What’s It Like Doing Business in the UAE?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become one of the fastest growing economies globally. Emirati citizens are also among the highest paid per-capita in the world, thanks to the country’s vast wealth made in oil and recent transitions that have welcomed foreign investment with the UAE’s emphasis on being a gateway to Middle Eastern markets and domestic possibilities. In response, foreign entrepreneurs and organizations have been eager to grab a piece of the pie. Which begs the question: What’s it like doing business in the UAE?

In this article, we’ll take a look at what the reality of doing business in the UAE is like, the process of conducting business as a foreign entity, and an alternative approach that can put your business on the fast-track towards tapping into the country’s possibilities.

Business Life in the UAE

As mentioned in the introduction, the UAE has lessened its reliance on oil and natural gas reserves, as the supply has shown signs of dwindling. As a result, the UAE has taken prescient steps to anticipate this loss of revenue and while building lasting economic value by investing in areas outside of oil/ gas.

First to mention, the UAE has become a tourist hotspot, with its main cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi becoming world-famous as a result. Tourists can marvel at the cities’ ability to thrive in what amounts to a desert climate, with features such as the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, stunning beaches, the awe-inspiring deserts, some of the best shopping experiences, and so much more. Just to give you an idea of how many people are flocking to the UAE, travel, and tourism generated a staggering US$7.6 trillion and 292 million jobs in 2016, which accounts for over 10% of the country’s economy.

Of course, tourism can also be a fickle thing, so the UAE has made investments in healthcare, technology, logistics, manufacturing, and so forth. To attract the most ambitious entrepreneurs and innovative organizations, the UAE has taken significant measures to simplify how foreign businesses establish a presence. As an example, the process of reserving a company name, notarizing the memorandum of agreement, and applying for registration at the Department of Economic Development (DED) can be taken care of in just one business day. The other processes, such as getting a trade license, filing company documents with the DED, and acquiring membership at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) only takes, on average, three days. This shows that the UAE is open for business and welcomes global trade within its borders.

However, not all businesses may feel up to establishing a branch in the UAE. It does take some capital to be taken seriously by the UAE government, which can be a barrier to entry for many startups and small businesses. There is, however, a much easier and cost-effective way to tap into UAE markets and do business with this prosperous country: UAE virtual phone numbers.

UAE Virtual Phone Numbers

While the United Arab Emirates may encourage foreign businesses to set up shop in its numerous free trade zones, UAE virtual phone numbers provide a fast and effective solution for business and individual use. Virtual phone numbers give your business an almost-instantaneous way of accessing UAE’s vast wealth and business opportunities while sidestepping the country’s regulations that are designed for businesses that aim to open branches and a physical presence.

How Virtual Numbers Work

Virtual phone numbers work in two ways: When a virtual number is dialed, the call is immediately forwarded to a phone number of your choosing, known as the destination number. When a call is made from that same destination phone number, your business can route calls through the UAE virtual phone number — to those that receive the call, it will be recognized as originating from the UAE (country code +971) and with a functionality that is indistinguishable from “regular” UAE phone numbers.

It is this component of virtual phone numbers that can put your business on the fast-track to establishing a business presence through service providers like Global Call Forwarding. Additionally, there are other benefits that go with using UAE virtual phone numbers, including an ease of scalability, free trials (through GCF), and add-ons like call recording (which is mandatory for conducting trade internationally).

As you can see, virtual phone numbers can be just as effective as establishing a physical presence in the UAE without the capital, time, and resources needed. Therefore, if you’re looking to do business in the UAE, you can follow the traditional model of establishing a business or join the revolution in telecommunications that virtual numbers provide.


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