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Online shopping is fast becoming the dominant form of retail in Dubai and the wider UAE. To put that into context, in 2021 the e-commerce market in the Emirates grew by an estimated 46%.

In pursuit of providing the ultimate in convenient and hassle-free shopping experiences, retailers are confronted with an ever-growing package of consumer demands, from optimised search functionally to multiple payment options and quick checkouts.

One vital piece of the consumer e-commerce experience is delivery – aka logistics.

Delivery Yesterday

Until recently, many consumers accepted that a package might take days, or even weeks, to arrive. Post-pandemic, consumer demand for faster and more convenient delivery options has skyrocketed.

Next-day delivery is increasingly seen as the norm – even when consumers have to pay a premium for the privilege. Right now, faster-than-ever delivery services are entering the market in the form of quick commerce, which promises delivery times within the hour.

Partly catalysed by the necessity of observing social distancing restrictions, one of the biggest growth segments for delivery services is food and beverage. While demand for the dining-out experience continues to see a resurgence, consumers have also acquired a taste for quick commerce in terms of menu choices, order tracking, and precise delivery times.

According to Statista, the UAE continues to lead the Middle East in this sector. There is still an appetite for fast and convenient food delivery. Legacy business models such as cloud kitchens are evolving increasingly sophisticated strategies that continue to cater to the stay-at-home market, often leveraging partnerships with third-party delivery operators.

Quick commerce for food and beverage is big business in Dubai and the wider MENA region. Some experts believe it now accounts for 15% of the digital economy. However, behind every great quick commerce operation, there’s a fast and effective delivery service. In other words, success hangs on the efficiency and timeliness of deliveries.

Put simply, fast delivery times and reliable service are two of the things that matter most to consumers. This expectation for expedited delivery also extends beyond freshly-prepared meals to everyday groceries. In fact, for growing numbers of consumers in the UAE, quick commerce – also known as rapid grocery delivery service – is the new corner shop.

With major players such as Talabat and Deliveroo able to deliver groceries within just 20 minutes, it’s increasingly becoming the go-to option for convenient last-minute purchases such as forgotten ingredients or food and drink for impromptu social gatherings.

Delivery Tomorrow

Convenience is where quick commerce meets the corner shop. So will the two co-exist in harmony, collaborate, or compete? There’s still a lot of going for the neighbourhood store. It may not have the biggest stock selection, but if you’re passing by or live a short walk away, it’s a convenience that’s hard to beat.

Another legacy of the pandemic is that an increasing number of local stores offer delivery services. While they might not always have everything in stock, orders are minutes away on foot or by bicycle. Serving an immediate local community, these outlets also have the chance to create a more personal relationship with customers and offer a more bespoke service.

One obvious direction for local convenience stores is to pair their offering with digital technology to deliver relevant services to their customers. Looking at it from the viewpoint of quick commerce, the fastest route to even quicker delivery times might be to partner with local stores. Quick commerce is already heavily dependent on third-party, last-mile delivery services. So partnering with corner shops makes sense.

This business model would also offer a more sustainable solution by encouraging shorter, more environmentally friendly delivery services by bike or on foot. Of course, the popularity of quick commerce also presents business opportunities for other essential and non-essential items. Think of the possibilities for medicine which could be at the door in minutes when someone needs it the most. Or even fashion, delivering the goods when an item is needed last minute.

Whatever it is that’s being delivered, it’s in seamless and streamlined last-mile delivery services where opportunities for innovation lie – from click-and-collect and digital lockers to micro-distribution centres and delivery automation. For example, UAE tech startup Fodel offers an alternative to home delivery via an extensive network of pickup and dropoff locations.

Delivery also offers multiple entrepreneurial opportunities for tech-savvy startups. Digital tools for things like inventory management and route scheduling can help to dramatically improve delivery efficiency. At the same time, there’s a need for tech that helps to streamline supply chains and optimise picking and packing operations.

Cutting-edge tech can also play its part in making deliveries more sustainable and cost-effective. From autonomous driving vehicles and all-electric fleets to delivery by drone, there are plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities for the implementation of innovative delivery solutions.

Future Delivery

What’s surprising about the rise of e-commerce is that physical retail has always been strong in the UAE. Not only does this point to a shift in regional consumer shopping habits, it also reflects a global trend for growth in the e-commerce sector.

