Location can play a huge part in the success of a business. Ask any business owner, anywhere. Being in the right place, and at the right time, too, can often mean opportunity presents itself when otherwise it perhaps wouldn’t. The Middle East is perfectly placed in that respect, with major emerging markets to the east and west. Add minimum red tape and bureaucracy and a strong international banking presence to the mix and the decision to move there becomes decidedly easier. That’s why the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the city of Dubai in particular, is increasingly seen as the perfect place in which to do business.
A case in point is the rapid rise of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub which connects the region’s emerging markets with the developed markets of Europe, Asia and the Americas. A large number of banks and brokerages have established a presence in the DIFC, attracted to the region by its wealth and cross-border trade and investment activity. As a result, company’s both large and small have greatly benefited with a plethora of tailored services including business banking accounts in the UAE and in other nearby countries.
Of course, it’s not just excellent and insightful business financing that’s crucial to the decision-making process. There are many other factors likely to sway any reluctant investor or entrepreneur. Bureaucracy is the biggest single issue often cited which prevents a business from setting up or expanding into a new jurisdiction. Red tape stifles freedom to act and to respond to changing business realities which can adversely affect the ability of a company to trade profitably. Get the balance right and businesses come quickly knocking on the door.
And that’s exactly what has happened both in Dubai and the wider UAE over the last few years. Literally tens of thousands of businesses have set up in the country’s dozens of free zones and now enjoy the benefits of a relaxed regulatory and taxation environment which is the envy of many countries around the world. Go online and check out the benefits. See what they would do for you in terms of your company’s profitability.
In recent weeks, two high-profile global financial institutions have set up in the DIFC, Standard Life, a leading long-term savings and investments company, and Coutts, the London-based international private banking and wealth management firm.
Standard Life’s Nathan Parnaby, Chief Executive, Asia and Emerging Markets, said, “Our long term vision within the Middle East is to build a leading retail savings and investments business. Being a large and respected wealth centre, the UAE is at the centre stage of our regional business strategy. We are confident of strong growth as there is high demand within the region for established and trusted brands like Standard Life to deliver leading savings and investment solutions.
“The DIFC is a recognised financial centre and we are committed to building our regional business from there, building on the strength of our existing relationships with customers and distribution partners.”
Coutts CEO Rory Tapner said, “Our relocation to the DIFC represents a significant milestone for Coutts in the Middle East. In addition to offering a more central location, our presence here will allow us to provide a greater degree of investment advice to our clients who work with us in the region.”