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Country Specific Tips for Doing Business in the Middle East.

Monday, October 10th, 2016

shutterstock_264221285Some businessmen assume that the Middle East is politically unstable and refrain from doing business there. Only specific countries like Yemen and Libya are politically unstable. United Arab Emirates or UAE is politically stable; numerous UK-based companies have invested their money here especially in Dubai.

Since Middle East has its own customs and cultures that differ from the West and other places, it only seems wise to know beforehand certain things before doing business there. Here are some country specific tips for performing business in the Middle East:

Honour and trust business culture

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According to researchers from the Kellogg School of Management, the Western business culture relies on dignity culture, which is set apart from social interactions. Westerners tend to take a business negotiation or dealing as an issue to be resolved and adopt an open, trusting and information sharing approach.

Middle Eastern business culture relies on honour and trust culture, which is inclusive of social interactions. Middle Easterners take a business dealing more personally, considering it as competition against other businessmen. Also, they only extend their trust and share more information after building a relationship with their respective business partners, which comes about after many business meetings. For example, Emiratis may ask you similar questions many times to gauge the consistency of your replies for determining whether you’re telling the truth.

While Westerners adopt a more neutral approach, Middle Easterners may resort to emotional tactics like sympathy and frustration to gain the upper hand in the negotiation. For a business meeting venue with Middle Easterners, consider selecting a crowded souk where there are many social interactions.

Business etiquette

Everyday values and life revolve around Middle East’s main religion, Islam. So don’t arrange a meeting with a Middle Easterner on a Friday, during any of the daily five prayer times or Ramadan month. Also, Middle Easterners are particular about respect especially when it comes to elderly people. Middle Eastern men normally shake hands with other men during an introduction. They may even hold hands while walking – the tip is not to pull your hand away, showing disrespect.

Business dealings

shutterstock_215168539If you’re looking for a base, Dubai, which is the Middle East’s commercial capital, is the answer. But remember if you’re a non-GCC national, your ownership of whatever company you open in UAE would be limited to 49 percent – 51 percent must be owned by a GCC national. Opening a bank account in the Middle East can be time-consuming and costly due to expenses pertaining to the bank’s anti-laundering regulations. Wire transfer, PayPal and Western Union are some great ways to bypass the bank and get money for the goods that you export from or import into Middle East.

For more information about exporting to the Middle East, or how we can help your business, please call us on +97143206673 or email us: info@gdtme.com

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How to Effectively Sell Your Products Overseas.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

How to Effectively Sell Your Products Overseas.

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Considering the booming m-commerce and e-commerce industries, establishing your company’s website for selling your products overseas is wise. Two highly potential markets where there are huge investment opportunities are GCC and Middle East, which has over 360 million people. By 2020, around 40 percent of e-commerce growth is expected in GCC, according to Frost & Sullivan’s Sarwant Singh. Some of the possible setbacks when it comes to trading overseas are currency fluctuations, packaging differences and transportation or logistics issues.

Ways to effectively sell your products overseas.

To overcome the issue of currency fluctuations, discuss with your foreign exchange bureau or bank and set the rate for exchanging the currency when the times comes – it’s akin to a forward contract. Also, set acceptable payment terms, timeline for delivery, packaging and manufacturing processes and quote’s validity clause – doing these things ensures that you don’t mess up your pricing and lose your nett profit.

shutterstock_323328491You may have to pay import duties, export duties and local taxes when you export your products overseas. If you decide to export your products to a non-English speaking country, consider translating the language of the product instructions, labelling and packaging from English into the local language. It’s a great way to promote your products and gain the potential of more local sales.

Another key aspect to consider is product packaging colours. For example, in the Middle East, blue and green are favoured colours while red is considered evil. So choose the colours wisely to win over more customers for your business.

