Posted by Neil King
Scottish Development International (SDI), an investment body jointly operated by Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish government, has launched an office in Dubai as it looks to capitalise on its rapidly developing business and commercial relationships in the Middle East.
The new set-up is designed to assist Scottish companies seeking to establish a foothold in the region while also driving inward investment into Scotland.
Colin Crabbe, SDI's newly appointed Middle East manager, observed that the value of exports from Scotland to the UAE has risen from £210 million in 2004 to approximately £360 million in 2008, adding that such a rise is a prime example of the strengthened ties and increasing growth in trade between the two countries.
"It is no secret that Scottish companies are seeing the Middle East as an increasingly important source for investment. We feel that creating a local presence in Dubai will help form a gateway for Scottish companies looking to explore exciting new opportunities in the Middle East," he said.
Mr Crabbe noted that the relationship works both ways, with Scotland seeing significant inward investment from the Gulf region in recent years.
UAE investments in Scotland include Turnberry Golf Course which was bought by Dubai's Leisurecorp, the Jumeirah Group's development of a five star hotel in Glasgow city centre that is scheduled for completion in 2011 and the strong growth of TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, in Aberdeen.