Despite the soaring inflation and rising prices, doing business in the Gulf States is still very attractive, a recent poll conducted by Leaders Presents revealed. More than 83% of regional business leaders expect to increase the amount of business they do in the GCC over the next 12 months, and almost 80% expect the profit they derive over the next five years from their GCC businesses to increase at a greater rate than the average profit expected to be derived from the rest of the world. In addition, the survey - which reflects the opinions of nearly 400 regional business leaders and key decision makers from across the region - reports that while almost 76% said they intend to increase the number of staff in the GCC, less than 4% plan to reduce their employee numbers.
More than 63% of the regional leaders surveyed voted the UAE as the easiest country in the GCC to do business while KSA is considered the most difficult (41%). That maybe explains why 51% of the respondents ranked the UAE as the country most favored by companies to do more business, followed by KSA, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.
“The UAE government's efforts towards easing the process for establishing companies here are some of the noteworthy factors that have made the UAE one of the most attractive options for investors willing to venture into the region's emerging markets. The biggest question is, is the current global economic crisis going to undo all the hard work already done by government?” said Lucy Mountain, Conference Director.
Of the seven emirates, Dubai is clearly the most favored, with almost 51% of companies saying they do most of their GCC business in the emirate, and 17% saying they want to do more business in Abu Dhabi. Only 7% of the respondent companies said they are doing most of their GCC business in emirates other than Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
“The GCC countries in general are experiencing a rapid growth fueled by rising population numbers and an increase in national income. The high rate of per capita affluence along with the modernization in legislations and laws are big contributing factors towards attracting more businesses, which also facilitates further investments into those markets,” added Lucy.
Leaders Presents is organizing the upcoming “Leaders in Dubai Business Forum” to take place from November 16 to 18 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center. Keynote speakers include Mohamed ElBaradei, James Wolfensohn and Rudolph Giuliani. The forum is supported by Citibank, Nokia, Amlak Finance, Etisalat, Al-Mal Capital, Wasl, the InterContinental Hotel and Cadillac. Media Partners include Al-Arabiya News Channel and CNN.