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The GCC: The Top Destination for Global Business

The GCC: The Top Destination for Global Business

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is now firmly established as a prime business destination, with its member states offering thriving commercial and financial hubs, booming economies, favorable business environments, and abundant opportunities for growth and investment.

The GCC is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Positioned at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the GCC has always enjoyed a unique geographic advantage that connects it to major global markets, while its economies have traditionally been characterized by immense wealth, derived from their substantial oil and gas reserves. However, the GCC economic landscape is changing and evolving rapidly, with all member states having introduced major transformation programs, aimed at actively diversifying their economies away from oil, and focusing on a wide range of new and emerging market sectors, such as finance, tourism, technology, and renewable energy.

These economic diversification programs are underpinned by ambitious National Visions, that are also heralding radical transformation of traditional cultural and social infrastructures, together with initiatives to promote international business and investment, including significant tax incentives and streamlined procedures for setting up and operating businesses.
Importantly, the GCC economies are currently outperforming their global competitors, bouncing back strongly in the post-pandemic era, while large sections of the rest of the world are experiencing a difficult recovery period, marked by inflation, high interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty.

The result is that the region is attracting heightened interest from across the entire international business spectrum, from multinational companies looking to expand their global operations, to new business start-ups and entrepreneurs, keen to join some of the fastest growing emerging markets, as well as thousands of talented professionals, coming to the region for their next big career move. The rewards for companies who successfully enter new markets in the GCC can be considerable, bringing great opportunities for commercial growth, together with access to highly motivated talent pools. 

However, there are always risks involved with new ventures in new territories and the GCC presents a number of unique challenges to companies entering the region. For example, member states have their own specific and often complex visa requirements for expatriates, together with highly dynamic labour laws, while the regulations surrounding individual nationalization programs are constantly evolving. It is important that businesses understand the challenges, and explore strategies that can overcome them. One popular strategy, adopted by many organizations looking to expand into the GCC, is to partner with an Employer of Record (EOR). An EOR is a third-party organization that acts as the legal employer of a company’s workforce and takes on all essential employer-related and HR management functions on their behalf.

Importantly, an EOR partner will take full responsible for the end-to-end management of all visa and employment processes, allowing a company to hire staff in the region without having to set up local entities. EORs will expedite the legal, regulatory and compliance processes that companies have to navigate in order to establish their local teams and infrastructure, while mitigating or reducing many of the associated risks. They are also an invaluable source of local and regional information, and can act as a guide when sourcing other partners for specific knowledge and expertise.


For companies looking to explore opportunities in the GCC’s burgeoning new markets, engaging with a professional EOR partner should probably be one of their first steps.

This article is produced by Auxilium, one of the leading Employer of Record and outsource staffing solutions providers in the GCC Region. We help businesses to get started in the GCC.

For more information, contact the Auxilium team at or visit

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