One criticism that Dubai often gets is that with all the free competition how do the locals benefit? Yes, there are tons of Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King and the like but these are all foreign brands. Do the local Emiratis have any benefit from importing global brands?
Firstly, all the McDonalds and the “foreign” brands end up hiring locally somehow. Not everyone moves over from the United States to the UAE to setup. McDonalds will buy advertising in local radio stations or television stations which help local media.
Secondly, and more importantly, the local population learn about creating and building brands and businesses. McDonalds and other international brands have perfected their business models over the past few decades and invest tons of money in training their employees on running a great business.
Dubai is by far the most open economy in the Arab world. And this means that it is a tough place to compete. To be the best, you have to work hard and be the best globally not only locally. So if you can make it is Dubai you have a better chance making it anywhere.
Mohamed Parham Al Awadhi worked for many international brands such as Inter Continental, Nivea and Dunhill before setting up Wild Peeta, a shawarma restraurant brand, with his brother in Dubai.
Wild Peeta is one of the brands coming out of the local market. In this interview with Mohamed we learn about how they went about setting up a global franchise on a local concept.
In case you can’t see the interview above, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR3LOWIh4Hs
No longer does the world need to only be exposed to American hamburgers, pizzas and coffee brands but global Arab brands will also come to dominate the world scene. The world needs quality shawarma and “Wild Peeta” is the brand that will dominate this niche in the global food market.
Working with international companies gives the youth of Dubai a learning opportunity. And eventually those with the “oomph” and that get tired of working for other people’s brands, break out and create their own businesses.
The benefits of an open economy for Dubai is that many Wild Peeta type brands will be created within Dubai. The youth of Dubai have grown up with service which is better than most of the Arab region and now are ready to create their own global brands.
Over the next decade my prediction is that Dubai will have many global brands starting in the city. The past decades might have been about importing global brands/ideas and now as the locals learned how to work with the best in the world, the next decade will be about taking some of those learning, innovating and exporting to the rest of the world.
It might upset Ronald McDonald but I would recommend a Wild Peeta over a Big Mac any day.
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