5 Business Sectors where Startups are Finding Success in UAE

by Zaara 11, Aug 2020

Are you Struggling to Decide the Location for Setting up a Business?

The UAE – the MENA region's third-largest country by population of ten million people with a GDP of 349 billion. The income per capita (PPP) of USD 68,092 makes the country one of the wealthiest in the world, where all but 15% of the workforce are guest workers. Although it has the seventh-largest oil reserves worldwide, the country has invested in shifting its economy from oil dependence to other sources of government revenue.

A liberal business environment permits 100% foreign ownership in the country's 45 free zones and SMEs contribute 30% to the economy. Some of the world's most significant large scale innovation projects and investment funds point to the country's capability for long-term innovation.

Burgeoning Start-ups in the UAE

As the startup scene in the UAE enters a new phase of growth, the country has learned from teething troubles and is emerging as a local startup hub. According to the Dubai Centre for statistics, early-stage startups make up nearly fifty per cent of companies registered in the city. The UAE Ministry of the Economy has reported that more than 94 per cent of the companies operating in the UAE are SME's, accounting for more than 86 per cent of the total private-sector workforce.

5 Business Sectors where Startups are Finding Success in UAE

United Arab Emirates Startups 

Funding For Startups

Funding For Startups

Though there have been a few bumps in UAE's startup journey, the UAE government has taken an interest in addressing the problems quickly. With a few startup success stories governments rapidly responding to business establishment obstacles, tech enterprise giants moving in and accelerator programs launching provide support and guidance, the UAE is creating an environment to nurture a thriving startup ecosystem.

Impact of Expo2020 On Start-Ups

Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to attract almost 25 million visitors from over 192 countries that have confirmed participation. Startups can prosper from attending Expo2020. With 25millions of the audience and 192 participating countries, the next World Expo is loaded with business opportunities.

Expo 2020 will be a gateway into modern markets for all businesses, offering a chance to develop relationships with nations, multilateral organisations, educational institutions and corporations. The Expo 2020 startup programme, will award funds up to USD 100,000 per application depending on the maturity and scalability of innovation.

UAE government is expecting that the Expo will lead to a 24% increase in economic activity (about US$24 billion), creating more than 270,000 new jobs during the period 2015–2021. Expo 2020 is likely to increase Dubai's brand value by $8 billion to $257 billion.

Sectors Booming in the UAE

Upcoming graphs give some information about various sectors and business breakdown in UAE.

Sectors Booming in the UAE

Sectors Booming in the UAE

Are you Brainstorming to decide the industry in which you want to set up your business?

Here are a few industries which are showing profits in the UAE.

1. Retail

Investors are making investments into the ongoing development of new retail areas that include malls, restaurants, and theme parks – especially in Dubai. In 2015, 14 million tourists visited, and by 2020 those numbers are expected to increase by 6 million.

Online retail has also found its feet. E-commerce sites such as ShopGo facilitate the trade of consumer goods, have been highlighted among the most promising startups within the United Arab Emirates by Forbes. There are also many apps available to shopping, Dubizzle and Souq leading the charge here has made remarkable strides in recent years to ensure an excellent mobile experience of their platforms.

2. Financial Services

As the UAE with a considerable amount of densely populated businesses, it's little shocking that there is an ongoing need for all of the many supporting financial services, with a platform for auditors, bookkeepers, and accountants to make their image in the region.

However, with mobile phone seepage in the region is around 80% and rising at a quick rate. Innovators who create financial services handy via mobile devices do so knowing that consumer adoption is fast in this sector.

There are a plethora of renowned success stories out of the UAE, including PayFort, the online payment gateway; Beehive and so on. No doubt wherever you find a startup climate and wealth, you'll find the necessity of financial services.

3. Health Care

It is expected that overall healthcare spending will increase to $22 billion in 2020, from a calculated budget of $14.0 billion in 2013 to $19.6 billion in 2018. PWC, in a recent survey on the healthcare-sector, pointed out that investors and new entrants are promoting growth within the healthcare market by developing new products, services and channels, particularly across the digital landscape. The UAE government has been hopeful for foreign companies to support the growth of its healthcare sector through strategic collaborations and tie-ups. The UAE currently has the largest number of hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) in the MENA region.

Between 2004 and 2013, the UAE was the largest recipient of private equity deals in the MENA healthcare sector, with transactions valued at $453 million. Therefore, the UAE's healthcare sector is expanding at a fast rate, and it presents enormous opportunities for both businesses and investors.

4.  Gaming

Most of the UAE population loves video games. And whether it maybe mobile apps or consoles, the market is growing quicker than the global average and may triple by 2022. A recent report by ArabNet indicated that the United Arab Emirates dominates the Arab region when it comes to mobile apps downloaded, with over 50% of users downloading more than five apps a month. The big news for video game companies is that those game apps make up 60% of these downloads.

5. Logistics

Dubai is the most important trading hub in the region with logistics and infrastructure that allow seamless movement of goods and services. Estimators say that more than 4 billion people live within 8 hours flight from Dubai, covering significant markets in Africa and Asia. Its status as a regional haven helps remain the preferred destination for global businesses entering the Middle East, Iran and Africa. Compared to other sectors, logistics remains the most intertwined with global trade, and its performance is likely to co-move with a slowdown in world trade expected in 2016, albeit in short to medium run only. However, the government's commitment to improving infrastructure and legislation is likely to boost the sector and help sustain returns.

Why Commitbiz?

If you want to start a business in Dubai that promises success, then you would also have to need the help of experienced people. We at Commitbiz help people for setting up a business in UAE, along with that we make sure that you stay restored with the new ways and trends to horn your business skills for the better. We are delighted to help you! Feel free to contact us.


What is the expected growth in the retail e-commerce sector in the UAE?

$8 billion by 2025.

Where does the UAE stand globally in retail spending?

Ranks 14th globally.

How much do the online shopping sales grow in the UAE?

53% in 2020.

What is the primary financial regulator of the UAE?

 The Central Bank of the UAE.

What is the expected healthcare spending accounting for the GDP of the UAE?

4.6% by 2026.