16 Most Profitable Businesses to Start in UAE (Top Business Ideas)

The United Arab Emirates has become one of the most excellent places for doing business which has high chances of success for any ambitious entrepreneur. UAE is an international hub with tax-friendly policies and an outstanding social and economic infrastructure. The majority of the business in UAE has turned many ex-pats into successful entrepreneurs

What are the most successful business ideas in United Arab Emirates?

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start your own business in UAE, here are the top 16 successful business ideas for your consideration.

  1. Healthcare
  2. Real Estate
  3. Construction
  4. Import – Export
  5. Information Technology
  6. E-Commerce
  7. Tourism
  8. Cleaning Services
  9. Transportation
  10. Recruitment Agency
  11. Hospitality
  12. Cosmetics
  13. Fashion
  14. Advertising
  15. Jewelry
  16. CryptoCurrency

1. Health Care Business in UAE:

healthcare text screenshot near green fern leaf

The healthcare industry is one of the booming sectors in the UAE. The United Arab Emirates is actively expanding its national healthcare system to meet the growing needs of its people and support economic diversification, with leading U.S. medical centers, corporations, and academic institutions playing vital roles in the process.

Opportunities for partnership in the U.A.E. healthcare sector for U.S. companies are available, but it is important to first have a basic working knowledge of the sector and an understanding of where your organization can provide the most value.

All seven emirates provide healthcare services to their citizens and are rapidly building their healthcare infrastructure inclusive of hospitals and clinics, while simultaneously developing their local workforce. The citizens of UAE are health conscious and they show excellent concern for their health. Since the population of UAE increasing of the elderly and the abundance of chronic diseases, there is a high demand for healthcare, with also high costs.

People from many parts of the world are coming to UAE for treatment. The healthcare industry experienced significant growth over the past years. Patients in the UAE tend to overconsume highly-priced medical services, resulting in a high per capita healthcare and wellness spending.

UAE is known for its highly specialized care and excellent clinical services. There is a high demand for trained qualified surgeons, and doctors who are specialized in aesthetics, plastic surgery, rhinoplasty, hair transplantation, laser, liposuction, dentistry, and rejuvenation treatments.

If you are willing to start a healthcare business in UAE, you can choose to invest in any of the fields such as Ambulatory Centres, Professional Development training, Medical Publishing, Private Clinics and Hospitals, Healthcare Consultancy, nonprofit health organizations etc.,

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2. Real Estate Business in UAE:

black handled key on key hole

Real Estate is one of the booming industries and renowned business markets in UAE. The real estate market in UAE has a vast scope of opportunities including real estate development, property management and brokerage. UAE is a trader-friendly and open economic policy that facilitates oversea direct investment.

It has a glorious skyline, amazing engineering marvels, artificial islands, and commercial and residential projects. There are no taxes on ownership, sale, or rent in the country. Moreover, income from the resale and rental of real estate is higher than in many of the world’s key housing markets.

Once the property is bought, and the registration fees are paid, there’s no additional or ongoing tax that needs to be paid. Investing in real estate will generate a high return of investment due to a lack of taxes such as property acquisition and capital gains. Real estate is one of the most lucrative careers in the UAE.

UAE is one of the safest countries in the world with the lowest crime rate. UAE has adopted all the requisite measures to create a safe and secure city for both the residents, non-residents, and tourists.

Whether you wish to start a real estate brokerage business, a property management company or become a developer, there are several steps you need to take before applying for your license. The two main categories of real estate investment in UAE are residential properties and commercial properties. Residential property options include different villas and apartments, and commercial property options are offices, industrial properties, and labor camps.

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3. Construction Business in UAE

two man holding white paper

Whether building real estate for residential or commercial purposes, opening a company in the construction industry in UAE is one of the most profitable businesses in the long run. It offers different business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Most startup opportunity demands initial capital investment. However, there are some opportunities that you can consider at a low cost. Numerous foreign investors seeking residential opportunities in UAE and booming real estate has led to increased opportunity in the construction sector.

