Dubai is among the most lucrative destinations if you want to start your own business. It offers very low tax rates, has low import duties for your raw materials, provides free trade agreements to businesses, and offers state-of-the-art infrastructure for your company. The competitive economy, strategic location, and availability of natural and human resources are just cherries on the top. This is the reason many expats specially from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA and UK are running successful business in the Emirates.
The government of the UAE extensively invests in improving their special economic zones (SEZs) in an attempt to make their country more and more business-friendly every year. Dubai, being among the top cities for business in the UAE, is already a business hub for successful global businesses. Dubai has also seen a massive boost in immigration from South Asian countries which makes the city brimming with human resources.
20 Small Business Ideas in Dubai
Dubai is well known for the business opportunities and healthy facilities it provides. However, it is important to plan what industry of business you wish to opt for to start one. If you are not quite sure which business idea to work on, here are some of Dubai’s most profitable small business ideas to help you decide.
1. Car Accessories Start-up
When you plan for a start-up, you are looking for a strong and stable customer base. It is easier to grow a business that already has customers who will need your product at some point. Starting a car accessories business has a very low-risk rate as most of the people travel by their vehicles and they need accessories at various points. This business involves selling car accessories like body kits, rims, car alarms, stereo systems, and other interior and exterior enhancements for all kinds of cars. This is a safe business proposition and has imperishable stock, thus further lowering risks.
2. Home Cleaning Services
Dubai has a huge working population who are extremely busy with their career and professional duties all day long. It is therefore extensively difficult for these people to do even the basic household stuff including their daily chores. These people work hard enough to make a lot of money but do not have a way to manage their time.
Thus, they act as an active client base for companies that offer maid and cleaning services for easy and affordable luxury. This business idea can prove to be very successful in a very short period since people always prefer hiring professional services or businesses.
3. Online Store for Fitness Products
With sedentary lifestyles and busy schedules, our generation is always looking for ways to stay a bit more fit. While some have decided to change their diet, others have been keen on using fitness products and machines to stay healthy and active. Fitness products are high on demand, and people have the intent and capacity to purchase them.
However, offline stores involve a huge establishment and maintenance cost, which can be a risk for a start-up considering the current situation. E-Commerce stores for fitness products can be a risk-free entrepreneurship idea since everybody buys everything online these days.
4. Departmental Store
There are a few businesses that will never become irrelevant simply because people depend on them for their day-to-day living. Departmental stores are one among them. If you are looking for a very safe choice of a business idea, a departmental Store is a good fit. It is important to remember that when all the world was closed, and all the stores did not open for months, only departmental and medicine stores were allowed to run their business. If a pandemic can’t stop you from running your business and earning money, nothing else will.
Many grocery stores are run by Indian and Pakistani expats. This is very profitable business idea with low capital.
5. Home-Cooked Meals for the Professionals
Dubai is a city where everyone is working hard to make their careers a success. so it is just obvious that a huge percentage of the population of the city works for 9-5 every day and lacks time to make their food.
Therefore, home-cooked food delivery services for the professionals is an excellent business opportunity as it not only caters to the need of a majority client base but it also ensures good operational business. With the ever-growing population and immigration, it is just guaranteed that the demand for these industries will never go down.
6. Roadside Assistance
Roadside assistance businesses deal with services offered to bicyclists or motorists who have been through a mechanical failure of their vehicle and are unable to travel further. Various European countries have Government-sponsored and sanctioned automobile membership associations on the roads for instant assistance.
Since UAE doesn’t have such a provision, it can easily be converted into a business opportunity for your startup. It does require more employees, but the job is completely technical and can be managed through online apps. This business requires very low establishment or warehousing costs.
7. Web Designing
Anything new is more on-demand and has less competition. It is completely true for a business idea as well. Web designing, as a concept itself, is extremely recent and has very few experts. Additionally, most companies cannot function without web designing today, due to the complete dependence on online platforms for business.
Thus, choosing to opt for web designing services is a very easy way of establishing a company that has huge chances of success and fast profits. Furthermore, this business can also be monitored and managed virtually. That is how a lot of businesses are functioning for the last year.
8. Online Tutoring Platform and App
Covid-19 has strategically changed the way people live. Most daily activities including schooling, office, research, shopping, and even medical consultations have gone online due to government rules and social distancing protocols. While the current pandemic situation has punctured many industries solely dependent on social interaction, it has also opened avenues for new emerging business propositions.
One of the most successful businesses that have been thriving throughout lockdowns is the online tutoring applications. In the competitive schooling and job market, nobody can afford to miss out on education, and this platform guarantees trained and expert educators from all around the world.
9. Refurbished Furniture and Electronic Appliances
Many people are settling down in Dubai. Young people, students, or those with new jobs often look for refurbished furniture or second-hand electronics like televisions and music systems for their homes. You can set up a website that sells refurbished furniture and electronics. It can also be a platform where other sellers advertise their refurbished goods and potential buyers can find suitable products.
10. Hookah Bar and Gaming Parlor
Dubai popularly has a great nightlife and clubbing scene, which is why you can launch a business that adds to it. A hookah and gaming parlor is an innovative idea that is quite different from the same old restaurants and bars. Ensure that you have all legal documents in place and have licenses for all the games you offer. Such a parlor will be extremely popular among the youth in Dubai and will bring profits.
