Starting a Business in Dubai

Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville, Pradeplatz Zürich, December 2, 2013

The DMCC Free Trade Zone in Dubai – New impetus for the Swiss commodities trading industry? Together with our valuable guests and experts we successfully tried to investigate this very interesting topic of the evening.

Mounir Khouzami , President of the SAN , opened the evening at the Savoy Hotel Baur en Ville Zurich with a short greeting. Then Slim Habli, Vice-President of the SAN, introduced the SAN vision, its strategy, and the team behind its ambitious work.
He then handed over the speech to the first guest speaker Mr. Urs Stirnimann.

Mr. Urs Stirnimann, a partner in a law firm in Dubai and recognized expert in the Arab world, announced an outline of the history of economic relations between Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates at first, and then further discussed current developments in Dubai and its free trade zones.

The next presentation dealt specifically with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the biggest Government of Dubai Free Zone Authority. Mr. James Bernard, Director of Business Development at the DMCC, explained the benefits and opportunities for investors, but also pointed out potential pitfalls, and important subtleties in everyday business dealing locally.

The presentations of the visiting guests flown in from Dubai rounded out the presentation by Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, lecturer in the MBA Program ZHAW Zurich. Mr. Dia-Eddine described the impact of commodity exchange, in free trade zones on demand and supply of raw materials, thus giving the impetus for the subsequent panel discussion.

In the panel discussion, Urs Stirnimann , James Bernard , Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, and entrepreneur and SAN Board Member, Omar Lahyani presented the numerous questions asked by the host, Slim Habli, and the audience. From Swiss chocolate factories located in the desert of Ras Al Khaima (UAE) to Sharia-compliant banking, the discussion was held in a brought way, and led to a vibrant networking session, where our guests enjoyed the culinary delicacies of Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville, and took benefit of the opportune business contacts.

An entertaining, informative, as well as commercially beneficial night, was so brought to a close. We want to thank all involved establishments and our valuable guests – we would be delighted to welcome you back at our next events!