The government of the UAE has taken initiatives in various sectors and is trying hard to diversify the economy of the country which plays a significant role in opening up a new avenue for the people to invest in the construction sector. The diversification of the economy has resulted in the lowering of construction costs.

The availability of labor poses a huge question in any of the construction activities. The cost of construction in UAE is lower than in most developed cities. It’s mainly due to intense competition and low wages.

The government has simplified the process of getting the necessary permits and licenses for the construction business. There is a vast network of roadways that connects one emirate to another, making transportation very easy.

The government of the UAE is taking steps to ensure that more visitors and investors from all over the world visit the country. The increasing visitors, tourist competition, the upcoming major global events and the tax-free environment allow the various construction companies to give a good return on investment.

Having construction experience will help in the starting of a construction company, but some research needs to be done to understand the standards and the benchmark of the industry properly.

Read More about How can you get a Construction Business Licence in Dubai, MainlandOpens in a new tab.?


4. Import Export Business in UAE

shallow focus photography of black ship

Starting an Import Export Business in UAE is a popular business venture. The United Arab Emirates is one of the fastest-growing economies and is an ideal hub to trade from all the corners of the world. One of the major profitable businesses is the import-export business in UAE.

The population of UAE is increasing at a steady pace over the past few years due to which demand for imports and re-exports has increased thus leading to a rise in individual expenditure.

UAE is literally situated at the crossroads of the world, with easy access to the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe and has world-leading transport hubs allowing easy movement of goods in and out. It connects to Africa, Asia and Europe, and it is globally well connected by both air and water routes. It also has a well-established road network throughout. It is globally well connected by both air and water routes. It also offers a great time zone that enables seamless coordination and trade with countries in the East and West.

The UAE government has provided e-services to the import and export companies in UAE in order to help them function smoothly and efficiently. Given UAE is central location globally and its economic diversity, starting an international trading business in UAE can be rewarding for expansion opportunities and profitability. Great infrastructure along with the UAE’s position makes UAE highly popular for import-export business.

The UAE’s trading Laws are constructed in a way to promote fair competition, protect the rights and interests of businesses and consumers, and provide a conclusive environment for SMEs and other business corporations.

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5. Information and Technology – IT Business in UAE

selective focus photography of man facing computer

The United Arab Emirates has become a magnet for international tech-based businesses as the UAE government continues to roll out policies and initiatives to drive tech innovation and attract tech entrepreneurs to become the world’s smartest city. Information technology has solidified its place in the business world and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. The UAE is the most technologically advanced country in the Middle East and Dubai is the most technologically advanced city in the Middle East

The United Arab Emirates offers specialized free zones that provide sophisticated infrastructure and a contemporary working environment for establishing an information technology business. A software firm in the United Arab Emirates may manage a wide range of commercial operations.

Over the years, UAE’s free zones have attracted many tech start-ups. Information Technology is needed in every business in every sector and industry to stay afloat in this competitive ecosystem. Creating a technology business that specializes in app development or providing SaaS (software as a service) services is a possibility. Your area of expertise may also include biotechnology, information technology for finance, and other related fields.

Before starting up your information technology industry you must comply with the various laws and regulations the government has put into place and the location of your firm is one of the most important decisions you will make while establishing an IT company.

If your company is located on the mainland you will have the freedom to take on any contacts through the UAE and access the global IT market and if you are planning to set up an IT company in the Free zone you will be benefited from 100% exemption from import and export taxes. The company formation procedure is shorter and straightforward and no restriction on company size.

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6. E-Commerce Business in UAE:

E commerce business licence Dubai 1

While the e-commerce sector is booming worldwide, the e-commerce business in the UAE is also rapidly evolving. The UAE was recognized as the fastest-growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and because of its geo-strategic location, is reaping the benefits of the boom in the e-commerce business.

