THE DYNAMICS OF DOING BUSINESS IN DUBAI

Dubai is without doubts, the gateway to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Emirates is touted as a tax haven for business and individuals, it is also strategically located between Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region. Many organizations, which wish to cater to African, Middle East and even South Asian markets  prefers to set up an office in Dubai. Besides, the city is also touted as the trade, tourism and commercial hub of the region and is a robust economy in itself. This also acts as a natural catalyst towards attracting thousands of business every year from around the world.

Though there are numerous other parallel centers emerging out in the Gulf such as Doha and Riyadh etc. which offers similar benefits; yet they fall nowhere close to Dubai, when  it comes to establishing a business presence in the region. The answer to this lies partly in the business friendly administration of Dubai, which has been nurtured by the highest echelons of governance. However, what really sets Dubai apart is its liberal and cosmopolitan appeal, which is unparalleled in the region and helping it even outclass neighbouring Abu Dhabi, which is larger economy due its petroleum exports.

However, it should be understood that setting up a business in Dubai is not devoid of challenges. Based on the cumulative experience of over 20 years in the UAE market, the Research Konnection Team has closely watched companies and organizations, both flying high and falling miserably.

This has eventually led us to conceptualize “Business Assistance Service” or BAS service, which is aimed at translating our market research and business consulting  services coupled with understandings of the local markets to offer cost effective value added services to business looking out to establish in Dubai.

Choosing the Right License Registration

In the UAE market there are two kinds of license registration; inland company registration which is done with the Dubai Economic Department (DED) or Free Zone registration, which is done with the numerous developed and developing Free Zones in Dubai and other Emirates of UAE. Both have their own pros and cons. There are financial and legal benefits associated with Free Zones, one of them being 100% foreign ownership or establishing a 100 foreign owned company in UAE. However, most of the Free Zones are located at the outskirt of the cities making it relatively challenging to access.

In case of inland registration there is a clause wherein 51 percent ownership is given to UAE national who then becomes the local sponsor for the company for a fixed annual fee or profit percentage agreed in principle. Similarly, the company is registered as Limited Liability Company (LCC). An inland registration generally makes the company open to a bigger prospective market. Moreover, some types of activities such as finance and insurance, catering, car rental and architecture etc. cannot be licensed in the Free Zone.

This is where our expertise comes into picture. Based on our in depth understanding, augmented with further research; we prepare feasibility study suggesting our clients to find the right kind of license registration, which will match their short term and long term business objectives.

Business Plan & Legal Documentation

Based on the approval of the feasibility study, we then proceed to assist the client by preparing business plan, legal documents, No Objection Certificates, client’s resume, letter of intent, tenancy and all other documents necessary for license name registration and trade license approval.

In this stage, we mainly focus on preparing practical, feasible and comprehensive plan, which cannot only pass through the third party evaluation, but also set the right strategic vision for the client. Our Business-Plan captures, the mission and vision statement, environmental and competitive scan, detailed financials projections, human resource planning, marketing and branding plan etc. We try to be realistic yet detailed oriented bringing the best of our knowledge of the dynamics and trends of Dubai and UAE market, helping our clients to cut down unnecessary investment and manage their business effectively.

Marketing Support

Once the license is approved and other formalities are worked upon such as getting Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) approval, raising visa and opening a bank account etc., the business is all set for the next stage. Now our marketing and design team comes into action to develop the marketing assets at a cost effective price, which can help companies market themselves and build their customer base. Depending on the requirements of the clients we can customize from a  range of services, comprising of branding, logo design, website design and development, blogging and social media marketing. Not to mention, other assets such as business cards, brochure design along with videos and animations.

Business Meetings

Setting up a business in a relatively new market also calls for the businesses to get Konnected with potential partners, such as distributors, retailers and suppliers. If required, we can conduct a market research exercise on behalf of our clients and set up meetings with the potential partners to give business quick start. The business matchmaking is done by evaluating the capability of the potential partner against the capabilities of client to ensure right match. However, it should be noted that, we only assure the number of meetings and do not guarantee the outcome.

The above mentioned four step approach is a more or less a blue print and could be subject to further changes and customization depending on the nature of the business and type of license selected. If required, we further complement with other services such as calculating cost of living in UAE, financial management and human resource management for first few months.

With the upcoming World Expo 2020 and numerous others promising mega projects such as Dubai Smart City Plan, it can be anticipated that the business activities in the emirate will increase multifold facilitating further influx of large number of businesses from across the globe. In such a bullish situation which will also result in rise in competition; our Business Assistance Service can work as a differentiator, conferring competitive edge to business at a cost effective price.

The philosophy of the Business Assistance Service is to offer optimal solution to the new incoming businesses in Dubai at a cost effective manner so that they can remain focused on what they are good at; while we manage their set up activities effectively. So if you are planning to start a business in Dubai and seek professional assistance, feel free to drop a mail at waqas@esearchkonnection.com. If you are not planning, yet liked our blog, please follow us on social media to get regular updates on our research and analysis.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com
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