In fact, the average annual growth rate for e-commerce is forecast to be around 10% over the next few years. And as one of the world’s premium retail destinations, that’s good news for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to tap into the delivery market in Dubai and the rest of the Gulf region. Especially when you consider that Internet penetration in the UAE stood at 99% in 2022. That’s a potential e-commerce market of nearly 10 million Internet users. Which is not to say that UAE, and in particular, Dubai, cannot still capitalise on its established status as a premium physical retail destination.

E-commerce can enhance the physical offering with digital services that improve the entire customer experience, including new and innovative delivery models in the last mile.

From physical stores looking to complement their business with online services to online retailers seeking new models that improve their last-mile delivery experience, retail in all its forms presents opportunities for tech-savvy entrepreneurs with an eye on delivering exceptional delivery solutions.


The UAE and Saudi Arabia aim to diversify from oil by investing in alternative revenue sources to strengthen Gulf economies. Since 2020, the GCC has launched nearly 30 real estate mega-projects worth about $1 trillion. These projects, centered on innovation and sustainability, seek to lessen the region’s reliance on fossil fuels. However, “mega” doesn’t solely refer to property investments; it’s any high-cost initiative with significant economic impact. Here are five top mega-initiatives in the UAE and Saudi Arabia now.

1. NEOM – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, central to Vision 2030, is a $500 billion mega-city spanning 450 km along the Red Sea, 33 times larger than New York. This “living lab” emphasizes sustainable living through 100% renewable energy and advanced tech. More than a smart city, NEOM blends innovative business with eco-conscious living. A standout feature, “The Line”, is a car-free zone prioritizing people over infrastructure, covering 34 square kilometers, housing 9 million, and creating 380,000 jobs. Set for 2025 completion, NEOM targets 14 sectors with potential yearly revenues of $100 billion and aims to contribute $48 billion to the GDP by 2030.

2. Emirates Crop One – UAE

Emirates Crop One, set to be the world’s largest vertical farm, is a $40 billion sustainability project between Ag-Tech startup Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering. Due to limited arable land and water scarcity, the UAE imports nearly 90% of its food. This Dubai-based, 330,000-square-foot facility aims to address this by producing over 900,000 kilos of produce annually, using 95% less water with its AI-driven recycling system. Initially supplying for Emirates and UAE stores under the Bustanica brand, the project, aligning with the UAE’s food and water security strategies, seeks global expansion to revolutionize global food production.

3. Store of the Future – UAE

Despite the e-commerce surge post-COVID-19, Mall of the Emirates in Dubai partnered with Cisco to reinvent in-store shopping. The Store of the Future offers a tech-augmented shopping experience appealing to tech-savvy individuals. With VR, AI, magic mirrors, and advanced sensors, shoppers enjoy personalized, immersive interactions. Products reveal details onscreen, and ‘beauty mirrors’ allow no-contact makeup trials. Cloud tech provides retailers with insights into customer behavior and demographics. Designed for the post-pandemic era, this store showcases how technology bridges the physical and digital for a safe, engaging shopping journey.

4. Etihad Rail – UAE

Etihad Rail, set to connect the UAE’s seven emirates with neighboring GCC countries, was initiated in 2009 and targets completion by 2024. This 1,000 km rail network aims to serve 36 million passengers and transport 60 million tonnes of freight yearly by 2030. Rising environmental concerns and the pandemic have amplified interest in sustainable rail travel over flying. Etihad Rail is projected to boost the UAE’s economy by approximately $54 billion in the next half-century, with $12 billion from enhanced tourism and business connectivity.

5. Mega-sporting initiatives – Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is tapping into the global sports scene to diversify its economy and enhance tourism. The monumental signing of soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo to Al Nassr FC for an estimated $200 million annually positions him as the world’s top-earning player. This, along with Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and events like the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and WWE’s 2023 debut in Saudi, is set to boost Middle Eastern sports tourism by 30%, potentially generating $600 billion in revenue.

Next generation mega-projects

As technologies advance and environmental concerns increase, the potential for innovative, large-scale profitable projects will also grow. In the not-so-distant future, we could be seeing mega-projects such as:

  • Floating farms, resorts, and even floating countries
  • Space resorts, space elevators, and space-based power stations
  • Weather command centres that can control extreme weather conditions
  • Mega bridges that connect countries such as North America with Asia, Europe with North Africa, and Egypt with Saudi Arabia

The need for countries to diversify their economies, offering a more sustainable, connected, smarter way of life for residents and visitors will be the main drivers of innovation and investment in the future. It’s vital, therefore, that mega projects play a central part in protecting and improving the planet for future generations.


