Free trade zones in the Middle East are intensifying their campaigns to attract post-Brexit investors.

In light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, 42% of UK investors are demonstrating an appetite to extend their businesses abroad, according to Opinion Matters, a London-based public relations firm.

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Most notably, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), which operates DMCC Free Zone, has developed a new strategy targeting UK investors, based on results from a recent study in collaboration with Opinion Matters. This surveyed the bosses of 500 UK small and medium-sized enterprise on whether or not they are more inclined “to seek opportunities outside the UK” as a result of Brexit.

Although UK prime minister Theresa May has already triggered Brexit by invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, UK businesses still face political and economic uncertainty, especially related to future market access and worker mobility.

As a result, a growing number of economic zones around the world are ramping up efforts to attract businesses keen on expanding and diversifying their global presence.

“Almost half of those business leaders said ‘We are actually looking for expansion outside of the UK’,” said DMCC Free Zone executive director Krysta Fox. “I think Dubai presents itself as a very natural choice for that expansion.”