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Competitive advantage and economy overview

  Dubai is well established as the Middle East’s prime destination for the regional headquarters of multinational
  corporations. Its global reputation as a wealth generator and investment stronghold continues to drive the city’s growth.

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Though Dubai moved away from traditional trading and looked to its natural resources for sustenance in the latter half of the 20th century, revenue from oil was soon complemented and later almost replaced with a knowledge-based and services driven economy.

The inspirational and innovative businesses which establish themselves in Dubai are supported by the Emirate’s overwhelming ambition to drive technology, pioneer new innovation and foster thought leadership.

World class leaders in trade, logistics, financial services, hospitality and tourism, real estate, construction and manufacturing now make up over 90% of business activity in the Emirate.

This diversification, along with its strategic location, world class infrastructure and ease of business philosophy make it the natural choice for local and international organisations to either begin operations or expand into the Middle East.

Although its meteoric rise may have been swift, Dubai is well established as the Middle East’s prime destination for the regional headquarters of multinational corporations. Its global reputation as a wealth generator and investment stronghold continues to drive the city’s growth and attract both worldwide corporations and international SMEs.

Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Emirate has strived to implement and develop a strict code of business ethics, a transparent and open marketplace and a will to succeed. These essential ingredients for success, combined with political stability and a vision to play a key role in the future global economy have made Dubai one of the most attractive business propositions anywhere in the world. And its innovative policy initiatives mean that building a business in Dubai is consistently straightforward and constantly supported with advice, guidance and hands-on help from Dubai FDI.


1. Freezones
Dubai has more than 20 freezones catering to specific service and industry markets to ensure that both start up companies and established corporations maximise their competitiveness in the Middle East.
The freezones cover the entire spectrum of business sectors from technology and media to finance and biotechnology and everything in between. For example, Dubai International Financial Centre operates under a unique legal and regulatory framework to optimise financial sector growth, and Jebel Ali Free Zone, incorporating one of the largest commercial ports in the world, offers companies an unrivalled logistics base. Dubai Healthcare City provides prime opportunities for elite medical professionals to conduct business with some of the most progressive facilities available, and Dubai Studio City, designed to accelerate the growth of the broadcast, film, television and music production industries, is the perfect launch pad for companies looking to break into one of the world’s fastest growing media markets.
Foreign companies are entitled to 100% ownership in free zones and are provided with world class infrastructure catered to their specific needs.


2.1 Financing
According to the City of London’s Global Financial Centre’s Index, Dubai has the most developed financial services industry in the region. Being well capitalised, UAE banks are more active in lending to private businesses than their regional counterparts and offer greater variety and sophistication of financing products and services.

2.2 Intellectual Property Rights
The UAE is a regional leader in the protection of Intellectual Property Rights, with ever evolving enforcement copyright, trademark and patent laws.

2.3 Administration
In accordance with its World Trade Organisation membership, the UAE has made huge strides in reducing bureaucracy surrounding the foreign investment approval process. Online applications, tracking and enquiries mean that starting a business in Dubai is easier than ever.