In this issue:

  • Gulf Opportunities Showcase in October to help NZ businesses.
  • Update on Iran, 16 October, 4.30 PM, NZTE, 139 Quay St, Auckland.
  • Report from 2018 AGM.

  • New Rules for companies in UAE.
  • New Trade Commissioner in Riyadh.
  • Emirates adds fourth daily service to Riyadh.
  • New Emirates Dedicated Airport Lounge in Cairo
  • Special Benefits for NZMEBC Members. 


Gulf Opportunities Showcase in October to help NZ businesses

A number of NZTE experts from the Middle East are coming together with New Zealand’s Dubai 2020 team in a Gulf Opportunities Showcase travelling the country throughout October.

The Roadshow series aims to help NZ exporters understand the environment in the Gulf region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait) and the opportunities leading up to and beyond Expo 2020 Dubai. Speakers include Clayton Kimpton (NZ Commissioner General for Expo 2020), Kevin McKenna (Trade Commissioner  UAE & Qatar), Tony Martin (Head of Middle East, India and Africa for NZTE), and Graham Hamilton, Nuha Safar and Simon Crispe from the Beachheads network.

The events are being held:

  • Hamilton: 24 October  8.00-10.30am
  • Auckland: 24 October 4.00-7.00 pm
  • Christchurch: 25 October 4.00-7.00pm
  • Wellington: 26 October 8.00-10.30am

Huge changes in the trading environment in the GCC are uncovering more opportunities and challenges for NZ exporters.   With Expo 2020 fast approaching, a spotlight will be placed firmly on the region.

The roadshow is an opportunity to educate exporters and equip them with the info required to do business in the Middle East.

The New Zealand government has committed NZ$53 million to New Zealand’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai so there is an obligation to at least inform exporters of the opportunity to hear about how this money is being utilised, and what the six-month long event could mean for them and their business interests.

Please save the date relevant to you and register your interest to receive your personal invitation.


Update on Iran, 16 October, 4.30 PM, NZTE, 139 Quay St, Auckland

A special briefing on Iran will be held for NZMEBC members and NZTE clients on Tuesday 16 October 4.30 pm, NZTE, Level 6, 139 Quay St, Auckland.

Recent publicity on the reimposition of sanctions on Iran by the US have resulted in a number of questions for New Zealand exporters and companies who are either trading with or interested intrading with Iran. The NZMEBC and NZTE are collaborating to bring a special briefing session together on Tuesday 16 October 4.30 pm, NZTE, Level 6, 139 Quay St, Auckland.

Anyone wishing to attend this briefing should contact to register.  The format will be a Webinar  with NZTE’s in-market representative, Sadeq Hadayat speaking live from Iran, Matthew Hawkins of MFAT and Sarah Salmond, Head of International Trade at Russell McVeagh.

For further information on the Iran sanctions situation, NZMEBC Executive Member Simon Cartwright of Hesketh Henry has prepared a Sanctions Update available here.


Report from 2018 AGM

The NZMEBC AGM was held on 28 August and Executive Committee members Chris Paykel, Deb Schlichting, Edwin Lim and Bryan Read were all re-elected to the Executive.

The AGM also heard that the Executive has co-opted long standing member Andrew Perrier to be an in-market representative on the Executive.   Andrew is currently Chief Business Development Officer for the Almusbah Trading Group, a Saudi Arabia based conglomerate with interests in many sectors globally including Real Estate, Retail, Construction, IT, Food & Beverage, Travel Retail, Transport and infrastructure.

Andrew will be working closely with NZTE and MFAT representatives in market to establish a representative group of NZMEBC members to liaise with the Council in NZ to address issues of interest and maintain strong relationships with our in market members.

The AGM was also addressed by Malcolm Millar, Head of the G2G office in Wellington, which has been a key enabler in New Zealand’s capacity to commercialise state sector IP and build economically rewarding  commercial partnerships with Governments in the Middle East and Asia. So far the G2G office has returned $28 million to its New Zealand Government stakeholders.  Mr Millar said there is huge demand in the Middle East and Asia for the extensive and respected ”know how” which lies within New Zealand Government departments and agencies and he sees continuing opportunities for New Zealand in the Middle East, especially in the digital space.


New Rules for companies in UAE

UAE Companies Law update by Simon Cartwright, NZMEBC Executive Member:
Setting up a company in the UAE

New Zealand businesses looking to establish a foothold in the UAE have many options. They can choose between setting up in the UAE mainland, or, in one of the many free zones in the UAE.

Businesses will typically choose to incorporate a company “onshore” in the UAE mainland if they intend to operate in the local UAE market. By contrast, entities that set up in a free zone are can operate in that free zone, but not mainland UAE.

Ownership of companies Companies incorporated in the UAE mainland are required to have at least 51% local Emirati shareholding i.e. the maximum allowable foreign ownership is 49%. Entities set up in a free zone can have 100% foreign ownership. This ability to retain 100% ownership makes setting up a free zone entity preferable for many businesses, even though this will impact on their ability trade in the local UAE market.
Change in ownership of mainland companies

Earlier this year Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, announced on Twitter that the UAE would allow 100% foreign ownership of mainland companies.

It is expected that the scope of the change – at least initially – will be limited to certain sectors and industries.  However it is still a significant development and may signal further changes in the future.

A new law implementing the change is anticipated shortly.

For practical legal advice specific to your business, contact Hesketh Henry’s specialist Transport and Trade team.

Disclaimer: Hesketh Henry does not advise on UAE law.  We have strong relationships with a number of law firms in the UAE who can give detailed advice on setting up in the UAE.
Simon Cartwright

Partner Simon is a trade and transport specialist. He is qualified in New Zealand and England. Previously a partner with an international law firm and based in Dubai for a decade, he has an extensive network of contacts across the Middle East.
Tel: +64 9 375 8727
Mobile: +64 22 301 9870


New Trade Commissioner in Riyadh

New Zealand has appointed a new Trade Commissioner in Riyadh to take over from Chris Tozer.

Chris is a highly effective and respected Trade Commissioner who has been of great assistance to the NZ Middle East Business Council and New Zealand based businesses during his tenure in Riyadh.

The new Trade Commissioner is Ahmad Zakkout, who was formerly Business development Manager for NZTE in Dubai.   His responsibilities in Saudi Arabia will include oversight of the Bahrain and Oman markets.


Emirates adds fourth daily service to Riyadh

More travel options for New Zealanders travelling to Saudi Arabia have opened up with the addition of a fourth daily flight from Dubai to Riyadh from 1 September, bringing the number of weekly Emirates flights serving Riyadh to 28 in each direction. 

Emirates flies daily from Christchurch and Auckland to Riyadh through connections at Dubai.  The new flight will have a later departure time (5.30 pm) providing more flexibility to business travellers wishing to spend a full day in Riyadh.


New Emirates Dedicated Airport Lounge in Cairo

In a first for Africa, Emirates has opened its 42nd dedicated Airport Lounge across the Emirates global network at Cairo International Airport.  

Catering for Emirates First Class and Business Class customers and Skywards  Platinum and Gold members, the $3.6 million lounge caters to three Emirates flights a day through Cairo.


Special Benefits for NZMEBC Members

Members are reminded that special flight concessions are available to members from Emirates, the Council’s major sponsor, for all NZMEBC members.

These rates may be accessed by contacting Annette Glass of Business World Travel, contact details for Annette are:

Phone: 09 529 3700