The Emirati networker selling the UAE's attractions to UK companies

Hamed Yaseen runs a business with his UAE-based brother that helps British companies with eastward expansion

Hamed Yaseen's business is focused on attracting investment to the Emirates. Photo: Hamed Yaseen
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Hamed Yaseen has lived in London for the past seven years, but he still spends most of his time thinking about Dubai.

The UAE national, who was born and raised in Dubai, runs a business with his UAE-based brother, Mohammed, which is focused on attracting investment to the Emirates.

Mr Yaseen originally arrived in the UK to study for a business management degree and went on to take a course in software development.

And he decided to stay after spotting an opportunity that benefits both the UK and UAE.

The brothers noticed that the owners of many companies that Sky Millennium, the family business, had helped to set up in the UAE came from Britain.

So there was potential to encourage even more with someone on the ground in London to help.

“It has become very attractive to live in the UAE,” said Mr Yaseen, the director of the UK arm of the business.

“There is this very unique opportunity where you can live [in the UAE for] eight or nine months of the year and then when the summer comes, a lot of British nationals go back [to the UK] for four or five months.

“It’s a back and forth and it connects the West and the East like that.

“We have just recently set up in the UK, but from the UAE we help 15 to 20 companies on average per month.”

The brothers are working with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) free zone, which is home to more than 24,000 companies in sectors including agriculture, special metals, consulting, technology and gaming, to encourage more companies to set up there.

Establishing a business in the UAE is easier than many think, Mr Yaseen said, not least because brothers handle all the paperwork.

“We take all the paperwork from the trade licence, setting up your bank account, getting your visa. So we help you from start to finish,” he said.

“That means you can give us all your documents regarding the business and within two to three weeks it could be set up, and you are ready to go with an established business in the UAE.”

Companies do not even have to be an established British business, said Mr Yaseen.

“Even if are not an established company in the UK and you want to eventually want to open up a company in the UAE, but you don’t want to do it in the UK, we also help with that,” he said.

The set-up cost varies depending on the type of business, but typically it totals between Dh15,000 and Dh40,000.

Mr Yaseen spends a lot of time at events, before or after his official work day begins, meeting potential new clients.

“I have recently started going to BNI (Business Network International) chapter meetings. The meetings start around 6.45am and they go until around 9am and it’s basically a group of business people wanting to meet before they start work,” he said.

“Each person in the group has 60 seconds to stand up and talk about the business they have and potentially get some business based on whoever needs your help. There is this rule called 'givers gain', so whoever I give business they are more likely to give me business.”

He also recently attended an event for companies that would like to expand abroad. Networking events help him to get the business “out there”, he said.

“During the afternoon, based on the cards I have got or the emails I have, I reach out to them to remind me about the company once again,” he said.

Most of his work days are spent like this, talking to potential clients and chasing leads, calling back and forth to the team in Dubai to check on the progress of applications.

“I call back to the team in Dubai, which my brother is in. We communicate what has happened during the day and what we can do to help certain businesses set up and, based on the inquiries, whether it’s doable or whether it’s not based on the business plan,” he said.

He enjoys his work and has no plans to move back to Dubai any time soon, even though he misses the UAE winter.

“It’s not too hot, not too cold. But I don’t miss the summers in the UAE. Summer in the UK is better.”

Updated: April 15, 2024, 10:15 AM