5 best businesses to set up in Dubai

Mar 20 2016

5 best businesses to set up in Dubai

Are you interested in starting a business in Dubai but you don’t know the best business to start? Do you want to know what it takes to do business in the United Arab Emirates? Then read on.

The United Arab Emirates is a business hub. Its commercial capital, Dubai, offers easy access to the 1.5 billion consumer markets situated in Africa, West Asia, CIS countries, Eastern Europe, as well as the neighboring Middle East countries.

Dubai and Qatar are some of the Arab countries people are trooping to now because of the favorable economy and job opportunities there. However, this article is not about finding a job in Dubai; it is about starting a business and creating jobs in Dubai. Now who should start a business in Dubai and why should people be encouraged to start a business in Dubai?

Well, running a business is definitely not for everyone; whether you are setting up in Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc. if you lack the guts, initiative and passion to run a business, you will never succeed regardless of where you find yourself.

Real Estate

One of the prime business opportunities in Dubai is real estate. That’s right; the real estate industry in Dubai alone contributes 22% to the city’s GDP. Construction projects are undertaken by both local and foreign companies. Architects come from all over the world. The projects are designed to meet the needs of international investors and tourists alike.

Delving into the real estate market in Dubai does have its challenges:

  • Like finding the right property to invest in
  • Return on investment possibilities
  • Taking advantage of the city’s tourism traffic via hotels and serviced apartments
  • Rentals as monthly income.

If you are considering a business set up in Dubai then Real Estate is one of the high growth areas. Keep in mind that real estate is cyclical.

Travel and tours

Many travel companies have a business set up in Dubai. Dubai is the travel hub of the Middle East. Tourism traffic to Dubai is expected to cross 10 mn arrivals in the next 5 years. This is more than many neighboring countries.

Emirates Airlines has very successfully created Dubai Airport as a convenient travel hub. This brings increasing number of transit passengers. Fly Dubai the country’s discount airline has strategically chosen to tap into second tier markets within a 3,000 km radius.

However these are destination flights and many travel agents both from Dubai and international markets offer inexpensive packages. This new direction has brought in large numbers of tourists from cities which were unknown to Dubai earlier. Tourist traffic to Dubai is now growing at 8 to 10% per year as is the market for businesses serving them.

Bars and night clubs

As tourism has made a large impact on the types of businesses that are expanding. Many home grown entrepreneurs have gone from a small bar to multiple hotels.

Generally alcohol licenses are issued only to 4 and 5 star hotels. Hotel owners or operators then least out bar and night club operations to others. More than in other businesses you need good local connections as everywhere.


UAE applies zero personal, corporate, wealth and capital gains taxes. Custom duties are nominal. With a population of more than 1.7 bn people within a 3000 km radius, Dubai is well located to facilitate cross country trade. It has also been blessed with troubled neighbors.

Business Set Up In Dubai: 5 Opportunities For Dubai BusinessNeighboring countries view Dubai, UAE as a safe haven for banking and shipping. Simple regulations, hassle free paper work and years of nimble experience has built the country into a trading power house.

The current areas attracting new entrants are food, steel scrap, building materials, jewelry and pharmaceutical products. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce has information on a wide range of product lines which you can research.

Employment Agency

It is possible to recruit employees from anywhere in the world. Except from countries on the restricted list which changes based on risk factors as identified by the government. Also it is not possible to get a resident visa of more than 2 to 3 years even if your family has lived here for several generations.

These factors lead to a continuous need for skilled and unskilled employees. Skilled employees are easier to work with and your commissions will be higher. The popular sectors are hospitality, nurses, engineers and teachers.

Note that there are various additional requirements by the Labor Ministry for this industry. Please inquire about these before you go ahead.

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