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Middle East

The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is set to be the next big growth market for e-commerce, with many retailers turning their attention to countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.


The UK is Israel’s leading export destination within the European Union, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, with bilateral trade repeatedly breaking records in recent years, reaching $7.2 billion in 2016 and $9.1b. in 2017. These records are likely to be shattered after British exports to Israel soared by some 75% in the first half of 2018.

The Thames Valley: A Hub for Israeli Business

A publication by Arlington Business Park has revealed that the Thames Valley is truly a centre of market excellence in which Israeli companies thrive.

The document, which can be accessed here, shows the significance of Israeli inward investment into the region, especially from firms in the technology sector. It highlights how, since 2016, 97% of the £188 million invested has been into information and technology businesses, mainly in the storage, systems and information management, application specific semiconductors and productivity software sub-sectors.

Showcasing some of the leading global organisations at the heart of the Israeli tech-hub, the document also includes case studies from Inomize, Panaya and Zerto. For more information on these companies, alongside other examples of foreign direct investment from the Middle East into the Thames Valley, click here.

A fast-growing R&D company and the largest ASIC design firm in Israel, its customers range from start-ups to large international corporations based in Israel, Europe and North America. Read their case study on page 17 of the Thames Valley Inward Investment Results Report 2017/18.

A subsidiary of Infosys, Panaya’s products include change impact analysis, ALM acceleration, automated code remediation, collaborative test management and test execution.


Dual headquartered in Israel and the United States, Zerto provides enterprise class disaster recovery and business continuity software for virtualised infrastructure and cloud environments.

Located in Theale, Reading, Arlington Business Park offers Grade A office space, ranging from 2,500 to 35,000 sq ft. Combining a modern working environment with the benefits of the outdoors, the Park is designed around a picturesque lake and is accompanied by amenities such as a café, floating pavilion meeting room, gym and theatre-styled landscaped space. Discover more here.

I am pleased to see the prominence of Israeli companies in the Thames Valley publicised, alongside the important role the cluster plays in the region’s flourishing technology eco-system. With the highest density of businesses in the UK, employing 58,000 people and contributing approximately £13.6bn in turnover, digital technology has long been one of the key sector strengths of Berkshire. The Israeli tech-hub at Arlington Business Park will help ensure that the wider region sustains its position at the forefront of a British tech economy valued at £161bn.


Paul Britton, CEO at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce

To read the full article, click here


The single largest destination for Qatari investment in Europe, the UK is home to investments worth more than £35bn to the country’s economy.

Department for International Trade – Qatar Day

Hosted by the DIT in partnership with the City of London Corporation, ‘Qatar Day’ was held on 26th April 2019. Highlighting the mutual opportunities for business across asset management, cyber security, sustainable finance and FinTech, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening trade and investment ties. Read more here.

Qatar/UK Business and Investment Forum

The Qatar/UK Business and Investment Forum was led by the former British Prime Minister and MP for Maidenhead, Theresa May and the Qatari Prime Minister.


With more than 2,000 delegates over the course of two days the event brought together Qatari investors, UK companies and business leaders from a range of sectors, including education, healthcare, sport and infrastructure.


The Qatari Prime Minister was accompanied by a 450-strong senior business delegation and deals of more than £5bn were announced.


‘Memorandums of Understanding’ were signed in Trade, Investment, Education, Health, Sport and Security.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE is the UK’s largest export market in the Middle East and the 13th biggest globally. The UK exported £9.8 billion of goods and services in 2016. This was a 37% increase since 2009. The UAE is the UK’s fourth largest export market outside the EU.

There are over 5,000 British companies operating in the UAE, including BP, Shell, Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Mott McDonald, SERCO, Standard Chartered, HSBC and John Lewis / Waitrose. 779 commercial agencies and 4,762 British brands have invested in the UAE.


The majority of the UAE population is made up of expatriates, with around 120,000 UK residents. In In 2016 14.9 million people visited the UAE, of which 1.25 million were from the UK.

The stock of foreign direct investment in the UK stemming from the United Arab Emirates was £5.4bn in 2017, 26.3% higher than in 2016. Bilateral trade and investment and ways to increase cooperation on standards were discussed at the 5th UK-UAE Joint Economic Committee. Held on the 24th April 2019, the meeting saw the British and Emirati governments agree to develop a new economic partnership statement. To find out more, click HERE.

The DIT has a wealth of knowledge and resources on preparing to export to the UEA and operating there as well. There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. The DIT trade advisers in the UAE have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors, education and training, energy, financial and professional services, healthcare and infrastructure.Find out more, HERE.