MEA Q2 2023

Q2 2023

Making our way through 2023, we are noticing the great work being done by businesses across the MEA region so far this year – and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. There is a lot of growth to come for the MEA market, with it being predicted to reach a compound annual growth rate of 7.6% by 2027, which is double what it is worth now. Thus, it is an amazing place to be doing business, and we’re excited to be showcasing some of the companies that are thriving there. In this issue, we feature our award-winning MEA businesses who hail from an array of different industries, from oil and gas to IT services, and from global investment to compliance advisory. Each has an outstanding team demonstrating their next-level skills and expertise daily, leveraging cutting-edge technology, and going above and beyond to exceed expectations. I hope you find this all to be insightful, we wish you a prosperous quarter ahead, and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon for the Q3 issue of MEA Markets magazine. Rebecca Scotland, Editor Welcome to the Q2 issue of MEA Markets Magazine. As always, we are dedicated to providing our readers with all of the latest news and features from across the Middle East and Africa. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.

4. News: - TMF Group expands into Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by acquiring PROVEN’s corporate services business - RAKEZ sheds light on the dynamic role of industrial zones in the UAE’s manufacturing sector at MOIAT’s ‘Make it in the Emirates’ forum 6. Oil & Gas International Fze: Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 - Sharjah 8. OMNIdata: Best IT Services & Support Provider - Angola 10. O.T.C. International LTD Seychelles, Victoria: Best Global Investment Company 2023 11. Amanie Advisors: Leading Global Islamic Finance Advisors 12. RAKEZ supports businesses in staying updated on the latest corporate tax developments in the UAE 13. RAKEZ paves the way for UAE-Russia economic cooperation during St. Petersburg visit 14. Dubai International Chamber expands presence in Africa with launch of new office in Johannesburg Contents 6. 8. 11.

News TMF Group expands into Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by acquiring PROVEN’s corporate services business Completion of the transaction is subject to government approvals. Since its establishment in 2009, PROVEN has been at the forefront of enabling businesses to operate seamlessly in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern regions, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and Kuwait. It has since expanded to cater to international markets while maintaining its reputation as a trusted partner for organisations looking to streamline their operations. The acquisition represents a significant step in TMF Group’s expansion as the KSA economy is the largest in the Middle East and the eighteenth largest in the world. With a decade of experience, PROVEN’s team brings a wealth of expertise, advanced technology, and a modern service delivery model to help their partners achieve maximum value creation. This strategic acquisition enables PROVEN to support inbound business from TMF Group’s 125 offices globally while expanding its corporate services value chain. TMF Group will benefit from integrating PROVEN’s regional corporate services businesses into its existing global infrastructure. As a result, TMF Group will open a new, permanent office in Riyadh, and build on the existing KSA clients currently served by TMF Group’s Dubai office. On announcing this acquisition, TMF Group’s Head of EMEA Frank Welman commented: “PROVEN has demonstrated significant success in the region and this acquisition represents a milestone in TMF Group’s expansion strategy. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a jurisdiction full of potential and this transaction will enable us to add high-quality service capabilities to TMF Group’s portfolio in the Middle East, where we already have a reputable presence in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. We look forward to welcoming 57 of PROVEN’s talented employees to the TMF Group’s MEA team after the transaction closes.” Stewart Adams, TMF Group’s market head of Middle East and Africa stated: “The acquisition of part of Proven’s business will add a physical presence in a new jurisdiction to TMF Group’s global footprint, enhancing TMF Group’s service offering to international corporates looking to invest and operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The acquisition is a fundamental part of a continuing growth story for TMF Group and demonstrates strategic intent to develop and grow its global corporate services and HR business. PROVEN adds high-quality capability to TMF Group’s portfolio of services in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region, helping it to increase its share of this fastgrowing market.” PROVEN Chief Executive Officer, Omer Saleem, commented: “Saudi Vision 2030 aims to build a business ecosystem that sustains and supports the growth of the private sector, and corporate services are an integral part of this ecosystem. Today, both PROVEN and TMF Group are at a maturity level that allows for maximum value creation in the country. Saudi’s private market is in urgent need of the next level of corporate services that can help existing firms keep pace with regulatory and compliance needs. Our partnership with TMF Group is perfectly timed, foreseeing the next level of growth that the Kingdom is envisaging in the near future.” For this transaction, the sellers were advised by Clyde & Co (legal). TMF Group was advised by DLA Piper (legal). Group, a leading provider of compliance and administrative services, today announced the acquisition of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), corporate services, corporate immigration and visa services divisions of PROVEN, a leading business outsourcing organisation in the Middle East.

