The long-established Trust and Corporate Service Provider officially opened the doors of its new representative office in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday (April 24th).
Alongside its presence in Dubai's Emirates Tower, the Group has offices in Zurich and Hong Kong, as well as its headquarters in the Isle of Man.
The SMP Partners Group of companies comprises the provision of trust and company services, a large accounting and tax practice, fund administration services and ancillary administrative services. Employing more than 180 people around the world, including 160 on the Island, SMP is the largest Trust and Corporate Service Providers in the Isle of Man.
The Dubai presence will be a representative office for one of these group companies, SMP Trustees, which provides trustee and related administration services to private and corporate clients around the world.
Group Chairman Steve McGowan said: 'SMP Trustees is delighted to be starting a new adventure in Dubai with a new representative office. Dubai has positioned itself to be world-class and a world-leader in many industries. Our industry relates to professional services within the wealth management sectors, and Dubai is a very attractive location for a group like SMP.
'The Dubai office has been established for relationship purposes only at this stage. It will not undertake any financial services or regulated activity onshore in the UAE or the Dubai International Financial Centre.
'At SMP we have a number of relationships with Dubai-based financial and professional firms and to enable us to develop these relationships further, the Dubai representative office, importantly, will allow us to assess the long-term viability and nature of a formal presence in Dubai.
'The Group continues to develop its relationships around the world; the Middle East is clearly one of those major staging posts and we perceive Dubai as being the commercial hub in the GCC.
The opening of the new representative office follows a partnership agreement signed between the Dubai Department of Economic Development and the Isle of Man Government in 2012 and a recent visit by a Dubai Investment Development Agency delegation to the Island.
Mr McGowan added: 'We have been very fortunate to have had the assistance and support from Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, and his team and they have been extremely encouraging and welcoming in helping us to be established in Dubai.
'I look forward to building on these relationships with the Dubai FDI team and other Dubai Government departments long into the future.'
Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, said: 'Services have emerged into a strong component of Dubai economy and the trend is here to stay with the ongoing diversification strategy. The key sectors promoted by Dubai as drivers of sustainable economic development and the arrival of Expo 2020 will create stronger demand for globally trusted financial services.
'We consider it a major milestone that SMP Partners Group chose Dubai to grow further. It goes a long way in bringing world-class resources to Dubai and offers SMP Partners with the best links to a consumer market of over 2.2 billion spread across the Middle East, North and East Africa and South Asia.'
Photograph: Officials of Dubai FDI and SMP Trustees