People in America often ask me why I am such a proponent of the UAE as the place of opportunities for business set-up in the Middle East. The answer is simple: The Gulf country offers a rife business environment to young entrepreneurs from around the world.
As an investor in OWS Capital, which is based in the UAE, we didn’t need any convincing to start our operations here. When you consider the fundamentals for business set-up, the most important factor is a stable economy.
The UAE’s thriving economy and their swift and timely reaction in handling Covid-19, and being one of the first countries to roll-out a successful and efficient vaccine plan, makes it an ideal environment for SMEs to lay down their roots.
How the UAE compares globally for supporting entrepreneurs
UAE has been ranked first in the in Middle East and fourth globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Index
In a recent Gallup report on global law and order, the UAE was ranked in the top 10 countries in the world for security and personal safety. And we all know that a stable economy and personal safety are key factors in attracting talented entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world to the UAE.
The good news is that the UAE post-Covid economy is predicted to witness 2.5 percent growth, according to the Central Bank. Dubai Expo 2020 is around the corner and it brings with it exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs of different ages, backgrounds and genders. A strong economy has always been proven to help entrepreneurs grow fast while attracting talent globally.
The importance of SME growth is undoubtedly the most critical on the post-pandemic road to recovery in any country, and the UAE is no different. The country not only champions creativity but also drives innovation with a vision for sustainable economic growth.
UAE is one of those unique places in the world, not just due to its geographic location of seamlessly connecting East to West, but also providing a supportive ecosystem to help entrepreneurs navigate the ups and downs of the business pulse.
The importance of SME growth is undoubtedly the most critical on the post-pandemic road to recovery in any country
Government incentives, established free zones, 100 percent foreign ownership of companies, 10-year visa for some business and property owners and clearly defined regulations makes it the perfect location for start-ups globally.
These are some of the factors that have seen OWS Capital scale its operations in the region in such a short time. Young entrepreneurs can not only benefit from numerous free zones in the country, which help reduce cost of operations and fast-track company set-up and procedures, but there are also business accelerators and incubators.
From offering shared office spaces to access to structural resources, the country provides the perfect platform for ambitious entrepreneurs. Afterall, SMEs contribute 52 percent of the UAE’s non-oil GDP, as per Ministry of Economy estimates in December 2019.
Above all, it is the UAE’s openness to innovative ideas and its robust consumer base that allows creative concepts to take momentum and achieve scalability. This coupled with generous government incentives for new businesses makes the UAE the global start-up hotspot.
In the Middle East, the UAE’s amenable business environment is ripe for the next unicorn start-up after Careem and Souk. And I am optimistic that it will be sooner than later.