The ‘Look East’ Policy and What it Means for Your Business

The ‘Look East’ Policy and What it Means for Your Business

by Rudy Bier in career
The UAE aims to strengthen its relationship with global neighbours with its ‘Look East’ policy. 
The close bond that the UAE has with neighbouring countries has led to the area becoming one of the global superpowers and has been instrumental in its success. 

Trade deals with India and China are crucial for the UAE; these are top trading partners, striking deals worth hundreds of billions of dirhams each year. 

We work closely with businesses who are setting up in the region, helping them build their teams and take advantage of the thriving business environment. 
Today, I explain what the ‘Look East’ policy means for your business.  

UAE-Eastern Relations 

The strategic location of the UAE, and in particular, Dubai, can be hailed as one of the reasons it is so successful in terms of international business. Its fortuitous position has led to the region being nicknamed the ‘gateway to the East’. It sits in the perfect location to act as a portal between East and West.  

Over the last 35 years, the UAE has also worked on strengthening bonds with new superpower China, which has led to lucrative business for both countries. Deals between the two countries are expected to exceed $70 billion (Dh 257.46 billion) by the end of 2020.  

The UAE has been relentless in ensuring the country maintains strong trade relations with their neighbours so that businesses in the country can continue to benefit. I will talk a little later about the generous benefits for both organisations and individuals, which leads people to flock to the area.  

Government Backing 

Dubai’s transformation from a small and relatively unknown place to a world-leading metropolis has been no accident. 

The Look East policy, as reported by Gulf News last year, is being constantly developed, as the government strive to make the area a world-leader for business growth, as outlined in the Dubai Plan 2021. 

It states that “inexorable ambition, perpetual improvements, and visionary leadership are the building blocks of our strategy and drive towards economic diversification”.  

The policy has existed for several years now, and the government are regularly reviewing and expanding on it, driving new and overseas business growth in the area. 

This includes the recent additions of freezing mandatory government fees, 10-year residency visa for investors and professionals, plus 100% foreign ownership laws. 


A Focus on Attracting Talent 

Business cannot succeed without talent and individuals with the right skills to drive their success. 

Alongside Dubai’s drive for business sits a quest for the best worldwide talent.  

In a recent Global Power City Index issue, Dubai was ranked the most attractive city in the Middle East in terms of ‘magnetism’ – that is, attracting the most innovative businesses and the best talent – and 23rd in the world, above cities such as Washington DC, Geneva and Madrid.  

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the country’s plan to attract talent in his eight principles or transformation.  

Principle 7 in the Charter, “A Land of Talent” outlined mechanisms to ensure the best worldwide talent is attracted to the region.  

He said “We have to continually review and renew our policies and procedures to ensure our appeal to talented individuals. We must build the best environment in Dubai for the world’s leading minds.” 


What the Look East Policy Means for Your Business 

Since it was announced, the UAE’s Look East policy has existed with the sole purpose of making the country a hub of foreign direct investment. 

The government has worked tirelessly to create a positive trading environment for all new enterprises, with overseas business welcomed and championed.  

As I have outlined, the UAE government is dedicated to bringing new businesses into the area, which an increasing number of companies are taking advantage of. 

Sourcing great talent for new businesses in the UAE is effortless – many employees and candidates around the world are attracted to the region due to a variety of reasons. The generous tax benefits that benefit them, alongside the high wages, the way of life and various other reasons – we covered why Dubai is THE place to live and work in a separate article which you can read here

When an organisation wants to open its doors in an overseas market, it is hard to find one more welcoming and encouraging that the UAE.

Next Steps? 

Are you thinking of taking advantage of the UAE’s global position for your pharmaceutical or medical devices organisation? Many already have, and we have been there to support them. 

We guarantee to locate the best global talent for your organisation so that starting your business in the UAE couldn’t be easier.  

For more information about setting up your business in the UAE, and how working with Kinetic will help secure you the best talent – get in touch with us here


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