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Start Your Business in Dubai: 25 of the Most Promising Ideas

You can start your business in Dubai (UAE) without exorbitant expenses. The procedure is as simplified as possible, and the foreigners have the same rights as the emirate citizens. However, it is much more difficult to find a good idea for a business in Dubai if profits and risk minimization are equally important.

25 ideas for business in the UAE

Dubai’s market is actively developing, which means that you will hardly find a free niche or a sector where the competition is low. However, it does not mean that you will have to abandon your plans to become one of multiple businesses in the UAE. Some commercial spheres are still far from saturation, so a new company will have a chance. If you elaborate a competent strategy of entering the UAE market, the probability of success will increase considerably.

Benefit from our services in the UAE: register a company in the Free Economic Zone of Ajman Media City or IFZA.

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How to start your business in Dubai:

  1. Calculate the available resources and assets.
  2. List the potential advantages.
  3. Find a promising idea for a business in Dubai.
  4. Register a company (a legal entity).
  5. Open a corporate account with a reliable bank.
  6. Obtain the licenses and permits required to conduct business activities in the UAE.

International Wealth experts will help you resolve all the administrative issues, so you will be able to enter the UAE market as quickly and hassle-free as practically possible. However, it would be a little more difficult to choose a good business idea for Dubai.

We have prepared an overview of interesting small business options in Dubai for you to have a general idea about the most profitable alternatives. The main selection criterion is the maximum profit with modest initial costs and minimal risk. The article was based on the material provided by Avyanco.

Top 25 Industries in Dubai (UAE)

Practical realization will require some expenses. They are not very high, though, which means that you can start a real business in Dubai even if you are on a tight budget.

Average cost of services provided by our portal (from USD 8,500):

  • Company registration in a FEZ – from USD 6,225
  • A corporate account in a bank – from USD 900 
  • A personal account in a bank – from USD 500 
  • Investor’s residence visa – from USD 900 

Possible additional expenses:

  • Obtaining licenses and special permits to carry out business activities in Dubai
  • Renting accommodation
  • Accounting services
  • Preparation of substance
  • Receiving a tax resident’s certificate

Good ideas of business in Dubai make it possible to launch a successful forward-looking commercial project that will yield profit practically right after you register it in the UAE. Your choice should be based not only on objective factors (those that can be calculated) but also on the issues that may arise in the future.

Look at the Top 5 Ways to Set Up your Business in the UAE.

Public Catering (Restaurants, Cafes, Fast Food)

The estimated market growth is 5.22% a year with no saturation point visible in the near future. A business idea for Dubai based on any public catering company yields high profits with low initial expenses. The reason is that Dubai (or the UAE on the whole) not only attracts a lot of tourists but also remains one of the leading business centers of the whole Arabian Peninsula. This fact ensures stable high growth with an excellent ratio of expenses and estimated income.

Event Business

The pace of annual growth is even higher (11.2% a year), with the market volume expected to reach USD 1.55 trillion by 2028 (it was just USD 1.13 trillion in 2019). Considering the attractiveness of Dubai for business and investments, services related to the organization of different events will also be in demand – especially if you find a relatively free niche in the UAE market.

Construction

Registration and conducting development business in Dubai requires considerable expenses. The income from this activity makes it possible to quickly cover the initial expenses, but there are alternative options with a much lower entry threshold. Here are typical examples:

  • Supplies of construction materials
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Services for development projects
  • Agent’s services

Production and Application of Cosmetics, Body Care Products

The attitude to the question of gender equality is gradually changing in the UAE. Women benefit from more and more freedoms and possibilities, so the beauty-sphere-focused services enjoy increased demand. This is confirmed by the total average annual market growth by 4.5%. Potential customers in Dubai are wealthy people, so the cosmetics business will quickly start to bring profit. Join the top businesses in the UAE today if you feel that this area is suitable for you!

We can help you register a branch of your company in the UAE – read the article for more details.

Transport, Logistics

Rapid business development in the UAE provided favorable conditions for companies working in related areas. Logistic services enjoy a stable high demand in Dubai, and the annual pace of growth equaling 8.41% is a confirmation of that fact. If you don’t have much money to invest in the project, you can register a transportation company for a start and rent or lease the vehicles.

Real Estate

The UAE is a small country (83.6 thou. km²), but there are not so many regions where residential construction is being actively developed. As a result, the demand steadily exceeds the supply, and these tendencies are on the increase as the country’s economy is growing and there is an inflow of foreign investments. Therefore, investments in the UAE’s real estate market will be profitable. If you don’t have enough funds, you can open a real estate agency or work for private customers.

Cleaning Services (Residential, Commercial, and Production Premises)

The market grows at a pace of 5.3% a year. This is the best idea for business in Dubai if your priority is to minimize initial costs, receive stable high income, and have expansion prospects. Cleaning services are required in the corporate and private sector. If you complete all the administrative procedures competently and create a permanent customer base, your business will be profitable and last for long.

