The Middle East market is experiencing lightening economic growth.

From tourism to healthcare to real estate, opportunities abound in the GCC market region. So why are companies exploring the Middle East for their business expansions and market research endeavors?

Certainly many reasons emerge from executives.

However, here are some of the reasons why some companies are considering expanding into the GCC region.

  • Strategic business advantages
    • Achieve competitive edge
  • Location: Trading hub between Europe and Asia
  • Currently stable GCC market
  • Remarkable economic growth & investment opportunity
  • Large consumer market
  • Pro-investment environment
  • Fear of falling behind competitors
  • Many multinationals already have regional presence
  • Neglecting region can potentially impair longterm competitiveness for many companies

Economic indicators (October 2007) show a flourishing economy.

As for the United Arab Emirates, for example, the economic snapshot looks positive.

UAE Economic Benefits

  • Remarkable growth & opportunity
    • 8.9% real growth in 2006
  • Diversifying towards tourism, media & financial services
  • Modern, English-speaking
  • Strategic market: Gateway to KSA, other GCC markets
  • Ranks 32nd most competitive global economy
    • Most competitive Gulf economy
  • Strengthening legal system by 2010
  • Most industries pay no federal corporate income tax

UAE Economic Obstacles

  • Liberal overall, except for operating regulations
    • Local sponsors necessary
    • Labor rules
    • Foreign ownership regulations
  • 100% ownership only for …
    • professional companies
    • branches of foreign companies
    • contingent on a local sponsor
  • Inflation from construction and housing prices
  • Real estate supply fluctuations
  • Insufficient urban transportation