2019 business opportunities in Dubai

Find new business opportunities in the UAE

Dubai is famed the world over for its thriving business environment. Not only does the emirate boast incredibly low tax rates – 0% on both personal and corporate incomes – but its strategic location in the heart of the Middle East makes it the ideal place from which to trade with the vast markets of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and beyond.

Dubai is also an incredibly welcoming environment for business. As well as numerous incentives and incubator schemes, the emirate is also light on regulation when it comes to establishing and running a company. So much so that the emirate regularly ranks within the top ten in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

Naturally, such an environment is rife with opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs. There are countless industries in the ascendance here, supported by an ever-growing audience largely made up of affluent expats.

If you’re looking to start your business in Dubai, here are nine business ideas that could see success in 2019.

Top business opportunities in Dubai

Travel agency

Dubai attracts millions of visitors from around the globe – 14.9 million in 2016 alone. This figure is expected to hit 25 million in 2020.

Many of Dubai’s visitors are in the market for luxury trips and unique experiences and are prepared to pay a premium for it. Good news for the emirate’s travel companies and tour organisers.

Opening a travel agency is also one of the most low-cost business opportunities on this list. All that’s required to get started is a good knowledge of Dubai, a website, a phone number, and your business licenses.

Construction

While construction may be an industry that requires a little more starting capital, the potential return can be enormous.

Dubai is an ever-growing emirate. Leave the country for even a short space of time and you’re sure to return to a new development or towering skyscraper.

Dubai is an ever-growing emirate. Leave the country for even a short space of time and you’re sure to return to a new development or towering skyscraper.

In early 2017, Dubai was home to over 3,200 active projects, worth an estimated USD 245bn. This figure has likely increased as we get closer to Expo 2020 – an event that has contributed some USD 42.5bn in construction projects.

Health and wellbeing

Dubai’s population is incredibly health conscious. So much so that the emirate contributes hugely to a UAE health and wellness market worth almost USD 3bn – the largest in the Middle East.

If you are a healthcare professional, Dubai is a great place to launch a clinic. However, there is plenty of opportunity here for non-healthcare-professionals too. The health and wellbeing market is home to numerous subsectors. For example, you could be a personal trainer, masseuse, or holistic therapist, organise wellness programmes or trade in vitamins and supplements.

Green energy

Countries around the world are turning to green energy in a bid to reduce carbon footprints – and the UAE is no different.

Find new business opportunities in the UAE

The Emirates is committed to green energy as it continues in its strategy to move away from reliance on the country’s oil reserves. In the coming years, the UAE is committed to investing over USD 160bn into renewable and clean energy technologies.

Again, there are plenty of business opportunities within this large and growing industry, from consultancy and training through to manufacturing, assembling or trading in parts for solar or other green energy equipment.

Real estate

Dubai’s real estate industry is famed for its impressive returns. After a relatively slow period, some areas in Dubai are returning yields of more than 6 percent — that’s higher than many major cities including London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

There are other opportunities here too, outside of investment. The introduction of long-term visas, along with the relaxing of foreign ownership rules is likely to increase the number of expatriates in Dubai, which in turn increases the demand for accommodation.

These expats will require the service of an agent to either purchase or let property. Equally many landlords will also require property management services.

These expats will require the service of an agent to either purchase or let property. Equally many landlords will also require property management services.

Web development

Another of the many low cost business opportunities on offer in Dubai is web development. Thousands of new businesses launch here every year – and they all need websites.

If you already have the requisite skills then all you require is a laptop and an internet connection. If you are new to the craft, training courses are plentiful and affordable.

You could even launch a web development or web design business under a freelance permit to further keep down costs.

Find new business opportunities in the UAE

Restaurants

The UAE has more food and beverage outlets per capita than anywhere else in the world. But don’t let that put you off.

The Emirates, and Dubai in particular, has an insatiable appetite for eating out. Around a third of residents eat out on average at least two to three times per week. What’s more, 17 percent eat out or order a takeaway every single day.

The best part is, you don’t need a huge initial outlay to sate the appetite of Dubai’s army of diners. There are low cost business opportunities in Dubai within the restaurant industry, from mobile food trucks to market stalls and relaxed cafeterias. If you can offer it, you can be sure there’s an audience waiting to eat it up.

Trading

Dubai has a long history of trading everything from pearls to oil. And it’s a tradition that continues today.

Dubai has a long history of trading everything from pearls to oil. And it’s a tradition that continues today.

The emirate is perfectly placed to trade by air, road and sea with both East and West. Dubai ports and airports are among the busiest in the world when it comes to cargo. Its understandable then that Dubai is home to thousands of traders, trading in everything from jewellery, clothes and make-up to car parts, toys and furniture.

Starting your business in Dubai

Setting up a business in Dubai is both easy and affordable. The cost of registering a company here will depend on the type and size of your business. However, if you wish to start up on a budget, it is certainly doable.

Be warned, however: while the application process isn’t difficult, it does require an expert eye. Any errors in your application could lead to it being delayed or rejected. That’s why it’s often a good idea to work with a company setup specialist to help you establish your business.

When you work with a company setup expert all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading.