How will the wise investor and entrepreneur approach 2024?

In the dynamic landscape of global business, 2024 holds real opportunities for the discerning investor and visionary entrepreneur. But what are the major global trends, and how do those look from a GCC perspective?

When we think about next year – or even the year after that – what we’re doing is trying to understand what the future may hold, based on what we know today. And that’s something startup founders and investors alike consider on a daily basis. As Alexander Limpert, CEO and co-founder of GuestReady, says: ‘An effective leader must envision the start-up’s future and articulate a captivating mission’.

So, let’s take a look at what 2024 might hold, starting with global business trends, then narrowing down to the GCC region, before examining the key opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in the UAE next year.

Global business trends

Technological advances, geopolitical shifts, changing consumer behaviours. In 2024, the industries that will flourish will be those driving these changes, and the businesses becoming part of that change or adapting to it quickly.

Let’s break this down in more detail:

  • Innovation: Entrepreneurs with innovative solutions in this domain stand to gain traction, and investors should keep a keen eye on companies leading the charge. The Boston Consulting Group asserts that ‘to be an industry leader in five years, you need a clear and compelling generative AI strategy today’, and it’s already clear that AI and machine learning will need to be thoroughly integrated into many of the products and services that major companies offer. Generative AI puts the power to create and intelligently automate the customer experience, as well as internal operations, in the hands of nearly every organisation. It’s down to the leaders of those businesses to ensure this is done efficiently and in a timely manner.
  • Data: By 2024, numerous companies in the business landscape will have refined their operations and enhanced customer offerings through a strategic handling of their data. Consequently, they will be poised to embark on the next phase – leveraging data monetisation to generate fresh business opportunities. Pioneering this movement are companies such as John Deere, which has introduced the practice of selling sensor data from its farm equipment back to farmers, offering valuable insights to enhance productivity. As the accessibility of extensive data collection and AI-driven analytics becomes more widespread, I anticipate smaller enterprises in niche and diversified sectors embracing this trend.
  • Sustainability: The global shift towards sustainability is reflected in the investment landscape. Both entrepreneurs and investors should explore opportunities that align with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, contributing to both profit and positive impact. A key catalyst is evidently customer demand, with ongoing research indicating a growing preference among consumers for companies demonstrating a robust commitment to reducing their environmental footprint. In addition, as the green economy expands, we are discovering that environmentally friendly solutions often translate into bottom-line growth.

The GCC and UAE perspective

Let’s look at the 2024 economic outlook for the GCC region as a whole and the UAE in particular.

According to the World Bank, the GCC region is projected to grow by 1% in 2023 before rising to 3.6% next year and 3.7 % in 2025. The non-oil sector is positioned to propel economic growth, due to expansion in tourism, government initiatives, and technological advancements. There is also an anticipated rise in the number of new job openings in the GCC during the fourth quarter of this year, with companies gearing up to further expand their teams for 2024.

When we look at the UAE specifically, the IMF has recently reported that the economy is sustaining its growth trajectory, due to domestic activity. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth surpassed 4% this year, and it is likely to maintain a similar pace next year. In line with what we’re seeing in the GCC as a whole, this is propelled by the flourishing sectors of tourism, construction, and real estate. Entrepreneurs aspiring to launch their ventures in 2024 should consider these industries, aligning their plans with both global and local trends. Likewise, investors seeking profitable avenues should diversify their portfolios while keeping a watchful eye on the burgeoning sectors.

UAE opportunities 2024

The UAE has put together a number of key initiatives to foster economic diversification which are laying the groundwork for an even stronger future. The ‘We are the Emirates 2031’ programme and the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 are just two of the key initiatives aimed at driving growth, trade and foreign investment. Other programmes, such as the National Tourism Strategy, also help set the stage for increased diversification.

As an investment and business destination, measures such as visa programmes, granting 100% foreign ownership of companies, as well as further refining the ease-of-doing-business all play key roles. With the country very much back on track post-pandemic, visitor numbers are likely to increase as the country’s travel and tourism sectors grow.

So, with this in mind, let’s look at the specific areas entrepreneurs and investors in the UAE should be focusing on:

  • Technology: Dubai continues to position itself as a global technology hub. The Smart Dubai initiative, coupled with the city’s commitment to innovation, makes it an attractive destination for tech entrepreneurs. Investing in local tech startups or establishing a presence in Dubai’s tech ecosystem could prove fruitful.
  • Real estate and tourism: The UAE, and Dubai in particular, is renowned for its ambitious real estate projects and vibrant tourism industry. Despite global uncertainties, the country’s strategic investments in these sectors are likely to yield returns. Entrepreneurs exploring ventures related to hospitality, real estate and travel – as well as tech innovations within those industries – could find ample opportunities.
  • E-commerce and logistics: The surge in shopping and the demand for efficient logistics services create a fertile ground for entrepreneurs in e-commerce and supply chain management. With Dubai serving as a logistics and trade hub, ventures in these areas can tap into a robust infrastructure.
  • Healthcare and biotechnology: The ongoing emphasis on health and wellness, exacerbated by recent global events, positions the healthcare and biotechnology sectors as robust investment choices. Advancements in medical research, telemedicine, and biopharmaceuticals are likely to shape the industry’s landscape.
  • Strategic alliances: Collaboration and partnerships can play a pivotal role for entrepreneurs entering the market. Forming strategic alliances with established players in Dubai’s business ecosystem as well as the wider GCC can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and access to resources.


Next year presents multiple possibilities for the investor and entrepreneur. By understanding global business trends, aligning with the unique opportunities in the GCC region, and maintaining a forward-thinking approach, the evolving landscape can be navigated with confidence and success.

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