News RAKEZ sheds light on the dynamic role of industrial zones in the UAE’s manufacturing sector at MOIAT’s ‘Make it in the Emirates’ forum Ras Al Khaimah, 2 June 2023: Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) successfully participated in the second edition of Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s (MoIAT) prestigious ‘Make it in the Emirates’ forum held recently, which brought together industry leaders, government officials, and prominent stakeholders to discuss the role of industrial zones in driving economic progress. The forum aimed to position the UAE as a preferred hub for emerging industries on a global scale and promote local production by attracting investors, innovators, and developers, who can enjoy a world of perks and opportunities provided within the UAE ecosystem. RAKEZ Group CEO, Ramy Jallad, participated as a panelist in the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ forum, discussing the role of industrial zones in attracting local and foreign investors. He also shared insights and forward-thinking perspectives on leveraging industrial zones to propel the growth of the UAE’s manufacturing sector. Highlighting the country’s unique value propositions, Jallad said, “The UAE’s secret formula is a blend of ambition, strategic positioning, and unwavering support for businesses. We have built a business-friendly ecosystem, quickly customising solutions for both SMEs and large manufacturers. Our approach is diligent and understanding, aiming for transparency, ease of regulations, and a plug-and-play environment.” During the engaging panel discussion, Jallad emphasised on the vital role that industrial zones play in economic diversification and their potential to attract local and international investments. “Specialised industrial zones are ideal incubators for industrialists driving the UAE’s nonoil economic transformation. RAKEZ supports industrial companies by offering robust infrastructure, access to global supply chains through logistical hubs and ample growth opportunities in a business-friendly ecosystem,” he said. Jallad highlighted the economic zone’s agility in packaging all the right elements that investors need for their business set-up, operational sustainability and growth in the region. He also commented, “Investors today are smart and very much capable of conducting their own research when it comes to where and how to set up. Our role here is to market what the UAE has to offer to the industrialists, simplify their navigation and welcome them into our supportive business community.” RAKEZ’s participation in the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ forum further solidified its commitment to the national industrial strategy ‘Operation 300bn’ of facilitating business growth and driving economic diversification. By engaging with fellow industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and government officials, RAKEZ explored new collaborative opportunities to advance the UAE’s industrial sector and promote the country as a thriving business destination.

