The five-man business, founded in 2003 by John Hobday, represents FD’s first foray into the booming Gulf city.
‘There’s expansion all over the region; liquidity created by oil prices,’ said FD group CEO Charles Watson. ‘As the economy of the region evolves, communication is critical.’
Watson said real-estate companies, and construction firms in particular, would offer opportunities for the agency. He added that he believed FD to be the only UK-based City specialist with an office in Dubai.
The outpost, which Hobday will still head as FD’s managing director for the Gulf region, will work alongside FD’s Bahrain office. Ex-Citigate employees Manash Bhuyan and Liz Fox become FD vice-presidents.
Clients assumed by FD include MiNC Property Enterprises, Dubai Sports City and Lloyds TSB.
Earlier this year FD was called in to launch the Dubai Mercantile Exchange, which is operating in the lucrative energy trading market (PRWeek, 2 March).