Jumping Off Points: From London to Dubai to Asia and Beyond

Last May, the London Business Forum (LBF) announced that it was moving its regional headquarters from Cairo to Dubai, representing a shift towards Middle Eastern countries that are closer to Asia than Europe. The move came at a time of immense turmoil for Egypt, so the added stability of Dubai’s government and economy was also a strong factor in the LBF’s decision.

The LBF is a prominent source of information for Middle Eastern businesses looking to capitalize on global economic trends that can be applied to the distinct markets of the Persian Gulf, Northern Africa and Asia. In a sense, the LBF bridges the intellectual and economic divide between Europe and the Middle East. By relocating to Dubai, the LBF is acknowledging that the Middle East, and specifically Dubai, can act as a springboard for European businesses looking to enter additional markets in India, China and southeast Asia.

The implication is that as Asia’s markets grow, opportunities will continue to arise for the domestic markets of the Middle East as businesses looking to expand their global presence will choose strategic locations to do business in the region. The added benefit of setting up shop in such locations is that it places them in convenient geographic locations to hop on a plane to Mumbai, Beijing or Hanoi. And as Middle Eastern and Asian economies begin to mature, early investments in these regions are poised to pay off handsomely for those that take advantage of the geography and resources of these burgeoning markets.