Another key aspect about exporting overseas is logistics. If you decide to use international shipping services like DHL and UPS for your m-commerce or e-commerce business, remember to fill in the appropriate customs declaration form. If the delivery route to your customer’s place is very difficult, you may end up paying a lot for transportation or logistics, which may mean no nett profit or even loss. So think twice before committing to any customer order.
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If your company is located in the UK, consider adding the tag or label, “Made in the UK” – many people in various parts of the world think high quality is synonymous with UK. When you set the price for your product’s overseas sale, you need consider aspects like duties, extra packaging expenses and other aforementioned items.
Resources and assistance for your export activities

For resources pertaining to effectively selling your products overseas, refer to Department for International Trade (previously called UK Trade & Investment) if your company is based in the UK. Those in the US can refer to U.S. Department of Commerce. To make life a lot easier, you can get help from a company like us here at Gdt which have over 30 years of expertise in importing and exporting activities especially in the Middle East and GCC. Gdt handles the core marketing and sales functions that a company’s export department normally does.


For more information about exporting or doing business in the Middle East or how we can help please call us +97143206673 or email: info@gdtme.com

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Expand Your Business Overseas with an Export Management Company

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Expand Your Business OverseasExpand Your Business Overseas with an Export Management Company.

In what is becoming an increasingly globalised world, the ability to sell products overseas is highly desirable goal for many businesses looking to expand their business.

Creating a presence in international retail markets is a vital growth strategy, yet many fail to understand the potential methods available for making this ‘dream’ a reality. This post aims to explain the benefits of choosing an Export Management Company as a way to venture into global markets and the processes such a company follows.

Why Export Overseas?

There are many reasons why you may wish to export your products to foreign markets, the main reason being the opportunity to access a much larger customer group. However, exporting internationally can also be beneficial for helping a business to spread risk should a local market experience recession spurring a fall in consumer confidence falls and a decrease in purchases.

Ways to Sell Your Products Abroad.

Many businesses can see the amazing opportunities venturing into international markets provides however the majority are overwhelmed with the perceived challenges and many complicated areas which must be overcome in order to make the process a success.

If you are only used to operating within your local supply chain, then you may lack the relative knowledge needed to operate in a different one. In order to export to overseas markets as efficiently as possible you will want to be prepared for all areas of exporting including understanding local customs and adjusting branding and marketing communications accordingly; as well as navigating language barriers, fees and international tariffs, among a whole host of other hurdles.

Why Choose an Export Management Company?

If you feel that opening your own operations in a foreign market is unachievable then an Export Management Company can provide an alternative which can simplify the process.

Export Managers help businesses to overcome the challenges they may face on their own by providing a logistic link in the international supply chain between producers in one country and channels to sell in another. They will be able to tap into an existing network of businesses and wholesalers which can help speed up the process of getting products on foreign shelves.
Through their knowledge of the market and the area Export Management Companies are able to help pass your products on in an efficient and cost effective way and develop the most effective way to link the supply chains of a business in the UK or other country and their potential partner(s) in the MENA region.

After discussion with your business, its process and goals, and once all requirements and barriers have been outlined and assessed, an export manager can begin the process of marrying up supplier to potential distributers in the region.

What Process Does an EMC Follow?

An Export Management Company will follow a number of processes to manage the flow of your product to the supplier. They are responsible for setting up the systems and processes needed to manage the flow of a product from your business to their local supplier/distributor.

Such tasks include of an EMC include:

  • Collection of goods
  • Consolidation and Interpretation of supplier documentation
  • Preparation of documents and certificates for shipment
  • Completion of customs export procedure
  • Shipment of goods
  • Delivery to partner distribution centres.

A good Export Management Company will ensure that you are informed about the progress of your products and about any potential issues and ways in which they can be resolved.

Why Export to the Middle East?

Every year there are new reforms in the MENA area which make it easier to do business in the region. The UAE and Morocco continue to lead in improving regulations business regulations, for example last year Morocco made it more straightforward to start a business as a declaration of business no longer needs to be filed.

This loosening of barriers and growth in the region has made it a popular choice for those looking to sell their products abroad. In particular, the UAE has been a popular choice due to the diverse and continually expanding economy and in the fact that English is widely spoken.

GDT: Export Management Company for the MENA Region

GDT are an Export Management Company established in 1982 and based in Dubai. Our primary area of operations are the GCC countries. However, for many brands, we handle the entire Middle East region along with some countries in the Mediterranean such as Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Malta.


For more information about exporting to the Middle East, or how we can help your business, please call us on +97143206673 or email us: info@gdtme.com

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