Doing Busines in the Middle East

Advice on doing business in the Middle East, in the Arabian Gulf in particular, at Business Consulting Services EU is based on more than two decades of personal hands-on experience.

  • Background information
  • Introductions
  • Advice during negotiations
  • Advice on contractual matters
  • Doing Business with Kuwait
Background information

Doing business in the Arabian Gulf region, indeed anywhere in the Middle East, is very different from elsewhere in the world. To be successful, differences in culture, business attitudes and commercial regulations must be understood and respected.

To establish a presence in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, a foreign business is required, with few exceptions, to have a sponsor or local partner – choosing the right one is the key to success.

Paul D Kennedy, the principal of Business Consulting Services EU, has two decades of business experience in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in management consultancy, training, general trading, writing and publishing.

He is the author of Doing Business with Kuwait and the Kuwait Business Guide, as well as numerous articles on regional business and political matters. His in-depth knowledge of the region, its business law, customs and personalities is available for sharing.


The fundamentals of doing business successfully in the Arabian Gulf are threefold – offering the right product or service, at the right price, through the right connections.

In the GCC, where business is very much a matter of personal relationships, the who-you-know counts for much more than it does elsewhere in the world.

At Business Consulting Services EU, we have the experience and personal connections to  smoothen the rocky path to success in the GCC.

We can help you find importers, agents, trading partners, and local sponsors, ensuring that the business alliances you enter into are right for you, your products and services, and your targeted markets.

Advice during negotiations

Arabs, Kurds and Persians are hard bargainers. In addition, their views on the purposes of negotiations and how they should be approached differ greatly from Western attitudes.

Body language too is different and the correct interpretation of reactions to proposals and counter-proposals can be problematic for non-locals.

Our experience at Business Consulting Services EU in negotiations in both the private and public sectors in the GCC can help you establish fruitful and reliable local relationships and achieve your business goals.

Advice on contractual matters

The laws of the GCC countries are, in the main, a codified mixture of Islamic, Western and other legislation. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the Islamic element predominates, while other legal systems in the region are more Franco-European in origin.

While everyone has equal access to the courts, the resolution of commercial disputes tends to be lengthy and expensive and it is therefore imperative that advice on contractual matters be taken from local experts before agreements are made binding.

At Business Consulting Services EU we can give general advice on contracts and put you in touch with English speaking local law firms who can finalize matters and register your agreements.

Doing Business with Kuwait

Known as the bible, Doing Business with Kuwait / Kuwait Business Guide takes a close look at that country’s history and business background, economy, infrastructure, commercial laws and regulations.

It examines Kuwait’s financial institutions including Islamic banking, taxation, public tendering and counter-trade off set obligations, and importing and exporting regulations and standards.

As well as describing business opportunities in Kuwait, the book covers the social and behavioural aspects that need to be understood to be successful in business locally and contains practical marketing advice.

Most of the advice contained in Doing Business with Kuwait is relevant to other GCC countries.

For further information … please contact us directly