Following the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing with Al Nassr, the Gulf is emerging as a major sports hub. Beyond football, the region hosts F1 races, tennis championships, and initiatives like the UAE Sports Sector Strategy 2032. In 2022, Dubai’s Crown Prince welcomed all sports entities to their nation, highlighting the region’s growing sports tourism potential.

Football, F1, Tennis, and More

The Gulf states, through strategic investments in major football clubs like PSG, Manchester City, and Newcastle United, have amplified their presence in the sports arena. The Qatar World Cup was a testament to this, with record attendance and memorable highlights. But football isn’t the only sport they’ve embraced. Since 2004, the region has hosted F1 races in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. International tennis events like the Dubai and Qatar Opens have thrived for over 30 years. Additionally, MMA’s prominence has surged, with Abu Dhabi recognized as a global Jiujitsu leader, hosting thousands for the Jiujitsu World Championship. The Gulf’s sports evolution offers ample business opportunities in transport, hospitality, retail, and real estate, bolstering the region’s sports tourism prospects.

World-Class Sports Facilities

The Gulf states boast top-tier training facilities attracting world-class athletes. Footballers like Mo Salah and clubs like Real Madrid utilize the Nad al Sheba (NAS) complex, as do stars from other sports like Novak Djokovic. These facilities cater to athletes globally with amenities from FIFA-standard pitches to sports science labs. This growth offers business opportunities in healthcare and well-being, especially in injury prevention and rehabilitation. As the Gulf becomes a premier training destination, opportunities arise for travel and accommodation packages for teams and athletes. Additionally, demand for constructing advanced sports infrastructures is set to rise. The UAE’s long-standing emphasis on sports, evident since 1971, is reinforced by its National Agenda promoting societal cohesion and preserved identity.

UAE Sports Sector Strategy 2032

Facilities and infrastructure also feature prominently in the UAE Sports Sector Strategy 2032. It includes 54 far-reaching initiatives that emphasise sports’ potential as a significant contributor to the UAE’s sustainable development. The strategy includes a huge boost for sports federations in the region, with a general goal of global success.

The sports strategy includes 54 initiatives underpinned by the three themes of mass participation, high performance and the sports ecosystem. The aims include increasing participation in sports activities by 65% and training more than 20 Olympic-level athletes in the next 11 years. Underpinning this is the recognition of sport’s potential to contribute significantly to the GDP. Technology will also play a major role, including the creation of a single digital platform for all UAE sports federations.

The ambitious plan emphasises the UAE’s push to host more international tournaments, along with talent development programmes and athlete training camps. There will also be a big investment in sports facilities and infrastructure, supporting candidates for positions in international sports bodies, and developing the booming area of women’s sports.

Sporting Success For All

The UAE’s passion for sports spans from elite athletes to grassroots initiatives, aiming to boost both physical and mental wellness. With over 50 regulatory bodies, from Padel Tennis to the Paralympic Committee, they support traditional and contemporary sports. Notable facilities like Dubai’s Hamdan Sports Complex offer world-class amenities, including Olympic-standard pools and a large arena. By promoting sports and organizing events, the UAE aims to encourage fitness, reduce illness, and nurture budding athletes. Moreover, in 2018, the UAE passed a law allowing all residents, regardless of nationality, to participate in official sports events, fostering inclusivity and societal cohesion.

Fighting Fit And Ready To Go

The Gulf states have become a prime location for major sporting events. Beyond the World Cup, they host events like the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the Dubai World Cup horse race. With diverse offerings, including the rising sport of padel tennis which will have the WPT Middle East Master in Abu Dhabi, the region caters to fans of all preferences. Boasting over 350 padel courts in the UAE alone, coupled with the UAE Sports Sector Strategy 2032 and investments in global sports, the Gulf is a hotspot for health and fitness entrepreneurs and investors.


Dubai’s fast-growing economy – it has recorded growth of 6.3% since mid-2021 – means that many people are coming here to set up businesses or take the next step in their careers.

Having so many people with diverse talents and skills – and personalities – available to recruit means businesses should have no trouble finding people to hire.

