Irish Business in the Middle East
Prior to the 1973 oil price boom, Irish presence in the region was confined mainly to education, banking / insurance and healthcare.
Following 1973, some Irish pioneering companies with Irish management / manpower led the way in key strategic sectors, in the modernisation of the Middle Eastern states, e.g:
AGRI-FOOD – Antrim originated / Dublin based MASSTOCK set up Almarai in Riyadh S. Arabia, a Saudi-Irish JV to build dairy farms in the desert from scratch to bring fresh dairy products to the local markets. Almarai today is the regions’ premier indigenous food brand, 2015 turnover $7 billion +.
ENERGY – Dublin based ESBI set up in S. Arabia, very much led the way in bringing electricity to one of the worlds’ harshest environments, through setting up and partnering with regional electricity boards.
OIL + GAS – Clonmel contractor KENTZ, set up in Al Khobar S. Arabia, to provide specialist MEP / Instrumentation services, recently acquired by SNC Lavalin, Canadian contracting giant for $1.2 billion.
EQUINE – Curragh based Michael Osborne RIP set up Godolphin in Dubai, the giant UAE based flat racing empire, 3 stud farms in Ireland including Kildangan for the Al Maktoum family, plus Meydan race track in Dubai, which holds the Dubai World Cup annually in March, the worlds’ richest flatrace.
DUTY FREE – Dublin based Aer Rianta, established ARI ( Aer Rianta International ) in Bahrain, to set up and manage duty free shops in new airports across the region. Today Dubai Duty Free, headed and managed by a team of ex-ARI executives, is in the worlds’ Top 3.
That the Irish today have a REPUTATION for DELIVERY across Middle East markets, was established by the above, their Irish representatives, and others like them.
Assimilating culturally, displaying respect and sensitivity and delivering on the ground are traits that bolster our growing reputation.
Today 1000s of Irish professionals and 100s of Irish companies, continue to be pro-active leaders in maturing Middle East markets across all sectors.