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Expansion into Middle East

Scottish Business Network opening office in Dubai

James Bernard and Russel Dalgleish

Partners: James Bernard and Russell Dalgleish


Scottish Business Network, a membership organisation connecting Scottish entrepreneurs and other business leaders, is opening an office in the Middle East.

It has forged a strategic partnership with DMCC, the free zone and government of Dubai authority on commodities trade and enterprise.

DMCC boasts a network of more than 15,000 companies and the UAE and broader region provide significant opportunities for Scottish companies seeking to expand globally.

Dubai’s connectivity means that eight hours on a plane in any direction gives access to 65% of global GDP and the world population.

Russell Dalgleish, SBN co-founder, said: “In 2017, we expanded from our London base to hold events in the US and the Middle East. In Dubai, we found a very supportive and strategic partner in DMCC.

“A number of our members already operate in the UAE and broader region, and we believe the provision of soft-landing support, including desk space and company set up, will encourage more trade between Scotland and the Middle East.”

James Bernard, director-sales, DMCC, who attended the recent SBN organised Scottish International Week with the Institute of Directors, added: “We are pleased that the Scottish Business Network has selected DMCC as its home in Dubai.

“This move is testament to our international appeal, and ability to attract, facilitate and drive global trade.

“Centrally located at the heart of a vibrant commercial and residential district, DMCC will connect SBN with a thriving business and trade community, locally, regionally and beyond. This is an important moment for our relationship with Scottish business community, and showcasing to the world the ease of doing business in Dubai through DMCC.”

The UAE is Scotland’s 11th largest export market with direct Scottish exports of more than £1 billion. Scottish companies have long had a base in the UAE, and a number have received Emirati private and institutional investment, including Emirates Airline, Masdar and TAQA.

In December 2017, Scotland appointed its first trade envoy to the UAE as part of Scotland’s plans to expand its commercial reach internationally.


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