Contributing to socio-economic contribution

The Arabian Gulf chemical industry is a multibillion dollar industry, accounting for 2.8% of regional GDP. The industry accounts for about 6.8% of the world’s chemical production, exported to 180 countries around the globe. A major employer in the region, the chemical sector directly employs 148,700 people and supports additional 436,400 indirect and induced jobs in other sectors of the GCC economy. This is more than half a million employees, of whom a significant portion are GCC nationals. The industry enjoys one of the region’s highest job multiplier effect – for every new job created in the chemical sector three more are generated elsewhere in the economy.

The Arabian Gulf region has emerged as a global hub for the production of chemicals and petrochemicals. Over the past decade (2010-2020) the industry grew by CAGR 4.7%.

The key to continuous growth in the petrochemicals industry is the availability of, and access to, natural gas feedstock and refinery petrochemicals integration. The GCC enjoys significant energy availability; nearly one-third of the world’s oil and a quarter of world’s natural gas reserves are found in the region.

The chemical and petrochemical value chain in the GCC is complex and growing rapidly. With its vast and abundant hydrocarbon resources, the region produces a multitude of high value products for export and domestic consumption, generating hundreds of thousands of jobs, and supporting GCC economies. As the downstream drive continues, and producers aim to extract greater value from hydrocarbon molecules, GPCA presents some of the most common and wide ranging petrochemicals and chemicals in the Arabian Gulf, and how they are derived from a variety of feedstocks and products.

Chemical industry’s value added in 2019 is estimated at USD 46.7 billion

Figure: Chemical Industry Contribution to GCC GDP by country in 2019
Source: GCC Statistical Authorities, GPCA estimates, 2020
Note: GDP at current prices
Figure: GCC chemical industry growth trend (million tons and % growth rate)
Source: GPCA analysis, 2020
Note: GPCA member companies only, 2020 is preliminary

Expansion of the industry’s products slate (2006 – 2020)

See also

Chemistry innovations
Health and safety is our top priority
Environment and plastics sustainability
Shaping the future workforce