‘Dynamic Dubai – the World’s Most Desirable Business Location’
This was the title of a seminar that The Links Group were invited to support in London last week. Along with our friends from Dubai government’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), The London Chamber of Commerce and The Oxford Business Group, we descended upon the headquarters of the London Chamber to say our piece!
It was a gloriously sunny day in London and the air was full of the optimism that the impending Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had imbued upon all of London over the previous couple of weeks. The seminar room was buzzing with optimism too. The room was filled with 80 top tier delegates, all of whom had braved the London commuter hour to arrive in plenty of time for strong coffee, sweet refreshments and – if I may say so myself – some pretty interesting presentations on life, business and opportunities in Dubai.
The gathering was graced by the presence of HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, who is currently residing in London as First Secretary of the UAE Embassy. This was a great endorsement for the event and we were all delighted that he stayed for the full day with us.
First on her feet – having been introduced by the chair of the proceedings Oliver Cornock of The Oxford Business Group – was the inimitable Fayha Sultan of DTCM. Energetic, focused and clearly passionate about the right way to conduct oneself in Dubai, this was a great start to a very interactive session.
On behalf of The Links Group, I followed Fayha to present the latest trends – from a company formation perspective – and a little bit about the practical ups and downs of establishing a business operation in the Middle East. The Links Group works closely with United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI) educating UK-based companies about the benefits of establishing a business in the Middle East. We have also established strong relationships with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Qatar Chamber of Commerce to best understand how to encourage inward investments.
Rounding up this information was Ayesha Sabavala of the UAE Economist Intelligence Unit, giving some high level insights into the burgeoning economy of Dubai – along with very practical advice on how to read these headline figures.
Arranged by Rob Denman – Editor in Chief of Pathfinder Business, and an independent consultant for The Links Group in London – we were then treated to two ‘live’ case studies by individuals who had been through the process of establishing their businesses in Dubai, the pitfalls to watch out for and some very practical tips on how to succeed – as they have. One case study came in via Skype from Melbourne, Australia and one live in the room. This interactive approach was fascinating and greatly appreciated by the audience and fellow speakers alike.
Finally – Q&A time. This is the moment that any event organiser can immediately tell how successful the event has been. It certainly was! Well thought out, interesting, probing and some humorous questions abounded. All in all, it was a great, interactive, interesting session.
Further refreshments courtesy of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry were then enjoyed by all, with a number of one-on-one short meetings undertaken by delegates and speakers together. Then a step outside back into the sun of the city of London to hurriedly take all our new ideas and newfound enthusiasm for all things Dubai, back home.