British firms keen to explore Gulf market

British firms and brands are experiencing increasing global demand and are keen to explore the Gulf region, says a top official of the UK government.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sun 16 Mar 2014, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:30 PM

The UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Livingston, who arrived in the UAE on Saturday to launch ‘Great Week UAE’, said the UK would be a key focus market for projects such as Dubai Design District [d3] that is poised to be a creative collective where local designers sit neighbour global brands.

“As the UAE’s design and fashion industry develops and grows, the opportunities for local companies to partner with the UK’s creative talent are increasing, and the companies travelling to the UAE to take part in ‘Great Week’ represent some of the UK’s finest creative excellence,” Lord Livingston said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

Lord Livingston is heading a high-level British delegation to the UAE to further strengthen bilateral trade and explores market for small and mid-sized businesses. Over 40 British companies and leading brands from the retail, luxury and design industries will be showcasing their products to a UAE audience in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the week.

“I am leading a mission of UK companies in the fields of luxury retail and design, who have come to the UAE to build relationships and share industry insights. The delegation includes brands such as Olivia von Halle and Travelwrap, both of whom have received industry awards in the UK,” the minister said.

“The UK is a leader in luxury goods and is home to world-class skills and talent. As the UAE develops its creative industries, there are increasing opportunities for creative collaboration with the UK,” Lord Livingston said.

British leading brands like Fortnum and Mason, Lulu Guinness, among others, will be launching their products in the UAE during the week, which also includes a range of high-profile receptions, briefings, exhibitions and networking events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The UK firms will make important contacts with key UAE players in retail and design to support the growth of their increasing global demand.

The week will also include a fashion show co-hosted by the British Embassy and House of Fraser — another British retail favourite that recently opened its first international store in Abu Dhabi.

Lord Livingston will also visit the site of the new UK-Dubai Business Centre, which is expected to open its doors in April. He will be the keynote speaker at UK Trade and Investment’s flagship networking conference on Monday. “I’m delighted to be visiting the UAE for the first time as Trade and Investment Minister. British companies remain at the cutting edge of global creativity, which makes us a natural partner for this vibrant trading nation.”

“British firms are experiencing increasing global demand and want to succeed in the Gulf. That’s why I am launching ‘Great Week UAE’ to put UK companies in the spotlight and increasing our support for small and mid-sized businesses exporting to the region with two new British Centres for Business in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” the minister said.

He said many of the UK’s most distinguished brands are now located in the UAE, including Thomas Pink, Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch and Stella McCartney. “These brands are expanding and thriving in the UAE, a testament to its status as a global retail centre,” Lord Livingston said.


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