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DMCC Barcelona Roadshow Highlights Opportunity for Growth in Dubai for Spanish Firms and the Economic Impact of Expo 2020 Dubai

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  • Over 100 business leaders attend DMCC’s Made for Trade roadshow in Barcelona, Spain
  • The event showcases the commercial appeal of Dubai and the ease of doing business in the world’s leading free zone for Spanish firms seeking growth
  • DMCC executives highlight the strength of Dubai’s economy and the opportunity presented to foreign companies through Expo 2020 Dubai


DMCC – the world’s leading free zone and Government of Dubai Authority for commodities trade and enterprise – concluded its Made for Trade Live roadshow in Barcelona on 27 June 2019. Supported by the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Barcelona, the event gathered over 100 leading representatives of Spanish business to outline the commercial appeal of Dubai, and the significant opportunities created for foreign firms by Expo 2020 Dubai.

Underlining its position as a commercial hub and gateway for global trade, DMCC briefed delegates on the ease of setting up a business within its Free Zone, and Dubai’s appeal to international businesses as a platform for expansion given its strategic location and global connectivity.

Foreign direct investments (FDI) from Spain to Dubai reached AED 3.29 billion in 2018, ranking Spain the fourth largest investor in terms of FDI capital inflows. The sectors that have seen the most investment from Spain include non-residential building construction, accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment and recreation, management of companies and enterprises, and retail and wholesale trade.

“This is an exciting time for the United Arab Emirates and especially its partners across Europe. By being open to the world, the UAE has created an economic environment that is both welcoming to investment and paves the way for sustained growth in the future,” said His Excellency Mohamed Alshamsi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates to Barcelona.

“Promoting the ease of doing business with the UAE, and attracting foreign business to our shores is critically important to the national economic strategy. I commend DMCC for all it has achieved in profiling Dubai as the destination for international business, and driving trade through the UAE. There is a real opportunity for Spanish firms to expand their enterprise in Dubai – especially in light of Expo 2020 Dubai – and the insights shared at this event were very useful to those here in Barcelona,” he added.

Since inception, DMCC has attracted over 3000 businesses from 17 cities around the world to its international roadshow programme. DMCC partnered with Spanish business group Foment del Treball, and bank Banco Sabadell to stage the event in Barcelona, which precedes roadshows in the second half of 2019 to Hangzhou and Qingdao in China, and Stuttgart, Trier and Koblenz in Germany.

“Spain is a strategically important market for DMCC. The country provides a crucial link for us into both Europe and Latin America, and the DMCC Coffee Centre will supply a significant boost to rising UAE-Spain trade volumes. Following our first roadshow to Spain last year, it has been encouraging to witness a spike in interest from Spanish firms looking to operate out of DMCC and take advantage of the commercial opportunity presented by Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC.

“Sitting at the crossroads of the world, DMCC is ready to help Spanish businesses use Dubai as a launch pad to expand their enterprise globally. For example, Dubai is the gateway to Africa and DMCC can make it easier for Spanish companies wishing to do business with the continent. This is the message we shared in Barcelona, and the response received from those in attendance was very positive indeed,” he added.

In May 2019, Dubai FDI completed a successful trade mission to Madrid, Barcelona and Seville promoting Dubai as a preferred global investment destination and the advantages of doing business in the region. For its part, DMCC has already taken steps to make it easier for Spanish firms to set-up in its Free Zone by launching a Spanish website last year.

“We are delighted to have partnered with DMCC to bring the opportunities offered by Dubai to Spanish businesses seeking global expansion. We are confident that this will lead to successful partnerships with some of the leading entities in Catalonia and support the economic growth journey of both regions,” said Ramon Palou, Vice President of International Commission, Foment del Treball.

“Our commitment is to support Catalan companies doing business in the UAE and our partnership with DMCC is testament to that. We look forward to building stronger commercial and business ties in the region through DMCC,” Victor Arguello, Director, Dubai Representative Office, Banco Sabadell added.

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