TOP-10 businesses to start in the UAE

The UAE continuous efforts to position itself as a key international trade center have been particularly successful over the past decade. The rapidly developing infrastructure and a gradual transition from oil dependence have created opportunities for the growth of small and medium enterprises across the country.

The industrialized cities and the special economic zones were developed to facilitate business and attract foreign investors. According to the World Bank Group report, the UAE ranked 25th in the world for the ease of starting a business, and the fifth for the most attractive international trade conditions. The UAE uses the best global practices and has received international recognition for investment attractive environment.

To get an idea about the UAE investment market, it is offered for your attention the overview of top 10 business opportunities in the Emirates, which are projected to ensure a quick refund or a long-term profit.

Real estate

The real estate investments in the Emirates are considered to be one of the easiest and fastest ways to earn money. This business does not require any special skills, investments are governed by the purchase sum, and the risks are minimal. Itis possible to resell a purchased property with a significant benefit as well as lease it.

Before the drop in world’s oil prices, value of property in Dubai was growing yearly by 8-10% on average.  Currently the growth rates fell significantly, however, in the anticipation of Expo 2020 present prices for real estate are unlikely to decrease any further.

An entrepreneur can invest in property under construction or in a finished project. In the Emirates investments are protected by the government so if the developer does not hand over the object within the time limit or violates the contract terms, the law will always be on the investor’s side. Usually, in case of buying an off-plan property, investor is required to pay immediately only a small part of the total value, the rest is paid later in installments according to the payment plan confirmed by the developer.


The UAE Tourism is incredibly developed and it brings a considerable part of the income into the state budget. Yearly, the UAE is visited by approximately 10 million tourists and it’s just the beginning. The strategy of tourism development implies an increase of tourists’ number up to 20 million yearly by 2020. Being a diverse country the UAE combines ancient traditions, an ultra-modern infrastructure and elegant service that naturally attract plenty of tourists. To start a travel agency or company and obtain the appropriate license, the entrepreneur is required to have certified document about special education and relevant work experience.

Medical tourism

The popularity of the UAE medical institutions and hospitals is so great that medical tourism is segregated into a separate and rather profitable industry of tourism business. For wellness and curative needs a special visa can be obtained with facilitated formalities for the accompaniment.

Business tourism

Since the UAE is an international business center, where hundreds of specialized exhibitions and thousands of seminars are held yearly, business tourism became highly developed here. Infrastructure and opportunities are amazing, and the upcoming Expo 2020 exhibition is definitely going to add some work to travel agencies.

Event and training organization

As mentioned above, the United Arab Emirates is considered to be a highly developed business tourism destination. Therefore, everything related to seminars, workshops, exhibitions and other events organizing and holding is extremely popular in the UAE. Having experience in this area can give entrepreneur an opportunity to implement the ideas in the UAE with a great success.

Imports in the UAE

Business, associated with trade in the UAE, has a number of advantages as compared to other jurisdictions. Taxes on imported goods destined for the internal UAE market make 5%. The internal market is quite imports dependent (around 90%), so many products and goods (such as cereals) are highly popular. After thorough trade market research, commercial transaction for the necessary goods supply will be promptly paid off and is going to bring considerable income to investors.

International trade

Due to a great number of double taxation avoidance agreements and international trade facilitation agreements, the UAE international trade has become a very promising direction. Especially for this purpose, more than 30 free zones are functioning in the UAE which give investors the right to own 100% of the company, import / export capital freely without paying any taxes, etc. In addition, free zones offer investors duty free import in the United Arab Emirates, developed infrastructure and logistics, that generally allows to gain the maximum benefit from international trade.


Annually the Emirates are investing millions of dollars in infrastructure development in the run-up to Expo 2020. Certainly, the United Arab Emirates plans for infrastructure development offer a wide space for the construction business activity. Companies may deal directly with the facilities construction, finishing works, materials supply, and more ... In the coming years, building services are going to be in demand as never before.

Restaurant business

The United Arab Emirates cities, Dubai in particular, enjoy great popularity among tourists. Further more, foreigners make up about 90% of the Dubai population. Therefore, the opening of a restaurant or cafe, particularly with a specific cuisine such as Russian or Ukrainian, will be in great demand, especially among those who immigrated to the United Arab Emirates. The cost of business as well as the license will depend on the venue location, size of the place, number of employees, type of institution and other factors.

Professional services

Professionalsspecializing in a specific field such as a brilliant dentist, therapist, counselor, etc., can start a private company and provide their own services, without any necessity for job hunting in existing companies. They can work on their own, doing things they love, and if they are good specialists, no matter what they do, quality services are always appreciated.

As a rule, starting your own business in an unfamiliar country assumes some difficulties, namely a language barrier, an alien mentality, and an insufficient business environment orientation. Despite the Emirates transparent legislation, absence of government corruption and the best investment environment in the world, at the start of a business, it is recommended to refer to a specialist for help. Professional support is projected to facilitate cooperation with the UAE government departments, help to avoid unscrupulous counterparties scams, save both time and the company’s reputation


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