The United Arab Emirates are driving change across the Middle East’s business landscape. Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the business world.
Companies—large and small—have had to change the way they operate. Many businesses have closed or retrenched large numbers of staff just to keep their doors open.
For people, it has forced many to create side hustles to pay their bills.
The “new normal” has brought about the birth of self-employment via freelancers and digital nomads and recognized remote workers in Dubai. The UAE responded swiftly. As a result, entrepreneurs and startups have boomed in Dubai.
Business trends in Dubai have changed too. Green business and digital technology are the biggest business trends in Dubai right now. Construction took a big hit in 2020, but it has bounced back to record levels of revenue growth in 2021—and this trend will continue beyond 2022.
The UAE government is heavily investing in market capitalization as an economic strategy to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They have also brought new visa regulations and updated business laws. It is now easier than ever before to do business here.
The UAE is one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. Adapting and responding to the “new normal”, the UAE’s latest changes boost investment and attract even more highly skilled individuals here.
Digital nomads, freelancers and remote workers simply couldn’t work in the UAE. Their strict business licensing, tight business laws, and visa regulations meant this was just not an option.
The UAE swiftly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects. They created new visa classes and business laws. One of those is that the UAE now offers a Green Visa. This is essentially a freelance visa and digital nomad visa that allows individuals to create their own side hustles and offer their skills to businesses in the UAE.
In the past, full-time workers had only 30 days in which to find a new job—or leave the country. This has now been extended to 3 months to better fit the fluid nature of freelance, digital nomads, and self-employment in the “new normal.”
It also qualifies them for a freelance residence permit and a digital nomad residence permit, too.
Another of the major changes is that ex-pats can now outright own their businesses. Previously, a business startup with foreign investors needed a UAE partner to hold a 51 percent ownership stake. This will drive greater investment and boost the local economy, too.
So, to understand the recent changes and visa regulations, consult with Trade License Zone. We’ll help you apply for the right visas, visa application, and business license application process.
Here are the latest business trends in Dubai that have been predicted for 2022 and beyond.
Business Trends in Dubai
Trade License Zone has followed the latest business trends in Dubai for 2022 and beyond. Our business setup expertise puts us in the heart of these changes and at the birth of these trends. Let us help you position your business to take advantage of these latest business trends in Dubai.
As we’ve already mentioned, freelancers and digital nomads will feature heavily in the future business trends in Dubai. Green business, blockchain disruption, and digital technology are the hottest trends in the UAE for business.
Digital Nomads, Freelancers and Remote Workers
The Green Visa is a new visa class that allows individuals to apply for a digital nomad visa and qualify for a digital nomad residence permit. Of course, living and working in Dubai is more than just the high standard of living. The UAE offers tax-free personal and business incomes, a stable currency, a diversified economy, and a cutting-edge infrastructure. And, the UAE is the gateway to the Middle East—and a hub for international business operations.
The cost of living is going down in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so you’ll see more people working remotely. With both cities boasting world-class internet and business infrastructure, the number of digital nomads and remote workers is rocketing. The Green Visa has also allowed for digital nomads to get a digital nomad visa and a digital nomad residence permit.
In the same way that digital nomads can live and work in the UAE, so can freelancers. They aim this visa class at highly skilled individuals. It allows foreigners to work in Dubai without the need to be sponsored by an employer. And, if a person loses their job, it gives them 3 months to find another one instead of the 30 days previously.
Freelancers are a source of highly qualified talent for short- and long-term projects or contracts. When hiring a freelancer, they are a cost-saving for a business: it is cheaper to hire a freelancer than hiring and training permanent staff.
The most in-demand freelancer skills in the UAE are in Media (roles range from an actor, copywriter, editor, and musician to translator), Education (including researcher, teacher, and education advisor), Tech (everything from software development to data scientist), and Design (from fashion, jewelry, and personal shopping to wedding planner).
One of the largest stumbling blocks facing freelancers and digital nomads before was the UAE’s requirement that workers must rent an office space. With this Green Visa, this has fallen away to make it even more viable to work in Dubai.
Remember, business licenses still apply to freelancers, digital nomads and remote workers.
This Green Visa has a straightforward application process, provided you work you a local expert such as Trade License Zone, that is.
The government has made it a goal to reduce the carbon footprint. In Dubai and across the UAE over the next decades. Environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives and solutions are fast gaining popularity in the UAE. Companies are reducing their environmental footprint. And, businesses are growing their range of sustainable products such as solar panels and recyclable goods.
Oil and gas is still the biggest industry here, but the blockchain is making huge strides in disrupting this industry. The UAE’s central bank has already partnered with a blockchain firm for cross-border payments. We can expect more widespread adoption of this technology throughout other industries in 2022 and beyond.
As more businesses accept digital payments, blockchain startups introduce new ways of managing transactions online.
Cryptocurrencies will also become more widespread—and regulated—to make them a business norm across the UAE.
Women in Business
Businesswomen entrepreneurs are another emerging trend in Dubai’s business landscape. The government is encouraging more women to enter the business sector. Women can now tap into specialist business incubators to start their own business, access mentors, investors, and help. This is already producing excellent results and will provide investors with future growth. Women-led and women in business in Dubai will expand their influence across the UAE.
Diversification is at the heart of the UAE’s economic policy. The government aims to reduce the economy’s reliance on oil and gas income.
Digital Technology and Consumer Confidence
The UAE isn’t shy about its economic strategy of driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In Dubai, digital technology companies continue to grow exponentially. Digital tech firms here are leaders in international cyber-security and first in technology employment. Even Microsoft and Oracle have set up regional cloud data centers in Dubai.
Public cloud services and other cloud technologies for businesses are seeing a big uptake. This is a rapidly growing business sector as more and more companies go on-stream in adopting cloud services.
The COVID-19 pandemic also shook the foundations of retail businesses in the way they interact with their customers. Digital transformation is growing aggressively as businesses fight to create better customer experiences. This includes investing in their social media, mobile, cloud, and ‘big data’ analysis to improve customer relations for increased revenue streams.
On top of these trends, there’s one for businesses everywhere: don’t be afraid to innovate! There are so many opportunities out there now for entrepreneurs because of technological advances.
The UAE isn’t only about shopping malls and deserts. This country boasts an environment rich in diversity and beauty. There’s no doubting the allure of the beach, awe-inspiring architecture, and luxurious hotels. Past performance of international tourism – before COVID-19 – saw Dubai rising as a holiday destination. These sectors have taken a knock now, but are showing signs of revival as governments around the world ease travel restrictions. The growth of the international tourism market in the UAE will once again rise: they expect future results to increase by 3 percent per year.
Adapting to the New Normal
Factors beyond the control of any government have left the world a stranger place in the “new normal.” Governments are working to bridge those challenges – and the UAE is leading with innovating and history-making business law and visa regulation changes.
It might seem overwhelming for you to make sense of the changes. Sit back and let the experts handle it all for you. Trade License Zone is your local expert with many, many clients continuing to shine brightly in Dubai with our support and help. Let us help you too.