Industry Commentary

Interest Growing in CX Delivery from the United Arab Emirates

By May 13, 2021February 14th, 2024No Comments

As 2021 moves toward its halfway point, there is a palpable sense that CX decision-makers are willing to look for new, innovative delivery solutions.  With this in mind, both enterprise CX executives and their BPO partners are desperately looking to update business continuity plans.  This means revisiting offshore delivery strategies, with the aim of expanding location networks to encompass quality destinations that provide the right atmosphere to support overseas consumers.  Unsurprisingly, the United Arab Emirates has emerged as a contender of choice in the emerging offshoring dynamic.

To place the interest around the United Arab Emirates as an offshoring possibility into context, the recently released 2021 Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office Omnibus Survey sounded the views of 628 enterprise executives in North America, Western Europe and Australia. When asked to rate their favorability for over 50 different offshore locations, the United Arab Emirates had a very strong showing among participants.  In fact, the United Arab Emirates was in the top 10 preferred destinations, according to respondents in the UK and Canada. And, while it just missed the top 10 in the USA, the Middle Eastern hub was among the 5 most favored offshore locations among those participants from Australia.

So, what is driving interest in the United Arab Emirates in 2021?  While each executive has their own motivations for wanting to know more about this burgeoning CX BPO market, there are several broad drivers. Perhaps the most important is the ability to leverage the United Arab Emirates for business continuity.  The desire among enterprises to work with CX partners that are not over-exposed by having too much capacity in a single or small number of destinations has never been higher. Thus, the pressure is on to find new reliable delivery points that meet client expectations.  Clearly, the United Arab Emirates is seen as one of those options.

One reason for this is the country’s reputation for modernity.  With some of the world’s most modern cities that were constructed over the past few decades, the United Arab Emirates has a reputation for strong connectivity and reliable telco infrastructure.  Interestingly, these are facets that respondents to the 2021 Front Office Omnibus Survey highlighted as among the most important for an offshore CX delivery point to have.

Equally, with a large ex-pat community and an emphasis on linguistics in school, the capacity to source different language groups has become a further advantage that the United Arab Emirates provides the BPO community. This is especially important as both providers and clients look to strategically centralize multilingual delivery.  And, with two of the most connected airports in the world, no one can dispute the accessibility of the United Arab Emirates.

The matter of the right outsourcing-focused facilities has to be mentioned in this vein as well – in fact, respondents to the 2021 Front Office Omnibus Survey indicated that the presence of modern BPO parks was the 2nd most important factor for a CX offshore destination.  With the development of a number of these facilities in cities across the United Arab Emirates, this is a crucial box that outsourcers can tick when evaluating this location.

And it has proven the value of BPO investment, with a number of providers already on the ground in the United Arab Emirates.  These include Teleperformance, Concentrix and RAYA, among others.

Granted, the United Arab Emirates does have other considerations that outsourcers will need to analyze when considering setting up facilities there.  Notably, it does not have the same level of scale as other overseas delivery points. Also, competition for the right agent profile is certain to be heady with other sectors.  Equally, from many Western demand markets, the United Arab Emirates means a long trip, which executives are said to be de-emphasizing as business travel resumes.  That said, the United Arab Emirates’s advantages are clear. With site diversification now a major CX priority, leveraging this country for a targeted delivery point should be a consideration for enterprises and their BPO partners.

Image from Raihan S.R. Bakhsh and shared under Creative Commons licence.