British exports to the Middle East have received a boost with the appointment of an influential Saudi businessman as chairman of a company based in London and Jeddah.
Sheikh Salah Al Balawi, with an investment of $2.5m, is the new head of the Anglo Arab Alliance, a UK limited company that facilitates the purchase of British luxury goods in the Middles East.
By purchasing products directly from the brands, AAA negotiates, develops and markets deals in the region, avoiding red tape, cultural differences and legal issues.
Sheikh Salah is a renowned Middle Eastern entrepreneur, with over 100 businesses including SAB Holdings, a multi-billion dollar company with interests ranging from real estate to electrical goods.
Sheik Salah also owns the franchise for TNT Saudi Arabia, one of the largest logistics franchises in the world. The Sheik is known for his charitable ventures including a partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme.
AAA’s vice chairman, Kabir Ahmed said: "This is a great day for us. We are honoured to have Sheik Salah as our chairman, and as a company we are thrilled about the new possibilities that this opens up to our clients. We strive to be the best at what we do and with the backing of Sheik Salah we can now be even better."
The decision to open trade solely for British luxury brands is based on AAA’s ethos to promote trade with the Middle East, support and develop home-grown businesses and establish itself as a leading authority, providing high-end British brands with unparalleled service and knowledge of this complex market.
"AAA has worked hard to develop strong relations and strategies to help high-end British businesses gain a foothold in the thriving Middle Eastern market," says Andrew Lloyd CEO (UK). "We are already working with a number of very well known British luxury brands and are very excited about the future."
The Middle East is notoriously difficult for luxury brands to penetrate. However, with backing from royalty, including Prince Faisal Al Saud, embassies, consulates and some of the region’s most powerful businessmen, AAA drastically eased up the trade process.
The AAA negotiates a master licence agreement for the Middle East from British luxury brands.
It will then purchase substantial quantities from these British luxury brands, so brands will be protected by UK laws and not foreign.
Finally AAA will then develop and market these products in the Middle East through the single largest network of luxury retailers in the region.
The Middle East is experiencing a boom in the demand for luxury brands, with French and Italian brands currently dominating the market.
The Anglo Arab Alliance has the backing of multiple key political entities. Affiliations include the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA) in the Middle East, The Royal Warrant Holder’s Association in London and UK Trade & Investment. In addition to this, AAA also has links with the British Consulate in Jeddah and the British Embassy in Riyadh.
All these links give AAA a strong strategic standpoint within the Middle East, and enable British luxury brands smooth and easy access into this lucrative marketplace.
AAA will be hosting an exclusive event tomorrow 18 July 2012 at the Mayfair Hotel in London as an opportunity for top-flight business people and senior directors of luxury brands to meet with the directors of AAA.
The AAA was the brainchild of Kabir Ahmed, vice chairman, who has over 15 years of experience working for both government departments and multi-billion pound corporations. Businessman and co-founder of The Asian Awards, Paul Sagoo is the chief commercial officer.