The importance of the e-commerce marketplace is unbeatable, as it connects sellers and buyers on an e-commerce site in the most convenient manner. The rapid advancements in the e-commerce sector are entirely changing the way we do business. It is gradually removing the need for traditional stores, with people preferring to shop online. This shift in the way people shop has made business analysts to rethink their business strategies to reach a broader audience.

E-commerce has been growing even faster as more and more businesses are considering moving online and more and more consumers are rapidly shifting to online shopping due to the global pandemic.

The UAE has the most advanced and modern infrastructure in the region. From high-quality roads to international airports to telecommunications, the UAE is home to world-class facilities. Being conveniently located between Europe, Asia and Africa, the UAE is an ideal place for any business including e-commerce. It has access both to the sea and has one of the largest airports in the world. The UAE offers a modern banking system supported by the latest advances in financial technologies.

It is much easier to set up an online store than a conventional store, all you need is a website domain, good internet access and a laptop. An online store has a broad audience not limited to a particular region. This platform plays a crucial role in bringing together the suitable seller and customers to drive sales while giving the sellers a locale to attract visibility.

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7. Tourism Business in UAE:

Tourism business in Dubai Mainland 1

In the United Arab Emirates, travel and tourism is an industry that is always front and center. It has the most tourist attractions places beautiful blue waters, the world’s leading malls, Hotels, parks, a historic old district, and warm beaches. There are thousands of tourists who flock to the Emirates every year. UAE is one of the most preferred vacation destinations in the world.

One of the ever-popular mediums of business in the UAE is travel and tourism, which encourages many ambitious entrepreneurs to pursue a travel and tourism business setup in UAE. Therefore, opening a tourism business is one of the best options.

UAE is one of those countries which has promoted tourism and has been successful. It welcomes thousands of tourists each day and has attracted hundreds of investors not only in tourism but also in logistics, cargo and other travel and tourism industries.

UAE has not only created opportunities for a local tourism company but also many international tourism companies have been successful.

You can do various activities under a tourism license such as Sell tickets for transportation, including land, air and sea, plus car rental, Selling all kinds of tourism packages, including accommodation, selling travel insurance and support on visa-related services.

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8. Cleaning Services Business in UAE:

Cleaning service is one of the important business activities in UAE. Most people do not like to clean, hence they rely on cleaning service companies for the upkeep of their homes. Cleaning services is a large sector that includes residential (villas, apartments etc.), commercial (retails, stores, offices, hospitals etc., ) and industrial cleaning ( manufacturing buildings, large office blocks and other corporate buildings).

UAE is best known for its skyscrapers, high-rise structures and cleaning services have played an important part in not only protecting the attractiveness of its landmarks but also its office spaces, stadiums, residential apartments, car parks, warehouses and more.

Cleaning services offer the utmost convenience to professionals who lead busy lives and spend a major part of their days out of their homes. Investing in cleaning service businesses has gained immense popularity on account of increased construction activities, growing investments in real estate and high disposable income of people. Starting a cleaning company in UAE is very easy and could be profitable.

They have low overheads and lower start-up costs than other business setups and can get into operation immediately after its launch. Cleaning business requires no shop floor or warehouse, so you can run your business from anywhere and set your own hours for the jobs.

A cleaning service does not require any specialized cleaning chemicals and equipment or any form of formal training or certifications. Most cleaning jobs will use the same products and skill set that is required to clean a household. Management skills and cleaning operations know-how are some skills required to run a successful cleaning business. However, no specific qualifications or certificates are needed.

Regardless of the weather or season, businesses will need cleaning services. Hence it is advisable to provide a quality and consistent service to your clients, which will make your business establish a steady income stream that will allow for company growth.

Cleaning services range from one-person operations to multi-million national chains, and they can provide an array of cleaning services such as, from the most basic light cleaning to specialized power cleaning.

To Read more about How to Open a Cleaning Company Licence in Dubai, Mainland?Opens in a new tab.


