CEO Nazar Musa joined the company in 2020. Since then, he has been sharing his international and business experience with numerous clients moving in the area. Here is an interesting conversation with him about the pros and cons of starting a business in Dubai:
You have an international and dynamic background. Can you tell us more about it?
I was born in Sudan, but I grew up in the UK from a very young age – which immediately gave me an international mindset. After studying business at University and spending an exchange year in Denmark, I increased my international network.
Following this experience, I joined a UK tour operator called Airtours, working in Spain for a year and in Jamaica for two. When I returned to the UK, I led the international expansion of Holiday Autos, selling for Lastminute.com. In addition, I was responsible for global markets. After the sale of Lastminute to Travelocity in 2005, I relocated to Dubai, relaunching Holiday Autos in the region until 2008. I also launched Gulfreps, a travel-focused PR and Marketing business still going strong today.
When I joined the Livingsocial leadership team in the UAE, I moved to Singapore as the SEA CEO for 4 years. Then, another investment in the digital media space took me to Australia for two years. Finally, in 2019 my family and I decided to settle down back in Dubai, where I’m now based as PRO Partner Group CEO alongside various investments.
With PRO Partner Group, you support companies establishing their businesses in the Middle East. What is the potential, and the limit, of the area?
The potential is huge. The UAE has worked hard on attracting international businesses for the last 20 years. And the strategies have been extremely successful.
With the recent legislative changes, the country is even more committed to supporting this growth. Saudi Arabia has recently become much more accessible for international businesses. And the large population and high GDP make it a very attractive market and ripe for growth. For example, Qatar has become a popular business destination thanks to this year’s Qatar world cup. Once again, the region has huge potential in the future.
How do you think the remote work revolution impacts how people establish and grow their businesses in the area?
The ability to conduct your business from anywhere has made the environment in which you live as important and relevant as the work you do. With that in mind, the numerous opportunities for remote working visa’s in the UAE region made the area a popular destination for those who value their lifestyle. In the last 18 months, PPG has assisted numerous individuals and companies who wished to benefit from the work climate change.
Do you have any ‘predictions’ for future trends seeing how the pandemic is still impacting the job market?
The world is already learning to live with the pandemic – and will continue to do so. Most companies have fallback plans for remote working. And we’ve all adjusted to the fact that sometimes we aren’t in an office. I think this will continue, and the flexibility to work remotely will only grow for some industries.
The real challenge is for the industries where face-to-face interaction is required – such as hospitality. In order to entice people into these industries, there is a potential need to relook at salaries and packages in the future.
Can you think of some projects or business ideas that could inspire future entrepreneurs?
The world is currently going crypto mad. However, I personally think that there is a great deal for traditional businesses that can pivot online at the moment. Clearly, the need for better solutions to more be aware of our bodies and our health has ever been so important. For example, we are witnessing a significant rise in diabetes and over-fatness. There are numerous opportunities for those entrepreneurs who are focusing on the health areas.
Is it a good time to start a business in Saudi Arabia?
We are constantly looking at how we can best support our existing and new clients. Our growth into Saudi Arabia will focus on 2022, and we’ll work with partners to launch new products alongside their requirements.
There is no better time to open a business in the region, and at PRO Partner Group, we hope to be part of this process!