5 top tips for realising corporate ambitions in the Middle East

By Matthew Alabaster

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The Middle East has enormous opportunities for global businesses wanting to tap in to the potential the region has on offer. But opportunities come with challenges and we’ve talked to some clients about their experiences of doing business and living in the Middle East.

These discussions are captured in Patience, resilience and a sense of humour- practical observations on realising corporate ambitions in the Middle East. Five main themes have come out of our conversations and these are:

1. Choosing and managing partners
Partners are a necessary feature of the business landscape, but capabilities, motivations and objectives vary greatly and it is easy to end up ‘married’ to the wrong one

2. Finding and keeping the right people
The workforce is diverse and mobile but assessment is difficult. Delivering on localisation targets can be time consuming and expensive but it has an intangible benefit

3. Competition and market pricing
Contrary to popular opinion, the Gulf’s streets are not paved with gold. They are highly competitive markets with a culture of negotiation, long lead times and slow payment

4. Getting commitment and support from the rest of the Group
Empowering local management, working with partners and offset/technology transfer obligations put strain on corporate business models that may have worked well back in the home market

5. Building relationships and understanding the culture
Personal relationships can make or break a business partnership still surprises many newcomers. Not everybody is good at this, and not all organisations are comfortable with it.

Find out more from the full 'Patience, resilience and a sense of humour' report here.
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Matthew Alabaster | Deals Strategy Partner
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