Political and social turmoil often disrupt business operations. And when we’re talking about revolutions like those seen throughout the Middle East this year, those disruptions — and the associated costs — significantly magnify. If you are doing business in the Middle East, you have probably already experienced the impact of the ongoing civil unrest in the region. The civil uprisings which swept across the Middle East and North Africa earlier this year, known as the “Arab Spring”, have destabilized the region, creating enhanced political, legal and regulatory risk for businesses in the affected regions.
The massive disruptions to not just the businesses but also the social fabric of these societies are indeed extremely unfortunate and the ramifications will long be felt. There are nonetheless some silver linings in this overcast spring for some businesses. History is witness that such civil unrest has more often than not paved its way to growth in safe neighboring regions. Investors often seek ways to escape from their war-torn countries to nearby places that can provide security to them and their businesses. At the same time, such investors are also reluctant to relocate to faraway lands that are culturally different from their home countries. Most investors will search for a place that is relatively safe and are closer to their own country. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is such a safe haven for investors who are looking out to relocate in the midst of the Arab Spring. They did so during previous conflicts in the Middle East and with the UAE breezing through the Arab Spring with no disruption or any perceived risk of having any, this young nation is once again going to reap the fruits of stability in a region fraught with turmoil.
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