Countries in KPMG’s MESA region 

Below are brief outlines for each country in KPMG's MESA region.

Bahrain was once known as Dilmun and played a central trading role between what is now India and Iraq. Today, it is an open economy and major offshore financial centre, less dependent on oil than many Gulf States, with a tax-free policy.


It offers a relaxed and tourist-friendly social environment and the capital city of Manama is a vibrant cosmopolitan center with modern cultural amenities like museums, shopping, restaurants and fine hotels. It is an easy commute 25km across a causeway to Saudi Arabia.


The country is known for its moderate winters, warm spring-times and autumns when sunny days are practically guaranteed and hot (and often humid) summers.


  • GDP: US$24.6bn*
  • Over 300 KPMG professionals
  • The Bahrain firm is recognized as a provider of one of the best Internship training programs in the region
  • Eighty five percent of population are expatriates
  • Legal system based on Sharia law
  • Arabic is the main language, though English is widely spoken and is the principal language of commerce.


Kuwait lies at the head of the Arabian Gulf, and has one of the smallest populations in the region at 2.5m people within its 7,500 square miles. The Kuwaiti economy is heavily dependent on oil, which represents 90 percent of export revenues, and is free of income tax.


Islam in Kuwait is a way of life, and religion and public worship pervade all aspects of life. Kuwaiti summers are very hot, and mainly dry with very little humidity. Kuwait is a vibrant cosmopolitan country with modern cultural amenities like museums, shopping malls, restaurants and fine hotels with superb fitness clubs.


  • GDP: US$130.1bn*
  • Over 120 KPMG professionals
  • Sixty four percent of the population are expatriates
  • Requirement for professionals with Arabic language skills
  • Legal system based on Sharia law


Oman is a 1,000-mile-long coastal plain at the southeast tip of the Arabian Peninsula beside the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.


Oman has notable oil and gas resources, a substantial trade surplus, and low inflation. The government is privatizing its utilities and diversifying its economy to attract foreign investment. It also operates a tax free policy.


  • GDP: US$61.6bn*
  • Over 100 KPMG professionals
  • Economy heavily dependent on oil
  • Around 20 percent of population are expatriates
  • Predominantly Sharia law
  • Arabic is the official language, while English, Baluchi, Urdu, and Indian dialects are also spoken

Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Oil reserves of more than 15 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 22 years, and its proven reserves of natural gas are about 15 percent of the world total and third largest in the world.


Qatar’s tax-free economy is currently focused on diversification and liberalization to sustain high levels of growth.


The climate in Qatar combines mild, pleasant winters and very hot, humid summers.


  • GDP: US$57.7bn*
  • Around 35 KPMG professionals
  • Sharia law


Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has the second highest GDP of the MESA region countries, driven largely by its immense oil reserves which represent 25 percent of the world’s proven supplies.


The cities of Makkah and Madina are historic Islamic centers and are a popular destination for our expatriate workers and their families from the Muslim world.


KPMG was one of the first professional firms in Saudi Arabia to recruit women. Currently 5 percent of the workforce is female, with a 5 percent increase a year target. However it is difficult for non-Saudi women to get work visas.


KPMG has been ranked top two in a Best Saudi Company to Work For survey hosted by Al Eqtisadiah newspaper.


Riyadh is the commercial hub of this country whilst Jeddah retains its cosmopolitan feel and is a base for an increasing number of leisure facilities on the Red Sea coast. The tri-cities region of Al Khobar, Dhahran and Dammam is the main centre of the Kingdom’s oil & gas and chemical related industries.


The large land mass with its arid climate has great extremes of temperature, with high humidity especially along the Gulf coast in summer.


  • GDP: US$564.6bn*
  • 300 KPMG professionals
  • Around 25 percent of population are expatriates
  • Legal system based on Sharia law
  • Arabic is the main language, but English is widely spoken in urban areas.


United Arab Emirates
UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, and Dubai ranks as the most popular choice for non-Muslim expatriates with its tax-free economy, vibrant social life and high standard of living.


There are many varied types of activities, from the urban — such as shopping for designer label clothing, immersing yourself in the gold or spice souks, and eating in the many gourmet restaurants — to the more sporting activities such as skiing in the large indoor ski slope, scuba diving in the Arabian Gulf, or enjoying desert safari and camel rides.


  • GDP: US$167.3bn*
  • Over 500 KPMG professionals
  • Ninety eight percent of the population are expatriates
  • Legal system based on Sharia law
  • Arabic is the official language, while Persian, English, Hindi and Urdu are also spoken. English is the primary language within the KPMG firm


Afghanistan is a very poor country, ravaged by two decades of war – but its economy, though fragile, is relatively stable and growing at around 11 percent a year.


  • GDP: US$35bn*
  • Non-opium agriculture accounts for around 38 percent of GDP
  • 45 KPMG professionals
  • The national languages are Pashto and Dari
  • Predominantly Muslim


Bangladesh has a rich historical and cultural past, the product of repeated influx of people from Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Arab, Persian, Turkic, British and several other European nations.


  • GDP: US$206.7bn*
  • The economy comprises agriculture: 22 percent, industry: 28 percent, services: 50 percent
  • 165 KPMG professionals
  • Bangla is the official language, but English is widely spoken
  • Predominantly Muslim


Egypt is admired worldwide for its 7,000-year-old civilization and awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to survive.


Egypt is the second largest economy in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia.


  • GDP: US$404bn*
  • 1,000 KPMG professionals
  • Arabic is the official language, though English and French are widely understood by educated classes
  • Predominantly Muslim


Lebanon enjoys a rich culture owing to the many different religious communities. It has a prominent artistic life, and capital Beirut, has a vibrant and non-conformist style that is distinct from that of other Arab cities.


  • GDP: US$42.27bn*
  • 50 KPMG professionals
  • Diverse mix of religions and cultures
  • Arabic is the official language of Lebanon, but French and English are spoken

Pakistan has a rich culture that has preserved established traditions throughout its history. Many cultural practices, foods, monuments, and shrines were inherited from the rule of Muslim Mughal and Afghan emperors. The region forming modern Pakistan was home to the ancient Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world and dating back at least 5,000 years.


With an average growth rate of seven percent over the last five years, Pakistan is one of the fastest-developing economies in south Asia.


  • GDP: US$410bn*
  • Agriculture is the largest single industry sector
  • 800 KPMG professionals
  • Predominantly Muslim
  • English and Urdu are the official languages


Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a sought-after tourist destination that combines rich beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and ancient cities. It has a diverse population comprising many races and religions.


  • GDP: US$81.3bn*
  • Primary industries are garments, tea, and rubber
  • 600 KPMG professionals in nine offices
  • Diverse religions
  • Sinhala, Tamil, and English are the most widely spoken languages


Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the world. It was known to the Ancient Romans as Arabia Felix ("Happy Arabia") because of the riches its trade generated. Today it is one of the poorest Arab countries, but its economy grew on average 3.5 percent a year between 2000 and 2006 largely due to its oil reserves.


  • GDP: US$52.05bn*
  • 45 KPMG professionals
  • Predominantly Muslim
  • Arabic is the primary language

*All statistical country information is sourced from CIA - The World Factbook
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