The effects of the Arab Spring on all sectors of economic and business life will be profound, and not always benign. Forecasters have had a good six months to analyse the likely effects for economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), and no real certainty has emerged.
For every expert who believes growth will be disrupted and reduced by the unrest that has rocked the region, there is another who thinks the long-term effect will be to modernise and consumerise national economies.
However, in one industry, the insurance sector, there is near unanimity that the social dislocation has been bad for business, and that politicians are interfering in the workings of the market in a detrimental way.
Yassir Albaharna, the chief executive of Arig, one of the region's most venerable insurers, puts it like this: "There will have to be some clarity from governments. It cannot go on like it is."
Mr Albaharna was in Dubai last week as part of a whistle-stop tour of the region, visiting Arig's operations in Bahrain, the UAE and Cairo. Just a few weeks before, he had unveiled a significant increase in losses for the first half this year, covering the period of the most intense civil disruption the region has witnessed in decades.
The loss, he said, was "largely driven by reported and unreported Mena riot claims, and by underperforming financial markets".
He explained how the events had led to increased concern in the insurance industry.
"While we believe many of the claims seen from the peoples' revolutions in North Africa would fall under common policy exclusions, we are faced with government decrees, intense client pressure and a judiciary that may feel sympathetic to the national cause," he said.
The problem is what insurers call "SRCC" - strikes, riots and civil commotion. Normally, if a claim is deemed to fall under this category, it is held to be uninsurable, and the insurance companies will not pay.
But the nature of the disturbances in the Mena region, and in Bahrain in particular, has caused confusion and misinterpretation. Mr Albaharna says: "The events have not been classified as SRCC yet. They began as isolated incidents, but then, in Tunisia and Egypt, developed into popular insurrections, and most definitely so in Libya.
"But governments have put them in the insurable category, so we have had to meet claims in many instances that we feel are not justified. Going forward, we will need to decide if SRCC in its current form will be an uninsurable peril in some of our markets."
Arig's views on the issue carry weight in the region. For more than 30 years, the company has been the leading indigenous insurer and reinsurer in the Middle East. Owned by the governments of Kuwait, Libya and the UAE, as well as regional private shareholders, it is a commercial expression of pan-Arab identity that is still rare in the region.
When Arig was set up in 1980, the Gulf was awash with petrodollars after the oil shocks of the 1970s, and building an insurance industry was seen as one good use of the region's capital.
"Bahrain was the centre of Gulf commercial activity back then, so that's why our headquarters is there," says Mr Albaharna.
"Of course, Bahrain has had some issues of its own recently, which we are hopeful have been resolved. We don't rule out moving our headquarters at some stage in the future, but would have to study all the pros and cons," he adds.
If Arig does seriously consider moving out of troubled Bahrain, the UAE would be one of the obvious contenders to be its headquarters. It already has a presence in Dubai via its subsidiary Takaful Re,a leading Sharia-compliant insurer.
Arig has certainly become more globally oriented in recent years. In 2009, it teamed up with Hardy, a specialist insurance underwriting business operating within the Lloyd's of London market, the oldest insurance market in the world. The result was Hardy Arig Insurance Management (HAIM), which has established a significant presence in the Gulf's construction, property and energy markets.
Barbara Merry, the chief executive of Hardy, was accompanying Mr Albaharna on this visit to Dubai and explained the alliance with Arig. "The insurance penetration in the Middle East was historically very low. Even now, it's something like 1 or 2 per cent of GDP in many countries, whereas in the West it's something like 8 per cent.
"So that gave the industry a great incentive to come to the region, but not all the newcomers were especially good. There are now too many firms chasing too little business, but we believe HAIM offers quality products at the top end of the business."
There are undoubtedly opportunities for HAIM's specialist approach as some governments in the region increase their spending on big infrastructure projects after the Arab Spring protests and amid the build-up to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. "Hardy brings expertise on the underwriting side. Arig has the connections here. We think it's a winning formula," says Ms Merry.