The economy in Dubai is projected to grow 2.1% in 2019, and over 3.8% in 2020. At a time when many international economies are shrinking or remaining static, the increasing diversification of businesses and foreign investment has the largest city in the UAE on a strong growth trajectory.
One of the strongest indicators of ongoing global business interest in Dubai, is the number of new business licenses issued. In the first three months of 2019, 6,709 licenses were issued, and the Dubai Composite Business Confidence Index (BCI) increased by 10.2 points.
What are the factors that are drawing so much international business investment to Dubai? We will share some interesting facts and discuss the career opportunities available as niche business sectors grow in the largest city of the United Arab Emirates.
Governance and Trade in Dubai
The city of Dubai is often referred to as a country onto itself, however it is a constituent member of the federation of United Arab Emirates, and one of seven emirates in the union. The weathiest region of Abu Dhabi holds the political and government control over all seven emirates, as it is the location of the largest number of oil reserves.
Political activities, foreign affairs and military defense decisions are predominantly made in Abu Dhabi. The emirate was central to the formulation of the UAE when Britain withdrew from the Persian Gulf in 1971. However, when the UAE constitution was drafted, each emirate was permitted to control its own economics and natural resources.
The successful management of the UAE’s only free port, Jebel Ali has allowed Dubai to enjoy extra autonomy within the federation. Jebel Ali is the world’s ninth busiest port, and the largest man-made harbour in the world. It is also the largest and highest volume port in the Middle-East.
The World Bank 2018 Logistics Performance Index ranked the UAE 11th out of 160 countries in terms of trade logistics. That means that the liberal trade policies, stable political system, very strong capital flow and business-friendly taxation environment is working, as more businesses look to expansion in Dubai as a gateway for products, services and hospitality.
What Industries Lead Growth in Dubai?
In 2018, SME’s or small and medium business enterprises comprised 85% of all businesses in Dubai. This is not surprising when you consider that the Port of Jebel Ali is a gateway to business with Africa, Europe and Asian Pacific countries. The city has an extremely diverse population with 200 nationalities represented as residents and/or business owners, however English is the most widely accepted language in Dubai.
Consumer products started to be manufactured in Dubai decades ago, including the production and distribution of soft drinks and canned food. The construction and engineering industries have continued to grow in tandem with the city’s explosive growth and domestic infrastructure projects.
Both domestic and foreign owned manufacturing companies ship the following consumer and commercial business to business products from the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Sharjah and Ajman. These products include:
- PVC (sheets and tubes)
- Fish, meat and dairy
The top three industries in Dubai however are oil (petroleum), aluminum fabricated parts and materials, and fashion or clothing and shoes manufacturing. In the past five years however, electronics manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and high-technology software and hardware companies have started to expand into Dubai.
One of the sectors that has been slower to establish has been the travel and tourism industry in Dubai. In recent years, that has changed, as Dubai has started to attract entertainment crowds, as well as position itself as the ultimate destination for a conference, convention or trade show.
Prospects for Professionals Who Wish to Work in Dubai
If the spectacular metropolitan and luxury seaside opulence of Dubai does not attract you, the growing demand for skilled professionals (in a variety of niches) definitely will. As more international companies hasten to establish a presence in Dubai, the demand for experienced professionals in many areas of specialty is also increasing rapidly.
The top five career opportunities with the highest demand by employers in Dubai are:
- Financial Planning Analysts
- Accounting Professionals
- IT and Web Development
- Marketing Managers
- Executive Administrative Assistants
Our team at reesmarx provides expert recruitment services, connecting experienced and talented industry professionals with high-growth organizations. Start by browsing available opportunities in our job search center, and set up your candidate profile to be recruited for a new career opportunity in Dubai.