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Do I need a local business partner in the Middle East?


It really depends, the rules vary from country to country and from sector to sector.

So, for example, in Saudi Arabia, you are allowed to have a 100% foreign owned company in most sectors. Just up the road in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), however, the rules are completely different. There, if you are going to do business in the domestic economy, you will need a local business partner who owns 51% of your business. The exception in the UAE is if you set up in a Free Trade Zone and if you do that, then you will be exempt from that local partner requirement.

About Cynthia Dearin

Cynthia Dearin is an international business expert, business author and keynote speaker on the topic of leadership. She owns Dearin & Associates, an international business consulting firm specialising in fast-growing emerging markets, which provides companies with the commercial intelligence and strategies, cultural skills and trusted contacts that they need to succeed in new countries.

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