11. Financial Services
Financial services businesses usually deal with stock market investments, insurance deals, and banking. You will have to decide on a niche when you start your financial services business. Your startup company can focus on money management through investment funds, stock brokerage, and commercial banks. Dubai is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people and providing wealth management services can be a lucrative business.
12. Real Estate Website or App
The real estate industry in Dubai is thriving. The city has many new buildings coming up and is home to some of the best architectural designs. You can build an online site or app that provides details about upcoming real estate projects and vacancies in older buildings. The app will need to be constantly updated so the potential buyers and renters have accurate information. You can also introduce paid services on the app where real estate agents can advertise their deals.
13. Delivery Services for E-commerce Sites
Due to the lockdowns, most people have been staying at home. But this doesn’t mean that they have stopped shopping! While online shopping platforms have gained popularity among buyers, the demand for delivery services has increased. Starting a delivery service for various retailers and e-commerce sites can be a great business. You will need to invest in bikes, bicycles, and other vehicles, and hire skilled drivers and delivery personnel for the business to grow.
14. Warehouses and Storage Facilities for Rent
Dubai is one of the major business hubs in the world. There are many people owning stores across Dubai and they all need places to store their goods. Certain people might also be running their business from home and might need extra storage. You could invest in the construction of warehouses and storage units, and then rent them at fair rates. If you can invest in a large area, then you will be able to rent out space to a large company and get paid better.
15. Website for Sports Products and Enthusiasts
Sports events are always extremely popular, and many sports enthusiasts spend time in Dubai. You can set up an online store to sell sports merchandise endorsed by players and provide a platform for them to find stadiums, playing grounds, and even organize teams. With proper PR skills and experience, you could make a lot of money out of this business deal.
16. Tour and Travel Agency
There are several top tourist destinations across Dubai. While traveling to Dubai can be quite expensive, it is a vacation spot for many wealthy people around the world. You can launch a tour and travel agency that caters to such people. You can organize sightseeing tours across the city and also provide bookings for various hotels and resorts.
17. App for Sale of Used or Second-Hand Goods
The sales industry in Dubai is booming. The city has numerous shopping centers that sell various products. If you are trained in app development, you can create an app that allows people to sell and buy used products online. Thrifting or shopping for used clothes and goods are gaining popularity because they are available at affordable rates. If you set up an app to sell such products, many people will join in and benefit from the sales.
18. Training and Consultancy Services
The student community in Dubai is constantly looking for new opportunities. You can cater to the needs of such students by providing internships and placements. A consultancy business that provides internships and jobs based on the skills and interests of students can be beneficial. It is also a low investment business if you have the right contacts and skills. You can also invest in training services that prepare students and help them land the best jobs available.
19. Event Management Business
Dubai is one of the best places to start an event management company. The city is known for its amazing outdoor and indoor locations where luxurious parties are hosted almost every day. Events in Dubai range from birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and graduations to huge corporate events like launch parties, soirées, and end-of-year bashes.
With the right PR training and skills, you can set up a successful event management company. You will also need to have the right contacts to advertise your services. Once you land a crucial contract, make sure you give your best to organize the event. IT will ensure that you get more such contracts in the future.
20. Online Health Consultation Services
If you have previously worked in the health industry or have taken medical courses, you can set up your own health consultation business. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdowns, people are preferring online consultation instead of going to the doctor’s chamber.
If you do not have any experience in the medical field, you can invest in setting up a website or online portal and hire doctors who are willing to provide their services. You can even create a helpline to the portal to organize emergency services like ambulance service, preventive care, and urgent treatments.
The best investment opportunities in Dubai for 2021 include real estate, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, startups, cryptocurrency, gold, commodities, and financial derivatives.
Investing in Dubai provides access to a large, thriving market, attractive tax incentives and a low cost of living, as well as proximity to major trading markets such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
To facilitate investment in Dubai, infrastructure such as high speed internet and telecommunications, renewable energy, transportation, housing, and business districts are needed to meet the needs of the country’s rapidly growing population.
Yes, foreign investors in Dubai can benefit from a number of special tax incentives such as 100 percent foreign ownership, zero-rate corporate tax and customs duty exemptions, among other advantages.
Dubai follows a strict yet simple company incorporation process, the Commercial Companies Law (CCL), and specialized laws for intellectual property rights, labor and foreign exchange laws that enable foreign investors to invest in the city with minimal difficulty.
Foreign investment in Dubai may only be conducted through a joint venture with an Emirati business partner or through an established foreign-owned business. Additionally, foreign investors are generally restricted from investing in certain sectors such as oil, gas and defense.
Depending on the nature and size of the business, foreign investors are required to obtain a trade license issued by the Department of Economic Development, as well a Commercial License issued by the Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP).
The Dubai government provides various incentives for entrepreneurs such as the Dubai SME 100 Award, the Small Business Federation Support Scheme, and a number of grants and financing options available through the Dubai Development Authority.
The advantages of investing in Dubai’s real estate sector include access to a flourishing housing market and attractive tax incentives, as well as a low-cost land investment with potential long-term capital gains.
New businesses being established in Dubai range from startups to major corporations and include technology companies, fintech, e-commerce, and service-based firms, among others.