Business Setup Consultants

Start Business in Dubai

Dubai is the second most populous and second largest emirate in the UAE. The emirate's capital, also named Dubai, is the largest city of the federation. For the last two decades, Dubai is often compared to Singapore and Hong Kong and is frequently regarded as the best place to do business in the MENA region.
Business Setup Dubai
Dubai, UAE

Business Setup in Dubai

The city of Dubai is known for its skyscrapers, ports, and shopping malls, where big business takes place alongside some of the top tourist attractions in the region. Because of its large expatriate population, it feels like a melting pot, with people from all corners of the world. Although Arabic is the official language, English is, in practice, the lingua franca.


Unlike other places in the UAE, Dubai does not have an oil-based economy. The emirate used its oil wealth in the twentieth century on physical infrastructure. Trade is the core of Dubai’s economy, with the city operating two of the world’s largest ports and two massive international airports.

Start a Business in Dubai Free Zone

Entrepreneurs have a variety of jurisdictions to select from when it comes to starting a business in Dubai.

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)

DIAC was established in 2007 as a university free zone and a residential community dedicated to higher education. It has grown into one of the largest educational hubs in the region. It consists of 27 colleges and universities and 3 innovation centers.

Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)

Located adjacent to Dubai International Airport, spanning over an area of 696,000 square meters, DAFZA includes 13 buildings and 250+ warehouses. The bulk of the businesses in DAFZA use the airport for international trade.

Dubai Design District (d3)

This community is dedicated to the fashion industry, as well as other types of professional design, house design studios, hotels, high-end apartments and a shopping promenade.

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)

The DHCC free zone brings together core healthcare services, attracting the best in class global and regional names, as well as a network of businesses from hospitality to fitness centres.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

As the DIFC name implies, it is the cities key financial district. It serves hundreds of financial institutions and the top law firms in the region. The DIFC has its own judicial system that is independent from the legal system of the UAE. It is one of the regions most advanced financial centres.

Dubai Internet City (DIC)

DIC is the biggest technology hub of the region. Microsoft, Tata, Oracle, HP, IBM, Cisco, Dell, among many others have their national or region headquarters in this free zone. If you plan to have a technology-based business, this should be your first option.

Dubai Media City (DMC)

DMC was designed to catapult Dubai as a regional media hub. Major media organisations such as Reuters, CNN, CNBC, MBC, and Sony have their GCC headquarters in the free zone. It has entire ecosystem built to cater to small and large media companies.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

Dubai Silicon Oasis is an integrated technology park and free zone that allows people to live and work in a high-tech environment. Hosting modern technology-based industries, DSO offers state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

DIC is the biggest technology hub of the region. Microsoft, Tata, Oracle, HP, IBM, Cisco, Dell, among many others have their national or region headquarters in this free zone. If you plan to have a technology-based business, this should be your first option.

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

IFZA is a newly established free zone and is co-branded with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. IFZA offers some of the most cost-effective packages for setting up a free zone company.

Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)

Jebel Ali is one of the oldest and most established free zones in Dubai. In over 3 decades, it grew from 19 companies in 1985 to over 8,000 today, which includes nearly 100 Global Fortune 500 enterprises.

Dubai South (formerly DWC)

In a short period, Dubai South has grown significantly due to its affordable packages and access to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali port. The free zone is planning to build extensive residential facilities and a dedicated centre for aviation and logistics.
LOCAL LICENSE - Mainland Company Setup in Dubai

Mainland Business Setup in Dubai

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) issues all local business licenses for areas that are not covered by free zones. Historically, local licenses required local citizens to be majority shareholders. However, the UAE has modernized its laws recently to grant expat owners full ownership of business in most sectors.

Doing Business in Dubai
company set up in Dubai

UAE Company Formation

Dubai’s commitment to economic growth, collaboration and global trade contributes to a world-class business environment. Here are some highlights and rankings:


  • In his 2018 study dubbed “The Hub Report”, Knight Frank compared key global hub cities across four sectors. Dubai came second to Singapore in the quality of the overall transport infrastructure index with a score of 6.6 out of 7. The report also ranked Dubai as the third largest air transport and freight market.
  • Dubai and the UAE rank 16th for ease of doing business according to the World Bank in 2020. It aspires to take the number 1 slot at some stage.
  • According to ‘CEO WORLD’ magazine, Dubai ranked fifth as the best city for expats to live and work.
  • According to the annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index, Dubai ranks as the fourth most popular destination globally.
UAE Formed in 1971

History of Dubai

The city of Dubai that stands today wasn’t created until 1833 when the Al Bu Falasah tribe, headed by the Maktoum family, separated from the rulers of Abu Dhabi and settled in the surroundings of Dubai Creek.


Dubai’s economy flourished in 1894 when Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum granted total tax exemption to all foreign traders, taking business away from competing Persian, Ottoman, and Omani ports. The local population primarily engaged in livestock trade, date harvesting, fishing, and diving for pearls.


The United Arab Emirates were formed in 1971 following Great Britain’s departure from the GCC region. Dubai quickly rose to the forefront and became the go-to place for business in the UAE. Its economy was the fastest growing in the world for 33 years in a row from 1975 to 2008. Under the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai, the city continues to grow and flourish, attracting business and talent from across the globe.

Dubai, A GLobal Trading Hub

The Economy of Dubai

Built on the back of an oil boom in the 1960s and 1970s, Dubai is now recognized as the globalized financial capital of the United Arab Emirates as a hub for tourism and trade. Oil production, which once accounted for 50 percent of Dubai’s gross domestic product at its peak, contributes less than 1 percent to GDP today. 


Dubai’s dedication to global trade is memorialized in the first sentence of the first article of its 50-Year charter, created by its ruler, Sheikh Mohammed. “Dubai is destined to be a crossroad between East and West, and between North and South,” according to the charter.

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