5 winning strategies to enter the UAE market

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If you are a business operating anywhere around the world, you’ve probably already thought about bringing your business to the UAE – and rightly so. From flexible visa options to tax-free income, to supportive investment and infrastructure landscape, and forward-looking leadership, there are more than enough reasons that make the country a haven for businesses of all makes and sizes to flourish and prosper further. 

Over the past few years, the UAE has become a rising global market, attracting a wide range of businesses, as it offers an array of expansion opportunities, given its strategic location connecting the East and the West of the world and friendly trade policies.

Whether you are a technology company or deal in travel and tourism, there is no dearth of scope for your business in this multicultural, innovative, progressive, and highly empowering country. 

Now that we have reinforced all that you’ve probably already heard, read, seen, or known about the country, let’s talk about how to make the UAE the new home for your business.

There are several things that you need to factor in before making a final decision to expand your business to the UAE – ranging from the diverse cultural spectrum it homes to the differences in administrative and economic realms from your country of origin and also the logistical challenges that you might have to tend to while transporting goods here. You will also have to define your goals and aspirations and your overarching business targets beforehand. 

However, once all that is done and you are sure about your move, you’ll have to settle upon an infallible market entry strategy to ensure your debut to the country is sorted and directed towards success and expansion in no time.

 

So what exactly is a market entry strategy?

By definition, it is a plan for distribution and delivery methods of your goods or services to a new target market – including the formation, establishment, and management of contracts in an overseas country.

 

UAE market entry strategy

Now, there are several market entry strategies that you can opt for depending upon the kind of your business and your arcade preferences. To access the distinctive market of the UAE, an effective entry strategy is not just a preferred way; it is the only way. Let’s have a look at the five most successful market entry strategies that you can choose from to ensure you put your best foot forward and start on the right note. 

1. Representative office or a branch office

One of the best ways to go about entering the UAE market is by opening a representative office or a branch office in the country to carry out your business activities. This strategy makes it possible for you to look after your marketing, promotions, and branding needs and tailor your offerings as per the local market.

However, there is a flip side to this option. In the UAE, a representative office cannot carry commercial transactions. This means you will not be able to sell your products despite being able to market and promote them. If you opt for this option, you will also be required to appoint a local service agent, who on your behalf will then be allowed to carry out certain business activities.

2. Local partnership

Another option for entering the UAE market is to form a partnership with a local company. You can merge your resources and benefit from the experience and expertise of a local partner and be sure that you are in safe hands with a company that is native and understands the market much better than you do. 

The local partner can also assist you in gaining a better understanding of the relevant laws, customer demands, the latest trends in the market, and the cultural complexities that you need to keep in mind. You can rely on your local partner, and the alliance is essential to your survival. The market risks are reduced by choosing this option.

We, at the Seed Group, for example, have helped hundreds of businesses as strategic partners to successfully enter the UAE market over the years of our existence.  

3. Link up with a local distributor

Another option for entering the UAE market is to partner with local distributors or vendors. You can hire distributors or retailers for the distribution of your products/services in the local market. 

This saves you from the need of creating a formal agreement – all your sales, distribution, and other needs are carried out through your local distributors. They take off the load from your shoulder so you can focus on other things that matter.

4. Business licensing

If opening a branch office is not your option of choice, you can go for business licensing – one of the most common UAE market entry strategies that international businesses opt for. Unlike opening a branch, if you get a business license, you are allowed to sell your products/services in the country directly, without the involvement of a local agent. 

Obtaining a business license may be a long and arduous process, but it is worth it. However, it is not usually recommended for small-sized businesses or start-ups due to the time and energy it takes. 

5. Business franchising

Last but not the least is the strategy of business franchising. Big corporates or brands, opt for franchising their business to the local entities under their global expansion plan. If you go for this option, you will have to get a franchise agreement drafted with local entities and you are all set to operate. The most common examples of business franchising can be seen among global FMCG brands. 

 

The aforesaid are five winning business strategies that you can pick from to foray into the UAE market, which is a business destination par excellence from all possible aspects. 

Do you know of any other winning market entry strategy? Share with us.

 

 

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