How to Start a Business in Dubai – Complete Beginner Guide

Dubai is famous and one of the best emirate of the UAE to do a job, business, study, or anything you want to do to live a content and luxurious life. 

Dubai gives a welcoming environment for foreign investors to establish their businesses and generate employment in the country. 

It can be a marketing strategy of Dubai to increase its value in front of the world. 

The zero percent tax rate on corporate and personal income is one of the marketing strategies of Dubai to attract businesses and people to work and stay in Dubai. 

Dubai also empowers people to retain 100 percent business ownership in most cases. 

On top of this, Dubai has made some changes in the long-term visa that allow foreigners to stay in the country for extended periods and retire here when they feel the right time has come. 

Dubai Golden Visa is an opportunity provided by the Dubai Government  to talented students, artists, entrepreneurs, investors, teachers, scientists, etc., to work and live a content and luxurious life in Dubai. 

Read More: Dubai Visa on Arrival

Here are the eight steps to start your business in Dubai. 

1. Research the Demand of Your Service or Product in Dubai

In class 11th, economics students read the four basic laws of a product supply and demand.

  1. Supply increases, demand stays the same, and prices fall.
  2. Supply remains constant, demand decreases, and the price will fall. 
  3. Supply decreases, but the scale of sale stays the same, and prices rise.
  4. If production remains the same but demand increases, the price will rise. 

So, prior to setting up your business in Dubai, check the graph of the demand for your product or service in the same country. If the demand graph of your product is high as per the supply of your type of product in Dubai, then you can invest your time, money, and brain to set up your business in Dubai. 

However, if the demand for your product is not high in the Dubai market or there are already so many people dealing in the same business and not making anything valuable, think twice prior to starting your business in Dubai. 

2. Cost of Setting up a Company in Dubai

Just like sugar is the soul of a sweet dish and salt is the main ingredient of every Indian dish, money is the asset to start a business in Dubai. 

You might think of taking a loan from any bank or selling a property or gold of your mother or wife to start your business in Dubai. So, you need to invest your money in the right direction. Prior to putting all your savings into your business in Dubai, study the total expenses of setting up a company in Dubai. 

You can set up your business in a liberal, stable, and business-friendly environment in the free zone or the mainland in Dubai.

Dubai free zone is an economic zone that independent governmental or non-governmental free authorities and entities monitor. Companies in the Dubai free zone get 100% foreign ownership of their business. But, companies in the free zone can do business within the free zone area or outside the UAE. 

The cost of starting a business in the Dubai free zone area depends on the size and nature of your business. 

Dubai’s mainland is an economic zone monitored by the Department of Economic Development (DED). The DED provides trade licences to companies to do business in the Dubai mainland. Legal government authorities control the companies in Dubai mainland. 

On top of that, mainland companies have permission to do business in the UAE and outside the country.  

If you open a warehouse in Dubai to manufacture your product, then first see what kind of place will suit you according to your business. 

On the same side, if your business is service-oriented, mainly related to the IT industry, you can work through online platforms. Prior to setting up an office in Dubai, connect with potential clients through online portals like Linkedin, Upwork, etc. 

3. Documents Required to Start a Business in Dubai for Foreigners or Nonresidents

Prepare your business plan, two years of financial reports, NOC from the current sponsor, and colored copies of your shareholders and appointed manager passports to file your business in Dubai. 

Read More: Commercial Documents Attestation in Dubai

Here are the key steps to set up a business in Dubai. 

  • Determine the type of legal entity
  • Choose a trading name
  • Register your business 
  • Get a business licence
  • Book an office space

4. Which Marketing is Best for You to Start a Business in Dubai?

There are two types of marketing – Digital and Traditional. 

Digital marketing, also known as online marketing, promotes your business on google, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social platform. This market is like connecting with your audience through their mobile, laptop, tab, and other electronic tools. 

On the other hand, traditional marketing is an old way to promote your business through banners, hoarding, commercial ads, pamphlets, brochures, newspapers, etc. 

Now you need to know which type of marketing is best according to the product or service you are selling. 

You can invest your money both in traditional and digital marketing. Both have beautiful advantages and innocent flaws. 

If you are new to exploring the marketing side, it will be beneficial for you to take the help of experts. Try to hire a Dubai-based marketing team who knows the ins and outs of digital and traditional marketing. 

Remember, you need to take attestation services to use your commercial documents in Dubai. 

5. Who is Your Customer?

There are three types of customers. 

  1. The audience that lands on your website sees your products and prices then exists. 
  2. Your customers who visit your website check the list of the products and buy if they find your products affordable and beneficial. 
  3. Your future customers. They might not need your products in the present scenario, but they can be your customer in the future. 

Before entering a new market, which has not been explored yet, study your potential customers actively, what kind of marketing they like, what they prefer – online shopping or personally visiting a shop.

Remember to read your customer behaviour according to digital marketing and traditional marketing. 

6. Analyse Your Competitors and Understand their Marketing

There is a child in every school group who always stays one step ahead. Before the final result, this child starts preparing for the next class. 

You can help your marketing team prepare marketing methods and strategies for forthcoming consequences and challenges if you study your action before their implementation. 

Before setting up your business in Dubai, study the competitors in your field. Here are some points that you should read about your competitors. 

  • Business and work culture of your competitors 
  • Their importance or value in the market
  • Their marketing methods
  • Business strategies
  • Revenue
  • Where are your competitors lacking?
  • Their product or service weak points

This step will help you find the gap you can fill with your products to solve the customers’ problems.  

7. Are You Better than Your Competition?

The previous point is about checking your competitors’ marketing, business culture, work culture, and value in the market. 

Now, this point is related to your product or service. 

Analyse the difference between your product or service and your competitors. If you have the same product, solving the same issues that your competitors’ product is already working on, then you need to share the reason customers should buy your product. 

If you want your customer to find you out of the crowd, first find out the gap your competitor is lacking to fill in, then create your product that resolves the issue where your competitor is not working on. 

8. Build Brand Awareness

Spread awareness about your business in the market before investing in a big property in Dubai to set up your production house or office.

If you have achieved any accreditation or a big goal in your home country through your business, talk about it through your social media and website to attract people.

Show your customers what you offer, why they should buy your product, and why they believe you.

Let’s understand it with an example; 

  1. Apple and Starbucks – These two brands’ products are pricey because their clear marketing message is that their products are for people who can spend money. Their products are luxurious and made for the upper class. 
  1. Product for lower, middle and upper-class people – Tata has launched different tata tea products – premium tata tea, gold tata tea, etc., to touch three classes – lower, middle, and upper. 

So if your product is pricey and only for upper-class people, then implement marketing strategies that will convey messages that your product is luxurious, like Apple and Starbucks.

On the same side, if your product price is reasonable and best for three classes, market your product in three ways. 

  1. For upper class
  2. One for the middle and 
  3. One for lower. 

Launching your product or service in Dubai can be straightforward if you follow the necessary steps to start your business in Dubai with utmost care.

Set your focus on the general steps that we have described above. The task of starting a business in Dubai can be tedious and time-consuming. 
You can hire business setup experts for good advice about the implications of your decisions. You can approach the SEPL group in Dubai for document attestation services, which is vital to start a business abroad.

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