Business Investing

Investing in the Middle East: why this sector is growing

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Key to successful investment is the ability to predict the future. While this can never be achieved with complete accuracy, the most successful investors take into account a range of factors to remove as much uncertainty as possible and balance the remaining risk against potential reward. One of the most significant factors to consider is which geographical locations present the most attractive investment prospects, and the Middle East is currently one such location.

The Middle East Business Sector

When people think about the business sector in the Middle East, they typically think of oil and gas, and with good reason. Some of the UK’s largest energy industry companies, including BP and Shell, have major representation here.

In an article earlier this year Dominic Jermey, the Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, also highlighted some other exciting areas with investment potential:

     •   Tourism. Figures show that visitors to the UK from the Middle East are among the top-spending tourists.

     •   Education. Due to demographics in the region, the demand for high-quality education, an area in which the UK is seen as a leader, is high.

     •   Transport. The UK is also seen as a leader in the transport sector and is applying this expertise to help develop infrastructure in the region.

All of which helps to explain why the region is of such interest to investors and real estate investment for example, is enjoying a historic high.

It is also interesting to note the actions of a number of key individuals whose business connections are helping to facilitate this growth. Fahad Al Rajaan is head of the Al Ahli United Bank, a major commercial and investment banking group. He, and others like him, are leading the way in building connections and mutually beneficial relationships between businesses in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Things to Consider

Individuals looking to invest their money in a Middle Eastern business should consider the following hints and tips.

     •   Build relationships. So much of business is about establishing and maintaining good relationships, and this is true in the Middle East as much as anywhere else. Find out who are the best people to talk to, and make sure you build a rapport with these individuals.

     •   Understand the culture. There are inevitably some cultural differences and understanding these, and adapting your approach to take them into account, is absolutely critical in order to operate effectively in the region. Make sure you research the cultural nuances that you must consider in the country in which you are considering an investment.

     •   View the bigger picture. Consider what is happening across the region, and at all levels. The UK government has many connections in the area, and inspiration can often be drawn from what is happening at a political level.

An Exciting Future 

With so much opportunity for significant reward, it is not surprising that increasing numbers of people are investing in the Middle East. The areas in which investments can be made are diversifying and connections between the Middle East and other parts of the world continue to grow and strengthen. While it is impossible to predict exactly what the next big thing might be, the opportunities presented from this part of the world should be a serious consideration for any investor.