With many investments happening in Dubai in the final quarter of 2019, the Gulf nation maintains its reputation as an attractive place for businesses of all sizes. To stimulate economic growth, the emirate is streamlining its business setup procedures into becoming simpler, faster, more affordable, and more flexible to any entrepreneur’s needs.
Why start a business in Dubai?
The Ease of Doing Business 2020 report ranked the UAE (focusing on Dubai) as the 16th best business destination out of 190 surveyed countries. Dubai has received an 80.9/100 score overall for doing business, covering the following categories, scores out of 100, and global rankings:
Starting a Business
Trade across Borders
score: 74.1 rank: 1st
Which business ideas are the most profitable?
Food and Beverage
There are 2.8 million people residing in Dubai, with population numbers growing and diversifying beyond 200 nationalities. The city’s residents and tourists are as diverse as its food and beverage (F&B) industry, which according to KPMG’s report, is the leading industry in the Middle East region. Recently, Dubai Tourism partnered with a British delivery-focused restaurant to diversify its food offerings. This is an example of the many F&B business opportunities in Dubai.
Whether you offer street food or haute cuisine, your F&B start-up can be successfully launched, tested, and promoted at the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai. The global event will house over 200+ food outlets, over 50+ cuisines, and a projected 300,000+ meals served per day over 6 months (Oct. 20th, 2020 – Apr. 10th, 2021), totaling an estimated 54.7 million meals served.
If you have a cuisine or recipe that you wish to present to a market and compete against the existing alternatives, you will first need to start with a feasible business model. We can assist you with incorporating your F&B business, if you already have an inquiry – contact us for a free consultation!
It is important to:
- Give your F&B business the room or capacity to grow as you start increasing your sales
- Choose an enthusiastic and dependable sales team to operate in the field
- Continuously segment, target, and position your product
- Build your brand’s identity through the design, presentation, and appearance of your products, services, packaging, or servicescapes (physical environment).
- Spread your unique message across the web through targeted advertisements
- Keep adapting to market trends by measuring and prioritizing your Key Performance Indicators
As previously mentioned, Dubai Tourism is actively stimulating the sector to become one of the most competitive destinations worldwide. The target for the government department is to attract 20 million visitors by 2020. This goal will partly be achieved by becoming fully accessible to disabled visitors. In addition, Chinese families will be able to explore and build Dubai’s landmarks via a virtual ‘Map’ of the city made by Dubai Tourism’s new partners – LEGO and Tencent. Dubai Tourism also enables Chinese visitors to benefit from instant VAT refunds via another partnership scheme with Tencent, and payment provider Planet.
These events point to the government’s wish to attract more Chinese tourists while becoming accessible to disabled visitors. Identifying segments who are frequent travelers, high-spenders, and long-staying visitors is key. Once your ideal consumers are fully profiled and in your sights, adapt your offering to their needs – become customer-oriented.
Create an experience that incorporates memorabilia, sporting activities, business opportunities, or services that transform the visitor, such as sightseeing, education, healthcare, and beauty. This is known as leisure marketing.
The existing tourist segments of Dubai require positioning that offers more value at a reasonable cost. On the other hand, new segments can be targeted through international marketing campaigns as well as local contact points such as travel agents.
Tourism sector businesses involve providing either travel services, tours, or accommodation to visitors. The Expo 2020 is projected to attract over 25+ million visitors, from over 192 participating countries, for 173 days. AED 25 billion (USD 6.8 billion) is projected to be the investment value of this event, constituting 43% of government expenditure in 2018. Real Estate
The real estate sector of Dubai is currently undergoing a transition period into a sector defined by proptech (property technology). Proptech increases the business efficiency of the sector while enhancing the client’s real estate experiences. As of October 30th, 2019, a report for the third quarter shows an increase in cash buyers, mortgage buyers, multiple cheque rental payments, and secondary market sales.
- 43% of property buyers in the summer of 2019 were investors (they did not reside in the purchased property)
- 67% decline in off-plan sales, (sale of property before it is constructed)
- Since Q3 of 2018, mortgage buyers rose by 27%
- Buyer registration grew by 21% (since Q3 2018) despite high up-front fees in 2019
- 36% growth in secondary market sales, (sale of securities)
- 18% increase in cash buyers since Q3 of 2018
These statistics signify the rising confidence amongst buyers. At the moment market prices are reaching their lowest point after which investors are using to maximize their yields in the future.
Your real estate business should take advantage of the rising investor confidence and aim to utilize proptech developments to launch a successful brokerage start-up.
The employment & recruitment sector will always require convenience for job hunters and employers alike. Profiling and selecting the right candidate is a long and tedious process that puts additional pressure on businesses, while on the other hand, job seekers demand access to as many opportunities as possible.
The sector is gradually implementing AI and new digital platforms where job seekers and employers are matched more effectively and interactively. The UAE is home to vast amounts of human capital, 78% of which are employed (aged 15 and above).
