Market Entry Strategies

Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.
  • Distributors/Agents: In most sectors, foreign firms seeking to establish themselves within the U.A.E. market must have a local sponsor or agent and are limited to a minority ownership position.  Finding the right local agent/distributor can be a critical first step for success.
  • Competitive Positioning:  As a regional trade hub supporting intense international business activity, the U.A.E. is a market where American firms can expect to face strong, multi-national competition. Many successful American firms rely on technological and qualitative advantages to compete with often less expensive foreign competition.
  • Regional Approach:  Until the partial blockade against Qatar was imposed in June 2017, Americans firms looking to do business in the Middle East often found that a regional approach to their marketing activities in the Gulf offered certain practical advantages. The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC), which is consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., have taken steps to unify some industrial standards and other measures to harmonize regulatory structures. The region is also one of the largest and fastest growing export markets for American goods and services.  On January 1, 2015, the GCC customs union came into full effect, charging a 5 percent tariff on most goods across the member countries.  However, the effects of partial blockade imposed on Qatar by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain will make a regional approach more challenging.
  • Trade Shows:  Dubai, as a regional commercial hub, hosts world-class trade exhibitions and conferences, where American firms can meet buyers from the Middle East, Africa and South and East Asia.  There is also a growing number of trade shows in Abu Dhabi.

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