Arab Franchise Times

Deborah Roider

Franchise Director F&B Pillars UAE.

The United Arab Emirates has been always admired for its “make the impossible happen” spirit, and dynamism as the new world business hub. Most of the worldwide brands seeking to expand at a great scale, opened in the last decade headquarters and factories in Dubai with the purpose to serve the Middle East, Asia, and even African markets.
Being nowadays, Dubai a business hub with global exposure, and it also became a great scenario for “out of the ordinary” brands, innovative concepts, and constantly showcasing “state of the art” services and new products.
When expanding to Dubai and overall, to UAE, there are some relevant aspects to consider; The very tech and digital-savvy young population, being most of the consumer’s millennials and the i-generation. When entering a market where consumers are forward thinkers with an “I have seen it all” background, is of utmost importance that new brands and companies starting a business in the UAE have something innovative to introduce to the very demanding clientele.
On the other hand, the UAE government already took a proactive approach to support and ease the entrance of new ideas and international businesses into the market, like allowing 100% foreign equity ownership in companies, free trade zones with zero taxes, a USD 100+ billion stimulus to boost the economy after the covid-19, improved government and digital systems to complete business and government transactions in just a few clicks,
among other initiatives with increased value for the investors.
In conclusion, the exposure step for your brand is the smart move that successfully precedes the expansion on an exponential level. For some big companies, the opening of a single unit might not be an attractive move, instead, the brands might want to go ahead and grant master rights or at least develop a multi-unit opening program with the idea that the Dubai market can demand a bigger offer of their product or service, but the truth is that the
impact of opening a well-thought flagship in the short and medium term is exponential and can reach much further than the UAE alone. The Arab world is not only big but some of its countries and destinations are booming at ultra-fast speed while maintaining and building top-notch industry and lifestyle standards. In our next Arab Franchise Times issue we will develop what is the big step that smart brands take, to grow, once their brand has been showcased to the world from a flagship shop in Dubai.