Marketing firms urged to build links in UAE

The UAE boasts an annual growth rate of about 5%. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The UAE boasts an annual growth rate of about 5%. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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Smaller marketing and communications firms across Scotland with an eye towards international growth are being invited to join an initiative to build links within the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Scottish Marketing Association UAE (SMA UAE) will launch next month with the aim of giving access to firms who do not require or are not yet ready to have a full-time presence in the area.

It is being headed by project dir­ector Bill McGowan, former business development director at Trinity Mirror and co-founder of InChannel Communications, based in East Kilbride.

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From March, McGowan will be based in Dubai full-time, providing research and sales representation on behalf of firms with products and services such as digital marketing apps or social media training. Five partners have committed so far, with an accompanying investment in SMA UAE, and discussions are currently taking place with a further ten or so.

McGowan said that doing business in the UAE can help offset tougher trading conditions at home. The region currently enjoys an annual growth rate in the region of 5 per cent, and is set to benefit in coming years from high-profile events such as Dubai Expo 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in nearby Qatar.

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