Made for Trade Live – the DMCC’s international roadshow highlighting the benefits of doing business in Dubai through their organisation – arrived in the UK at the end of March. The roadshow discussed the many opportunities now available for British firms amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Over 150 industry leaders attended the London event to hear how the DMCC could assist British companies seeking to expand into new territories. The DMCC also released updated research data from its ‘Future of Trade’ report that looked back on the previous 12 months of international trade in the UAE.

During this period, the report highlighted how the UAE is now seen as a leader when it comes to air transport, finance, shipping and logistics and non-oil commodity trade. The implementation of forward-thinking infrastructure and stringent regulation means the UAE is now centre stage for trade between China, the Middle East and Africa – which is viewed by many as the fast growing trade route anywhere in the world.

UK and UAE strengthen their relationship

Currently there are over 16,000 businesses already taking advantage of the opportunities being made available by the DMCC in the UAE. Their presence in the UK last month was part of a wider strategy to encourage entrepreneurs and business people to look at ways of investing in the ever-expanding commercial sector in the region. They told attendees that the UAE has become the natural hub for Free Zone businesses searching for a strategic geographic location that enabled them to quickly establish strong global connections.

After the US, Hong Kong and China, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the UK’s fourth-largest export market for goods outside the EU. The Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, recently revealed plans for bilateral trade to achieve a target of around £25 billion (AED 121 billion) by next year.

The UAE and the UK have a longstanding partnership and with so much uncertainty attached to Brexit developments, it presents an opportunity to strengthen and grow the relationship. The Made for Trade Live event was intended to consolidate the UAE’s connection with key commercial channels across the world, further enhancing its economic diversification plan.

New commercial opportunities for British companies

Since being set-up in 2002, over 3,000 companies from 17 cities around the world have attended the DMCC’s international roadshows. Many have heard how the Dubai government have introduced new regulations that allow foreigners to own up to 100% of their UAE-based businesses. For British companies fearful of a negative impact to the local market post-Brexit, this could enable them to create a strong presence and maximise the trade routes available in Dubai.

As recently as 2017, the DMCC published a report that highlighted how 42% (or 2.3 million) of businesses in the UK were keen to expand operations abroad to investigate new opportunities once Brexit had taken place. From these figures, 75% of them suggested that Dubai could be a primary destination.