MEA / Q2 2023 Feb23567 Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 - Sharjah Operating in over 44 countries across the globe with its headquarters in the UAE, Oil & Gas International (OGI) has become the leading service provider to operating companies, drilling contractors, and services companies worldwide. We profile the firm following it being named in the UAE Business Awards 2023 and bestowed with a prestigious accolade for its endeavours. The UAE is among the world’s 10 largest producers of oil, with around 96% of the country’s roughly 100 million barrels of proven oil reserves located in Abu Dhabi, which ranks the capital city at number six worldwide. On average, the UAE produces 3.2 million barrels of petroleum and liquids per day – and Oil & Gas International is one of these major oil and gas supplier and solutions providers. Established in the year 2011 by a group of experts from the oil and gas sector, it aims to provide excellent products and reliable services. As a one-stop service and solution provider for the oil and gas industry, Oil and Gas International had its humble beginnings in 2011 under the leadership of Managing Director, Mr Thomas Albin. His visionary leadership and proactive actions have resulted in OGI achieving a significant market share internationally, alongside his team of experts constantly aiming to render the finest support to clients and vendors. Establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with all its business associates is very crucial to the company’s long-term business model, and Thomas Albin’s constant presence in the industry for over 33 years has ensured to continue and prosper his mantra and pass on his knowledge and business savvy to his OGI family and the global community to inspire the coming generations. The company’s core offerings and services include tubular running services, API-certified machine shop services, pressure control and BOP rental, redress and grinding of stabilisers, drilling/BHA tools, and fishing tools and rental services, amongst others. It is known as one of the superior providers of equipment and solutions for operating companies, drilling contractors, and service companies across the globe. Ideally located in Sharjah, OGI comprises a yard area of 500,000sqft which includes a fully equipped warehouse, workshop, and service centre, and it has an additional corporate office expanding over 5,000sqft in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Now, its operations extend from the Middle East to Iraq, Africa, India, and other Asia Pacific regions, its comprehensive range of quality-driven products and world-class services meeting the challenging and dynamic requirements of oil field operating companies, drilling contractors, and service providers. As distributor and service agent for major European brands, OGI also caters to the marine sector, vessel operators, offshore and onshore constructions, refurbishment industries, and rigs, and it has an API licensed machine and fabrication shop which operates under stringent quality standards as per drilling industry requirements. It is accredited with API Specification Q1 Registration, API Spec7-1 & 5 CT, 16A and 6A License, and ISO 9001:2015 for the applicable services of manufacturing; tubular running services; rental of drilling and fishing tools; inspection; and the repair, trading, and supplying of the oil and gas industry. Additionally, OGI’s solution orientated trade house enables it to serve any unique requirement from all around the world in a short period of time. It also has multiple rigs in its inventory which enables it to be a major player in the industry, continuously serving the oil and gas industry with wide range of products and services include tubular running services, API-certified machine shop services, drilling /BHA rental tools, welding services, pressure control equipment rental, redress and grinding of stabilisers, drilling/ BHA tools trading of any and all the products including steel bars of various grades 4145/4140/4130/P550/P530. The OGI team can provide a variety of specialised manufacturing, inspection, and repair services from its facility. Its machine shops are fully equipped with computerised cutting units, lathes, mills, borers, and grinders – all of which are operated by experienced personnel who are highly skilled in every aspect of machine shop activity. Its inhouse capabilities allow it to manufacture, repair, and refurbish a range of drilling and down hole tools that ensure equipment arrives in optimal condition for maximum operational efficiency. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, OGI has witnessed an enormous growth, continued expansion and diversified with Diamond Jewellery business in partnership with their premium manufacturer who has an exemplary experience of over 100 years in the diamond industry. Multi country expansion and a recent acquisition of 24 years long-standing company are just another feather to OGI’s crown. The company endeavours to contribute to the society that it actively operates and runs the operations in a way that is environmentallyfriendly and sustainable in accordance to the statutory manner and recently started our support to “44.01” initiative thereby assuring our contribution towards eliminating CO2. Ultimately, there’s no denying the dedication and hard work that Oil & Gas International’s team continues to put into the sector, having been named as Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 – Sharjah in the UAE Business Awards. A very worthy accolade that is testament to the commitment of the firm to both the sector and its country of residence. Managing Director, Thomas Albin comments, “At this opportunity, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our vendors, clients and business associates for supporting OGI to become a leading service provider.” Company: Oil & Gas International Fze Website:

