Dubai is the second largest member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It’s home to the most important port and is the commercial capital of the UAE. With progressive, forward-thinking government policies in place, the business environment in Dubai actively encourages foreign investors. The government provides all industrial facilities, and has brought in several liberal commercial laws and regulations that are hugely appealing to overseas businesses. What makes doing business in Dubai even more attractive is the fact that taxation is minimal and mostly non-existent. The only industrial sectors that are significantly assessed in taxation are banking, oil and cigarette manufacturing.
Requirements to start a business
Every business in Dubai needs a ??sponsor? except if you want to open a business in a freezone in Dubai. The sponsor must be a UAE national, and a strong sponsor with lot of contacts and influence can be very useful. You will have to pay an ongoing fee or percentage of the profit or both to your sponsor. Once you have acquired a sponsor, you have to register your business and obtain the Trade License. Language is a major barrier when dealing with government employees.
The key business opportunities that Dubai offers are those involving huge investment in the areas of Construction and renewable energy, Oil and gas, Financial services, Education and training, Food and drink etc. At the same time, there are small scale business opportunities on which the economy of Dubai thrives. Some of the areas in which Dubai invites investment are given below.
Real Estate: One of the prime business opportunities in Dubai is real estate. The real estate industry in Dubai alone contributes 22% to the city??s GDP. Construction projects are undertaken by both local and foreign companies to expand the city??s popularity to the world market. Delving into the real estate market in Dubai does have its challenges ?? like finding the right property to invest on with a good possibility of returning your investment; or taking advantage of the city??s tourism for possible rentals as monthly income.
Travel and Tourism : Emirates Airlines and few travel agents handle most of the travel packages in Dubai. Hence, there is a market for a business that is more focused on inbound tourists and travel packages. Dubai is the travel hub of the middle east. Due to Dubai??s popularity as a tourist attraction in the UAE, setting up a travel and tour business in the city is a great way to tap into the market and earn you a successful investment. According to statistics, there is a stable growth of tourist activity in Dubai, seeing a growth of 5 to 10 percent each year.
Entertainment: Tourism has made a large impact on the types of business you can invest on in Dubai. One of the most favourable business opportunities in Dubai is to have an entertainment facility to target the demands of both tourists and locals in the recreation industry.
Exports: If your business set up in Dubai wants to take advantage of cheaper products in UAE, then one of the most profitable enterprises in Dubai is to try your hand out in exporting local goods to international consumers. Food items are cheap in the city, as well as other necessities and commodities like used cars and jewelleries. Local specialty such as dates can also be used as exports if you have a good market for them overseas. If you want a high-end venture, then you might want to consider exporting pharmaceutical products and ceramic tiles to start it off. Dubai chamber of commerce has a wide range of product lines to research and select your product.
Agency for skilled labours: Dubai is always in need of highly skilled and trained professionals in several sectors mainly in the construction engineering, IT and health care industry. One of the lucrative opportunities for business set up in Dubai is to set up an agency for skilled professional labour. If you have well-established contacts for sourcing manpower in other countries, then you can try your hand in putting up a manpower supply service in Dubai, to cater to the growing market demand. This includes nurses, programmers, engineers, and teachers to name a few.
Franchise businesses: This concept is catching on in Dubai and has a potential for growth. This concept works well in Dubai because of the large expat population and their mixed preferences.
Childcare business: One of the burning issues especially among young working couples in Dubai is the lack of childcare facilities. This is also a niche business opportunity in Dubai for someone who wants to start a business in Dubai.
In addition to these, businesses in graphic arts, publishing and packaging have the benefit of free zone opportunities through the International Media Production Zone (IMPZ), an initiative of the Dubai government. The IMPZ is interested in collaborating with media production companies around the world to create a media production cluster environment, with Dubai as the media hub.