Ever wondered why Dubai is the destination for the world’s top conglomerates? According to CBRE, more than half of the biggest global conglomerates operating offices are present in this dynamic city. In a very short period of time, it has established its image and reputation as a vibrant and diverse destination offering quality hospitality, first class infrastructure and range of attractions[i].
Over the last couple of decades, the growth in financial and business services, trade logistics and tourism activity has played an important role in fuelling Dubai’s emergence as a global hub, showed by Knight and Frank in their Hub Report 2015. The Emirate is among the easiest to establish business globally. IMF suggest that UAE’s economy will outperform UK, Germany, US, Singapore and Hong Kong over 2015-2020[ii].
In the recent years, the city has become a major tourist destination and air travel hub. Tourists increased their stay in Dubai to catch on the cities attraction. The city has more than 100,000 hotel rooms ranging from five-star luxury to pocket-friendly mid-range options. Since 1999, every year 17 hotels are added to the existing portfolio of hotels in Dubai and estimates suggest that the number of rooms will add up to 160000 rooms by 2020 Expo. This boom shows no sign of slowing down in the coming years[iii].
Dubai- The Business Hub of the world
Dubai in the last few years has excelled as a destination for meetings, conferences and exhibitions and sporting events. The city has witnessed a plethora of sports personalities flocking the cities sports infrastructure for international standard sports events. The hospitality infrastructure which includes transportations, hotels, restaurants and other facilities are rapidly expanding along with quality service standard for the visitors.
One of the key factors is Dubai’s strategic location between the Far East and Europe; it becomes the economic center for Asia, Africa, Europe, and Russia.
Supporting Local Business
Dubai offers opportunities to enterprises of all sizes, in other words, it has a hospitable business climate. The city has recently become home to aspiring multinational companies and entrepreneurial activity. The service sector contributes considerably to Dubai’s GDP and is the fastest growing industry.
The city has become a center of trade and commerce for the Middle East. Dubai is home to more than 20,000 international companies, including offices from 124 of the Fortune 500. The government is pro-business, with the most transparent business regulations in the region, and provides tax-free zones, first-class physical infrastructure and access to an experienced and skilled labor force[iv].
Dubai is a growing knowledge hub and has a number of universities and research centers committed to developing technological and scientific advancements. Free Zones such as Dubai Healthcare City is known for more than 4,000 licensed professionals in two hospitals and more than 120 outpatient medical centers and diagnostic laboratories area covering 4.1 million square feet in the heart of Dubai. On the other hand, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Silicon Oasis offer state-of-the-art technology, research and development and industrial facilities, while Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park is the leading life sciences hub in the Middle East.
Establishment of Dubai Association Centre
Dubai Association Centre (DAC) is a gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies. It offers an ideal setting for global associations to expand within industries across the Middle East and beyond. The DAC has been established by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The Dubai World Trade Centre offers assistance for the establishment of nonprofit, apolitical and non-religious professional associations and trade bodies in the Emirate of Dubai.
DAC works as a support system for associations to establish themselves in Dubai. It allows practitioners within a common industry or profession who are registered in the Emirate to form a member-based association. Additionally, DAC provides the framework for international associations to open a regional representative office in Dubai in order to conduct business in the UAE and beyond. This has resulted in associations to benefit from economies of scale, experience in the association marketplace, flexibility and adaptability, buying power and getting centralized DAC facilities[v].
Dubai has an abundance of tourism opportunities and a huge influx of business travelers. Many economies in the Middle East and elsewhere in the fast-growing emerging markets have faced obstruction by laws that restrict foreign owners and investment. Dubai, to its economic advantage, has set up special zones where the laws encourage international investment and favor particular industries. Thus, utilizing the free trade policies to get an edge over its neighbors. The low taxes, investor network, funding availability, affordable free zone makes Dubai an ultimate destination for new age entrepreneurs, who rely on new technology to establish their startup.
Service professionals and companies, including expats, neither pay sales nor income tax in Dubai. The city insulated from the declining oil prices and also does not rely on commodities to power its economic growth, based on a report by the Brookings Institute.
Today, trade and tourism account for more than 28 percent of the GDP; business and finance, which account for more than 27 percent; and transportation, accounting for nearly 14 percent. This makes trade and tourism the biggest sector of Dubai[vi].
The rise of Dubai from a desert city to being one of the hottest destinations for hospitality and investment has been based on exceptional planning of the founders of Modern Dubai. It’s the foresight of these founders, who realized that the natural resources are the solution for the present day. The Dubai they built will provide for generations even after the natural resource in the Middle East would cease to exist. The forefathers of this nation aimed to build a modern trading hub which would ensure that the resources would continue to flow into the city and generate income just like other major global hubs such as London, New York, and Paris, which have sustained for decades and are business friendly[vii].