What is so attractive about the UAE as a business destination?

Georges El Hachem - August 19, 2021

From economic and political stability to safety and expat investor-friendly policies, the UAE has consistently proven itself to be one of the top destinations in the world. It constantly attracts professional talent and foreign investment, as well as a steady stream of tourists every year, all of which boosts the economy.

Under the leadership of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai has grown within two decades from a desert to a thriving business destination that presents unrivalled opportunities to expats from around the world, looking to live, study, work and invest in the region.

Economic and Political Stability

Since its inception in 1971, the UAE’s economy has largely depended on its exports of oil and gas, however, progressive government efforts have made it possible for other sectors such as real estate and tourism to flourish.

The UAE is also on the way to becoming one of the fastest countries to recover from Covid-19, with over 9M people vaccinated, the economy is moving forward and recovering, while many countries throughout the rest of the world continue to be faced with challenges.

The UAE’s strong foundations, built on security and economic strength, as well as its progressive outlook and policies, allows over 200 nationalities to coexist together and thrive, putting it at the forefront of business in the region.

Based on findings in the Global Competitiveness Report in 2019, The UAE was named as the world’s 25th most competitive economy. Some of the factors influencing this ranking include strategic location, strong financial reserves, consistent government spending on infrastructure, digital transformation and innovation.

Strategic Location

The UAE is strategically located between Asia, Europe and Africa. Being in such close proximity to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies in Asia presents many business opportunities to those based in the Emirate, from global trade to tourism. Its location makes nearly two-thirds of the world’s population accessible within a six-hour flight.

Being situated on the new Southern Silk Road between Asia, Europe and Africa offers optimal trading conditions for the UAE and has made Dubai a trans-continental trade hub for the rest of the world. Additionally, Dubai is becoming recognized as a hub for technological innovations, offering the perfect conditions for new talents and novelties to emerge.

Tourism has become one of the driving forces of the economy in Dubai. In 2019 Dubai has seen 50.4 million people passing through the Dubai airport, while this number has been impacted by Covid-19 in 2020, tourism has renewed in recent months and these numbers are expected to rise again, making Dubai once more one of the busiest airports in the world.

Dubai’s principal flight carrier company, Emirates Airline is one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, connecting people all over the world to over 150 destinations.

Government initiatives and policies

Dubai continues to attract expat professionals from around the world, offering unmatched business and investment opportunities. Having a tax-efficient system and multiple investor-friendly policies make it an ideal location for setting up new businesses or making strategic investments. Furthermore, the absence of property and income tax, makes this an incredibly lucrative location for business professionals compared to the rest of the world.

In recent years the government has come up with a variety of innovative ways to attract and retain talent from around the world. Policies and programmes, such as the Dubai Virtual Working programme, Retire in Dubai programme and the 10-year Golden Residency Visa allow qualified professionals such as doctors, entrepreneurs and innovators to make Dubai their permanent home.

Hospitality and Leisure

Home to some of the biggest names in the international hospitality industry, the UAE offers an unmatched offering of top-class services and entertainment all year round. From world-class hotels, such as Intercontinental, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Mandarin Oriental, The Bulgari Resort & Residences, Palazzo Versace, Armani and more, as well as some of its own luxury brands such as Jumeirah.

The entertainment industry has also become one of the most recognized around the world, with Dubai Parks & Resorts and Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping, entertainment and leisure destination.

All in all, the UAE stands proud as one of the world’s top destinations in the world for business, leisure or entertainment purposes. Through visionary thinking, continuous progress, technological innovations and progressive policies the UAE government has achieved incredible things in the past two decades. Although, faced with multiple challenges, UAE always comes out stronger and better.

With future plans, such as the 2040 Urban Master Plan and the UAE Centennial 2071, there is no doubt that the country will continue to exceed world expectations and the economy will continue to grow stronger.

The Author

Georges El Hachem - Director, Commercial

Georges joined Select Group as Commercial Director in 2020. He has over 18 years’ experience in destination management and expert knowledge across an array of industries including hospitality, tourism and MICE. He has a deep understanding of the GCC, and the buying behavior of the international visitors to the region.