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Guest blog: UT delegates explore Dubai business ecosystem

Originally Written by Renee Vaughn, Guest blogger, Tampa Bay Business Journal

Sunday is a workday in the United Arab Emirates.

Sunday, March 10, a group of 28 university and Tampa Bay area business executives visited the Dubai International Financial Centre, which provides a supportive and secure environment for a variety of companies — more than 900 — to develop their businesses.

The visitors are part of the University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business Global Access Partnership which is in Dubai this week. The partnership is a travel program designed to provide a platform for its university community partners to experience the nuances of global markets and cultures firsthand so they can confidently navigate the global business landscape.

As a foreigner, to do business in Dubai, you must have a local partner who has 51 percent ownership in your business or pay an annual fee that varies in its cost. Located in a 110-acre area the size of the University of Tampa campus, the DIFC has all the elements of a financial industry ecosystem. Simply defined, it is a “city within a city” providing a stable infrastructure of free zones for a number of industries wishing to do business in Dubai. The DICF is playing a crucial role in meeting the financial needs of this region of the world, doing business in a time zone gap between the established New York, European and Hong Kong financial centers. It includes financial and non-financial groups representing 19 of the world’s top 25 banks, 11 of the top 20 money managers, eight of the 10 largest insurance agencies and eight of the 15 global law firms.

Members of the DIFC who locate in the “free zones” are tax free in collaboration with 70-plus countries.

The group also heard about SMEs (small and medium business enterprises) in the UAE.They make up 40 percent of the GDP in Dubai and represent 95 percent of all businesses.

They are trading and service businesses leveraging the UAE’s position as a trans-shipment hub. There are favorable government policies, including no taxes, that support these SMEs.

Ahead, the group will be visiting the agencies that make that happen for the UAE.

Those on the trip with me include: Dean and Michelle AkersCathy AlonsoAnthony BorrellJr., Ali Carr, Don and Jan DeFossetFrank Ghannadian, Christopher and Miriam Lykes,Rahul Mehra, Mark and Karen House, Andrew Lowry, Hemant Rustogi, Stephen Segundo,Brian SmithRobert MuirJoe OrsinoAakash PatelJudith Washburn , Hunter and Alison SwearingerLorna Taylor, John West, Sara West and University of Tampa PresidentRonald Vaughn.

To see the full article via the Tampa Bay Buisness Journal, please click here.