Mediterranean/ Middle East/Africa Trade - Dubai offers one-stop business services

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): International Trade  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTDubai is flourishing. Nowhere is the “new” Middle East more obvious than this emirate in the United Arab Emirate (UAE). At the time the UAE federation of seven sheikhdoms was formed in 1971, Dubai was a small town of 183,000 inhabitants straddling a creek used by local wooden dhows (sailing vessels). Today the area’s population has exploded to over 1.3 million, with visitors bringing the total to well over 6 million a year. Today Dubai is a large market with more than $17 billion in domestic imports annually. It serves as a gateway to a 1.4 billion population, with a regional import market of $150 billion.
Just like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Dubai has emerged from the desert sands. Today when worldwide corporations seek financing, they turn to Dubai. If they need market access to the Middle East, they locate in Dubai. If they need a Middle East location from which to perform logistics and shipping operations, they utilize Dubai.
IMD, a leading independent organization, along with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), reports in the DED-IMD Report 2005 that Dubai ranks 17th among the most competitive economies worldwide. Dubai is ranked against four main factors: Economic Performance, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency and Infrastructure.
“Dubai’s high competitiveness ranking, endorsed by an international institution against some of the major global economies, clearly reinforces the message that the Government of Dubai is focusing on implementing business friendly initiatives to offer value-added services to investors,” says Ali Ibrahim, deputy director general for Executive Affairs, DED. “This report will go a long way towards highlighting the positive trends in Dubai’s economic environment and to ensure that Dubai becomes the destination of choice for international investors and multinational corporations,” he added.
Dubai’s business efficiency was ranked 21, based on a number of internal issues for private sector businesses operating in Dubai. These issues include lack of ready availability of skilled labor, finance and international best practices in auditing and accounting.
Ranking for Dubai’s basic infrastructure was relatively strong, at 16, although the Emirate’s overall ranking for infrastructure spanning various forms of infrastructure has been classified at 32. The IMD’s definition of infrastructure extends beyond basic infrastructure to educational, technological, health and environmental and scientific infrastructure.
One-stop informationAt the heart of promoting Dubai’s growth and encouraging trade and business development is the government of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Marketing (DTCM). For any company wanting to do business in and with Dubai, this is the place to go. It offers one-stop information services for all business needs. Dubai is a free society, but its government keeps a tight reign.
As the Department clearly points out: “International manufacturers and exporters may conduct business with Dubai by concluding transactions directly with importers and traders who are already established in the market. This type of arms’ length arrangement may be suitable for low volume trade. However, for an on-going business relationship, overseas companies may want to consider a more permanent form of representation.”
DTCM suggests establishing a presence at one of the many locations within Dubai such as Dubai Logistics City, or the free zones scattered around the area.
Established in January 1997, the DTCM has two main areas of responsibility. The first of these includes all the functions of the former Dubai Commerce and Tourism Promotion Board (DCTPB), which had been in existence since 1989 and concentrated on the international promotion of Dubai’s commerce and tourism interests. The DTCM’s second main area of responsibility is as the principal authority for the planning, supervision and development of the tourism sector in the emirate.
As part of its marketing role, the D

Karen Thuermer's avatar

American Journal of Transportation