UAE expert upbeat about investment opportunities, business dynamics in Azerbaijan [INTERVIEW]
In an exclusive interview with Azernews' Sabina Mammadli, Managing Partner of AG MENA, a leading multi-services firm headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Zain Dhareeja spoke about the UAE Golden Visa, new opportunities for investors, businesses in the UAE and business dynamics in Azerbaijan, as well as objectives of his visit to Azerbaijan.
The discussion was held on the sidelines of the "Invest in Dubai" Business Luncheon held by Dubai Chamber's International Office in Azerbaijan and the UAE embassy in Baku.
Q. Welcome to Baku. Please, tell our readers about you and the entity you represent.
A. It’s a pleasure to be here. My name is Zain Dhareeja, I am the Managing Partner of AG MENA, a multi-services firm based in Dubai. We offer legal services, corporate services, and citizenship & residency solutions under a one-stop platform.
Q. Can you share what’s the nature and objectives of your visit?
A. The objectives of our visit are to open up opportunities to the local Azerbaijani business community and individuals in businesses here and provide them with a platform and accessibility to various opportunities in the UAE. In particular, a key objective from AG MENA is to provide an insight view into the United Arab Emirates Golden Visas, which we recently announced and through which individuals and their families can obtain a ten-year residency in the UAE.
Q. Please, share your expectations about the “Invest in Dubai" Business Luncheon.
A. We see this as a key platform, where we can help facilitate trade and investment opportunities between Azerbaijan and the UAE. We are very grateful to the Dubai International Chamber and the International Office in Azerbaijan for providing a platform for us.
Q. It’s your first visit to Baku. What are your impressions of the city?
A. Baku is very dynamic. I was familiar with the city in a way because of the international events taking place here, such as Formula 1. It is very commendable what the Azerbaijani government is doing here in terms of public investments, investing in the infrastructure, and local economy. So, I believe there are several opportunities for UAE businesses and investors to come here and vice versa.
Q. Dubai has successfully diversified away from oil revenues into trade, logistics, tourism, real estate, and financial services. How have international investors benefited from this diversification?
A. The diversification has lifted a lot of restrictions on business ownership, migration to the UAE, and foreign ownership of a business in the country. This essentially means that now doing business has become very accessible for foreign investors and individuals and the UAE is a provider of a strategic hub between the West and the East. Now, we see a lot of foreign businesses that can easily access the regional market within the UAE and has access to a larger customer basement in the region because of the country’s diversification from the oil economy to an economy based on logistics, retail, etc.
Q. What are your observations about business dynamism in Baku?
A. It seems that there is a very strong appetite from this side, individuals and entrepreneurs here to do business in the UAE and, as mentioned previously vice versa. We see that a lot of companies from the UAE and the Middle East, in general, would see this region as having huge potential. In particular, there is an increasing amount of tourists coming from the UAE and I believe that number will continue to rise.
Q. You are visiting Baku in partnership with Dubai Chambers. How does Dubai International Chamber support international business development for companies such as yours?
A. Dubai Chambers plays a key role in promoting trade and investment opportunities between different economies and particular businesses such as ourselves. Dubai International Chamber, one of the chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, plays a crucial role in facilitating trade and leverages its global network and presence to promote Dubai as a global business hub and support local businesses as they expand beyond borders.
We wouldn’t have been aware of opportunities in Azerbaijan if it wasn’t for Dubai International Chamber’s office here. We look forward to working with them long-term and hoping to drive further the investment and trade opportunities between both countries.
Q. What would be your advice to Azerbaijani businesspeople considering doing business in Dubai?
A. I will highly recommend that they commence business operations and expand their business in the UAE, in particular, due to the ease of doing business there. The Arab Emirates has achieved a mark of 80.9 out of 100 for doing business. It is very straightforward to set up a company there and obtain residency which can all be done within two weeks. I don’t think it gets easier than this anywhere else. And of course, there is 100 percent foreign ownership in the UAE. There is a very stable environment, zero crime, and the quality of life is very high.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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