Personal Help About the House

This UAE market is very far from saturation. These services are in high demand as many people simply have no time to personally do all the chores. This is confirmed by statistics as the average annual growth of 9% is a very good result. There are many options for practical realization:

  • Looking after children and teenagers
  • A babysitter
  • A domestic helper
  • Accompanying people with disabilities

This kind of business in the UAE does not require considerable investments and usually brings sufficient income.

Open a personal bank account in the UAE using the help of our experts.

E-commerce

E-commerce sphere has started its triumphant development after the COVID-19 pandemic. The business based on the organization of online purchases generates a lot of profit in all countries, and the UAE is no exception. The advantage of e-commerce over traditional one is a much lower entry threshold. You will only need a laptop and Internet access to make a successful e-commerce business in Dubai.

Tourism

This is one of the sources of UAE’s economic growth (along with oil, of course). The total market capitalization is expected to reach USD 280.6 billion by 2028. If you want to start a business in Dubai focused on the provision of tourist services to the emirate’s guests, you will not require considerable investments in the simplest case. As soon as your company has its feet firmly on the ground, you can reach a new level and start interaction with customers. However, if you are just starting your business in the UAE, it will be enough to know the country and have the skill of engaging listeners (excursion guide) or to have connections in Dubai’s commercial circles (servicing tourists).

Medical Services

Starting a business in the healthcare sphere will require considerable investments. One more conditional drawback is a high level of administrative requirements for candidates (they need licenses and special permits). However, if you are planning to launch a profitable and promising business in Dubai that will also be highly respectable, medicine could be an excellent choice.

Freight Transportation

This UAE business is characterized by very low initial costs. Your profits will not be very high, but it does not mean that this is a bad option. It will be good for a start when you simply have no other alternatives. It should be considered if your budget is very tight and you don’t have enough knowledge or experience.

Read more on business in the UAE: Answering Questions on UAE Corporate Tax

Business Consulting

A company registered in Dubai is an efficient instrument for international business that will have a high reputation. Corporate structures in the UAE connect the Asian and the European (American) business. However, they often need third-party help to contact each other.

One more interesting business consulting option concerns expert support of business in Dubai and resolution of any issues that arise in the course of commercial activity. If the level of professional knowledge is sufficient to talk to customers as an equal, this business in the UAE will be an excellent choice.

Retail Trade

This is a classical small business option popular in many countries. However, the peculiarities of the UAE make it possible to take it to a radically new level by providing far more opportunities, high income, and excellent prospects. Many things will depend on the budget allocated to practical project realization, but you will be able to avoid substantial expenses in a number of cases. Typical examples of a profitable small business in Dubai include souvenir shops and food and drink vendors located on the beach or near large hotels.

HR/Recruitment Agency

Rapid business development in Dubai (UAE) revealed a shortage of staff that the local companies need. There is an acute shortage of qualified employees who can perform a wide range of tasks in the sphere of finances, digital technologies, IT, and banking. You can make a successful and profitable business in this sphere if you focus on recruitment of personnel to meet particular requirements.

Look at our services in the UAE: Investor Visa, Resident Work Visa.

Jewelry Business

This is a specific business in the UAE whose main drawback is a limited market. Wealthy people are used to buying jewelry in Europe (France, Switzerland), and ordinary tourists are not prepared to spend a lot on jewelry. However, if you manage to find your niche and provide the range of products that meets the expectations of the target audience, this business in Dubai will be profitable and promising.

Security Services

One of the advantages of life and business in the UAE is a very high level of security. Serious crimes are rare, but small offenses do happen. Therefore, wealthy customers (UAE citizens and foreigners) often order security services. Moreover, they are also in demand in the corporate segment. It means that an idea to start a business in Dubai that ensures the maximum level of safety for customers will be profitable if you realize it competently.

Sewing Business

It is very hard to make your way into the world of fashion business in Dubai. However, there is an alternative option: you can start by sewing clothes to suit the customer’s particular requirements. These may be uniforms for the employees of restaurants and hotels, special clothes for workers or builders, or any clothing for special purposes. And when you acquire connections and experience, you can start sewing fashionable clothes.

Entertainment Sphere

This is an excellent idea for a business in Dubai. It is important to note that the UAE is an Islamic country, which means that some options available in other countries are prohibited here. However, legal options are quite sufficient to start a profitable business (bars, night clubs, gaming centers, shopping malls, etc.). This business does not require considerable starting capital, but you will need to obtain special licenses.

Educational Services

This is a respectable, profitable, and promising business in Dubai. The only objective difficulty is a lot of administrative work connected with obtaining licenses. However, potential advantages fully compensate for the difficulties at the registration stage. Here are some possible formats:

  • Training and/or educational centers
  • Tutor’s services
  • Business trainings
  • Pre-school establishments
  • Universities
  • Homeschooling for wealthy people

We will help you register a company or a branch in the UAE.

Delivery, Courier Services

This is an excellent option if you are thinking of starting your business in Dubai. Here are the main advantages:

  • High demand
  • Minimal initial investments
  • No special requirements
  • A possibility to expand the social network
  • Quick return on investment

The income is relatively small, but it is stable. One objective drawback you cannot eliminate is the UAE’s hot climate, but you will get used to it with time.

