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Middle East

Prime examples of recent Middle Eastern inward investment into the region include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s recent acquisition of Slough’s Queensmere and Observatory shopping centres, which are integral to the town. Currently the subject of a regeneration project designed to add to its cultural appeal as well as its booming economy, Slough has the highest concentration of global corporate headquarters outside of London and an unemployment rate of 1.4%.


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.


A key location for inward investment from the Middle East, the Thames Valley is home to a cluster of Israeli technology businesses, including several based at Arlington Business Park in Theale, Reading:

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.


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


Hosted by the Department for International Trade 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 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

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.


Read more here.