The Middle East is a region that has been undergoing rapid change in recent years. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are the two most powerful economies in the area, but there’s also Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Driven by oil prices, many of these countries have seen economic growth rates above 5% per year- which is significantly higher than other regions such as Europe or North America. With this level of growth comes new opportunities for business owners to explore their options overseas. This article will discuss 15 trends about how to start a business in Dubai that may interest you if you’re considering expanding your horizons into this region…or just want to learn more about what it takes! Warning: If you’re not sure yet about the risks and rewards of starting a business in the Middle East, then you may want to watch this video about what’s involved first.
1. Job Opportunities in UAE Are Booming
The growth rate in jobs for Dubai alone is currently above 10% per year- and that number is expected to continue rising until at least 2021 ( source). In fact, the UAE recently had more job openings than there were unemployed people ( source )! These numbers make sense when you consider that there’s currently a huge demand for:
Landscape Architects Business Consultants (especially in finance) Engineers Accountants Mechanics Tenders & Procurement Managers Information Technology and Telecom Managers And many more.
2. Opportunities for Women Are Increasing
Women have traditionally been discouraged from becoming entrepreneurs in the Middle East. However, there’s been a large increase in women starting their own businesses recently, with many of them working online ( source ). You can read interviews with some of these inspiring female business owners here.
3. Possibility to conduct Business in Many Different Languages
Arabic is the official language of the UAE, and it’s also spoken by millions of people in other countries in the region. However, there are many other languages that are commonly used throughout business interactions. Some examples include English, Spanish, Portuguese, Urdu and Hindi. This can be a major advantage if you’re starting a business in the region since it opens up a lot of potential markets!
4. Transportation Infrastructure Is Improving Rapidly
Travelling between countries that are part of the UAE is very easy. The country has an excellent transportation system which includes buses, ferries, trains and airliners. This makes shipping products or transporting people to different areas a lot easier.
5. Dubai Is A Great City/Tax-Free Zone For Businesses
Dubai is the largest city in the UAE, and it’s also completely tax-free for investors ( source ). This means that you’ll pay no taxes on any of your earnings or capital gains while conducting business there, which can help to increase your profits.
6. UAE Regulates Investments in Startups/Small Businesses
The government in the UAE is interested in promoting entrepreneurship among young people and helping to develop successful small businesses ( source ). This means that they are proactive about finding ways to provide support for entrepreneurs- including by providing grants, loans, free workshops and awards ( source ).7. There Are Lots of Tax Incentives/Financial Assistance
The UAE has a lot of free zones and tax-free areas that were created for investment purposes ( source ). These are great if you’re starting a business since it means that:
8. The UAE Government Is Helping Businesses Develop Innovative Ideas
There’s a lot of support in the UAE for startups and small businesses. For example, they have a program that helps people come up with new ideas for products or services ( source ). However, you can only apply to participate in this program if your business idea has already received some outside funding.
9. The Region Has Many Different Types of Businesses-Including Retailers
The UAE has a rapidly growing population, which is creating an increasing demand for different types of businesses. For example, you’ll find lots of local retailers and restaurants as well as major multinational corporations in the region. There are also many different industrial sectors that attract business owners from all over the world- including real estate, oil and gas, and information technology.
10. There Are Lots of Small Business Opportunities
Many foreign entrepreneurs choose to start their own businesses in the UAE because it’s a less expensive alternative to other countries in the region ( source ). Because there are so many small business opportunities available, you’ll avoid competing with larger companies that have economies of scale on their side.
11. UAE Government Supports Small Business Expansion Plans/Recruitment of Foreign Experts
The government is very excited about the potential for economic growth in the UAE, which is why they give preferential treatment to businesses that are looking to expand and hire foreign professionals ( source ). This can be a huge advantage if you’re planning on growing your business in the region because it will help you to attract foreign talent and clients.
12. The Region’s Businesses Are Well Regarded Around the Globe
The UAE has a well-earned reputation for being an ideal place for entrepreneurs to start their businesses ( source ). This is partly due to the fact that many multinational corporations have already made large investments here, so it’s seen as a very attractive place to do business.
13. The Region Is Home To Some Large Companies/Enterprises
The UAE has some of the biggest companies in the world- including Emirates Airline, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company ( source ). If your business is looking to compete with other major businesses that are already established in the region, it may be easier to do so here than almost anywhere else.
14. Most Companies Have an Easy Time Finding Labor/Hiring Workers
The UAE has a very low unemployment rate and also attracts lots of immigrants ( source ). This means that there are plenty of qualified workers looking for jobs- which can make it easier for you to hire people.
15. It’s Easy to Find Investors/Find Funding For Your Business
The UAE has become a major centre for international business, which is one of the reasons why so many investors are interested in it ( source ). If your business is looking for funding, this is a good place to start since it will be easier for you to find investors in the region than almost anywhere else.
“The UAE has some of the biggest companies in the world- including Emirates Airline, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company ( source ). If your business is looking to compete with other major businesses that are already established in the region, it may be easier to do so here than almost anywhere else.”
If you are looking to start a business in the Middle East, there’s never been a better time. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have both seen some of their fastest growth rates ever in recent years- driven by high oil prices that have made exporting energy products an attractive way for these countries to make money. With this level of economic success comes new opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to explore international markets but don’t know where to start. In order to help them get started, we’ve compiled 15 up-and-coming trends about how businesses can thrive overseas in Dubai or neighbouring nations like Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Check out our list below!