Deciding to start a business in Dubai presents you with a unique opportunity to expand your current business across the globe or even to find a suitable ground on which your new venture can grow and prosper. In recent years, Dubai has become the perfect place for business to develop because of the friendly stance the government has taken towards small businesses. In fact, around 50% of all companies registered in Dubai are early-stage startups. With that being said, it’s important to note that Dubai has some specific characteristics you will have to take into consideration when starting a business there. So, to help you out, today we are going to take a look at the four things you need to know when starting a business in Dubai.
You must understand your business
Efficient company setup in Dubai will most importantly require you to have a thorough understanding of what your business does or what you plan for it to do. This is because the way business is done in Dubai can differ from how it's done in most of the western countries. And, while Dubai is certainly a progressive place, there are some key cultural differences that need to be taken into consideration. For example, not all business activities are permitted in the UAE which is why getting your research done and deciding on what your business activity is going to be beforehand will be crucial for the success of your business.
You will have to get approved
One of the key steps of starting a business in Dubai is getting adequate approval from the local authorities. You will mostly do this through the DED (Department of Economic Development) with whom you will have to register your company’s name and secure all of the licencing you will need. However, sometimes you will need external approval not guaranteed by the DED in order to start your business. These approvals are generally acquired by non-government and semi-government agencies which you can contact to help you set up your business and make the whole process a lot quicker and less stressful.
You will have to find a suitable local partner
One of the more specific things to keep in mind is that the law requires foreigners to find a local partner who will have a 51% ownership of the company. Because of this, it is very important to find a good and trustworthy partner in order to set your businesses up for future success. You can also find so-called silent partners who will have the majority stake in your business but won’t do anything when it comes to running it, which is ideal if you wish to have full control of how your business is going to operate. This doesn't have to be a single person ‒ it can also be a company or a collective. As long as they own 51%, you are all set.
You need to respect the local culture
Finally, it’s also important to understand that the success of your business won’t depend solely on your ability to run the technical aspects of it well. Another huge factor will be your ability to understand and respect the local culture, tradition, and how people interact when it comes to business. You won’t have to learn every single detail but showing you appreciate the differences and a willingness to learn will definitely be a huge plus when it comes to business as well as everyday interactions during your time there.
Starting a business in Dubai can be a long, difficult process if you don’t have the time to fully commit to researching everything you are going to need. Because of this, it’s recommended to seek outside help from an agency or an individual who has prior experiences as it will make everything a lot easier. With that being said, the opportunity you were waiting for is within your reach, you just have to be brave enough to make the first step.
Guest post by Carolin Petterson
About the Author
Carolin Petterson is a Business Lady and contributor for number of high-class websites. She loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions, but her specialties are sustainability, sustainable business and green living.