Dubai is a Paradise Destination for Shoppers
Whether you’re here to take in the sights or to get your chance to shop at some of the largest malls and festivals in the world, Dubai is a massive retail destination that is the envy of customers and potential investors alike. In fact, Dubai is considered a top choice for businesses with high-end, globally-renowned brand names.
And there is no shortage of high-profile brands in Dubai, with European and Western trends filling local shopping outlets, malls, and stores with exciting and unique designs. The facilities that sell these wares are supported heavily by modern infrastructure, creating a market with tons of attractive facilities and concepts. These businesses also contribute heavily to the UAE economy.
If modern facilities and high-end luxury don’t do the trick, Dubai authorities have created several large festivals and events to support the industry. For example, the Dubai Shopping Festival, held in January and February, is a huge celebration that brings about expansive discounts and sales on products. It’s such a large part of UAE society that the event makes up roughly 30% of its annual revenue.
Building on the successes of the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai’s Summer Surprises, another major event, is held from June to August and is promoted and attended by internationally known artists, designers, and celebrities.
What Drives Growth in Dubai’s Retail Industry
The Emirates is a fantastic shopping destination for any potential shopper. But what drives the growth in this retail sector? Of course, popular festivals, like the Dubai Shopping Festival, are a significant draw, but much of the success comes down to the changes in a global society.
In recent years, the pandemic has had a profound impact on how citizens operate daily. No matter the country of origin, citizens entered into a period where social contact and shopping experiences fell to the wayside in lieu of personal safety.
However, with ever-increasing vaccination numbers and open travel policies, Dubai and the UAE at large are seeing a tremendous influx of retail activity. Investors, tourists, and travelers of all sorts are now coming back to the region to enjoy some of the most luxurious shopping on Earth. Due to this, market forecasts are showing a steady increase in upcoming years. So, if you’ve ever thought about how to set up a retail business in Dubai, there is no better time to act than right now.
How to Set Up a Retail Business in Dubai
Starting any business endeavor is a massive decision! Therefore, It’s essential to perform thorough research to understand the ins and outs of business practices in the UAE. This includes having in-depth knowledge of the licensing application process. Many foreign investors and businesses choose to opt for business setup consultants in Dubai. These companies, like MSZ Consultancy, can help those unfamiliar with local business practices navigate the terrain of business formation in the UAE. But if you’ve decided to take on the application process without the aid of third-party consultants, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help you make sense of it all:
1. Draft a Business Plan
No business will find true financial success without having a thorough, clear business plan. This plan must include your financial capabilities, goals, and a complete understanding of the market you’re entering.
2. Choose your Business Activity
Dubai is home to a wide range of different business activities. To be successful, you’ll need to complete research on your product, the demand for it, and the forecast of the market surrounding it. You will also need a thorough understanding of the regulations and certifications required for your chosen field. Some products, like jewelry outlets or food-based industries, require numerous licenses and certifications to open doors legally.
3. Arrange a Local Sponsor for Your Business
Before new legislative measures were introduced in June of 2021, foreign investors in certain UAE jurisdictions were required to seek national sponsorship. This local sponsor, a UAE resident, was required to own a majority share in the company. However, this practice is quickly falling by the wayside due to these new sweeping business reforms.
4. Business Licensing and Registration
Your next step will be to apply for a trade license in Dubai, as well as company registration. To register your company name, you must submit your chosen title to the Department of Economic Development (DED) for approval. Your business name may not already be taken and may not include profanity or restricted words.
To obtain your business license, you’ll need to secure all the required documentation, including:
• Copies of passports for all shareholders
• CV’s for all shareholders
• A comprehensive business plan
• Copies of visas for all owners and shareholders
• Any additional required documents from banking institutions.
- Some business activities, such as restaurants and retail establishments, require additional certifications and approvals before receiving a full business license.
• Pay all necessary fees and receive the license.
5. Hire skilled staff
A critical aspect of running a successful business is your staff. Dubai is home to a large pool of skilled workers, making it easier to find the right talent for the job.
Steps to Set Up a Retail Business in Dubai
Dubai has numerous business jurisdictions known as Free Zones. These business sectors allow businesses to operate under beneficial business regulations and extensive tax benefits. Companies operating in these Free Zones can expect zero tax responsibilities, full repatriation of profits, and no local sponsorship requirements. Below, we’ve listed the steps to help you start your next retail business in one of Dubai’s many Free Zones:
• Choose Your Free Zone
The Free Zones in Dubai are dedicated to various fields. Some jurisdictions cater to lawyers, healthcare experts, and consultants, while others cater to science-based industries. These jurisdictions are expansive and will require research to find the right fit for your business.
• Secure Initial Approval
You’ll need to obtain initial approvals from the proper authorities to register your business at this stage. The governing body may vary depending on what type of retail business you form.
• Apply for a Trade License
You will want to gather all the required documentation and submit them along with your business license application.
• Receive Final Approval
After your application is processed, you’ll need to pay any remaining fees to secure your final license approval.
The Future of the Retail Sector is Hot! And MSZ Consultancy Can Help!
For investors and business owners alike, Dubai’s retail sector is quickly bouncing back from the negative effects of the pandemic. Vaccination rates are rising. Retail sales are improving. And the forecast for the retail market shows nothing but growth on the horizon. For these reasons alone, there has never been a better time to jump into Dubai’s retail game. And we want to help!
MSZ Consultancy is your one-stop shop for all your business consultation needs. From forming a retail business in Dubai to applying for residential visas, our team of expert consultants has the experience to maximize your businesses’ potential. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or new to the UAE market, MSZ Consultancy is ready to help you cut through the confusion and minimize the red tape! We can assist you with licensing applications, secure PRO services, or handle necessary renewals. We have proudly served industries such as healthcare, construction, retail, education, and more! So, let’s get started today! Give our team of consultants a call at +971 52 544 1248, and let’s turbocharge your new business!