7 Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 - Sharjah

MEA / Q2 2023 Jan23252 Nov21612 Best IT Services & Support Provider - Angola As technology evolves, so does the need for more information to become available for how to correctly manage it. It can be troubling for most to adapt to changes within the IT industry, and OMNIdata has therefore crafted endless support and strategies to ensure clients are never without assistance throughout their IT journeys. We delve into how, through its rigorous training processes and keen attention to detail, OMNIdata has become the best of the best in the IT services and support industry throughout Angola. stablished in 1996, and operating as a company with a 100% Angolan capital, OMNIdata integrates a vast array of solutions in the area of information technologies, communication, and equipment sales. It has extensive experience throughout the Angolan market, and has completely devoted itself towards constantly improving its practises to guarantee the best possible outcome for every client. As a result of its steadfast focus on the critical aspects of its core business in information security and quality alike, it’s been fortunate enough to partner with industry leaders who’ve helped it make the distinct imprint that it’s placed upon the industry. Some such leaders are VMware, Oracle, CISCO, and Dell Technologies, and these prestigious partnerships have allowed for OMNIdata to continuously hone its craft. This, in turn, ensures that it’s able to deliver solutions that’re simply incomparable across Angola’s current market. At its core, OMNIdata is committed towards creating value for the entire national telecommunications ecosystem and E beyond, and accomplishes this feat through unity, solidity, trust, transparency, and rigor across its operations. It ensures that the way in which it functions is constantly in accordance with its fundamental values, and this is all thanks to OMNIdata’s extensive list of main services. Though specialising in multiple fields, including technical support, IT consultancy that’s focused on information and communication technologies, support, and maintenance service management, OMNIdata still manages to uphold a quality that’s completely irrefutable. As a result of its commitment towards fantastic customer service, it’s put its all into collaborating with leading companies from various segments, which has ultimately allowed it to grow and flourish in astonishing ways. It places an emphasis on working alongside national players within fields spanning from banking to telecommunications, keeping its practises strongly tied to its humble origins. However, despite its mastery of the field, OMNIdata focuses itself on creating a consistent state of improvement throughout its practises. It sets its sights on accuracy, and commits itself to accomplishing every service it promises to its clients. And, thanks to its certification in the ISO 9001:2015 Standard, it has processes and procedures that guarantee clear documentation, all whilst enhancing decision making that’s based wholly on information produced. It holds itself to an incredibly high standard, and it’s easy to see why through the way it manages its workforce. As a rule of thumb, OMNIdata involves all of its workers in the multitude of processes it carries out. In doing so, it’s able to effectively tackle constant change, and keeps each member of the team aware of any adaptations that may need to be made. OMNIdata realises that there are no certainties when approaching the IT industry, and therefore sets out to keep itself fluid, whilst engaging in continuous, internal improvement. Despite the challenges that accompany a rapidly changing market, it places focus on its clients above all else to guarantee a flawless service. OMNIdata consistently prepares for every possible opportunity, and seeks to undertake new steps in a multitude of directions through its incredible management skills. It recognises the potential that accompanies Angola as a region, and seeks to excel in its business continuity in order to flourish and thrive regardless of a customer’s needs. This is a result of its astounding training programs, each of which are completely tailored towards encouraging absolute mastery over providing for its clients. Whether staff have a vast wealth of experience, or are completely new to the field, OMNIdata has developed intense training that’s available to every young person joining the business. It understands how integral quality training is towards offering brilliant service and expertise, and its specialised program seeks to train the technical team to the highest level of certification possible. This is all to ensure that OMNIdata is always equipped to provide support services that ultimately benefit its clients, no matter the demand. OMNIdata is an IT support service that’s geared towards national technicians with growing experience in providing services and implementing projects for the company, and owes its undeniable success towards its tireless efforts to be the best that the industry has to offer within Angola. And with a distinct ‘together we are stronger’ mindset, it’s easy to understand how this company came to earn the success that it holds today. Contact: Nilton Teixeira Company: OMNIdata Web Address:

9 Best IT Services & Support Provider - Angola

MEA / Q2 2023 10 Feb23161 Best Global Investment Company 2023 O.T.C. Business Services is a provider of consultancy and guidance to clients worldwide. It has a key focus on family office structures, and helping wealthy individuals to secure their financial futures in safe and secure ways. .T.C. Business Services looks to secure wealth for its clients by establishing legal entities all over the world, in the right structure for the specific purpose. It has 20 years of experience in the market, helping companies and individuals all over the world to establish in the UAE. It also provides concierge services to help take care of clients’ needs, with a major focus being that the client can do their job, work on their passion, and clear up all necessary tasks. The main clients for the company are tech start-ups, and tech founders, who have raised a certain amount of money, and desire to both build their wealth, and the company structure in the right way from the very beginning. This means choosing the right personal tax residency point (UAE), and finding the best possible company structure for the business’ operational needs. O.T.C. sees the difference between it and its competitors as being its 20 long years in the sector, establishing international businesses, and being well prepared for any questions likely to come up during what is often a very time intensive process. It prepares everything required in advance, so that clients never feel the pressure, and are thus unlikely to hesitate, allowing things go through smoothly. When it comes to the role of staff within the organisation, O.T.C. is proud to declare that it doesn’t fire people, it only hires them. By this it means, rather than firing an employee instead it looks for a way to change their position to something better suited to their talents and key skills. It also strongly believes that even an employee already strongly experienced in accounting or bookkeeping, for example, can still develop better business skills. O.T.C. likes to improve its employees, by assisting them to reach their full potential. This all takes place in a fair environment, with the company operating more as a hub than a normal run-of-themill employer. It prizes its staff as the most important key to its success, knowing that successful customers only come from having successful staff in the first place. Having the right tools, combined with teamwork, is the only way to go according to O.T.C. As winner of Best Global Investment Company 2023, O.T.C. International LTD Seychelles, Victoria has been recognised for its expert guidance to companies and individuals all over the world. As a recognised global finance advisor, it is especially excelling in its geographic location of the UAE, where it is helping individuals to build their wealth in the safest and most secure ways possible. Company: O.T.C. International LTD Seychelles, Victoria Contact Name: Ilir Halimi Web Address: O O.T.C. Business Services looks to secure wealth for its clients by establishing legal entities all over the world, in the right structure for the specific purpose. It has 20 years of experience in the market, helping companies and individuals all over the world to establish in the UAE. It also provides concierge services to help take care of clients’ needs, with a major focus being that the client can do their job, work on their passion, and clear up all necessary tasks.

