UK Trade and Investment, UKTI, today launched the 2015 GREAT Business Award, offering owners of GCC-based retail businesses unique access to the UK market.
The award seeks out candidates who will benefit from a bespoke, three-day programme of meetings with UKTI specialist advisors and leading retail sector figures to help build their companies in the UK.
Applications will be reviewed by a highly respected panel of judges including British Ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham, British chef and restaurateur, Gary Rhodes OBE, Chief Financial Officer of the Toystore Mark Handley, and CEO and co-founder of SalesGossip, Elizabetta Camilleri.
Business owners will be assessed against the level of information provided about their companies in the Gulf, in addition to the quality of their business plans for expansion into the UK.
Speaking ahead of the award launch, the British Ambassador to the UAE, Philip Parham, said, "Commercial ties between the UK and the UAE continue to grow. Bilateral trade exceeded GBP12 billion in 2013, 60% up from GBP7.5 billion in 2009.
"The 2015 GREAT Business Award highlights the wealth of opportunities in the UK for UAE-based retail businesses which are looking to expand internationally and gain access to the European market," the Ambassador added.
The competition will run until March 31st, with the winner’s trip to the UK taking place in the spring.
Finalists will be shortlisted, and the winner flown to London to take part in a customised business development programme, including mentorship by a respected UK retail leader, and consultancy sessions with accountants and lawyers on setting up a business in the UK.
The award has attracted high profile sponsorship from national carrier, British Airways, the UK’s official tourist agency, Visit Britain, and luxury hotel, The Athenaeum.