3 business trends to look out for in 2021 and 2022


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The events of 2020 have changed the way we work irreversibly. Many trends that were already taking hold, like home working and gig-style employment have accelerated rapidly.

Today’s workplace is now much more fluid, flexible, and, of course, online than ever before. This reimaging of what it is to work presents many opportunities for entrepreneurs with the skills and dynamism to see success.

In this article, I’m going to look at three of the most ubiquitous trends of 2021 and how they are likely to develop into next year. I’ll also cover how you can start your UAE business with Set Hub in order to take your place in this new marketplace.

Trend 1: Working from home (WFH) is here to stay

Working from home is nothing new. Many organisations have allowed employees to work remotely for some time now. However, with the pandemic forcing all of us to leave the office and work from our homes, many more businesses have seen what’s possible.

Home working allows organisations access to a much larger pool of talent, as well as helping to improve engagement, wellbeing, and work life balance.

The recent advancement of virtual collaborative tools has also expanded the scope of tasks that can be performed remotely, with now only the most hands-on professions requiring physical presence. Everyone, from teachers and doctors to engineers, marketeers and consultants, can now ply their trade around the world, with little more than a laptop and internet connection.

Trend 2: The gig economy will keep growing

The number of gig workers around the world has grown significantly in recent years. In the US, around a third of the workforce take part in it in some way. And this figure is expected to exceed 50% by 2027.

Increasing numbers of workers are choosing the freedom and flexibility of gig and freelance work over the traditional confines of a 9 to 5 job. And there are many benefits to business owners too. Gig workers cost little to nothing to onboard, and do not carry many of the overheads of standard employees, such as holiday and sick pay, pension contributions and the like.

Gig work is also a rich breeding ground for entrepreneurs, with many workers building up experience and a client base in this way before establishing a formal business.

Trend 3: Ecommerce will become (even more) ubiquitous

The e-commerce market has been growing from the moment the internet became a fixture in most homes around the world. Today, the UAE e-commerce market is estimated to be valued at almost USD 4bn. Globally, e-commerce sales are expected to reach USD 5tn this year.

One factor behind this exponential growth in recent years is the wider variety of goods and services that are available to purchase online. Where once a few goods like computers or collectables were traded online, today shoppers can take their pick from all manner of goods – books, groceries, cars, health treatments, houses, and much, much more.

E-commerce can be a very rewarding arena for entrepreneurs, requiring very little in the way of startup capital. In some cases, it is even possible to start an e-commerce business in the UAE without visiting the country.

How to start a UAE business in 2021

Whether you’re looking to set up as a freelancer and work from home, participate in the gig economy or launch an e-commerce empire, you’ll require a license to trade in the UAE.

When you start your business and apply for your license with Set Hub, the process is quick and simple. We will guide you through the following steps.

Step 1:
First, we will help you decide on your company name. Be aware that you must abide by a strict set of naming conventions. We can run you through the requirements before registering your company name on your behalf.

Step 2:
The next step is to confirm your business activities. Here, you’ll need to outline all services that you intend to offer. You can only carry out activities that are listed on your license.

Step 3:
You can now apply for your trade license. There are a couple of ways of doing this, depending on your requirements. You can opt to open in a free zone or in the UAE mainland.

Establishing a business in a free zone is often the most cost-effective approach. This way, you can benefit from the UAE’s 0% tax rate, as well as zero currency restrictions, profit and capital repatriation, plus 100% customs tax exemption.

Whichever option you choose, you will need to supply the following documentation:

  • A completed application form
  • Articles of incorporation (if necessary)
  • Passport copies for all shareholders
  • Brief descriptions of intended business activities


Step 4:
If you wish to live and work in the UAE, you’ll need a residency visa – and Set Hub can also assist with this process too. We can also help you apply for visas for your company employees, dependants, and domestic staff such as housekeepers or drivers.

Start your business in 2021 with Set Hub

If you’re armed with the right knowledge, starting a business in Dubai, UAE, doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a Dubai business setup specialist such as Set Hub when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits, and visa applications required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.