9. Transportation Business in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates has turned itself into one of the very popular business hubs across the world. UAE’s strategic location and infrastructure and fast-growing economy and diverse business attract foreign nationals, investors and entrepreneurs from around the world. This is because of its pleasant corporate rules and regulation of the country; as well as low taxes and that appeal to a large number of foreign investors. Investing in the transportation business in UAE is one of the most profitable businesses in UAE . Many investors are interested to invest in the transport business.

With business booming in the UAE, the transportation industry is one of the most significant contributors to its economy. The tax benefits for foreign nationals and foreigner-owned businesses are some of the appealing incentives to live and work in the UAE and government requires no minimum capital investment to open a transportation company in UAE.

UAE’s sea, road and air infrastructure is another important aspect, with its world-leading road network, major seaports, global shipping and logistics business assets, airports, and all the basic services in UAE are high quality: which influence the foreign investors looking to start a transportation company in UAE.

You may start any of below-mentioned activities under the transportation Licence. However, please note that you need to obtain a company’s transport license from the UAE National Transport Authority.

  • Cargo transport by heavy trucks
  • Cargo transport by light trucks
  • Water transport service
  • Rental and transport of heavy machinery
  • Car rental service
  • Bus rental transport services
  • Passenger transport (taxi services transport and tour buses)
  • Special rental vehicles such as trucks and related transport
  • Motorcycles rentals service
  • Vehicles towing services and vehicle transport
  • Specialist transportation services such as gas tanks, money and valuables transport
  • Refrigerated transport
  • Petroleum transport
  • Bicycle rentals service
  • Vehicle Fleet Management services
  • Luxury vehicle services

10. Recruitment Agency Business in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates is essential to becoming the top choice for incorporating a business. More companies setting up and the rise in development in UAE, has brought more employment opportunities. The need for recruiting the workforce is a task for which companies acquire assistance from recruitment agencies. Setting up a recruitment agency business is in itself is potentially a profitable venture. This bustling employment market can be lucrative for the UAE’s recruitment agencies.

Recruiting a new staff for a growing business sometimes could be challenging and the consequences of getting the wrong hire can be severe. For this, many of the businesses in UAE turn to the specialist services of a recruitment agency to attract and employ the best talent.

The process of starting up a recruitment agency is simple and much easier in UAE. The Ministry of Labor over there has issued MR1283 in 2011 in regards to enabling the license and regulation of Private Employment Agencies Law. This further boosts a recruitment agency to operate their business with throttle and utilize the facilities provisioned to businesses set up in UAE. The law allows the establishment of companies performing foreign outsourcing which enhances the operations of a recruitment agency.

Both local and foreign investors can open employment agencies in UAE, with the mention that foreign entrepreneurs must first obtain a residence permit for entering the country. Also, a local partner is required when establishing a recruitment agency in UAE. Recruitment agencies in UAE can obtain either a brokerage license or a temporary recruitment license. The license must allow the company to conduct mediation activities between employer and employee.

A brokerage license allows you to complete activities relating to filling job roles between UAE and foreign nationals and UAE and foreign companies. You are permitted to publicize job vacancies, process applications for job seekers looking for employment, maintain a database of employers and employees, and broker contact between the two parties.

A temporary recruitment license allows you to go further, shortlisting, interviewing, and placing employees on behalf of an employer. You are also permitted to recruit employees from outside of the UAE and act as their sponsor for the duration of their employment.


11. Hospitality Business in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates has urbanized itself as one of the world’s famous travel and tourism destinations and the hospitality industry is playing a significant role in the UAE’s growing economy. UAE is becoming a ground for businesses and provides numerous investment opportunities for both local and foreign companies wishing to establish themselves in the region. This has been possible due to the world-class infrastructure and the increasing conduciveness of the business environment in the UAE.

The hotel industry in the region is also booming as there are a huge number of footfalls into the country for setting up a business or for travel purposes. Hotel businesses have huge benefits as the government is focusing more on the tourism and hospitality sector in the UAE. With many different features, the benefits of starting a hotel business in the UAE are innumerable.

