Content is king when it comes to influencing potential clients and building loyalty in business.

That is the view of May Khizam, founder of a business which specialises in events and content around Dubai’s influential financial centre.

The Australian founded The Grid two years ago after spending a decade as a client of Middle East service providers.

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It sends out fortnightly newsletters to more than 5,000 professionals in Dubai and the Middle East and also designs and manages conferences, seminars and workshops.

“I wanted to create a platform through these events, video production and a digital publication to help companies build client loyalty through content,” she told BusinessCloud.

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May Khizam founded The Grid two years ago 

“Not just sell, but influence their target audience and empower them with actionable information.”

The Grid partners with big firms in the Middle East to develop content which is not purely editorial but not overly promotional either. A typical piece of content in its newsletter is a Q&A with a business leader.

Khizam, a former head of HR at Morgan Stanley in Dubai, said the Middle East is an ideal place to build such a business as there are many multinational corporations headquartered in the region.

“It is a good ecosystem to start something like that. The Dubai international finance centre [for example] is a cluster of about 1,400 companies – about 400 of them are banks and the others are auxiliary service providers.

“They are still building a lot of infrastructure out there – both physical and professional – so it is a good opportunity.”

The aim now is to expand into the UK and Australia.

“We are looking to develop the same format mailout (newsletter) for London, but with more localised topics that professionals will want to read at their desk,” she said.

“Topics range from technology, innovation, strategy, leadership, entrepreneurship, business set-up, finance, legal, marketing and investing.

“A lot of our clients are from the UK so I thought it would be a good time to try it out in the UK and potentially Australia.”

Khizam has a business partner and a marketing director – the latter based in Australia – and outsources video projects to a specialist firm in Berlin.

Despite spending a good deal of time in the German city, she said the language barrier meant she prefers to build in English-speaking markets first.