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Business Analysis


UAE businesses must build in currency defences when it comes to shifting geopolitics

Ongoing geopolitical shifts require businesses to adopt extreme flexibility on FX

What UAE businesses need to do is build exposures in multiple currencies rather than a one will do it all mindset.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Geopolitical events have left an indelible mark on financial strategies and crucial business considerations. These events, marked by their disruptive impact on supply chains and the escalation of costs, have presented a complex challenge for businesses in the UAE.

The need for diversification - and adaptability – thus has become paramount.

Geopolitical developments wield significant influence over currency exchange rates, with ramifications extending to the UAE dirham and beyond. An illustrative example is the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict, which set in motion substantial fluctuations in the rouble. It weakened from 75 to 145 against the US dollar, then displayed resilience, strengthening to 52, only to face another wave of depreciation, slipping to 94.

These rapid currency shifts reverberate across the globe, particularly affecting major commodity-exporting nations, and casting a shadow over global economies.

Strategic approaches

Amid these challenges, businesses in the UAE have a range of strategic approaches at their disposal to mitigate potential losses during uncertain times. Among these, currency hedging takes center stage, which entails the use of financial instruments to offset the inherent risks associated with currency fluctuations.


UAE companies can effectively employ tools like forward contracts or currency options to hedge their exposure. By doing so, they gain the ability to navigate volatile currency markets with greater confidence and stability.

Another strategic imperative is the diversification of currency holdings across denominations. This strategy entails holding assets in a blend of currencies, which can include the US dollar, euro, and Japanese yen. By spreading their assets across different currencies, businesses in the UAE can mitigate the impact of any particular currency's fluctuation on their bottom-line.

This diversity bolsters financial resilience, allowing them to weather currency turbulence with greater ease.

Empowering businesses for informed financial decisions

The importance of diversifying trade partners and sourcing from diverse locations cannot be overstated. By extending their reach to a variety of countries, businesses can minimize their reliance on a single currency and reduce vulnerability to specific geopolitical shifts.

This diversification in trade partners also includes expanding interactions with both European and US dollar-based countries, bolstering adaptability in the face of geopolitical uncertainty.


In developing long-term strategies that empower UAE businesses, several key pillars come into play:

Stay informed

Vigilance and active monitoring of geopolitical events are essential. Staying informed and regularly assessing their potential impact on business operations enable timely decision-making and adaptability.

Robust risk management

An effective risk management framework should encompass the identification, assessment, and mitigation of currency exchange risks. This framework ensures that businesses are well-prepared to navigate turbulent currency environments

Implement hedging

Utilizing proven hedging strategies is a proactive step toward minimizing currency exposure. It involves locking in exchange rates through financial instruments like forward contracts or currency options. By using these tools, businesses can reduce their vulnerability to currency fluctuations.


Seeking the expertise of currency exchange specialists can be invaluable. They can create tailored currency management strategies that align with the unique needs and circumstances of each business. Their insights and guidance enhance the effectiveness of long-term currency strategies.


To proactively adapt to changing circumstances, businesses in the UAE can consider the following practical strategies:

Regularly monitor currency exchange rates

  • Keeping a watchful eye on currency exchange rates is vital. By doing so, businesses can identify opportune moments for currency exposure hedging and capitalize on favorable exchange rates.

Automate currency exchange transactions

Utilize multiple currency accounts

  • Diversifying funds across multiple currency accounts is a sound strategy. It lessens the impact of currency fluctuations on a business's financial stability. These accounts can hold funds in different denominations, reducing risk.
  • Invoice customers in local currency
  • Invoicing customers in their local currency minimizes the risk associated with currency fluctuations. It enhances transparency and predictability, benefiting both the business and its clients.

Accept payments in multiple currencies

  • Offering the flexibility to accept payments in multiple currencies makes it more convenient for customers. It also opens doors to new business opportunities, as clients find it easier to transact in their preferred currency.
  • Geopolitical events have undeniably transformed the landscape for businesses. Navigating these challenges requires a multifaceted approach, including proactive risk management, currency hedging, diversification, and collaboration with experts.
  • By staying informed and adopting flexible, adaptable strategies, UAE businesses can not only survive but thrive in the face of uncertainty and change.
Zahir Mogal
The writer is CEO of Delma Exchange.