UAE being a multicultural city is also a treasure chest for talented manpower. There are thousands of visitors flying in and out of UAE every day and require boarding that fits their income bracket. Hotels, Motels, or Small Houses can be built to target such types of clientele. There have been indications that the number of visitors will be increasing in the coming years and to satisfy the demand, more hotels are being built which provides an excellent opportunity to entrepreneurs who want to enter this sector. This is one of the best features of setting up a business in the UAE.

The process to set up a hotel business is simple and straightforward with fewer hassles. Investors can follow the rules and regulations to get their job done without any knots in the process.

The hotels in UAE are divided into various different segments and the management can choose as per their requirement. You can opt for any below-mentioned categories while opening a hospitality business in UAE:

  • Resorts
  • Hotels
  • Hotel Apartments
  • Youth Hostels
  • Guest Houses
  • Holiday Houses

12. Cosmetic Business in UAE:

Setting up a business in UAE has proven to be a fruitful endeavor over the years. With numerous business opportunities, it gives to budding entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners; it has comfortably maintained its rank in the global cities most suitable for business.

The Cosmetic Business in UAE is one of the booming industries in UAE. Because of the current craze regarding looking beautiful and flawless that the UAE is experiencing, it is the best time for cosmetic company formation.

The cosmetic business Is one of the profitable businesses in UAE and the process of starting a cosmetic business is hassle-free as the licensing and approval processes are well defined and cost-effective.

Since UAE is a popular tourist destination and people from all over the world find the desired cosmetic products and treatments here. Due to the increased focus on beauty, the beauty community has extended. It is a great time to invest in the cosmetic business.

The UAE’s location makes it most suited for opening up a cosmetic company as it can easily access local markets and can branch out and easily tap into the nearby international markets. You also have permission to deal in a wide array of products when you start a cosmetic business in UAE.

You can easily rent office space in UAE and get started with your business operations. In addition, relocation is hassle-free and doesn’t cost a lot.

Before starting up a cosmetic business in UAE you need to apply for a cosmetic trading license to set up a cosmetics business in UAE.

Some of the popular trends in the cosmetic and beauty industry are:

  • Beauty products for men including grooming, styling and skincare products.
  • Make-up and skincare products are composed of natural ingredients.
  • Customization of beauty products or services according to the customer’s needs.
  • Beauty enhancement surgeries for both face and body including BOTOX injections, silicone implants and fillers. Cosmetic surgeries shape the body by dissolving fat.
  • Less invasive methods such as Facelifts, Liposuction and eye lift will have a minimum or no scarring on the client.

13. Fashion Business in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates is known for having one of the best shopping malls and businesses worldwide. UAE’s population is willing to spend in the fashion sector and the demand for fashion has been continually increasing, and over time, the fashion industry has seen a tremendous spike at the international level.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the top business investment destinations, and the region has seen a massive opportunity in the fashion segment. Not only is the local population known for their style, but the malls in the emirates are lined with different fashion brands, from local boutiques to households.

Those who want to invest or expand their fashion business can choose UAE as the ultimate business hub. The fashion industry in the UAE presents a truly unique opportunity to the entrepreneur with the requisite skills to take advantage of it.

Depending on the nature of your business, you have the option of setting up a UAE fashion brand either on the mainland or in one of the nation’s many free zones.

You’ll benefit from the emirate’s 0% taxation rate on both corporate and personal income. When you start a mainland business, there are also no restrictions on location.You are free to set up your store and warehouse anywhere in the UAE. If you’re planning to bring materials in from outside the UAE, you’ll also find import duty to be significantly lower than in other parts of the world.

The process of company formation is must easier, speed and incredibly straightforward.


14. Advertising Business in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates is a highly competitive business world. With numerous companies of varying sizes operating in the region, the companies in the advertising field have exponential growth possibilities. UAE has been a business destination for every investor and entrepreneur due to the incentives that the country offers.

