UK companies bullish on expansion to UAE

By Henry Nicol Business Development Manager at The Links Group


From September 21st to 25th, The Links Group conducted a UK promotional roadshow about business opportunities in Dubai, holding briefing seminars in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.  The roadshow was held in conjunction with the Dubai Foreign Direct Investment Office (FDI), and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), while the seminars themselves were organised by the regional offices of UK Trade & Investments (UKTI).


Dubai FDI provides essential information and support to foreign businesses looking to invest in the emirate’s thriving economy and take advantage of its global strategic importance.  Dubai FDI guides, advises and provides practical help on all aspects of business decisions and management, from determining the best legal structures to identifying investment opportunities and introducing a vast network of government and private sector contacts (


DTCM is the principal authority for planning, supervising and developing the tourism sector in Dubai. In addition, it is charged with the responsibility of licensing and classifying hotels, hotel apartments, tour operators, travel agents and all other tourism services. DTCM’s supervisory role covers archaeological and heritage sites and ensures sustainable and responsible tourism for Dubai (


The ‘Opportunities Dubai’ roadshow was organised with the aim of promoting Dubai not only a tourist destination, but more importantly, as an attractive business location from which to operate.  With the advent of Expo 2020, and the resurgent regional economy, the roadshow provided an ideal opportunity for local UK businesses to learn more about the emirate as a strategic business hub from which to access the wider GCC market.


The London event was held at the Royal Over-Seas League just off Piccadilly, and was attended by  His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum – First Secretary, Commercial at UAE Embassy London, as well as VIP dignitaries.  The event attracted a strong audience in the fields of education and finance, with several clients showing a keen interest in setting up in Dubai in the short to medium term.


From London, the team moved on to Birmingham and hosted the second event at the International Convention Center (ICC).  The event attracted companies from the manufacturing and distribution sectors.  Although many attendees already have distribution channels in Dubai and the wider region, they still expressed interest in establishing a permanent presence through The Links Group’s corporate nominee structure.


The University of Salford in Media City hosted the Manchester event.  The event was well attended by businesses  in the manufacturing sector who were keen to learn about methods of distribution and also the onshore-Free Zone distinction.


The final stop of the tour took us to Edinburgh, where Scottish Development International (SDI) organised an event at the Royal College of Surgeons, an impressive backdrop to end the tour with!  Edinburgh provided arguably the most diverse audience, from energy management and banking businesses, to agriculture and food manufacturers.


The tour provided great camaraderie between The Links Group and our colleagues at Dubai FDI, DTCM and the UKTI teams.  The Links Group were also well supported on the tour by Jerry Parks from law firm Taylor Wessing and David Harris from Aramex, who conducted presentations and participated in Q&A sessions. It was unanimously held that the trip was a great success and subsequent roadshows should be planned at the earliest opportunity, not only in UK but also in the other key markets!


Our sincere thanks go to UKTI and SDI regional staff for their organisation and planning efforts.


Well done all!



Article by Links Group on Oct 13th 2014