Experts have extolled the benefits of doing business in Dubai at an event in central London, as companies around the world look to kick back into gear after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dozens of representatives attended a session in London at the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. Titled "Dubai – Your Gateway to Global Trade", it sought to advise companies on how they can get established in the emirates via the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre – awarded the Global Free Zone of the Year in 2021 by the Financial Times for the seventh straight year.
“We all know about Dubai’s importance,” said Baroness Symons, chairwoman of the ABCC and a former UK government trade and foreign office minister.
“Not only to the Arab world but as a gateway into Africa, a gateway across the whole of the Arab world and towards our friends in the east,” she said.
She highlighted how, for those “dedicated to widening world trade”, it had been “such a difficult time” because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The DMCC, established in 2002, is a major centre for trading commodities and has the world’s largest-growing free zone – more than 20,000 companies are registered in it.
Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief executive officer of DMCC, highlighted the important role the DMCC plays in the tea and diamond market.
“Part of what cements DMCC’s success and makes it easier to attract businesses and grow is the logistics strength that Dubai has,” he said, referencing Dubai-based logistics company DP World and Emirates Airlines.
James Bernard, the DMCC’s regional representative in Europe, says there are 100,000 people living and working in the DMCC. With three lakes, restaurants, a basketball court, a park, hotels and business centres, it has “everything” needed he said.
“It almost feels, since 2008 until now, we don’t need to explain Dubai or the UAE as much as we used to. It’s pretty much on everyone’s tongue,” Mr Bernard said.
Nearly 2,000 UK companies are in the DMCC.
“Before, if I’d done this back in 2008, you would have had a big section about Dubai, the UAE, the GCC, where it is, and how long it takes to fly there. But I don’t think anyone needs to know that these days – everyone knows.
“Dubai is obviously located in an excellent location. And I think DMCC within Dubai and the UAE is in an excellent area, located close to Jebel Ali port, the airport and everything else. But also a residential community so you feel like your employees would come in and be able to get on with work, life, schools and everything else.”