Retail remains one of the pillars of Dubai’s economy, and is one of the most engaging areas for business investment in the emirate. The retail space of Dubai has shown itself to be a prospering industry, contributing around 23% of the UAE’s total GDP. Dubai’s retail industry is already in growth mode, and the impact of the World Expo currently being hosted in Dubai through March 2022 will only serve to accelerate the rate of retail growth even faster.

If you’re interested in setting up your own retail business, it helps to go where the customers are. To that end, Dubai offers lots of densely-packed locations which are perfect for retail shops. Anyplace that’s central to where people live, work, and move is someplace worth considering, and you’re really spoiled for choice where Dubai is concerned. Dubai is a fantasy destination for companies, tourists, and residents alike, and attracts people from literally all over the world. And here at MSZ Consultancy, we’re in the business of helping turn your business dream into a reality. We put in the legwork to help you get your UAE business set up with greater ease, so that you can then focus on engaging your customers. Ready to set up your own RETAIL UNIT in Dubai? Keep reading to learn more helpful tips.

Retail Business Setup in Dubai Mainland

The Dubai Mainland is an ideal area for setting up a retail unit in Dubai. While there are specific guidelines and procedures you’ll need to follow in order to operate a Mainland business, the effort required is certainly worth it for visionary business leaders and entrepreneurs like yourself. And MSZ Corporate Services is here to walk you through the process, helping to ensure that everything is as simple and stress-free as possible.

Draft a Business Strategy & Chart Out Your Business Plan

Drawing up your initial business strategy should necessarily involve some thorough research and surveying on the front end. It will be necessary to gain an understanding of Dubai consumer buying trends and predictions, and you’ll also want to examine demographics and statistics around who you’re seeking to target as a customer base for your business. Some important questions to answer for yourself include:

1. Why do you want to launch a retail business in Dubai?
2. Who or what is your specific target market?
3. What makes your business unique in relation to other businesses?
4. How might your business take into account the wide assortment of individuals which inhabit or visit the UAE?

Deciding the specific kind of business activity your company will engage in will help in deciding the kind of business license required in order to operate your retail business in the UAE. For example, launching a clothing store or starting a food business requires special endorsements from the local and/or national governing authorities.

Documentation and Trade License Application

A standard application will need to be completed and endorsed by the organization’s legitimate agent, including all necessary legal documents, both in original and copy form. The Department of Economic Development (DED) will also need to be presented with a proposed name for your company.

Completion of Business Registration and License

It will also be necessary to submit a proper request for UAE business registration and licensing with all concerned government authorities.

Understand Local Jurisdiction Considerations for Setting Up Your Retail Unit

There are different jurisdictions in the UAE for setting up your store. Contingent upon the jurisdictions which apply, the strategies and guidelines required can vary.

Permissions to Get the Shops/Warehouse for Lease

Make sure you have authorization from the municipality and other related associations to maintain a business in the mainland area of UAE.

Laws Regarding Hiring Employees

As a part of the retail permit, you should plan to enlist an operations manager to control your local retail activities. Dependent upon the permit type and your visa quota, you should then be able to staff your business with the appropriate amount of employees.

Retail Business Setup in Dubai Free Zone

Free Zones in the UAE offer another attractive platform for doing business. UAE Free Zones are a popular choice for entrepreneurs and business leaders who want 100% ownership in their business, while also being able to enjoy tax and duty exemptions. There are more than 50 Free Zones in the UAE, spread across all seven emirates. Each Free Zone has its own independent governing authority and its own rules.

Pick the UAE free zone or zones who wish to operate inside, according to your preference

If you’re unfamiliar with the specifics of Free Zones in the UAE, it may be hard to decide where to invest your financial backing. That’s why it’s important to do your own homework before settling on where you want to set up your UAE business. Bear in mind that each Free Zone has its own individual arrangements, requirements, location opportunities, and capital prerequisites. If you’re not sure where to start, MSZ Consultancy can help!

Apply for a trade license depending on the type of business activity

The trade license, when applied for in a free zone, will be issued by the authority of the respective free zone. The particularity of the trading license issued to a free zone company is that it can only be used for conducting business or commercial activities within the respective Free Zone in question. Even so, free zone companies can benefit from several particular advantages; our company formation experts are here to help foreign investors who want to explore foreign ownership of their own free zone company.

Get your company registered with the proper Free Zone authorities

Prior to settling a name for your endeavor, it’s ideal to check with the specific Free Zone authority that oversees your business arrangement. Enquiring about the legitimacy of the name you picked can tell you whether the name follows established trademark conventions, and whether that trademark has already been enrolled by another company. Here are a few naming guidelines for business trademarks:

1. The name should follow the authoritative designation of the entity (LLC, FZE, FZC, etc.)
2. The name ought not disregard public ethics or the public order of the country.
3. The name ought not utilize the names of any overseeing authority, the names of the emirates, the UAE, or the names of any specific region.

Whether you’re interested in establishing a UAE Mainland business or a Free Zone business, there are definitely some specific benefits and considerations to take into account for each. Partnering with a local, expert UAE business consultant will make everything go much more smoothly for you! The pros at MSZ Consultancy are world-class corporate services providers who know what it takes to do business in Dubai – or anywhere in the greater UAE – successfully. You can trust us to help you create a plan for sustainable UAE business success!

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, or for more information. Reach out today to book your FREE consultation! Just give us a call at +971525441248, or simply shoot us an email at; we’d be glad to walk you through the whole process. Connect with us now, our experts are standing by to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a retail unit exactly?

A retail unit is generally defined as a type of business which revolves around retail sales. However, some retail units can also be owned and operated by a direct manufacturer or other parties, which makes products directly available to specific buyers.

2. Can a company be set up in the Dubai Mainland without a local sponsor?

Yes, it can! Entities can accomplish a local sponsorship by shaping a common or an expert administrations organization in Dubai Mainland.

3. Does retail include food?

Retail organizations offer completed merchandise to customers in return for cash. Retail organizations can incorporate grocery, drug, department stores, and convenience stores. Salons and many rental ventures are also additionally viewed as retail organizations.

4. What is the role of the retail unit in business?

The primary operating venue of a retail business is in the purchasing and selling of goods and services. Retail enterprises procure items from various manufacturers and wholesalers in order to make them widely available to a much broader base of customers and clients.

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