MEA / Q2 2023 11 Feb23301 Leading Global Islamic Finance Advisors Founded in 2005, Amanie Advisors Ltd. is a leading Shariah advisory firm which specialises in Islamic financial solutions. It offers a wide range of services to both institutional and corporate clientele, including Shariah advisory and consultancy, training, and research and development services. Here, we discuss the company’s innovative solutions and its success in the UAE Business Awards 2023, in which it was named this year’s Best Shariah Compliance Advisory Firm. Dubai has become a hub for Islamic finance and banking. Based on the principles of Shariah law, Islamic finance prohibits charging or paying interest and instead relies on profit-sharing arrangements, leasing arrangements, and sale transactions to generate income. With a large Muslim population and a strong demand for Shariah-compliant financial products, the UAE has pioneered the development of Islamic finance. Headquartered in Malaysia, Amanie Advisors is a global Shariah advisory firm that provides a wide range of services to clients within the Islamic finance industry, including financial institutions, asset management companies, corporations, and governments. The Amanie Advisors Global Office is located in Dubai’s International Financial Centre (DIFC), which is one of the region’s leading financial hubs and home to a number of Islamic banks and financial establishments. With further offices in both Kazakhstan and Europe, the company’s clients are located all over the world, throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the US, and Europe. Amanie Advisors works with its clients to ensure all of the products and services they offer are compliant with Shariah principles. Its team consists of four experts in different fields of Islamic finance and Shariah law. These are Dr Mohamed Ali Elgari, Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, Dr Osama Al Dereai, and Dr Muhammad Amin Ali Qattan. The team also includes a number of other advisors, all experts in their fields, who also provide advice on Shariah compliance. Known for its depth of expertise and experience, Amanie Advisors is a highly respected player and one of the top three leading Shariah firms in the Islamic finance industry. It provides a range of services, including advisory guidance for the whole spectrum of Islamic financial establishments, Shariah auditing and certification, Islamic wealth management, as well as Shariah education and human capability building. The company also provides services related to research and development and conducts feasibility studies for Islamic financial transactions. Amanie Advisors is primarily focused on developing innovative Islamic finance solutions that incorporate cutting-edge technologies such as data analytics, blockchain, and fintech applications. For example, the company recently created Comtech’s pioneering gold token, which is backed by gold coins. Such modern financial solutions are designed to complement traditional banking systems and modernise the financial industry. For Amanie Advisors, there are many advantages that come with operating in Dubai. Firstly, Islamic finance is continually growing in the area, with many financial institutions and investors looking for Shariah-compliant investment opportunities. Additionally, Dubai has been at the forefront of innovation in Islamic finance, so the firm has been able to leverage the innovative spirit of the city to develop new products and services for its clients. Dubai is also strategically located between Europe and Asia, which makes it an ideal location for Amanie Advisors as it plans to expand into these areas. However, there are equal challenges that come with the location of its global offices. The regulatory environment in Dubai is complex, so Amanie Advisors must navigate the ever-evolving regulations related to Islamic finance. Furthermore, despite the growth of the industry in the region, the market is still relatively small in comparison to conventional finance. As well as this, the market is highly competitive, meaning Amanie Advisors must continuously compete with a number of other Islamic finance advisors to attract clients. In order to stand out from competitors, Amanie Advisors firstly distinguishes itself through its global reach, with offices across the globe and clients in many countries. As well as this, the company sets its services apart from traditional, standardised solutions by providing tailored Shariah services that meet the specific needs and preferences of its clients. Furthermore, the firm often invests in education and awareness programmes to help its clients better understand the principles of Islamic finance and how it could be beneficial to them. Amanie Advisors is also unique in terms of its innovation, since it constantly aims to meet the changing needs of its clients by creating new, diverse Shariahcompliant financial products. As a result of its innovative and knowledgeable advisory services, Amanie Advisors has been awarded Best Shariah Compliance Advisory Firm in the UAE Business Awards 2023. In the coming years, the company aims to bridge the gap between the western market and the Islamic finance world, especially in the Northern American and European regions. It strives to encourage world renowned asset management firms and banking institutes to offer Islamic products and services and adapt to the Shariah governance framework within the Islamic finance industry. Contact: Norfahreen Azfy Abdul Aziz Company: Amanie Advisors Web Address:

