Think you can master the Middle East? Here’s how!

There are not many regions within the emerging markets that are as flush with liquid cash as the Middle East. Many new venues have risen to prominence over the last few years, including the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) which has continually prospered in terms of FX volumes due to its exchange-traded Indian Rupee […]

There are not many regions within the emerging markets that are as flush with liquid cash as the Middle East. Many new venues have risen to prominence over the last few years, including the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) which has continually prospered in terms of FX volumes due to its exchange-traded Indian Rupee futures contract.

OTC FX trading is on the continual increase, and retail firms are expanding their footprint there. Culturally, it differs tremendously from Western markets, and FinanceFeeds took a look into what to consider when doing business in the Middle East, speaking to two imperative voices from within.

BMFN’s Adel Labib spoke to FinanceFeeds in order to explain his ethos, as BMFN is a firm which has a wealth of experience in mastering the business culture of the Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He said “The Middle East continues to hold a great deal of strong activity and promise of growth in the region.  Clients are keen on a number of factors when choosing what broker to trade with.”

“First and foremost, providing clients with excellent service allow us to enjoy the benefits of a solid name in the region.  This has been accomplished through our office locations throughout the world as well as professional services that are provided by our Operations, Technical and Risk Departments.  Clients have appreciated the convenience of knowing they can reach the right department 24/6 and get answers in their own local language.”

Mr. Labib further explained “Although BMFN offers a number of platforms to serve the requirements of most traders, we have found that the majority of our Middle East clients prefer to trade on MT CFD.  The platform that most closely follows real market conditions.  Excellent execution, along with very competitive spreads allows any trader the benefits of knowing they have the best platform for comfort and efficiency.”

“BMFN has also made a point of processing deposits and withdrawals efficiently so that clients are comfortable in knowing they can trade quickly or have access to their funds as needed.  The Private Cabinet has been instrumental in real-time transactions for both clients and IB payments.”

“Our team of professional representatives have been pivotal in putting the full package together for success and have established a trusted and professional organization which helped us to gain more business in the region by word of mouth. The Middle East has been key for the growth of BMFN and continues to drive the Company to new levels of success which is a direct result of clients who know they can rely on BMFN as a region leader” he concluded.

Middle EastMiddle East is very flexible and not complicated – with lots of liquid cash

Saad Sidat, a highly experienced Product & Business Operations Specialist in the FX industry, and a well recognized expert on the structure of the Middle Eastern FX environment explained to FinanceFeeds “The Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions for the financial services industry and UAE is already in the process of becoming the regional hub of the business. Doing business in Middle East is flexible and not complicated at all. It has a structured environment and things move around by the books. Just with any jurisdiction, there are certain rules and regulation that needs to be abided by in order to prevent any unfavorable events in the future” he said.

Mr. Sidat, who is very well connected and had previously held executive positions at ACM Gold and Capital Markets Solutions, further explained that “The government of UAE is working towards streamlining things further by bringing in new free zones with their own regulations for ease of doing business. The strong business infrastructure is a result of detailed planning by the experts and due to the ultimate vision in hand.”

Personal relationships are paramount – A handshake is stronger than a contract

“In order to be successful like in any other region, the three things that prevail in middle east is trust, honesty, transparency and obviously the most important thing; RELATIONSHIPS. Nurturing and fostering good long lasting relationships in this region is vital for long term success of the business. People here do business on the basis of relationships they have with their stake holders even though they might be slightly better business wise if done with another party. The concept of offshore company does not really appeal to people. People would like to do business with entities who they can go, meet, sit and talk to in their office. Having physical presence is very important for any business who want to operate in the Middle East” he said.

Competition is hotting up, especially in Dubai, due to the ease of doing business there. “Before starting a business in Middle East, especially in UAE, one should conduct a competitive analysis on what other competitors are doing. One should extract as much information as possible on what all is needed to incorporate a company. Know if your business needs the required license. It is very important to be well versed with what all is possible under the license the company is aiming at getting as one would not want to be in a position to step outside the limits imposed” advised Mr. Sidat.

“Before putting all your hard earned money in this region, start small and see the market traction. If it’s up to the mark, then move one step up and so and so forth. UAE having a good reputation of becoming the regional hub, also has few drawbacks. The region is very cyclical and has 5 to 6 years of economic cycle” is Mr. Sidat’s perspective.

“It is very important to be alert at all times on what is happening in the region as majority of the people here comprise of expats and if the economy is going through a downturn, the expats who make up a major portion of your target market suffer the most and in turn impacting your business.”

“Taking bold steps, being honest, providing transparency, respecting the law and fostering long last relationships is the key to success here and for everything to be smooth sailing” he concluded.


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