There are more than pleasant conditions for doing business in the UAE. There is no income tax, a company can be registered remotely, and foreigners receive a resident visa for investing in a business. In 2023, the UAE authorities continue to support entrepreneurs. We have selected the top 5 relevant business ideas in the Emirates for those who want to enter the Arab market in 2023.
1. Trading business
The economy of the Arab Emirates is very dependent on imports: most of the goods used inside the country are imported from other countries. Therefore, the authorities strongly encourage trading companies. The UAE has one of the lowest VAT rates in the world: only 5%, and there is no export tax at all.
Goods can be sold at retail within your free zone or throughout the Emirates, but through a local distributor. If you want to trade freely throughout the country, you will have to register a local (local) company. In 2023, this is done freely, without the participation of a co-founder-a citizen of the UAE.
2. Service companies
In the UAE, various types of services are in great demand, which makes the life of residents and numerous tourists comfortable. Good profit will bring:
- flower deliveries: Dubai is a truly romantic place. Couples spend calm evenings with flower bouquets near the seashore or order online flower delivery to make a proposal in one of the picturesque locations. So setting up a business as a florist Dubai surely will guarantee success and high demand;
- car washes: cars have to be washed often because of the sand that comes from the desert;
- cleaning: there are many business centers, hotels, and residential apartments where cleaning services are needed;
- food delivery: there are a lot of food deliveries in the UAE, but there are almost no services for the delivery of ready-made food.
Depending on which population you will work with, you may need to open a local company outside the free zone.
3. IT business
IT is one of the fastest-growing and most promising areas in the Emirates. So, in 2021, $420 million was invested in this niche. The state is working to introduce cyber technologies in all spheres of life – from restaurants to medicine. Therefore, you can launch an IT startup aimed at developing software or a mobile application and earn a good income. The Dubai Internet City free zone has been created especially for foreign IT specialists, where there is even its own Innovation Center for young talents.
The Emirates is actively being built up. The authorities spend billions of dollars a year on the construction of commercial and residential real estate. If you have experience, you can start a profitable business in this area. It can be a construction company, an architectural bureau, or a sale of building materials. But keep in mind that when registering in the free zone, you will be able to offer services only within this zone.
Every year more and more tourists come to the UAE, and they need to organize their leisure time. In addition, this direction is actively supported at the state level. Promising niches can be:
- organization of excursions: yacht trips, sea fishing;
- extreme tours: jeep safari, diving center, kitesurfing;
- opening of a glamping hotel in the desert;
- rental of villas and apartments during vacation.
Since 2018, the rules for foreigners have been simplified. Now it is not necessary to make a huge deposit of $1 million, and a travel agency license can be obtained in an increasing number of free zones.
When starting a business in the UAE, it is important to understand that this is a different country with a different culture and values. Often, a business model that is successful in Europe does not work in the Emirates. Therefore, before launching a business, it is important to analyze the market in detail. Ideally, to live in the country for 2-3 months to study the needs of a potential audience and find partners.