Financial Services

This is a well-reputed business in Dubai focused on business people, investors, company owners, and asset protection and diversification specialists. If you register your business competently and offer the services that meet the needs of the target audience, you can get good profit with a minimal level of risk. You will need to get a license to engage in this kind of activity, but there are usually no problems with issuance of permits in Dubai.

Real Estate Management

The price of residential and commercial objects in Dubai and the UAE is constantly growing as the market is actively developing. The competition is fierce and newcomers will have hard times struggling for a place under the sun – as a result, don’t expect a stable income from the start. However, there are different ways of entering the UAE real estate market: for example, trust management of objects is an interesting option. It gives sufficient profits with minimum initial investments. The competition here is not that harsh, so new companies have a chance.

Execution and Certification of Documents

You need considerable preliminary preparations to start your business in the UAE. The number of documents that have to be prepared and filled out may be really high in a number of cases. Therefore, it is faster, easier, and often more profitable to order the relevant services from the International Wealth experts. You can make an effective and profitable business by providing these services. They are always in demand, so a company that manages to find its niche on the market has quite promising prospects.

Register an offshore company hassle-free using option 1 or option 2.

Repair of Gadgets

Electronic devices (even the most reliable ones) get out of order from time to time. Some devices require regular maintenance: for example, smartphones and portable players need battery replacement. You can make a profitable business by satisfying these needs: initial investments will be minimal, and if you have knowledge and experience, you will only need a toolkit. If the quality of repair satisfies demanding clients, good income is guaranteed.

How to Start a Business in Dubai 

Any of the 25 ideas given above may be successful. Experience shows that the majority of promising projects fail due to incompetent business registration in the UAE. One more typical reason is erroneous calculation: in this case, the budget allocated to the administrative procedures turns out to be considerably higher. Therefore, we recommend taking the preparation stage as seriously as possible.

Procedure of starting a business in Dubai (this is a traditional option, Bashr scheme is not considered* – if applicable):

  1. Determine the type of business
  2. Choose a relevant legal form
  3. Register your trade mark*
  4. Submit an initial application
  5. Prepare a constituent agreement and a cooperation agreement with a local agent
  6. Choose the emirate where your UAE business will be registered
  7. Obtain permits and licenses*.
  8. Submit a package of documents, pay levies and duties

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Types of licenses in the UAE:

  • industrial
  • commercial
  • arts and crafts
  • tourist
  • agricultural
  • professional

Organizational and legal forms of legal entities in the UAE:

  • General partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Public joint stock company (PJSC)
  • Private joint stock company (PrJSC)
  • Civil company
  • Local company branch
  • GCC company branch
  • Foreign company branch
  • Free zone company branch
  • Sole establishment
  • Holding companies

A good opportunity to invest in UAE real estate: Buy a Deluxe Apartment in Cavalli Tower.

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Keep in mind that you need to choose an organizational and legal form depending on the type of activity you are going to engage in.

Basic rules you should follow to choose a suitable name for a UAE/Dubai company:

  • An abbreviation that refers to the legal form is mandatory (it comes after the company name)
  • It should comply with the norms of public morals, decency, and order
  • It should be compatible with the selected type of business
  • The use of some words and their combinations is prohibited
  • The selected name was not registered in the UAE/Dubai before

Which legal forms require a constituent agreement:

  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Public Joint-Stock Company
  • Private Joint-Stock Company

Which UAE structures issue additional permits to conduct business (depends on the sphere of activity):

  • Ministry of Internal Affairs
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Local Municipal Department
  • TDRA (Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority)
  • Executive Council
  • Ministry of Economy
  • Local healthcare authorities
  • Supreme Petroleum Council

Buy an apartment in Safa One, a New Residential Complex in Dubai.

Basic package of documents required to obtain a license:

  • certificate (receipt) that confirms preliminary approval of all collected documents
  • a certified copy of office premises rent or purchase agreement endorsed by RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency)
  • A certified constituent agreement
  • Permits issued by other UAE public services (if necessary)
  • Service agent’s agreement (only for companies that are fully owned by persons from the countries that are not members of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council))

Advantages of Business in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a good choice for almost any commercial project you are planning to realize. Ideas for a business in Dubai do not limit the freedom of choice as each of them is focused on the use of certain advantages. However, some benefits are more or less universal as they do not depend on the type of company, sphere of its activity, or business scale.

Why UAE:

  • Favorable location: Dubai is situated in the center of traditional trading routes between the West and the East
  • Stable political, economic, and financial sphere
  • State-of-the-industry infrastructure
  • Free economic zones to benefit from
  • Favorable tax regime
  • Business is as easy to maintain as possible
  • UAE’s national currency is stable
  • Developed technological sector of the economy
  • Simplified procedure of receiving a visa in the UAE (Dubai) for investors and business people
  • There are no business limitations imposed on foreigners

Invest in the UAE real estate: buy a 3-bedroom villa Golf Town in DAMAC Hills, Dubai.

Read more information on business in the UAE:

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