Are you planning to open a business in the UAE or expand your current business there? To enter this Middle Eastern market smoothly, one must consider and be mindful of a few important factors. For example, what is the best way to enter the market? What regulations does your business need to follow? What resources do you have available? Here, we highlight important contacts, business etiquette, and resources to do business in the UAE successfully—from getting UAE virtual phone numbers to business etiquette, and more.
How to Do Business in the UAE?
The UAE is a constantly developing economy bringing new opportunities for investments regularly. There are a few different reasons, according to a PWC report, to want to do business in the UAE. Among these are:
- One of the most liberal trade regimes
- Opportunities in trade, banking, tourism, real estate, etc.
- Strong infrastructure
- Reliable banking system
- A tax-favorable environment, and more
Starting a business in this Middle Eastern country is quick and easy! So, what do you need to keep in mind to successfully do business in the UAE?
Related: Middle East Virtual Phone Numbers
1. Important Contacts
From free trade zones to government organizations, here is a list of important contacts to be aware of when doing business here:
- Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Ajman Chamber of Commerce
- Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Umm al-Qaiwain
- UAE Free Zone Authority for UAE Free Trade Zones (FTZs):
- TwoFour54/Abu Dhabi Media Zone
- Jebel Ali Free Zone
- Dubai Airport Free Zone
- Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
- Dubai Media City
- Dubai Internet City (DIC)
2. Where to Get Business Numbers?
To build business relationships in the UAE, you will need UAE virtual numbers. Virtual phone numbers help you establish contact with local residents and businesses even if you are located in a different country. Calls made to your UAE virtual business number will be forwarded to a location or number of your choice. This could be your main office, smartphone, etc.
United World Telecom offers a variety of UAE business phone numbers:
- UAE toll free numbers — Local residents and business contacts can call these numbers for free
- UAE geographic or local numbers for Dubai and Abu Dhabi — These are business numbers with local area codes. Locals pay regular calling rates and your business will be perceived as a local one.
Whether you are traveling or simply want to test the UAE market before making an investment, UAE phone numbers create communication channels without the need to be physically present in the country. You can then start to offer sales and customer support services.
3. Business Etiquette in the UAE
When working in a new country, respecting the country’s culture and norms is essential. Here are key notes on UAE business etiquette:
- Be aware of UAE public holidays; avoid holding meetings during prayer times and holidays.
- Exchange business cards with both hands after introductions, during meetings; don’t offer anything with the left hand.
- Personal relationships are important; invest in face-to-face meetings.
- Plan and schedule meetings in advance with extra time.
- The workweek in the UAE runs from Sunday to Thursday; Friday and Saturday are rest days.
- Don’t forget your manners and be courteous.
- When interacting with a group, greet the senior-most person first.
- Be patient, especially during meetings.
- Hospitality is important; meetings occur over lunches or dinners and sometimes tea and coffee.
- Dress conservatively.
4. Helpful Resources
Additional resources to assist you in starting your new company:
- The United Arab Emirates’ Government portal
- UAE Embassy
- Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
- KPMG Guide to Doing Business in the UAE (2020)
- UAE Freezones
Doing Business in the UAE
The UAE is based adjacent to the Arabian Peninsula on the eastern coast. It is a federation of seven emirates, the largest of which is Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi also accounts for a majority of the oil industry and the wealth of the nation. The next largest emirate is Dubai, which is a famous port city that has grown into a booming commercial center for multinational corporations. The smaller emirates include Sharjah, Ajmān, Umm al-Qaywayn, Raʾs al-Khaymah, and Al-Fujayrah. Although the official language for the UAE is Arabic, many people speak English as well, especially in the business world.
The UAE has become extremely attractive to business owners for a plethora of reasons. If you are interested in starting your own business in the UAE, now is the time to do it. We usually recommend local phone numbers or toll free numbers for UAE businesses. Read on to find out how easy it is to open up your own business and make considerable profits in the UAE.
An Open Economy
Yes, the UAE has an open economy. It is one of the most accessible countries to trade within the Gulf and it has a very high per capita income. Many countries have already made their way to the UAE, and in so doing have helped to increase the economy even more with their foreign capital. The previously established nation has become even more wealthy with the influx of offshore companies and money. The UAE is already a cozy home to several multi-million dollar corporations and small start-up companies.
The government of the United Arab Emirates caught on quickly that foreign investment would lead to a skyrocketing economy and therefore made it easier than ever for foreign companies to bring their businesses overseas. Foreign nationals get their own set of rules and regulations to follow, which includes fast-tracked legal procedures.
They want you in the UAE and the government won’t make you wait as they only require a minimal amount of paperwork. They have also set up registration and licensing to be fast and easy to understand.
UAE Free Zones
Foreign companies can apply to be tax-exempt under the free zone economy. This means that international businesses do not need to pay a corporate tax nor an income tax. All of your profits are just that, profits. There are free zones in Ajman, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. When researching where you should take your company, those three areas should top your list. Keep in mind, however, that voice over IP is prohibited in the UAE. Direct inward dialing is still allowed and many businesses in the free zone utilize sophisticated PBX phone systems.
Access To An Elite Labor Pool
The UAE attracts a strong workforce to its largest cities. There is an abundance of skilled and unskilled workers that flock to the UAE from places such as India. It is such an attractive place for employees and employers alike because of its low tax structure and very high wages. UAE residents are also very well-taken care of. 92% of people are literate, and health insurance is mandatory. They have an established education structure, and international universities have been set up in the UAE including NYU and MIT.
Solid Foundations to Build Upon
Whatever your business needs, the UAE has made sure that they already have it set up for you. When you bring your business to the UAE, you will have easy access to transportation, business parks, warehousing, and office spaces. There is no need to start from scratch.
The UAE offers easy access to its fast-growing and well-established neighbors, including its major trade partner, the European Union. It is also close to China and India and has excellent trade relations with both countries. Plus, it is a safe place to work with a relatively low crime rate.
One of the Best Locations for International Expansion
The UAE caters to its foreign investors, and because of its location, safety, workforce, and infrastructure, it easily attracts many foreign companies looking for an excellent location for expansion. If you’re looking to start your own business, then the UAE is a great country to start in because it has all the tools necessary to set you up for success.
Ready to Do Business in the UAE?
Use these resources and the accompanying contact information to start doing business in the UAE. Our global specialists can get you set up with virtual communication tools and business phone numbers, if you are curious about the specific options available to you. Contact us and find out how today!