Paul Ross runs a Chicago based computing business after studying for five years in Dubai. He regularly does business in the UAE, with the occasional vacation for when he does decide to take time out.
Encompassing countries from Morocco in the west, to Iran in the east, the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region includes some of the most extensive oil and gas reserves in the world. Such vast wealth helps to underpin global economic stability. Sustaining this economic power, beyond its natural resources, is heavily dependent on education. The same can be said for starting a business in the region; assets like a solid degree and reputable website can make all the difference between success and disaster, and go hand in hand with progress. So what are the critical business resources that can ensure the wealth factor of your venture?
A superior degree
Where better to learn about economy than against the dazzling, opulent backdrop of the United Arab Emirates? Some of the top universities in the MENA region can be found in the UAE, and students are surrounded by levels of wealth that will motivate you to push for results! Dubai is the most popular educational hub in the region, with a reputation for excellence that makes it popular with international students. Not only is this useful for building a global network of connections, it will give you the perspective on other cultures to cultivate great interpersonal skills. After graduation, if you choose to remain for a few years, the tax-free earnings will help you build collateral for your business, fast.
Being surrounded by those with the means to invest is critical for the fledgling entrepreneur, and in an area of the world blessed with economic heft, there’s perhaps no better place to seek investment than the Middle East and North Africa. Rising incomes and a youthful population translate to growing economies and a receptive marketplace, which in turn will bring stable growth and capital to your venture.
No man is an island, and your business is only as strong as its weakest employee, so you must have access to a viable workforce to secure success for your business. In countries where business education is paramount, Dubai tends to shine especially brightly in the areas of Economics, Business Management and Accounting, furnishing candidates with a wealth of knowledge that can catalyze successes for their future employer.
Increasingly, the business world is being dazzled by the emergent start-up companies of MENA. From a company that can purify salt water with solar power to a swim tracker that works like a personal fitness device, there are bright minds coming to the fore with some unique business ideas in these incubator countries. There are also some fine initiatives to support young entrepreneurs, for example, Injaz Egypt pairs students with mentors in to give their ideas the traction they need to progress.
Lastly, and perhaps most critically, what is a business without its customers? Whether your product or service is geared towards consumer or trade, the ready disposable income and commercialized culture of global cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are a solid litmus test for the viability of your product. If you can’t sell it in the Middle East, it’s unlikely you’ll find a market for it anywhere.
Image by HWUPetroleum