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Is Dubai Still The Place To Start-up Or Expand?

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Is Dubai Still The Place To Start-up Or Expand?

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Still the largest market for the UK in the Middle East, Dubai provides vast prospects for English entrepreneurs, whether they're starting-up or expanding.

Dubai was a place built for business. Regardless of the economic climate something which Dubai is already defying and forecast to overcome by 2010 its national purpose is to facilitate the operational and profiting needs of companies and entrepreneurs. With free zones spanning every major industry and tax free incentives that'd make a Monegasque blush, Dubai remains a gilded landscape, both topographically and corporately.

Still the largest market for the UK in the Middle East, Dubai provides vast prospects for English entrepreneurs, whether they're starting-up or expanding.


The major upset has been real estate, which has been in pretty bad shape over the past year or so. But, just like the economy in general, things are looking up. Analysts are predicting that the real estate revival will naturally follow the economic recession, predicted for 2010.

Dubai's main industrial attractions and government priority sectors are:

  • Energy
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Finance & Services
  • Transport & Logistic Services
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Healthcare

Free Zones

Free zones are exceptional areas of Dubai where standard trade practice and regulation, such as tariffs, taxes and trade barriers, are made redundant or lowered for the purposes of enticing new businesses and investment, generally from overseas. In Dubai, there are many industry-specific zones, including the International Finance Centre, Internet City, Media City, among many others.


  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • 100% corporate, income and personal tax exemption
  • Import and export duty exemption
  • Full and inexpensive energy supply
  • Sleek administration services
  • 24-hours-a-day business opening, if necessary


  • Free zone may not be allowed to trade directly with UAE market. Local business generally done through distributors
  • 5% duty for local trading

It's up to you to determine whether or not a free zone will be more conducive to your business. You may find traditional forms of business more suitable, but remember: companies not within a free zone require to yield 51% ownership to a UAE national / local partner.

However, with the aim of enhancing foreign investment, the introduction of 100% ownership of business throughout Dubai is currently being discussed.


Base for the UAE

A natural hub for the UAE and further Middle East, Dubai has all the right positioning an entrepreneur could hope for, with easy access to a potential 1.5 billion customers in Africa, West Asia, CIS countries and Eastern Europe.


Jean-Marie Pean, chairman of the leading consulting firm Bain & Company, had this to say:

Dubai is a hub for a region and has built an infrastructure that is second to none. Once the crisis is over, Dubai will still be there, with the best infrastructure in the region. The region needs Dubai.

The general consensus is positive. Not only is Dubai already on the mend, but is set to come back stronger than ever from the economic crisis. For any starting or expanding business, then, Dubai remains one of the most conducive business centres in the world.

Article provide by Brien Balchandar - Impact Holdings

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