The Middle East is a region of the world located between Africa, Asia and Europe, therefore, being strategically positioned as an inland bridge between these continents. Comprising a total of seventeen countries, this area has diverse geography, religion and cultural practices reason why it should not be assumed that all Middle Eastern Markets are the same.
The economic models of these countries have changed significantly in the last few years. Historically, these economies were built on the bases of oil, however, in the last years non-oil sectors have been contributing greatly to the countries’ GDP, among which technology has become an increasingly growing sector. Some further important sectors include transport and logistics, healthcare, and retail.
British companies are in a particularly good position to make the most of the great amount of opportunities in the Middle East. Thanks to the UK’s historical links to the region there is an especial fondness of the UK and its products, brands and design, especially when it comes to retail. One of the most prominent Middle Eastern countries for the United Kingdom is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is ranked 21st in the World Bank’s ease of doing business overall ranking, and in 2019 was the 12th most important trade partner for the UK and its fourth largest export market outside the European Union. Additionally, there are currently over 5000 British companies operating in this country, and 4762 brands have invested in the UAE.
There is a great amount of benefits from exporting to the Middle East, however, some of the key benefits include the opportunity of re-exporting into other countries thanks to its strategic location, and making the most of a diverse economy which is continuously growing and expanding. Additionally, although Arabic will often be the first language and documentation will be in Arabic, English is recognised as the language of business. Naturally, there are some challenges to be faced when trading with the Middle East, nevertheless, these challenges can be overcome with careful preparation.
If you would like to know more about this market, trading opportunities as well as how to connect with partners and potential customers please register here to join us on our Doing Business in the Middle East Webinar which will take place on the 29th of September.
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