But recruitment is not just about a person’s aptitude for the job, even though that is very important, especially in skilled roles. It is also about how they will fit in with existing members of the organisation and work within a team. In other words, it’s all about team DNA.

Teamwork can be the difference between a business achieving its potential and failing. But what goes into the DNA of the right team to ensure that goals can be achieved?

While every team is unique, some facets are common to successful teams, no matter what sector they are in.


In any successful business, communication is key, whether taking your message out to customers or outlining the company’s vision to your employees.

If employees have incomplete information regarding the health of the business, its direction or goals, rumours can develop, or the sense that management does not respect its workforce. Either way, it can adversely impact productivity and team morale.

Within teams, clear communication is crucial. For instance, there should be a single line of communication, with team leaders funnelling feedback from the team to the management and disseminating information from senior management to the team.

Open communication is also essential. Team members should be empowered to speak their minds and have their opinions valued, without fear of negative repercussions. There should also be regular opportunities for people to air their views, whether through meetings – in person or via videoconferencing facilities –email, group chat or online workflow management tools.

Mutual respect and trust

Clear and regular communication is also a sign of respect, which is a fundamental part of the DNA of the right team.

In Dubai and the wider UAE, business etiquette is largely based on respect, whether internally or when meeting customers, suppliers and other external players. Hence, meetings often involve small talk and socialising, which is regarded as a form of respect and acceptance.

While respect for the hierarchy is important in UAE business culture, managers need to earn respect and trust of their teams to ensure they can work to the best of their ability. The best leaders inspire their teams to achieve what they didn’t think was possible.

Likewise, mutual respect is another central element of any team. If team members value each other’s skills and experience, and perhaps their personalities too, they are more likely to function as an effective unit.

Other key measures of respect are trust and loyalty. In the UAE, both traits are greatly valued in business, and this is also true in teams. Team members should be able to trust each other and know that when a member commits to a task, they will do what they promise and meet deadlines. All members should be able to focus on their roles and not have to worry about covering for others or picking up their slack.

Clear goals

A team should be given clear goals and defined timelines in which to achieve them. Without clear goals, a team will lack direction, engagement and inspiration. These goals should be challenging – modest ones tend not to be motivational – but not so ambitious that they demoralise the team.

There also must be incentives for the team to achieve their goals. This can be a material benefit, such as a cash bonus or a shared reward such as a trip to a sporting event, or an intrinsic benefit, such as a sense of job satisfaction or making a difference to others’ lives.

Ownership and accountability

Ownership is a vital part of successful teams’ DNA. This is where each team member feels they belong to the wider team and takes ownership of individual tasks. When a person’s role is clear, they understand their responsibilities and how their job fits into the wider team and business picture. This also helps team members feel valued, which aids motivation and productivity.

Allied to this is accountability, where each employee knows they are accountable to their team and the management for what they are doing. Good team members will also not want to let their colleagues down.

However, this attitude should not stray into the trap of blaming people when things go wrong or a target is not met. Blame cultures are detrimental to a team and can become toxic – nobody will want to take responsibility if they think they will be punished for it, and this can lead to problems being hidden rather than addressed in a timely manner.


Research has found that a supportive environment is key to building a team and ensuring its success.

Whatever happens, an ‘us versus them’ feeling should never be allowed to develop between management and team members. This pitfall has been identified as a corrosive influence on a team and should be avoided. Team members should all feel they are pulling in the same direction, with no individual agendas influencing the overall goal of the team. Team members also need to feel that managers ‘have their back’ and will support them in any conflicts.

Teams also require material support, such as the resources to perform the job efficiently (technical equipment, for example).

Training and learning

Training is allied to support and is another crucial part of the DNA of a successful team. Opportunities for training and upskilling should always be available for team members to progress within their team and in their careers. Lack of such opportunities can become a demotivational factor.

Team members also learn from each other. All teams have members with differing levels of experience and skills, and when they collaborate on a project, they can learn together. In addition, more experienced members can mentor the younger ones, not only in what to do but in the culture of the team and business, helping to reinforce good practices and maintain any team ethic that has developed.

Finding the right people

Finding the right people for the team is always a key factor, but recruitment is difficult. According to research, up to 50% of new hires end in failure – and this is at all levels, from executive to entry-level. This can have a profound impact on a business – for example, the cost of going through another hiring process, as well as things like loss in productivity or employing temporary staff to cover. It can also affect morale.

