Russia’s Nornickel opens Dubai office

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the world’s largest refined nickel producer and palladium miner, has established an office in Dubai, becoming the largest Russian metals and mining company to set up in the United Arab Emirates. The move comes in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine and amid increasing interest from Russian businesses in finding alternatives to navigate the challenges posed by international sanctions.

The Dubai-based office is incorporated under the name Greenwich Holdings Limited and is located within Dubai’s financial district. While the new office currently has a small team and a lawyer serving as a director, it is anticipated to expand over time as Norilsk Nickel explores the possibility of handling trading and administrative functions from the UAE.

The establishment of this office is part of a broader trend of Russian companies seeking new locations and avenues to conduct business in the face of sanctions and geopolitical tensions. The UAE has attracted Russian businesses, commodity traders, and individuals looking for a more stable environment amid the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict and associated sanctions.

While Norilsk Nickel itself has managed to avoid direct sanctions, it has experienced disruptions in various aspects of its operations due to the fallout from the conflict. The company’s logistics, insurance, banking, and shipping activities have been impacted, leading to adjustments in its global operations. Notably, the company redirected its sales focus from Europe to Asia, as the latter became a larger share of its total sales.

The establishment of an office in Dubai provides Norilsk Nickel with a strategic foothold in a region that offers proximity to key markets and potential business partners. This move reflects the company’s proactive approach to adapting to changing international dynamics and ensuring the continuity of its operations and growth.

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