10 Best Businesses to Start in Dubai

Dubai is emerging as a global hub for business and trade. It has shifted its focus from oil and gas to tourism and trade. It has become a destination for global brands to set up or start their businesses here. The UAE government has designed trade policies that encourage entrepreneurs to open businesses in Dubai. The year 2020 seems very promising in terms of business set up opportunities. Here is a look at some of the best businesses to start in Dubai:


Dubai is the business capital of the UAE. It offers opportunities for advertisers across global markets to set up their businesses here. Dubai has garnered attention from international as well as local organisations due to its low tax and pro-expats policies. The city offers a broad scope for advertising agencies – from TV, print media and billboards to digital media. TV advertising is still popular and the largest in the region. However, the digital market is showing an upward trend, with a growing demand for market research, market analysis, and marketing management.

Bookkeeping and Accounting

Many international and local companies from various sectors such as infrastructure, logistics, construction, hospitality, and medicine are establishing their business in Dubai. As a result, businesses need help with accounts, bookkeeping, trade compliances and taxation. With booming trade comes the growing opportunity for accounting agencies to cater to their needs.


Dubai is one of the most robust markets for automobiles, with a high influx of luxury cars. This is due to its low entry barriers like low fuel costs, import tariffs, high per capita income, and favourable tax policies. It offers attractive insurance and financing policies which makes it easier for consumers to buy cars. There is a continued demand for personal vehicles, which in turn encourages the aftermarket parts industry as there is an increasing trend and interest for customisation of personal vehicles.


Dubai is called the City of Gold due to its popularity among gold traders and buyers. Jewellery designers from around the world are setting up their gold business in Dubai. The city provides a conducive environment for the business of gold, diamonds and precious metals. The following places are popular among Dubai’s jewellery traders:

  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) – a hub for companies trading in varied commodities such as gold, diamond, and precious metals, among others. Those interested in trading in precious metals can benefit from DMCC.
  • Dubai Gold and Diamond Park – comprises retailers that offer custom-made jewellery; manufacturing blocks and commercial spaces. It is governed by Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) and attracts good business from locals and tourists.
  • Dubai Gold Souk – a traditional market in Deira, located in old Dubai. The Dubai Gold Souk is an institution in itself and has been the heart and soul of Dubai’s gold trading market.

Food and Beverage

One of the most popular businesses to start in Dubai is restaurants. Dubai is gaining recognition as a culinary destination, much like New York, Paris, and London. From Michelin starred restaurants and chefs to cafes, food trucks, and concept dining, the city is continuously looking to bring in new offerings for its customers. As per a 2018 report on F&B, Dubai ranked 4th globally for its attractiveness for investments in the industry. It also hosts the annual Gulfood Festival, which is the world’s largest F&B trade exhibition. The Dubai Food Festival, a citywide festival celebrating food, showcases, and highlights the city’s burgeoning food scene.

Real Estate

Real estate is a popular business market because it is investor-friendly and adopts open economic policies that facilitate foreign direct investments. The rise in business opportunities in Dubai has led to a rise in demand for real estate, whether it is for the hospitality sector or for expats seeking homes to stay. Being tax-efficient, Dubai offers tax-free residential property purchases for UAE residents and no VAT for investors in residential property, making this one of the most in-demand businesses to start in Dubai.


Dubai, with its tourism, encourages the shopping and retail industry which ranges from affordable retail to luxury brands in lifestyle, food, apparel, electronics and so much more. With free zones, bringing in a franchise of retail brands is also possible. Dubai has a tourism industry that attracts millions of visitors every year and hence the economy supports retail businesses. There is always room for starting a retail business in Dubai.


Dubai is a paradise for tourists due to its architectural marvels, world-class shopping malls with global brands, and overall local and cultural experiences. There are opportunities for a broad spectrum of tourism subsets like leisure, sports, adventure, food, and culture. Starting a travel and tourism business is promising as Dubai is emerging and positioning itself as a global tourist destination.


Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Dubai Media City (DMC) were designed to encourage and establish the IT sector in Dubai. With the rise in demand for digitalisation, there is a growing need for IT companies to provide digital solutions. Industries like hospitality, insurance, healthcare, banking, trading, logistics, etc. require IT companies to provide updated solutions. Providing web-based (websites, e-commerce sites, content management systems, customer relationship management, etc.) and mobile-based solutions (native applications, social media integrations) for these industries is the need of the hour. Hence, starting an IT business in Dubai will yield profits.

Fashion and Beauty

Dubai is known for its glam and panache. The world’s leading fashion and beauty brands have set up their businesses in the Dubai market. Street shopping, online shops, pop-up shops, and traditional shops make shopping an experience for the consumers. Designing, tailoring and fashion consulting are also gaining momentum. Dubai provides the market and the resources for haute couture to home-grown brands and everything in between.

Other sectors like logistics, oil and gas, construction, beauty salons, and healthcare are also in demand. Dubai’s trade policies are liberal and are specifically designed to attract entrepreneurs. In addition to enjoying tax benefits, starting a business is relatively easy in terms of process and paperwork. If you are thinking of starting a business, Dubai is a great place to do so.

If you would like to start a business in Dubai, contact Shuraa Business Setup. Speak with our business setup experts and get free consultation about your company formation.