Dubai Multi Commodities Centre survey reveals greater appetite for international expansion post-Brexit
Two-thirds of British firms are eyeing closer ties with Dubai after Brexit when the country leaves the European Union, according to a new survey.
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the free zone for commodities trade and enterprise, released its research indicating that more than a quarter of British firms have a greater appetite for international business expansion post-Brexit.
Two thirds (66.5 percent) of the firms surveyed following Prime Minister Theresa May speech last week, said they were actively looking at Dubai as a business location due to its geographical location, its business friendly regime, its growing marketplace for commodities, financial services, and an increasing range of specialist industries.
British business leaders and CEOs surveyed that said they are looking at overseas expansion, indicated that the main reason for establishing abroad, was gaining access to new markets and new talent pools.
Gautam Sashittal, CEO, DMCC, said: “British business is very important to us. We have over 1,350 British businesses, large and small in the DMCC Free Zone and British businesses are amongst the top three nationalities in our Free Zone.
"More importantly, British business understands Dubai, and the opportunities it presents, and the DMCC Free Zone creates the right environment in which British businesses looking to access the African, Middle Eastern, Central and South Asian markets can set up and thrive."
Speaking on the subject at DMCC’s Made for Trade Live Roadshow in London this week, Lord Green, chairman Asia House, said: “With the arrival of Brexit and the complexities it brings we have to encourage more and more British businesses to chart new courses in finding new markets. The Middle East offers extraordinary opportunities, the UAE being an obvious example of that."
DMCC said it currently hosts 27 percent of British SMEs who have set up in the UAE.
It added that it has seen a significant increase in interest from British business looking to set up a business in Dubai through its website, DMCC.ae with traffic from British only visitors increasing by 192 percent between 2015 to date.
The other day I attended one of the Roadshows organised by the DMCC, this one hosted at the IoD’s (the Institute of Directors) sumptuous flagship venue on Pall Mall in central London. The warm welcome and encouragement extended by Lord Green, Chairman of Asia House and Gautam Sashittal, the CEO of DMCC, seemed to me to be received well by many present. As a business psychologist, myself toying with the idea of what may be involved in setting up shop in Dubai and joining the other 1350 business mentioned above, I find myself wondering: “What makes a person take the plunge to create a business in a far-flung place like Dubai?” With my business-psychological hat on, I have a hunch - let’s call it a hypothesis, that an answer could surely be found to: Suppose we look at a group of people who considered creating a business (in one of the legal forms possible) in Dubai, who obtained advice for UK government’s Department of International Trade, the IoD, and DMCC and who had some experience of working in Dubai and who then decided to ‘go for it’ and set up a sister company in Dubai. Now compare that with people who did that same homework, with similar background, but who did not then take the decision to enter that market. My hypothesis is that the personality characteristics of those two different groups of people will significantly differ some key dimensions that are important for people’s success in business. So here is my hypothesis: those who do set up business in Dubai will have a greater tendency to seek and find opportunities, they will have stronger focus on a long-term vision and may be less afraid of calculated risk than the group of people who considered Dubai but passed on it, thank you, and stayed at home. My second hypothesis is that those in the first group would pose this question: Would you want to be one of those in the second group, who years down the line regrets the decision of not having tried, who had said bye to Dubai?