Accessibility Flights through Emirates, Etihad, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss Airways, British Airways, Kenya Airways and South African Airways – excluding charters CountryWeekly United Kingdom189 Netherlands91 Germany84 France63 Switzerland49 Africa302
Ease of starting business Source: World Bank “Doing Business 2014” Ranking
High Standard of Living Source: Global Lifestyle Review – Knight Frank
What do I need to consider? Demystifying business in the UAE
Know your market Whatever the size of your business, you first need to understand the demand for your product or service to determine your market potential. Research, research, research the market and find out where there is current supply and demand; then apply your business intelligence to predict what future demand will be.
Find the gaps in the market Only once you understand the market can you identify the gap or niche which your product or service will address. Remember your expertise and proofs of concept are important differentiators
Know your Competition Research is the mantra that must always apply to start-ups or SMEs looking to expand into a new part of the world. In addition to really understanding the audience for your product or service, research the competition. To effectively differentiate your proposition, you must first understand your competition. Even if you are a completely new-to- market concept, less obvious competitors will already exist
Know your unique selling points Once you know the gaps in the market and understand your competition, decide on your unique selling points. This is particularly important if seeking finance from external sources. It should help to position your offering as an attractive investment proposition.
Choose the right business format Think very carefully about where and with whom you will be trading. Determine what company formation structure suits you best. It can be a very costly exercise if you don’t get this right from the outset.
Be wary of barriers & pitfalls Licensing is linked to the rental of commercial office space in the UAE and this can be a drain on capital expenditure for a start-up or SME. Labour, immigration and municipality fees can also impact cash flow if you’re not prepared for them. Your local partner should be able to guide you in this regard.
Be wary of challenges generating finance At the moment, access to finance is particularly challenging for start-ups in the UAE. Providing audited financials and a clear corporate governance policy can help. Personal savings or loans from friends and family can be the most cost-efficient and hassle-free forms of financing.
Grasp the opportunity Demonstrate a willingness to ‘fit in’ while remaining assured and confident in order to fully grasp the opportunity. Take bold decisions; they can reap rewards. Think on a wider scale: Could your business work in other Middle Eastern markets? And importantly, are you aligned with the economic vision of the country?
About Synergy Capturing and directing foreign market mindshare towards emerging markets for over 50 years Integrating international networks of Emirati business partners Corporate service providers Local partners Leading multinationals Enabling FDI through International trade organisations connectivity Introduction and facilitation across borders Local market knowledge and entry routing
Our aim is simple To be the default choice for the Synergy of individuals, companies, organisations, trade bodies and business leaders and their introduction to key strategic contacts in relevant emerging market sectors
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