The vast majority of information given about Dubai relates to the emirate’s housing market, the lifestyle opportunities in Dubai or perhaps getting a job and moving to live in the UAE – but what if you’re interested in setting up a business in Dubai?

Well, with the tax and operating incentives offered in the free zones, setting up a business in Dubai is an attractive prospect.  Added to this is the fact that the government are actively engaged in facilitating business creation in a bid to maintain economic diversification in the emirate and the fact that out of all the members of the UAE, Dubai probably has the most liberal operating conditions for businesses and you have an environment ripe for your business idea.

All types of company have to have a licence to operate – you will require either a commercial licence for trading, a professional licence for professional services offered or an industrial licence if your business in Dubai will be engaged in manufacturing or industrial activity.

The vast majority of licenses are issued by the Economic Department of the government – but there are exceptions.  Exceptions usually arise in businesses where direct advice is given, where investment is involved or where the business has medical elements to it.  So, for example, if you’re establishing a bank or an insurance brokerage, if you’re opening a hospital or you’re manufacturing goods for sale to consumers, the Economic Department will redirect you to the appropriate licensing authority.

Unless you open your business in Dubai within one of the free trade zones, your company will require a 51% UAE national to have ownership – which is just one reason why the free trade zones are so popular!

If you want to establish a business and relocate to be living in Dubai it will pay you well to take personalised and specialist advice.  Because the UAE is such a dynamic location for investment, commerce and business there are many service providers available to help you conceptualise your business idea fully and to assist you in the creation of a workable business plan.

Take steps to contact advisers who can help you get licenses, find premises, employ, get funding or financing and even assist you with company creation and good luck…