How not to Get Lost in a Crowd of Foreigners: Multinational Dubai

1:21 am  |  29.04.2024

In wealth Dubai, an entrepreneur may feel that starting a business here is easy. It is enough to call a lawyer or business consultant to establish a company, attract investors, and start making money.

This misconception is costly for those who come here to start a beautiful entrepreneurial story. The endless stream of business romantics trying to gain a foothold in the UAE and other wealthy countries in the Middle East has contributed to the creation of an “expat pipeline.”

Real Situation

The expat flow is a good working machine, which sometimes determines the erroneous attitude of many entrepreneurs towards the service. The image of Dubai as the capital of a respectable region attracts a large number of entrepreneurs.

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Only a few percent of visitors will stay here for a long time. Numerous intermediaries and contractors, from realtors to intellectual property protection specialists, have little interest in providing high-quality service and meeting deadlines.

Assess Your Abilities

Local officials, practically from school, are instilled with the ability to look at any investor and any business from the point of view of its usefulness for the country. Local businessmen who can become your partners are not very different: in addition to their own benefit, they will definitely evaluate the social benefit of what you offer.

Start communication by defining exactly why your project will be important for the country and for society. For example, when promoting your brand, you focus on technology, on creating jobs, and on the emergence of a unified and transparent process management system for the country in terms of business administration.

Try to Create Something New

Remember that the local elite practices healthy protectionism. This means that all other things being equal, they will hire a compatriot for a highly-paid position, rather than give the job to an expat. Therefore, the “be like the Arabs” strategy will only work in a completely new niche or in areas where there are no locals at all: agriculture and food security, financial sector, blockchain, artificial intelligence, alternative energy, and cybersecurity.

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If you clearly explain what is your interest in cooperating with you, you will be treated with respect. In this situation, you will never find yourself in the situation in which the managers of a construction company find themselves with its social facility.

Don’t Be Afraid to Challenge

You will get noticed more quickly if you propose a business practice that goes against generally accepted business traditions. For this, we should thank the education that some local entrepreneurs and officials received in Europe and the USA. They will accurately discern truly worthwhile projects and will not interfere with their development. Even if such a project somehow pushes the boundaries of centuries-old traditions.

Forget Past Experience

Don’t be surprised by the lack of a lightning-fast response to your request and adjust your planning towards longer deadlines. Remember about the expat flow: it works because the demand for services in the UAE often exceeds supply. And specifically, you are unlikely to change the course of things.

All methods are suitable: email, phone call, messenger message, or personal meeting. This will help your application not to drown in the general flow and get what you came for.

Patience Is Very Valuable

Even if you have taken into account all the recommendations above, let events take their course. In any case, it takes time for the local community to get used to you, and you to get used to it. Make the most of every interaction with locals.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Competition

Competition is a way of efficient production. If you are confident in your abilities and take the right actions, then it will help you achieve your goals on the one hand and provide opportunities for business development or career growth on the other.

The smooth and fast functioning of competition between expats is an indicator of the quality of functioning of local authorities.

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