Tough economic headwinds but business is good, says Dubai consultancy

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Published: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 12:53 PM

Last updated: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 7:41 PM

Riding on a powerful start to 2023 with record numbers in January, leading Dubai business consultancy A&A Associate is looking forward to a strong year of operations in the UAE.

By Kumar K Shyam

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The business setup experts in Dubai saw numbers similar to a free zone itself when they helped 307 companies to be registered in January. A whopping 55 entities signed up in one day.

“The numbers partly are a reflection of our efforts, some organic referral business from the recent past, favourable conditions for doing business in the UAE as facilitated by the government and alignment of other economic factors shaping up in the global outlook,” said Robin Philip, the founder and Group CEO of A&A Associate. The company started as an accounting and audit firm but also offers trademark and legal services to its clients as a one-stop platform.

Winner of the 2022 fastest-growing consultancy in the UAE award by the British publication Global Business Outlook among others, A&A Associate has hit the ground running at the first turn of the year. The January figures show a remarkable spike of over 20 per cent compared to the monthly average of a successful 2022.

“Going forward, we see this trend to continue with the onset of corporate tax, the settling effect of the changes related to visa and residency rules, the introduction of new personal laws for expatriates, and easing of recessionary fears a bit around the world. There are other factors as well, but this has been the highlights so far that we think are the reasons for a positive outlook to 2023,” Philip said.

Powering the growth has been the usual driver of real estate and tourism in a country that worked overtime to ensure the safety of its residents during the Covid-19 crisis. Tourism provides for nearly 20 per cent of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product numbers. Last month saw a penthouse villa fetch Dh406 million alone as the highest recorded figure in UAE’s real estate.

The flow of business visitors is reflected in a report by JLL MENA, which has projected a hike of 72 per cent year-on-year in the hospitality industry. Non-oil foreign trade for the UAE touched a record figure of $607 billion. Another JLL report on global hotel investment, where UAE features prominently, says cross-border capitalisation is expected to increase in tandem with the re-emergence of international travel.

A&A Associate is excited to announce their plans to expand their business into Saudi Arabia. With its rapidly growing economy, strategic location, and business-friendly environment, Saudi Arabia presents a tremendous opportunity for A&A to extend its services to new clients and establish a strong foothold in the region. Saudi Arabia aims to diversify the economy and promote innovation and entrepreneurship, which aligns perfectly with A&A's vision of empowering businesses to achieve their full potential. The expansion into Saudi Arabia is part of A&A Associates' commitment to providing world-class consultancy services and supporting businesses worldwide. Free trade zones in KSA can attract foreign investment, encourage economic growth, and create job opportunities. By reducing trade barriers and providing tax incentives, a free trade zone can increase the competitiveness of KSA's economy and facilitate the import and export of goods and services.

“We are seeing a third recession in 15 years, and so better prepared. The geopolitical developments like the war on Ukraine and COP 28 to be held in the UAE have only seen the local leadership take a proactive approach. Even neighbouring Saudi Arabia is witnessing continued growth. So the region is bound to see economic activity,” said Georgy John, director of operation and strategic planning, who will be leading the expansion to Saudi Arabia, while pointing out the example of how the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has signed agreements to manufacture products locally worth billions over the next decade.

Kumar K Shyam is a head of PR, MEMC.

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