Many businesses delegate recruitment to specialist recruitment firms, which can be productive. However, as with teamwork, clear communication and well-defined goals are key to ensuring the best chances of success.


If you can find people with the DNA that fits the culture of your business, the chances of being successful and profitable are enhanced. Teamwork brings significant benefits to a company, including the bottom line.

Dubai attracts people from all over the world with a multitude of skills and personal attributes, so there is no shortage of people to choose from. But square pegs can never be made to fit into round holes, so intelligent recruitment methods are vital.

Likewise, team cultures need to be driven from the top downwards and carefully fostered throughout – good teams don’t just happen and, like any effective partnership in any walk of life, they require constant work and refinement to ensure they continue to be productive and successful.

If the DNA is right within a team, it can provide the motivation and innovation that is the key to the success of a business.


The capital markets of Dubai and the wider UAE are the business bedrock of the MENA region, and investor confidence is high. That’s good news for startups and scale-ups looking to get off the ground or secure their next funding round.

With the globalisation of entrepreneurship, attracting investment is more competitive than ever. That’s why it pays to be based in a city or region that attracts strong interest from foreign investors. The UAE is appealing for many reasons, notably its stable economy, tax advantages, and the fact there are more than 40 free zones.

Why foreign direct investment matters

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – when a company or government makes a substantial investment in a foreign concern – is vital for long-term economic stability and strong connections between global economies. It’s also great for entrepreneurs.

As a place to do business, the UAE offers an attractive government-backed business environment for entrepreneurs and foreign investors. But we’ll let the numbers tell the full story. In 2020 and 2021, the UAE accounted for over 30% of FDI inflow into the MENA region. That puts Dubai and the rest of the UAE in the number one spot. Furthermore, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2022, the UAE also ranks first for FDI inflows in West Asian countries, with an impressive FDI growth rate of 4%.

The UAE’s capital market has shown incredible resilience in the wake of the global pandemic. For those of us living and working in the region, particularly Dubai, it’s easy to see the appeal for foreign investors – especially when you consider that the government has signed over 100 agreements to protect and stimulate foreign investment.

What foreign investors need

So what are foreign investors looking for? And how can you make your startup or scale-up an attractive proposition? While every investor and each investment is different, there are some common features of many foreign direct investments.

When foreign companies or governments are looking to invest, they tend to seek out businesses or projects based in stable economies – with capital markets that make it easy to do business. For that reason, investors should focus on jurisdictions with streamlined and tax-efficient regulations.

Cities and regions with a strong track record for growth and a highly-skilled workforce also give investors confidence. That’s because an FDI makes a capital investment and usually takes a controlling share of the business and therefore plays an active role in decision-making.

Why Dubai attracts FDI

“The emirate’s world-class infrastructure, flexible regulatory framework, and dynamic business ecosystem that supports innovation and attracts global talent are factors that cement Dubai’s position as the world’s leading investment destination.” 

– His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai

Dubai and the wider UAE have attractive capital markets for foreign investors across a broad range of sectors. Importantly, the UAE offers the political and economic stability investors crave. At the same time, many foreign investors and entrepreneurs choose to be based in Dubai because of its well-established and thriving business community. As one of the world’s wealthiest cities, high standards of living and exceptional quality of life add to the appeal.

For investors, Dubai is more than just a great place to live and do business. As a central trading hub for the Middle East and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), it is ideally situated within the MENA region, with Dubai International Airport connecting the emirate with over 240 global destinations. Dubai’s transport infrastructure is one of the best in the world, helped by the Digital Dubai initiative, which aims to make it a smart, sustainable, future-proofed city.

Dubai is also an attractive location for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors. Alongside Abu Dhabi, it’s ranked as the smartest city in the MENA region for its use of data and digital services to improve residents’ lives and make doing business easier. The government is driving digital innovations covering everything from the Dubai Paperless Strategy, which aims to eliminate 1 billion pieces of paper from government services to the Happiness Agenda, which aims to make Dubai the happiest city on the planet.

Of course, one of the main draws of Dubai for both entrepreneurs and foreign investors is how easy it is to get a company up and running. Business registration is a straightforward process, which in most cases, takes days rather than weeks or months. Free zones like Meydan provide ready-made entrepreneurial ecosystems that can support businesses with all the services they need to thrive and grow.

