The oil-based Gulf states of the Middle East are looking to diversify their economies, which will provide ongoing opportunities for Queensland companies in the following sectors:

  • food and agriculture,
  • education and training,
  • and infrastructure.

Political stability in the region is a current issue, however long-term the region is expected to grow significantly on the back of a young and ambitious work force.


Queensland companies with innovative offerings in these sectors will be in high demand.

Exporting to the Gulf states will provide the ideal launch pad for expansion in the greater Middle East and Northern African region. The key states include:

  • the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
  • Oman,
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • Bahrain,
  • Qatar
  • and Kuwait

The diversification of the Gulf states is a long-term trend and will be the consistent thread driving the development of new industries in the region.

The Gulf states will also play a greater role as a regional hub for a number of industries with its influence extending to include Eastern Africa, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and South Asia.

Dubai marina district, Middle East

Middle East opportunities



  • Food security, produce, aquaculture
  • Education drive to increase number of schools and programs
  • Major events


  • Processed foods – supply chains
  • Innovation – life sciences, biotechnology


Sector opportunities in Middle East

Major events sparking infrastructure boom


Trade & Investment Queensland has moved quickly to secure contracts for innovative companies for the massive new Dubai South development in the UAE.

Centered on the new Al Maktoum international airport and the World Expo 2020 site, Dubai South presents outstanding opportunities for companies with specialised niche offerings in infrastructure and related sectors.


Food security

Food security continues to be a key driver for the Gulf states.

The UAE currently imports 85% of their food needs, and safe reliable food sources like Queensland are of continuing interest.

Opportunities will exist in meat and horticulture, bulk grains, processed food, and franchised operations.

Specific opportunities for services and equipment exist in the aquaculture sector as the Gulf states look to develop some level of self-sufficiency.

60-100 new schools

Education drive

The diversification of the Gulf states will be based on greater education.

For instance the UAE is embarking on creating 60 – 100 new schools and is aiming for 70,000 new school places by 2020.

Opportunities exist in curriculum development, school franchising and partnerships.

Relevant library resources Complete library

Middle East Market Overview

Middle East Market Overview

September 30, 2016

Export market overview and commissioner profile in Middle East

View this resource

Commissioner’s intel: How to take your business to Middle East

View the videos below, and hear from TIQ’s Trade and Investment Commissioner as she speaks of the opportunities in Middle East.

Donna Massie: Business trends in the Middle East: Emerging opportunities in the market

Donna Massie: Practical tips: Hands on advice for doing business in the Middle East

Donna Massie: Doing business with the Middle East? Learn how TIQ can assist

Donna Massie: opportunities in food & agribusiness sector

Donna Massie: opportunities in education & training sector

Donna Massie: opportunities in urban infrastructure & knowledge industries sector

Donna Massie: A Queensland defence success story in Middle East

Donna Massie: Tips for entering the Middle East market