Looking to Start a Business in Dubai? Here Are the Key Industries

Dubai’s success story in a relatively short span of time – its transformation from a desert backwater to a global commercial hub – is well known. Owing to its strategic location, business-friendly government policies, open economy and the presence of sector-oriented free zones, Dubai has been able to establish itself as a location of choice for entrepreneurs and international firms looking to open a company. A place like Dubai is conducive for industries ranging from manufacturing, logistics, transportation, aviation, and e-commerce to education, research & development, healthcare and tourism.

Since location selection is one of the most crucial decisions one makes while setting up a company, here’s a look at the sectors one might find the most favourable to start a business in Dubai.

1. Real Estate and Property

Real estate industry contributes to over 20% of Dubai’s GDP. Construction projects are undertaken by both local and foreign firms, with architects from all over the world operating here. The projects are designed to meet the needs of international investors and tourists alike. The legacy of real estate projects in Dubai is manifested through structures like the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab, the Emirates Towers and the Palm Islands.

2. Tourism

Dubai is the travel hub of the Middle East. It receives millions of tourists a year. In 2016 alone, Dubai had over 14 million international tourists flocking the city. Outbound trips have also risen over the last few years. It all started in the early 1990s, when the then government decided to establish Dubai as an international tourist destination, resulting in the city becoming a world-class travel destination. This makes travel agencies and consultancies a very lucrative opportunity.

3. Retail

Dubai is renowned for its souk (marketplace) districts. With over 70 shopping malls, the city is called the shopping capital of the Middle East. Retailers from across the city actively participate in the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS).Retail business in Dubai last year exceeded 73 billion dollars, and although VAT commencing from 2018 will likely have an impact on retail sales, the city’s long-term retail prospects look promising.

4. Education

Schooling is one of the most important facets of civilization in any urban community. At present 11.5% of Dubai’s population is of school-going age, and this number is expected to rise over the years. Dubai would need an additional 77,000 student facilities, which translates to about 50 new schools. The city is an amalgamation of sundry cultures and will continue to host professionals and their families from around the globe. Therefore, additional investment and specialists would be required for building the education infrastructure to meet the impending demand.

5. Oil

Although oil’s contribution to the GDP of Dubai has reduced over the years – to as less as 5% now – it continues to be an important sector as it is a core industry. According to estimates, 240 thousand barrels of oil are produced in a day in Dubai. A considerable amount of gas is also produced from offshore fields.

Dubai is a hub of industrial and commercial development. It is riding on the wave of the future to grow as a favourable foreign direct investment (FDI) destination hand in hand with sustainable development. Should you decide to open a business in Dubai, do contact us, even if it’s just for a friendly advice. We at Business Setup Worldwide have our team of experts to help you with company formation, registration and counselling.


Why is Dubai the best place to begin a business?

Dubai is considered the best place because its geographic location has facilitated easy connections, business networking, and access to trade

What are the advantages of doing business in Dubai?

The advantages of doing business in Dubai are
A zero-tax regime
Safe and robust governance
A world-class financial hub
An educated supply of human capital
No capital repatriation restrictions

Is Dubai good for startups?

Yes, Dubai is a good place for startups.

Can I start a business in Dubai?

Yes, you can start a business in Dubai.

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