Five Big Leading Industries in the UAE

by Zaara 17, Dec 2021

The government of the UAE over the past few years has shown the consistent resolve to diversify its oil-dependent economy. It continues to take giant strides in its diversification plan. It is working meticulously in rolling out methods to boost economic sectors, especially healthcare, food and beverage, education, and logistic sectors. It is not only huddled on the drawing board, but it is also making visible efforts to lure in foreign investors, by working closely with institutions and implementing legislation that will help create a conducive investment environment.

We have listed down some of the leading industries in the UAE, that has been contributing immensely to the economy of the country.

1. Hospitality Sector

The hospitality industry in the UAE remains one of the most competitive and lucrative sectors for the region with several visitors, spend, and hotel stays on the rise. Dubai attracts visitors from across the world and is one of the most visited cities, with 15.93 million worldwide overnight visitors in 2018. The hospitality market in the UAE is expected to reach $7.6 billion within three years at a five-year CAGR of 8.5 per cent. International tourist visits will increase to 25.5 million at a 5-year CAGR of 4.3 per cent.

And with Expo 2020 being postponed in the year 2021, the visitor count will increase, which will directly affect the hospitality industry.

2. Retail Sector

The retail industry in the UAE has shown a massive growth at a global level, currently holding a value of 25.2 trillion US$. The global giants like Walmart, Amazon, Staples have captured a vast segment of the retail space, which includes extensive mergers and acquisitions gradually.

According to a study carried out by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the year 2012, the tourists contributed about 20.4% of the total retail sales, which amounted to AED 100 billion.

Apart from this, Dubai also hosts some of the biggest shopping festivals in the world, that helps in boosting the local sales of retailers.

3. Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing is the second-largest contributor to the economy of the country. It accounts for 80% of Dubai’s non-oil trade and 53% of the country’s total non-oil exports. Some of the primary sub-sectors of the industry are processed F&B, minerals and mineral products, plastics and rubber, publishing and printing, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals and chemical products, precious stones, pearls, and metals.

Organizations that plan to set up a manufacturing plant in Dubai are bestowed with a wide range of lucrative facilities.

Across the country, many Emirates are pushing an initiative to develop industrial centres to cope up both with the demand and the vision of being the world’s most vibrant manufacturing hub.

4. Media Sector

The UAE is a hub for public relations companies, print, advertising firms, production and broadcast facilities. Recently, Dubai was named as the Capital of Arab Media for 2020 by the Arab Information Ministers Council. The UAE, and Dubai, specifically, serves as the commercial centre for the region. Media plays an essential role in the campaign of selling product or services.

5. Construction Sector

The construction industry is an inevitable part of the economy of UAE, that has been flourishing leaps and bounds. The use of robots, uncrewed aerial vehicles and “intelligent” tools and equipment has helped in the automation of various tasks at construction sites, and this has been a contributing factor to the thriving industry.

During the period 2014-2018, residential construction estimated for the largest construction market in the UAE, and it is assumed to retain its position in the coming years. More than 15,000 projects worth $791 billion are at various stages across the UAE.

Setting up a business in the UAE under any of these sectors will create several profitable opportunities shortly.

How can we help?

We at Commitbiz can help you set up a business in the UAE. Right from business incorporation to office space - we cover it all. Contact us today - we’d be happy to assist you.


What type of license is needed for the garment business in the UAE?

General trading license

Does an import-export license is required for the garment business in UAE?

You may require an import or export license to do business both inside and outside the country, depending upon the kind and scope of your business.

What is the scope of the textile industry in the UAE?

The expansion of infrastructure, transparency, documentation, and tax exemptions ensures that the textile industry in the UAE develops to its full potential.

What are the things needed to keep in mind before setting up a garment business in UAE?

Before setting up a garment business in the UAE, it is essential to research the industry and grasp the benefits and drawbacks of each jurisdiction.

How long does it will take a garment business to set up in UAE?

It depends upon the jurisdiction chosen and the approval it requires.