Recently I was in the South West of England promoting Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to businesses there, with the support of UKTI and The Chambers of Commerce.
When we think of enterprise in the UK, Cornwall may not be the first place to come to mind. Furthermore, linking Cornwall to the UAE may be, aside from the golden sand, a bit of a stretch. However, the south west of England and the north east of the UAE have something in common.
In 1846 a gentleman named William Cookworthy founded a company that produced china clay (from the mineral Kaolinite). During the course of a century, the mining of this mineral supported Plymouth and surrounding areas.
Today, in Ras Al Khaimah, the most northern of the seven Emirates, RAK Ceramics has grown to be “the world’s largest ceramics manufacturer with a global annual production output of 117 million square meters of ceramic and porcelain tiles, 4.6 million pieces of bathware and 24 million pieces of tableware.”
When a company considers overseas expansion, especially to a place as far away as the UAE is from the UK, it is realistic to expect some apprehension founded on unfamiliarity. Fortunately, for British companies wanting to expand to this region, there is plenty of support and desire to help from both governments and the wider business community and networking groups.
If you are from Cornwall and deciding whether you should make the move or not, knowing that the UAE is running with the same ceramic baton your Great-Great-Grandfather ran with, could be the factor that prompts you to send us an email!