Doing Business In Dubai

Dubai is the second largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates boasting an area of 3,885sqkm 

Know for its luxury shopping and lifestyle, year-round sunshine, desert, beaches, hotels, tourism attractions and modern infrastructure, Dubai has a thriving business community.

Having diversified away from its reliance on oil, Dubai's economy is strong in trade, logistics, financial services, hospitality and tourism, real estate, construction and manufacturing.

Key Advantages To Investing In Dubai

Strategic Location

  • Where East meets West

  • 2 international airports: Dubai International and Dubai World Central

  • Dubai International Airport is the world’s largest international airport by traffic volume (Dubai Airports)

  • Dubai International Airport is connected to 214 cities in 94 countries (Dubai Airports)

  • Airport passenger traffic of 41,277,749 in H1 2019 (ADAC)

Political, Social & Financial Stability

  • Sovereign state

  • Over 200 nationalities. Strong emphasis on tolerance and anti-discrimination

  • UAE is ranked no.1 globally for macro-economic stability (WED Global Competitiveness Report 2018)

  • UAE ranks 45th in the Social Progress Index (2018)

  • Dubai's economy grew 1.94% in 2018 to AED398.13 billion (Dubai FDI)

Diversified Economy

  • Structured strategic plans to create a sustainable, knowledge-based economy and diversification away from its dependence upon oil (Dubai Plan 2021)​.

  • Industry specific free zone throughout Dubai

  • Dubai ranks No. 1 retail city in MENA (Coresight Research Report, c/o  Dubai Advantage)

  • Dubai ranks 26th in the International Franchise Attractiveness Index 2019 FOR SHOPPING AND RETAIL

Ease Of Doing Business

  • The UAE is currently ranked 11th globally in the World Bank's annual Ease of Doing Business Report 2019. This is due to reforms which have boosted the country's competitiveness.


  • The UAE is the 5th most competitive country globally (2019 IMD World Global Competitiveness Ranking)

  • Dubai ranks 44th in the knowledge factor, 27th in the technology factor and 18th in the future readiness factor of the 2017 Digital Competitiveness Ranking (Dubai Digital Competitiveness Report 2018)

  • UAE ranks 1st globally in public private partnerships (2018 IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking)


  • Dubai is currently ranked 27th globally​ in the Resilient Cities Index. It is down six positions from a decade ago and is expected to go up to 26th in 2028. The Index measures a city's ability to withstand and embrace the technological, demographic and leadership disruption facing real estate both now and in a decade (June 2019, Savills).


  • No corporation tax (except oil, foreign banks & insurance)

  • No personal income tax

  • VAT at 5% - one of the lowest rates globally

  • No restrictions on repatriation of money

Business Licenses

  • 268,574 business licenses issued in Dubai during the first eight months of 2019. Of these, 181,989 were Limited Liability Company (LLC) licenses, 2,140 were Foreign Branch licenses, 78,491 were individual establishments and the remainder were 'other; structures (WAM News Agency).

State Of The Art Infrastructure

  •  Industrial areas, specialized free zones, two world class seaports, a cargo village, a modern highway network, state-of-the-art telecommunications and reliable power and utilities. 

Variety Of Business Premises

  • Modern business centres, world-renowned shopping malls, state of the art commercial buildings and fully connected industrial zones.

Favourable Legal Framework For Businesses

  • Commercial Companies Law

  • UAE Trademark Law

  • Bankruptcy Law

  • Foreign Investment Law

  • Import / Export Controls

  • Agreements in place with 94 nations to avoid double taxation on overseas investments.

Foreign Direct Investment

  • FDI inflow into the UAE in 2018 was AED10 billion targetting a range of sectors from oil and gas to digital technologies (UNCTAD)

  • Dubai ranks 6th globally with a total FDI capital of AED38.5bn (Dubai FDI Annual Results & Rankings 2018)

  • Dubai ranks 3rd globally with 523 FDI projects (Dubai FDI Annual Results & Rankings 2018)

Information, Communications & Technology

  • The UAE ranks 1st globally in internet and telephony level of competition (2019 Knowledge Index Report)

  • The UAE ranks 5th globally for ICT price basket, internet and telephony level of competitiveness and laws relating to ICT (2019, Sector Competitive Index for Informations & Communications Technology Inputs).

Ports & Shipping

  • Dubai has 3 major seaports: Jebel Ali, Port Rashid and Al Hamriya

  • Dubai ranks 11th: Top 20 Box Ports 2019 (Hellenic Shipping News)

  • Dubai ranks 5th in International Shipping Center Development Index 2019

  • Jebal Ali Port has 19.3M TEU handling capacity (DP World)

  • Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal is the world's largest single covered cruise facility capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day (DP World)


  • Compulsory health insurance for everyone

  • Dubai Health Authority operates 4 hospitals, 12 primary healthcare centres, 17 medical fitness centres and 6 specialty centres.

  • Dubai Healthcare City is a hub for private high tech hospitals & medical training centres


  • 194 private schools in Dubai (Edarabia)

  • 17 schools are rated as Outstanding; 28 as Very Good; 74 as Good; 52 as Acceptable & 5 as Weak (Edarabia)

  • 263 Early learning centres in Dubai (Edarabia)

  • 80% of the total child population in Dubai is under 5 years old (Edarabia)

  • Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is a hub for universities & professional training centres


  • A diverse array of leisure and entertainment attractions, inc. theme parks and sports facilities such as Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame, Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Dubai Opera, Dubai Parks & Resorts & Aquaventure Water Park.

  • Cultural events, festivals and museums, inc. The Dubai Shopping Festival, GITEX, Dubai Desert Classic, Dubai International Jazz Festival, Etihad Museum, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, and Dubai Museum.

Key Sectors


Benefits Of Dubai As A Business Hub

Dubai Plan 2021 is structured for the development of Dubai based on six themes:

  • The people: A city of happy, creative, and empowered people

  • The society: An inclusive and cohesive society

  • The experience: The preferred place to live, work, and visit

  • The place: A smart and sustainable city

  • The economy: A pivotal hub in the global economy

  • The government: A pioneering and excellent government


 The government is constantly working to improve its commercial transparency and introduce dynamic regulations to help SMEs.

A hub of incubators, accelerators and co-working solutions to aid start-ups.

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Gateway's 2019 Awards

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MEA Markets 2019 GCC Enterprise Awards


Best Company Formation Specialists 2019 – UAE

M&A Today


CEO Today Middle East Awards 2019 (Jenny Hunt)


Recognized Leaders in Offshore Company Formation 2019

MEA Markets


10 Most Promising Corporate Business Service Providers 2019

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