You can’t put a price on the peace of mind gained from joining a community of overseas entrepreneurs who have already set up successful businesses with foreign investment. These investors are already well-established in several key markets, including wholesale and retail, real estate, financial services, insurance, manufacturing, and mining and quarry exploration.

Reasons to choose Dubai

“In a world facing profound challenges over the past few years, Dubai offers one of the safest and most stable business environments, boosting investor appetite. The emirate provides a policy ecosystem for future-focused high-tech sectors, while its robust infrastructure offers a productive environment for conventional businesses.” 

– His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai

What investors and entrepreneurs require from a business location is the freedom and infrastructure to carry out business easily and reap the financial rewards. Business destinations such as Dubai and the wider UAE benefit from foreign investments coming into the city. For this reason, Dubai has become a hotbed of investment opportunities.


Dubai has a thriving tourism industry. Pre-pandemic, the number of annual tourists rose from 14 million in 2015 to nearly 17 million in 2019. As the number of tourists and short-term residents – such as social media influencers – increases year-on-year, opportunities abound in the hospitality sector. From hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues to travel agents and logistics, there are many possibilities for entrepreneurs and investors.

Free Zones

One of the most compelling reasons foreign investors choose Dubai is the number of free zones specifically designed to meet diverse business needs. From the Meydan Free Zone in the heart of the city to locations on the outskirts, these special economic zones are dedicated to supporting particular business activities and enabling foreign investors to maintain full ownership of their businesses. There are even zones dedicated to research and development.

Free zones streamline the process for business registration, including obtaining the correct visas. They also provide ready-made infrastructure for free zone companies such as office space, warehouses, and living quarters.


As of 2023, tax will only be payable on corporate income exceeding AED 375,000 – around USD 102,000. Even then, it’s paid at the attractively low rate of 9% – making it one of the most competitive in the world.

However, it’s important to note that this tax doesn’t apply to foreign investors who conduct business outside the country, and foreign businesses based in free zones continue to enjoy advantageous taxation rules. For example, the transfer of profits from Dubai to other countries is, in most cases, tax-free.

Dubai residents and resident companies are also supported by a number of double taxation agreements, which help keep the tax burden low. Moreover, unlike most other countries, there are no employment taxes in Dubai.

The future of FDI in Dubai

“We remain committed to enriching Dubai’s enabling business environment to explore fresh growth avenues with our partner investors to achieve even greater success in years to come. Furthermore, diversifying the economy, attracting more investment in future-focused sectors, and enhancing growth opportunities in the digital economy will remain our strategic objectives for Dubai’s development journey.”

 – His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai

Dubai and the wider UAE are committed to creating investment opportunities and supporting the outflow and inflow of FDI. At the recent Emirates Investment Summit, the UAE announced the first tranche of projects to be released under the ‘Project Of The 50’ programme, which aims to foster the UAE’s next phase of growth.

In terms of FDI, the objective is to connect investment funds with public and private organisations in order to attract around AED 550 billion in FDI over the next nine years. And that’s an appealing prospect for any prospective entrepreneur.

Looking for a leading free zone in the heart of Dubai? Discover Meydan

Sales and marketing: they’re the power couple who never quite see eye to eye, and they’re front and centre in any business that’s serious about increasing revenue. To get the best results for your business, you need them to learn to love each other.

You probably know the story. It’s a blame game. Sales complains that marketing is handing over unqualified prospects, and marketing says that sales aren’t following up on their leads. While both parties are engaged in a power struggle, competitors swoop in and steal prospects from under your nose.

It’s not just lost prospects that’s a problem. A breakdown of communication between marketing and sales duplicates work and can lead to frustrated customers. None of these things are good for business. So how do you get them talking and collaborating across revenue-generating activities? Here’s how to get sales and marketing working better together.

Understand The Customer

Marketing might have put together the buyer personas, but they’re not customer-facing or dealing with them on a one-to-one basis. In fact, for many marketers, it can be an eye-opener to realise how little they really know about their prospects and their needs as a buyer.

It’s important to consider the buyer’s journey, not just the final destination when the deal is closed. In the words of Dubai-based digital marketers 10 Forward, ‘The easier you make that journey, the more receptive the buyer will be to taking the action you want them to take’.

Sales, on the other hand, have customer interactions on a daily basis. No one knows your customers better than your sales team. Put simply, they’re sitting on a gold mine of customer insights that can help drive ongoing marketing efforts. Cut this information from your communication, and a valuable bridge is broken.

