Doncaster-based Meetupcall has announced the opening of a new office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Simon Moxon, founder and CEO of Meetupcall, told The Yorkshire Post: “Primarily, we’ve always been focused on the UK market, obviously because that’s where we are based.
“What we’ve seen over the past 18 months is an influx of enquiries and sign-ups via our website from the Middle East so we have reacted to that.”
Meetupcall was established in 2009 by Mr Moxon and today the business has 23 employees.
The founder said he hopes to have four or five people based out of the new Dubai office in the next 18 months. Currently the firm has one person, who will be in charge of growing the team as well as generating business.
Meetupcall is still trying to fully understand what sort of roles it will require at its Dubai office.
“It’s going to be primarily a customer service and sales office,” Mr Moxon said, “so we’re looking for sales people and account managers.”
He added: “It’s an interesting place in terms of it being a primarily ex-pat community from all over the world. Obviously we’re looking for Arabic speakers.”
Having staff out there will also help the business “understand the market” and some of the “unique challenges” it presents better, Mr Moxon said.
He added: “The one thing that we’ve seen out there is that even though Dubai is a huge city it is very much a community.
“While we are focused on driving traffic to our website over here in the UK. I think there will be a bit more of a face-to-face approach with the clients out there.”
That was one of the main reasons for establishing an office in the Emirates.
The conference call provider services a diverse range of industries but so far the interest in the UAE has come from financial services, marketing and PR firms.
It has drawn the interest of both UAE-based businesses as well as UK and US businesses that have a branch out there.
In recent years, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype have been banned in the UAE. Mr Moxon believes that while regulations are different over there it is no different to the business dealing with regulations anywhere else in the world.
He said: “Our product and the way that we have our product setup is in line with all the guidance and regulations that they’ve got out there. As long as we keep on top of that it shouldn’t be an issue.”
Another advantage of having people on the ground in Dubai, Mr Moxon says, is staying on top of regulation changes.
“Just being on the ground and speaking to the right people will make sure that we have a full understanding of how we need to operate,” Mr Moxon said.
Meetupcall says the business is in good shape and that the expansion in the UAE is likely to further aid growth.
Mr Moxon said: “We had record growth last year. We’re going to match that again this year.”
The business has customers in Europe and is planning on being reactive to any regulation changes enforced following Brexit.
“Things will change, I’m sure,” Mr Moxon said. “Regulation will change. We’ll just react to that as we always have done.
Calling all horizons
The new office will be based in the Al Muraqabat area of Deira in Dubai.
The new UAE office will mean that more customers in the Middle East will have access to conference call services, Meetupcall said, with pricing plans available across all six Gulf Cooperation Council countries – UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Simon Moxon said: “Most of our customers come from the UK, second to that is the US, thirdly it’s UAE. The US is the biggest market by far. Once we’ve opened in the UAE, it makes sense for us to put more effort on the US.”