How the UAE Supports Business

18 Sep, 2018 - Consumer & Retail


The UAE works hard to attract businesses. It is arguably the best country to do business from within the GCC. As such, many international firms base their regional headquarters here. You have been attracted by low tax rates and foreign ownership laws, but what next; how will the UAE help you do business?

Chambers of Commerce
Each emirate has its own chamber of commerce and when a company is established membership is automatic. Different chambers offer different services but all have facilities for networking with other member companies. Dubai Chamber is particularly active in relation to award ceremonies and research, and is very proactive in promoting its services.

Departments of Economic Development
Like the chambers, each emirate also has its own ‘DED’, tasked with promoting, regulating & sustaining business.  The BCB is closely linked with Dubai’s DED who have supported our efforts since our inception in 2013, through Dubai FDI and Dubai SME, who are responsible for inward investment and small business growth respectively.

Business Groups
Many countries are represented by a business group. As a BCB incubator client your company will gain automatic membership to the British Business Group Dubai and Northern Emirates. Not all business groups insist on a member belonging to the country it represents and many allow non-members to attend events.

In addition to country based groups, the UAE is home to private networks (such as BNI), women only groups, independent groups, groups formed around Facebook groups, and many more. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s main cities are geographically small (in comparison to UK cities), so differing to the UK all of these groups operate within a ten mile radius. There is always a networking event to attend.

Sporting Activities
Something that the UAE does well is corporate sporting events. Football, rugby, athletics, and especially golf, are all attractive to corporate teams. It is important to remember that the vast majority of expats in the UAE are here to work, therefore, shaking hands and exchanging business cards is par for the course (pun intended). People gravitate toward sporting events because they enjoy them but it is very unusual to find someone at an event adverse to taking business.

Large scale seminars are something Dubai in particular has historically done very well, world leaders and A-list film stars are regularly seen in local media promoting ideas. In addition to large government events, small and medium sized events occur almost monthly addressing everything from fashion to artificial intelligence. Like many such events, seminars are a popular way for people to meet.

Trade Events
Because the UAE’s business community is centred in two locations, and because the UAE is the region’s event capital, it is not unusual for roads to suffer congestion. To give you an understanding of just how many events take place in the UAE, here are the names of some of the larger regular trade events:

  • Gulfood
  • The Big 5 (construction)
  • CityScape Global (real estate)
  • Gitex Shopper (consumer electronics)
  • Gitex Tech Week (tech)
  • ADIPEC (energy)
  • Dubai Airshow
  • Arab Health
  • Comic Con

The events listed attract thousands of visitors from hundreds of countries but are no means all the country has to offer. The UAE hosts events covering everything from dentistry to cyber-security.

We work closely with the UK’s Department for International Trade and regularly facilitate trade missions to large events. If you are planning a trip to the UAE and wish to coincide with an event, please contact us before you fly. We may be able to help.