The sharing of sales insights helps marketers to better understand your customer’s needs. With this information, marketing can fine-tune their strategy and campaigns to better align with your customer’s pain points. This also means you can better position your offering as your prospects’ ideal solution in the awareness phase.

Those buyer personas will be much more accurate if sales and marketing collaborate. Why is that important? Because it means there’s continuity and consistency throughout the buyer’s journey. It also provides a shared understanding of what is most likely to influence buyers at every stage.

Collaborate On Content

There are multiple variables that can affect the effectiveness of marketing content. To bring in the right leads, content creation cannot happen in isolation. When that happens, marketing is likely to produce what they guess the customer wants instead of what sales say they actually need. The right collateral, whether for internal or external use, can help sales close the deal.

Sales enablement is one way to ensure sales and marketing work more collaboratively. No matter what assets are being produced, from case studies to white papers, taking a collaborative approach means marketing and sales can combine to create content that resonates more powerfully with target audiences. Plus, by building in feedback loops from sales, marketing can learn what needs to change to make the content even more effective.

Stronger and more targeted collateral will help to attract the right leads and warm them up ready for a handover to sales. It also means that sales and marketing are on the same page.

Share Better Feedback

There’s no doubt that if you want to strengthen the relationship between sales and marketing, you must improve communication and feedback. Not just between teams but with customers as well.

By creating an open dialogue and embracing a cycle of continuous improvement, sales can share feedback from customers, which informs future improvements to marketing efforts. For that reason, sharing customer feedback and data is a great way to enhance their experience of your company. The challenge in the UAE market is that nearly 90% of the population are expats from over 200 nationalities. Getting it right requires careful consideration of key demographic trends, and that comes from customer feedback.

Sometimes the difference is in the details. For example, you’re emailing a prospect who blocks marketing communication. Sales might know that the prospect prefers a different communication channel. This is basic information that could make all the difference, especially if it turns out that the prospect is ready to buy.

Agree On Relevant Metrics

Sales and marketing both want the same thing, they’re just coming at it from different angles. Marketing aims to get customers through the door and browse, while sales is there to close the deal and help them make the right purchase. The end goal is the same – revenue generation – but marketing is focused on supplying the right leads, while sales are focused on converting prospects into customers.

In the UAE and the wider Middle East, customer expectations have moved forward. This means marketers have taken on renewed importance. Consistency across channels is crucial. The upshot of this is that 81% of marketers in the UAE have re-prioritized their metrics post-pandemic.

Every company is different, but what’s important is that sales and marketing recognise and respect the value of each other’s goals within the bigger picture. The type of goals also needs careful consideration. Should marketing efforts be measured on the quantity of leads or the quality of qualified leads? Is it better to have fewer, warmer leads or more leads that are likely to drop off further down the funnel?

It all comes down to your strategy. What you need is sales and marketing talking to each other and sharing information with the big picture of revenue generation in mind. That also means sharing accountability for the middle segment of the customer journey. Rather than bickering over the quality of the prospects or the inability to close a deal, sales and marketing need to come together over metrics that truly reflect their collaborative efforts.

Centralise Actionable Insights

Sales and marketing both handle important customer data. But they’re not always that good at sharing it. When data sits in separate silos, it’s not providing the best business value. Sharing it through a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system instantly doubles its value. For example, imagine a routine sales call turns up some useful customer feedback that could help marketing efforts. Or what if marketing gets a strong response to a particular campaign? CRMs are helping to get marketing and sales talking to each other.

Having a closer relationship and a constant feedback loop between the two teams can transform business outcomes. With communications and customer interactions recorded in one place, it means actionable insights are centralised and accessible by both teams. Not only that, a CRM provides a clear end-to-end view of the sales funnel and the journey from lead to prospect to customer. This means marketing can refine their efforts by improving follow-ups and creating more effective drip-email campaigns for the sales prospect funnel.

Collaboration For Revenue Generation

By following all or some of these strategies, you can encourage cross-functional behaviours between sales and marketing. By freeing them from separate silos and creating a culture of collaboration, you’ll help to more closely align their efforts. Ultimately, this renewed and shared focus on revenue-generating activities can only lead in one direction – improved results.

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International in-person events, such as conferences, meetings, and incentive travel programs, bring significant benefits to economies and countries. Host cities enjoy an increased global profile, growth in local employment, immediate and short-term economic benefits, and increased long-term investment.

