Starting a business in the UAE is fairly easy, making it one of the most desired cities for entrepreneurs and investors interested in a startup. The local government encourages both investment and startups in many ways, and in the past year has even rolled out long-term visas for investment.

However, like anything there are both advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration and it’s important to do thorough research and seek professional advice with big financial decisions.

In this blog, we have listed some of the pros and cons to consider when opening a start up in Dubai. 

Pros

Multiple set up options

In the UAE, there are 3 options for business set up, these include, mainland, offshore or freezone. Each option holds its own features and benefits and it is important to fully understand each, in order to make the right decision for you and your business. Depending on your type of business will determine the option that best suits. For example, a mainland company structure will offer you the freedom to operate your business in any part of the emirate. Whereas, a freezone will allow you to benefit from a tax free environment and 100% ownership of your business. Whatever the case may be, you will be sure to find an option that fits both your needs and requirements. 

Growing economy

It’s no secret that Dubai is host to a very healthy economy and provides opportunities for both businesses and individuals to thrive, grow and develop. Not only Dubai, but the UAE as a whole offers both comprehensive and transparent business procedures as well as a stable political situation and an abundance of resources. Which makes this an ideal location for operating a business. 

Diverse industries 

The opportunity to develop a successful company here is available through many different industries. Whether its manufacturing, hospitality, retail or services, with the right business structure your company has the potential to thrive.

Cons

Trade limitations

Although there are many benefits that come with setting up a business in a freezone, if you choose this option you will experience trade limitations, meaning that you will be restricted to performing all business operations within the confines of your free zone only. Although, depending on your type of business, it is possible to obtain an agreement with a distributor in order to operate in mainland areas. 

Local partner

Any forign companies that wish to set up in the mainland, must have a local partner who owns at least 51% of the business.This can be viewed as a limitation to business set up, as owners fear they may lose autonomy of their company. However, it is important to note that the majority of local partners act as “silent partners” and rarely interfere in any operational decisions. 

Confusing set-up procedures

If you are unfamiliar with the UAE’s laws and procedures, setting up a business may feel like a difficult and confusing task. There are multiple consulting companies that can assist you to ensure your business set up is a quick and easy process, we would recommend enlisting the help of one of these companies, if you are new to Dubai and the world of business.

Do you already own a business in Dubai and are looking for Commercial space to rent or buy? Get in touch with one of our agents today.