MEA / Q2 2023 12 Jan23615 RAKEZ supports businesses in staying updated on the latest corporate tax developments in the UAE Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) organised an interactive seminar to familiarise members of its vibrant business community with the latest trends in the UAE’s federal corporate tax. During the event, the RAKEZ team highlighted the importance of understanding the implications of corporate tax for different businesses and the necessity of registering companies, maintaining accurate accounting records, and effectively filing tax submissions with the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority. They also unveiled RAKEZ’s latest suite of services designed to assist companies with their corporate tax requirements. These services extend to tax consultation, registration and filing, as well as comprehensive accounting and bookkeeping. The seminar featured tax specialists who presented insights into corporate tax, ranging from basic understanding to its significance in strategic business planning in line with the current and proposed legislation. The presentations focused on the application of corporate tax in free zones, detailing which companies would qualify and the exemptions associated with them. RAKEZ Group CEO Ramy Jallad said, “Our mission at RAKEZ is to foster an environment that promotes business growth and financial integrity. Understanding and navigating the shifting trends in corporate tax can be a complex task for businesses, especially for those new to the UAE market. This seminar was our way of standing alongside our community, demystifying tax obligations and offering actionable tools for compliance. We are committed to continually empowering our businesses with the necessary knowledge to thrive in a constantly evolving tax landscape.” This tailored approach to fostering an understanding of corporate tax trends was acknowledged by the attendees. Director of Vertextes, Zamil Chowdhury, said: “RAKEZ’s community events are a big hit among investors both in terms of gaining business insights and networking. Staying upto-date with the corporate tax requirements is quite important and I’m happy these sessions focus on such crucial topics.” Marketing Manager of Makab International Trading, Leena Punjabi, said: “The session helped us crosscheck if the steps we took for our company were aligned with the latest developments. I hope we have more follow-up events with detailed information in the future.” CEO of Strategic Solutions, Susan Furness, said: “I loved the concept of this seminar with simple, step-by-step guidelines. Since corporate tax is a generative topic, we had a lot of new things to learn. But the main takeaway was the opportunity to meet with dozens of other entrepreneurs full of energy and commitment towards growing their businesses in Ras Al Khaimah. This business community is highly attractive and has played a role in my shift to Ras Al Khaimah, not just my business but my home too.” The economic zone is set to host future events focused on corporate tax to ensure that members of its business community remain well-informed and compliant with the most recent regulations.

MEA / Q2 2023 13 Jan23565 RAKEZ paves the way for UAE-Russia economic cooperation during St. Petersburg visit Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) representatives recently joined the UAE’s Ministry of Economy delegation which attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2023 in Russia. The visit aimed to explore new opportunities for collaboration and strengthen economic ties between the UAE and Russia. uring SPIEF, RAKEZ Chief Commercial Officer, Anas Hijjawi, participated in a panel discussion titled ‘UAE Industrial Clusters: New Opportunities for Russian Exporters’. The discussion shed light on how RAKEZ, as one of the largest and fastest-growing regional economic zones, can serve as a strategic platform providing new avenues for Russia’s exporters seeking to expand their production facilities in the current geopolitical landscape. During the panel discussion, Hijjawi highlighted the numerous advantages and preferences that the UAE’s economic zones offer to Russian investors, including a business-friendly environment, robust infrastructure, collaborative opportunities, access to modern facilities, and a wide range of support services. He emphasised the importance of conducting market research, forming strategic partnerships, adapting products to local demand, and engaging in proactive marketing and promotional activities for Russian companies seeking to enter the UAE market. Furthermore, he stressed the significance of establishing Russian clusters within the economic zones, citing the benefits of enhanced collaboration, access to specialised resources, networking opportunities, streamlined government support, and the development of state-of-the-art industry ecosystems. In a notable development on the sidelines of SPIEF, RAKEZ and Business Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pave the way for stronger trade, economic, scientific, and technological relations between the UAE and Russia. The MoU, signed by Hijjawi and Business Russia’s Chairman, Alexey Repik, aims to encourage closer contact between the two entities, promote economic growth, and facilitate active participation in business events held in both countries. It also facilitates information exchange in areas of mutual interest, covering the economy, foreign trade, changes in law, regulations, prospective projects, and spheres of interest, thereby fostering a stronger partnership between RAKEZ and Business Russia. RAKEZ Group CEO, Ramy Jallad, said, “We are thrilled to have entered into this mutually beneficial collaboration with Business Russia, as it is a significant milestone in strengthening the trade and economic relations between the UAE and Russia. This MoU opens up new avenues for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and business opportunities between the two countries through our organisations. We look forward to fostering a productive partnership that will benefit companies from both regions and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our respective economies.” Today RAKEZ is home to around 800 Russian companies operating in different sectors ranging from startups and SMEs, to large manufacturers. D