In light of Dubai’s efficient handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its rapid recovery, the emirate continues to grow as a globally desirable location and as a world leader in large-scale events. After securing over 120 bids for events in 2021, Dubai aims to host 400 events annually by 2025, an endeavour that will continue to spur the region’s rapid economic growth.

How do cities benefit from hosting in-person events?

By hosting international events, cities open themselves up to the world and provide a single location for like-minded individuals to gather.

This facilitates the sharing of culture, values, connections and expertise, bringing significant cultural and economic upside potential to people and businesses attending the events and the host city itself.

Increased global profile

Positive international perception is essential if foreign companies and tourists are to invest in and visit a given country or city. Hosting global events provides this opportunity to demonstrate to the world, either by first-hand experience or third-person observation in the international media, what the city and country have to offer.

For example, by hosting international events such as Expo 2020 (October 1st 2021, to March 31st 2022) and the BIR World Recycling Convention & Exhibition (October 2022) so soon after the global pandemic, Dubai has shown the world the emirate’s ability to adapt, formulate, and implement safe travel and social interaction protocols.

The positive repercussions are significant. For example, Dubai’s gastronomy scene gained international acclaim in 2022, further assisting recovery from the pandemic and encouraging ongoing tourism. Boasting over 13,000 cafes and restaurants – more than any other location in the MENA region – the emirate earned the “4th best destination for food lovers” in TripAdvisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards. This accolade will positively impact the Dubai gastronomy and tourism industry.

Growth in local employment and short-term economic benefits

When considering the benefits events bring to a host city, it can be helpful to visualise the journey of a person attending that event.

International visitors must fly into the city (often requiring a travel visa), go from the airport to their accommodation, find places to eat, entertain themselves, shop, move within and around the city, and find their way to and from the event site.

This activity involves using the local infrastructure, transport systems, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and services, providing a much-needed cash injection into the local economy. For example, Expo 2020 attracted over 10.12 million international visitors to Dubai, accounting for an average of 495 occupied hotel rooms daily and generating significant revenue for Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Moreover, unlike major sporting events such as the Olympics or World Cup, which only last a few weeks, global events such as trade expositions and conferences provide a more stable source of ongoing income for local businesses.

Thus, by establishing itself as a highly desirable location for global events, Dubai helps boost local businesses’ earning potential and generates tax revenue that can be used to reinvest in the city’s infrastructure.

Long-term investment and extended tourism

Delivering an international event experience to millions of visitors requires an established, high-functioning, and well-maintained public and private infrastructure.

Particularly post-COVID, health monitoring protocols, safety precautions, and policies must be implemented to satisfy international travellers and reassure them about the safety of their journey to and from a city.

The development of such protocols requires significant investment by the host city in the short term, but this investment pays off in the long term by attracting future events and visitors.

Long-term investment in a city or region’s infrastructure can also have long-lasting impacts on the area’s appeal as a destination for both domestic and international travel, extending the boundaries of tourism beyond that of the immediate effect of the international event.

How Dubai stands to benefit from international events in the near and long term

Having held over 120 international events in 2021, and with plans to host over 400 events annually by 2025, Dubai has become a highly attractive host location for conference and event managers from all sectors.

Dubai’s diary dates over the next three years include events from the food and beverage, international apparel, tobacco and gemstone industries, along with HR conferences, cryptocurrency expositions and global supply chain summits. During these events, Dubai will welcome thought leaders, entrepreneurs, companies, and enterprises from all cultures, backgrounds, and countries, enabling them to make connections and share knowledge and experiences.

In doing so, the city stands to further its reputation as an international hub, continue growing the local economy, and further the long-term investment plans and infrastructure of the city, the emirate, and the entire region.

Living and working in a vibrant global hub

Beyond an economic perspective, a city that hosts a diverse array of international events attracts leading individuals worldwide. These men and women congregate in a single place to grow their networks, expand their businesses, and experience the unbeatable thrill of a gathering of like-minded people from diverse backgrounds.

By earning a reputation as a global hub, Dubai becomes a melting pot for ideas, connections, invention, and innovation – somewhere where the world’s leading minds can come together and create a unique experience not available anywhere else.

While the short-term and long-term economic benefits are clear, giving the international community the opportunity to gather in such a manner secures Dubai’s and the UAE’s legacy as instrumental in the future development of global trade, cooperation, and business.

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