Leveraging Dubai’s Business Advantages: The Path to Maximising Growth and Business Expansion


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Dubai has long been known as the economic and cultural heart of the Middle Eastern region. In this land where innovation and tradition collide to produce an economic promise that cannot be found anywhere else, entrepreneurs and global corporations from across the world have converged here, all with the goal of driving business growth. 

At this very moment, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations have shifted their focus from oil dependency to diversify their economies with other forms of wealth generation. Dubai is leading the way in this transformation, with lofty goals that cross the trillion dollar mark. 

In 2023, Dubai inked an ambitious plan to double its economy within the coming decade. AED 32 trillion ($8.71 trillion) is where the bar has been set. So how does Dubai plan on achieving this target? Simply put, through its tried and tested Economic Free Zones.


If you want your business to prosper, look no further than Dubai. The ever present opportunities in Dubai are backed by unique advantages.

Business-Friendly Policies

Dubai boasts an ease of doing business score of 80.9 out of 100. This means that business setup processes are streamlined with far less paperwork. From an array of free zones that suit every business model where entrepreneurs can benefit from 100% ownership, to a regulatory landscape that promotes innovation and growth, Dubai will constantly empower your business. 

Tax Benefits

Tax incentives are among the key factors that entrepreneurs look for when moving their businesses abroad. In the UAE, tax rates for income up to AED 375,000 are at 0%. If you go beyond this value, the rate is set at only 9%. If the annual income of your company is below this threshold or your business operates within the eligible sectors, you won’t have any corporate tax liability.

Advanced Infrastructure and Technology

Dubai’s infrastructure has been curated with the latest technology incorporated into every facet of life. From state of the art public transport, telecommunications and digital infrastructure systems that are yet to enter other cities, it is no wonder why Dubai continues to attract global entrepreneurs. It is also noteworthy that the UAE’s Digital Economy Strategy has laid down a sound foundation for even greater technological advancements.


When the time is right to expand your business, ensure that you carefully consider the model that suits your business best.

Setting Up in Free Zones

The free zones of Dubai play host to several advantages. These include:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Tax incentives
  • Simplified business setup processes 

Despite the benefits, you are advised to understand the regulatory requirements and limitations of each free zone such as:

  • Permitted types of business activities
  • Office space options
  • Eligibility criteria between free zones

Here are some of the more popular free zones in Dubai:

Meydan Free Zone

Meydan Free Zone is strategically positioned 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport. With a wide range of business activities on offer, Meydan Free Zone is your gateway to access various marketplaces to sell your products. Its business license is MoFA-recognized as well.

SPC Free Zone

The Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC) will grant you a business license in under 45 minutes. The opportunity for your business to be 100% foreign owned along with trade license validity for up to 10 years, setting up a business here is as streamlined as it gets. SPC Free Zone will also guide you on how to open a corporate bank account too. 

Sharjah Media City (Shams)

With the mission of becoming the regional leader in the media and creativity sector, Shams Free Zone allows you to set up a business at a starting cost of AED 5,750. Other benefits include 0% corporate or personal income tax, and 12 visas on a dedicated desk facility. 

DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre)

DMCC, situated in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers district, is an award-winning free zone. It offers innovative infrastructure, world-class services, and excellent connectivity by air, sea, and road.

Onshore vs. Offshore Companies

With the opportunity to set up both onshore and offshore companies in Dubai, it’s important to understand the differences between the two.

Onshore companies:

  • Set up to operate within the UAE
  • Engage in local business activities.
  • Subject to UAE regulations
  • May require a local Emirati partner or service agent

Offshore companies:

  • Designed for international operations
  • Offer benefits like tax optimization and confidentiality
  • Ideal for businesses looking to conduct global activities

SetHub’s experts will help you understand both of these options in detail, ensuring that you make an educated decision. 

Partnerships and Joint Ventures

Joining hands with a local partner will always give you a strategic advantage. Local partners have a sound understanding of Dubai’s market, regulations and consumer trends. Working together will result in easy market entry while enhancing cultural adaptability and sensitivity, elements that are essential when catering to Dubai’s consumer base.


Here’s a quick look at the steps you need to take to ensure that the expansion of your business in Dubai will be a success.

Market Research and Feasibility Study

Conduct a thorough market research and feasibility study:

  • Identifying opportunities
  • Understand local consumer preferences
  • Assess the competitive landscape. 

If your strategy is data driven, then you will be on the right path towards a fruitful expansion in Dubai.

Legal and Licensing Requirements

To stay compliant with Duba’s regulations, you’ll need to go through the licensing and permitting process. This involves:

  • Selecting the right business structure
  • Obtaining the necessary permits
  • Adhering to local regulations

Sethub’s forte is guiding businesses through this process, while providing expert insights to ensure a smooth expansion process.

Investment and Funding Options

Dubai offers various investment and funding options. These include venture capital, bank loans and government grants and incentives.

Talent Acquisition and HR Considerations

Have a healthy balance between recruiting both skilled professionals and local talent. Understand labor laws, employment regulations, and cultural sensitivities to build a workforce that grows alongside your business. 

Real Estate and Office Setup

When choosing your office setup, assess your real estate needs, budget, and proximity to clients and partners. Many free zone business licenses, such as those from Meydan Free Zone or Shams come with a flexi desk or workspace included.


Take note of the following challenges that you will have to face when your business in Dubai expands, while your decision will certainly be fruitful, nothing comes without its own set of challenges. 

Cultural Differences – Adapt to the local culture, understand business etiquette and consider cultural sensitivity training for your team.

Regulatory Complexities – Consult with business advisors such as Sethub, who are well-versed in Dubai’s regulatory landscape.

Fierce Competition – Focus on a unique value proposition, conduct robust market research, and deploy a sound marketing strategy.

Talent Acquisition – Offer competitive salaries and benefits, foster a positive workplace culture, and provide opportunities for growth and development.

Market Entry Costs – Create a detailed budget, explore cheaper office space options, and consider government incentives or free zones that offer cost savings.

Market Volatility – Diversify your business operations, monitor global trends, and maintain financial flexibility.

In conclusion, the journey of business expansion in Dubai offers a wealth of opportunities and advantages for entrepreneurs and enterprises alike. Dubai’s strategic location, tax benefits, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and supportive government policies create an ideal ecosystem for business growth. Moreover, the future outlook is promising, with the UAE’s economy expected to expand significantly, driven by various sectors, including non-oil industries. Dubai welcomes your vision, and with the right strategy, the possibilities are endless.