MEA / Q2 2023 14 Feb23491 Dubai International Chamber expands presence in Africa with launch of new office in Johannesburg • Lootah: The new office in Johannesburg is yet another example of our commitment to positioning Dubai favourably in Africa, strengthening trade links with this vital continent and unlocking two-way investments. • The new office brings Dubai International Chamber’s number of international offices to 21, five of which are located in Africa. • The total value of non-oil trade between South Africa and Dubai achieved year-on-year growth of 11.5% in 2022 to reach AED22.3 billion. • The number of South African companies registered with Dubai Chamber of Commerce stood at 777 by the end of 2022, representing growth of 77% since 2016. ubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, today marked the official inauguration of its latest international office in Johannesburg. The new office further strengthens the UAE’s growing trade links with Africa and will seek to boost the level of bilateral investments between Dubai and South Africa. The Johannesburg office brings the chamber’s total number of international representative offices to 21, five of which are located in Africa. The opening further consolidates Dubai International Chamber’s growing presence on the continent following the launch of representative offices in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ghana. These play a crucial role in facilitating trade and investment flows between Africa and Dubai, as well as unlocking opportunities for Dubai companies in African markets. Dubai International Chamber will focus on providing comprehensive support to the South African business community and building strong relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders. The team at the office will deliver on-ground assistance to South African companies seeking to enter the Dubai market and expand internationally through the emirate. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “The new office in Johannesburg is yet another example of our commitment to positioning Dubai favourably in Africa, strengthening trade links with this vital continent and unlocking twoway investments. In line with our strategic priorities and the emirate’s foreign trade plan, we are anticipating further growth in Dubai’s non-oil trade with South Africa and other key African markets, together with increased strategic investments from businesses on both sides.” The UAE is the largest trading country and top host of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the MENA region, while South Africa is the UAE’s top trading partner on the African continent and the second-largest FDI host in Sub-Sahara Africa. According to Dubai Customs statistics, non-oil trade between South Africa and Dubai achieved year-on-year growth of 11.5% in 2022 to reach a total of AED22.3 billion. The inauguration of the Johannesburg office comes as part of the ‘Dubai Global’ initiative, which was launched in 2022 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to establish 50 representative offices for Dubai across five continents by the end of the decade. The initiative supports Dubai Chambers’ strategic goals of attracting international business and investment to Dubai and driving the global expansion of its members. A total of 777 South African companies were registered with Dubai Chamber of Commerce by the end of 2022, representing growth of 77% since 2016. The new office is set to strengthen the already robust commercial relationship between the UAE and South Africa by identifying and capitalising on new trade and investment opportunities across a range of key sectors including precious stones and metals, agriculture, logistics, and mining. Dubai’s strategic location and world-class logistics facilities position it as the trade hub of choice for South African companies with global ambitions. The emirate offers easy access to 2.2 billion consumers, serving as a hub to enable South African companies to expand their footprints worldwide. D The Johannesburg office brings the chamber’s total number of international representative offices to 21, five of which are located in Africa. The opening further consolidates Dubai International Chamber’s growing presence on the continent following the launch of representative offices in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Ghana. These play a crucial role in facilitating trade and investment flows between Africa and Dubai, as well as unlocking opportunities for Dubai companies in African markets.

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