Lord Livingston, the UK minister of state for trade and investment, hopes that UK’s SME community will set up businesses in the UAE. in the Charles Crowell for The National
Lord Livingston, the UK minister of state for trade and investment, hopes that UK’s SME community will set up businesses in the UAE. in the Charles Crowell for The National

UK government backs luxury retail drive in Dubai

The British government is giving its businesses including its leading luxury retailers a push in Dubai as it looks to increase exports to the UAE, the UK minister for trade and investment said.

Fortnum & Mason, the 307-year- old British department store, will open its first overseas operation in Dubai this weekend. The store was showing off a selection of its wares at the British consulate in Dubai at the launch of Great week, a marketing effort to stimulate trade between the UK and the UAE.

“Fortnum & Mason is opening up its first overseas store here, which is really good example of a British brand that will appeal locally,” said Lord Livingston, the UK minister of state for trade and investment. “We have a 10 per cent growth year-on-year for exports to the UAE, bilateral trade between the two countries now stands in excess of Dh60 billion, and we want to build that relationship.”

Other brands on show included Lulu Guinness, Bremont and Halcyon Days.

The minister also announced a new initiative to help the UK's SME community set up businesses in the UAE with the launch of the British Dubai Business Centre. It will be located in the Department of Economic Development to become an incubator, helping UK companies arrange a local partner and ease the path into the UAE.

"We hope to help a host of smaller and medium-sized businesses into the country in the construction and design sector," said the minister. "Dubai and London are complementary as tourism and transport hubs and increasingly Islamic finance, which is now being offered outside the Islamic world and London is becoming the centre for Islamic finance outside of the region."

The booming retail markets of the UAE are an enticement for many European governments and companies to tap into the liquidity of the current climate. Fortnum & Mason will open a standalone store in the downtown district occupying 9,000 square feet over three floors offering a candle emporium, a huge assortment of teas and an ice-cream parlour on the top floor.

“Dubai is pretty much the fastest- growing city in the world and hub for everywhere and everything,” said Alexandra Allason of tourism and marketing at Fortnum & Mason. “The demand from our clientele in Piccadilly says we should be here. We have a substantial number of loyal Gulf clients that enjoy the dedicated service we provide and come back regularly. It may not be a huge amount but it is the right people that are returning and makes us believe that it is correct for us to be here.”


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Eyasses squad

Charlie Preston (captain) – goal shooter/ goalkeeper (Dubai College)

Arushi Holt (vice-captain) – wing defence / centre (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Olivia Petricola (vice-captain) – centre / wing attack (Dubai English Speaking College)

Isabel Affley – goalkeeper / goal defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Jemma Eley – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Alana Farrell-Morton – centre / wing / defence / wing attack (Nord Anglia International School)

Molly Fuller – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Caitlin Gowdy – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Noorulain Hussain – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai College)

Zahra Hussain-Gillani – goal defence / goalkeeper (British School Al Khubairat)

Claire Janssen – goal shooter / goal attack (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Eliza Petricola – wing attack / centre (Dubai English Speaking College)

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

if you go

The flights Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, and Royal Jordanian all offer direct, three-and-a-half-hour flights from the UAE to the Jordanian capital Amman. Alternatively, from June Fly Dubai will offer a new direct service from Dubai to Aqaba in the south of the country. See the airlines’ respective sites for varying prices or search on reliable price-comparison site Skyscanner.

The trip 

Jamie Lafferty was a guest of the Jordan Tourist Board. For more information on adventure tourism in Jordan see Visit Jordan. A number of new and established tour companies offer the chance to go caving, rock-climbing, canyoning, and mountaineering in Jordan. Prices vary depending on how many activities you want to do and how many days you plan to stay in the country. Among the leaders are Terhaal, who offer a two-day canyoning trip from Dh845 per person. If you really want to push your limits, contact the Stronger Team. For a more trek-focused trip, KE Adventure offers an eight-day trip from Dh5,300 per person.


Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Stars: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal

Rating: 2.5/5


Manny Pacquiao
Record: 59-6-2 (38 KOs)
Age: 38
Weight: 146lbs
Height: 166cm
Reach: 170cm

Jeff Horn
Record: 16-0-1 (11 KOs)
Age: 29
Weight: 146.2lbs
Height: 175cm
Reach: 173cm

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