Doing business in the Middle East is like running a marathon according to sports supplement manufacturer CrampFix – it takes persistence and patience but the ultimate rewards can be great.

The Burleigh-based company was among 9 Queensland businesses from the health sector who recently attended the Arab Health trade show in Dubai, with support from TIQ Middle East and Austrade.

The annual 4-day event is the largest gathering of healthcare trade professionals in the Middle East and North Africa region.

CrampFix owner and founder Jan Buchegger said attending Arab Health for the third time offered the company a chance to promote itself differently.

‘Arab Health 2020 allowed us to explore the health side of our business further,’ Mr Buchegger said.

‘While our key product is an anti-cramping supplement for sports professionals and enthusiasts, last year we launched a new spray version for everyday people who also suffer from cramps.’

Mr Buchegger said CrampFix had been working with TIQ for the past 3 years, both in the Middle East and other markets, and its help at events like Arab Health had been invaluable.

‘If you have a trade show with thousands of exhibitors, to actually get to meet representatives from big pharmacy retailers at Arab Health, like LIFE Pharmacy and Dr Nutrition, is really difficult.

‘TIQ’s business development managers Leah Arnold and David Hackett from the Middle East office helped set up some face-to-face meetings with these major players which were fantastic and have generated some really good leads for us.

‘The UAE is a great place to do business but you need to be patient to be successful because the business culture is quite unique.’

Crampfix recently secured a local agent in Dubai who helped facilitate promotional opportunities at major sporting events including the Urban-Ultra Hajar 100km run and IronMan 70.3 Dubai.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said the Queensland health sector had great potential to do well in the Middle East, and it was well worth the time required to build strong relationships.

‘We had such a diverse range of companies exhibiting this year – from functional foods and sports supplements to vegan cosmetics manufacturers,’ Ms Massie said.

‘This diversity shows that Queensland is home to some really innovative entrepreneurs.

‘Next year’s Arab Health will occur during Expo 2020 Dubai so we’re hoping to have even more Queensland companies exhibiting.

’This is a great market with so much potential for Queensland businesses willing to invest some time and energy.’

Arab Health 2020 was held at the World Trade Centre in late January and attracted 80,000 attendees and 4,262 exhibitors.

Supporting Queensland exporters to enter new markets is a key objective of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.

If you’re interested in exporting to the Middle East, connect with TIQ today.