fueling the Yalla Energy of Arab Entrepreneurs
Enabling a New Yalla Energy Among Disadvantaged Arabs
A Call to Action
The Richness of the Past and the Promise of the Future
The Author 391
Vijay Mahajan holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and received several lifetime achievement awards, including the American Marketing Association Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur). Mahajan is the author of eleven books, including Africa Rising and The 86 Percent Solution.
As July 19th marks the beginning of Ramadan, businesses such as Whole Foods have launched campaigns that marketed to the Arab consumer, having other marketers now wanting to follow in suit. Why should we care? Because the Arab world is home to more than over 350 million consumers who have not closed their doors to the world when it comes to consuming products such as Coca-Cola, Pringles and Red Bull.
While the Arab world may seem large, complex and unknown to many, it’s also large, globally connected – and its open for business.
The Arab World Unbound: Tapping into the Power of 350 Million Consumers (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-07451-0; August 20, 2012; $39.95; e-book available) by Vijay Mahajan, reveals the myriad opportunities presented by the Arab World's market of 350 million consumers, who collectively wield the ninth-largest economy in the world. Based on the author's firsthand research, including hundreds of market visits and more than 600 interviews at companies doing business throughout the region, The Arab World Unbound shows how globally interconnected and vibrant the Arab markets are. Through rich a blend of data and anecdotal observations, it chronicles how, by respecting the region's culture and religious norms, hundreds of local and multinational companies and entrepreneurs are creating successful businesses in this large and growing marketplace.
Part 1 of the book is a primer of the Arab World’s economy and its consumers. Part 2 begins to drill down into the significant opportunities to be found in the segments and sectors of the region’s markets. Part 3 concludes the book with consideration of some key challenges that face the Arab world.
The Arab World Unbound also:
- Includes hundreds of interviews and illustrative examples that peel away stereotypes about Arab consumers to reveal a diverse, vibrant and entrepreneurial consumer market.
- Explains how multinational companies, such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and Proctor & Gamble and leading regional companies are working successfully in the region.
- Shows how Arab entrepreneurs, both men and women, are shaping the regional and global marketplaces.
- Provides an expert perspective on the boundless business opportunities to anyone interested in the Arab world as a business investing opportunity.
The Arab world’s mix of deep traditional roots and constant reach for a progressive future has created an enormous demand for outside brands. The Arab World Unbound will help demystify this thriving market and help any investor or company build seize this boundless opportunity.
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