Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Find a business similar to the one you wish to open. Speak to the owner and make a wholesale pricing agreement. ie: he gives you a discount and produces work for you that you provide to your client.
Go find customers and sell the services. If you can sell enough services for it to make sense to start providing the service yourself then grow into production.
If not, you haven't risked anything more than a lot of your time.
Whether you are great at video production or not, what matters is that you can generate enough sales for your business to be successful. Testing your sales ability 'in the trenches' is a much better measure of potential success than most market research I've seen.
I have looked into the same things for certain parts of Mexico and Japan, both places I currently have a small but stable presence (I am a Canadian, main studio is in Canada). First, do you speak the language(s)? If so you are in a good spot. If not, you would be relying on expats and only international corporations until you get established, which could take years. Do you have a specialty? If so give yourself an hour or two to see who does what you do in France and UAE, but does it better, and with better equipment. If you can provide a product that is cheaper than the competition that is stronger than you, you have a chance. If your rates are similar, the locals will usually always have the upper hand. The only exception that I have seen thus far is when the foreigner comes in and sets themselves up as an artiste, and markets themselves as a mysterious and desirable foreign option. This works well in the still photography world (especially fashion photography), but it is much harder to pull off in the video production world. I hope that helps!
This sector is already quite competitive in UAE. I am sure it wont be easy in France either.
What is your USP?
What specialty can you target?
What is your past track record in this field that makes you stand out?
What is your past track record overall in both of these locations?
What size of setup are you planning to start with?
Do you have the required capital available to sustain you for 12-24months if the cashflows do not turn positive?
Do you have your key team members already identified and ready to join you?
These are few questions to get your research going.
Feel free to contact.
If your idea turns out to be viable, then let's discuss branding for the video production company.
Name selection and domain procurement do matter. You want to portray the brand in the right light, position yourself for marketing online and offline, and protect the brand from competition and infringement.
This would be an interesting case for me to work on, given its dual markets (France and the UAE). Having studied Arabic, helping more brands succeed in the Middle East remains a goal of mine.