Providing a platform that helps and educates users in advertising their unique personalities and soft skills is crucial. In 2020, soft skills (critical thinking & emotional intelligence) and digital savviness (AI, blockchain, cloud computing, & data analytics) will be in high demand as the market gains optimism in Q3 of 2019. Employers are unable to retain and attract talent due to financial constraints.
However, this is an opportunity to develop a recruitment service where employers can source temporary employees and interns to meet their quarterly cash flow management concerns. Robert Half, a recruitment consultancy agency, found that 52% of CFOs in the UAE focused on minimizing costs while 47% of UAE executives are keen on attracting and retaining talent with soft skills and digital savviness.
If you have any popular goods in mind, perhaps you can start an online retail business and transition into a physical store. 70% of Dubai’s shoppers first browse products online, then head to the store to see them in person and finalize the purchase.
While e-commerce is growing rapidly, nearly 98% of sales occur in stores. However, browsing products is more convenient online and the approximate 2.5% of the retail sector (which occurs online) is nonetheless valued at USD 2 billion.
This is good news for start-ups as home-based online retail is recommended for cost optimization. It is important to note that physical stores are more risky investments and require assistance in business planning, feasibility studies, market research, and management consultancy from UAE market entry specialists.
Health & Fitness
With the Dubathe i Fitness Challenge starting in November 2019, the city continuously shows demand for gyms, sporting facilities, HIIT & HRX facilities, dance sessions, yoga, and personal trainers.
Offering health and fitness services can be complemented with dietary solutions.
This sector can provide a unique experience, rather than a mere service, offering a comprehensive set of solutions to improve one’s well-being that applies to every segment.
Like the sectors, markets, and industries mentioned above this idea, the event management industry in Dubai is a hot business opportunity. If you are a keen strategist with perfectionist-like attention to detail, then you already have one of the key ingredients to start your successful events management company in Dubai.
You will need an understanding of diverse event themes, the ability to delegate roles, and accurately outline the resources that each event will require. Similar to an F&B business, you will require a team that understands your strategy and value proposition – this will help you plan the event effectively and make sure that your team is on the same page. The second aspect of a good team is that you will be able to get a proper understanding of the event’s attendees by meeting them in person and adapting your approach to creating a memorable experience for your clients.
October 2019 is an exciting time for Dubai’s residents and visitors who are awaiting the upcoming Eminem concert in Abu Dhabi, the massive Insomnia gaming festival, next year’s Expo 2020, and the Dubai International Motor Show.
Beauty Salon, Spa, or Hair Parlor
The successful Gangnam Premium Medi & Beauty Fair 2019 showcased the high demand for self-care and beauty products, which can be sold alongside your beauty services. In Dubai, appearance is key to success in one’s personal as well as professional life.
The indispensable and sophisticated beauty needs of aspiring social media influencers, beauty pageant participants, models, and stylish residents are the foundations of all successful beauty service providers. It is no secret that a metropolitan hotspot like Dubai is home to 2.8 million people with the 11th highest disposable incomes after rent and the 14th highest salaries in the world.
Choosing a hot location in Dubai, sourcing high-demand complementary products, and gathering a team of health and beauty specialists – are the keys to success for your beauty salon business!
Education & Tuition
Similarly to other sectors mentioned in this list, the education sector needs affordable and convenient solutions. Offering price-competitive tuition with adequate quality is the market focus as of Q3 2019.
Helping students increase their GPAs across various curriculums is a valued service as it allows parents and students alike to secure success in the job market. A large portion of Dubai’s schools and universities are attended by members of high-income families who aim to provide a secure career for their children through extracurricular tuition.
If you can source materials from the British curriculum, you will be one step closer to securing the current demand for your educational services. Tutoring in Dubai is a lucrative business opportunity due to its ability to charge high hourly fees while having low capital requirements.
For tuition or schooling business inquiries, contact one of our market entry specialists!
Marketing & Advertising Agency
In a dynamic and competitive business environment such as Dubai, firms reduce their costs by outsourcing skilled marketing agencies to maintain their revenues. In Q3 of 2019, marketing activity is on the rise while businesses are cutting down their costs, and thus, the market for advertising agencies grows.
With this business, you will be tasked with marketing products, services, events, and brands using both offline as well as online methods. While traditional methods of marketing might be expensive and yield negligible ROI, your marketing agency could focus on digital marketing.
You will require a team that understands design, data analytics, and content creation. Creating brand value is difficult and thus, firms will compensate your agency considerably for creating a professional, artistic, and integrated medium for their product or service promotions.
Dubai’s brands wish to ascend from price competition and increase their margins through brand value. Your agency’s ability to improve the interactivity, engagement, and involvement of a brand will land you deals with big names and events – paving the way to a successful business venture.
Who can help me set up my business in Dubai?
Dubai Business Advisors are the UAE’s established market entry specialists, since 2002 we have provided across-the-board assistance to over 2000+ entrepreneurs, start-ups, and corporations – ensuring an affordable and successful launch for their products and services alike!
If you wish to receive a free consultation & affordable assistance with setting up your business,
Contact us today!
Phone: +971 4 341 9701
Whatsapp: +971 56 501 4164
Address: 211, Building 7, Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
P.O. Box: 183827