It is very important for all the companies to market the business activity for their future of the product. Every business needs to advertise itself and spread the word to new customers if it wants to keep growing. If people are not aware about their product, the company might end up bankrupt.

Advertising is one of the mediums through which the product can reach potential customers. Many companies, including small businesses, rely on the expertise of advertising agencies to help them create and execute effective marketing strategies. There are a lot of products having substitutes in the market due to which competition has been at its all-time high in UAE. An advertising agency helps the companies to establish their product or service in the competitive business among their respective target audience.

In the era of digital marketing, ad agencies conduct their business and provide services primarily online, making them low-cost and contact-free deliveries.

UAE has successfully encapsulated the attraction of all big and small brands, multinational companies and emerging startups are interested alike in taking their business to new heights under the favorable policies and tax-free jurisdiction of UAE.

This desire of reaching a greater number of potential customers has determined many businessmen to set up advertising and marketing agencies in UAE For this opening an advertisement agency in UAE is undoubtedly an advantageous prospect.

You can get an advertising agency license in UAE by pursuing the unfussy process promulgated by the authorities.


15. Jewellery Business in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates is famous for its luxurious jewelry shops and export of jewelry to several countries around the world. It boasts of an unmatchable market for gold and jewelry. These jewels range from the most affordable to the most prized possessions that you can find anywhere in the world. UAE is a business hub that is open for all kinds of activities, including in the profitable jewelry sector.

UAE features a huge collection of pearls of all sizes available in the rarest of colors. The gold market especially is the richest and blooming market, given its affordable prices that are lesser than anywhere else, and the designs, and the gold buyers and enthusiasts that you will find here is remarkable.

Most of the people visit to UAE buy jewelry because it is cheaper here than in their own countries. Since taxes are low in UAE with no value-added tax imposed on the sale of gold, the overall price of jewels becomes much lesser, attracting more customers. The quality of the metals sold in UAE is famous all over the world, therefore a jewellery company will never complain about the lack of customers.

The jewelry business in Dubai is provided with a great amount of security with high-quality surveillance, and fire alarms installed in all units. UAE is the safest place to set up your jewelry business. This is because the local government has laid specific regulations and imposes rigorous checks on people who bring gold and other precious metals to sell in UAE.

Many of the foreign investors looking to start a successful business in UAE and invest in the jewelry industry. For foreign investors keen to set up a jewelry business, UAE is the best option and very beneficial in the long run.

Setting up a jewelry business in UAE requires huge investments to be done right according to the laws and jurisdictions of the government.


16. CryptoCurrency Business in UAE:

Digital currencies are getting more and more fame worldwide including UAE and there is an immensely profitable business opportunity to venture into the cryptocurrency exchanges, holding, trading in UAE.

Cryptocurrency is stored either in online exchanges, digital wallets, or physical hardware. It can be sent between addresses either among individuals or organisations in the form of payment.

It is expected that in the future the modern digital currency will most likely turn out to be more useful in commercial transaction activities. Cryptocurrency projects rise in popularity and become more and more diversified. The country’s 0% tax rate on corporate and personal income, low barriers to entry, and excellent infrastructure make it a particularly attractive proposition.

Some of the famous types of cryptocurrency that are currently available and operational in the market are Bitcoin, and Ethereum.

Cryptocurrency lowers a company’s running costs significantly as the payment process does not have a service fee. Due to the irreversibility of crypto transactions, they create a sense of security while making international payments.

To operate a legal business with cryptocurrencies, you need to obtain a crypto license in the UAE

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Free Zone and Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) are the places worth considering for working with cryptocurrencies in the UAE.


Investing in a business in UAE in one of the above 16 industries will have a high chance of success for any ambitious entrepreneur in the coming years. UAE is constantly evolving as a productive business sector, with new business opportunities regularly coming forward.


Deena

Human Resource professional and writer.

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