Dubai has made great strides in opening up new avenues for economic growth. Over the last decade, it has developed itself into a strategic hub for international businesses to tap opportunities in the fast-growing emerging markets surrounding it. This development has been guided by a comprehensive economic diversification plan focused on developing key sectors that can accelerate economic growth, not only in Dubai and the UAE, but also the entire region.
“Dubaihas developed itself into a strategic hub for international businesses to tap opportunities in the fast-growing emerging markets surrounding it.”
The UAE has close transport links internationally, with airports located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Dubai airport serves as one of the major international hubs in the Middle East, which allows it to contribute to the economy with current figures showing that it “supports over 250,000 jobs in Dubai and contributes over US$22 billion, which represents around 19% of total employment in Dubai, and 28% of Dubai’s GDP”. The aviation industry continues to grow, with expected figures in 2020 showing a significant increase to this industry.
Between the financial centres of Europe and South East Asia, lies a region comprising 42 countries with a population of 2.2 billion people and a combined economy worth US$ 2.5 trillion in terms of GDP.
One of the world’s great success stories in diversified economic development, Dubai is the pre-eminent business and leisure hub in the region. A cultural and economic bridge between the East and the West, Dubai is the fastest growing city in the Middle East. Several global companies leverage Dubai as a strategic base to tap markets in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
Its advanced infrastructure, business freedom, multi-lingual human capital, and easy access to Western Europe and East Asia have enabled it to attract considerable investments. Between London and Singapore there is no other city which can call itself truly international, from the point of view of commercial and financial activities, tourism and infrastructure.
Dubai has a well–diversified economy based on international trade, banking and finance, information and communication technology, tourism and real estate. With a perfect winter and an overall 6-7 months of moderate climate, top class hotels, superb facilities for a variety of sports and leisure activities and excellent shopping, Dubai has something to offer everyone.
Premium International City
Dubai is a truly international city, with over 90 percent of its 2.1 million people representing almost every nation in the world. Dubai has a young, dynamic, productive and knowledge-driven population, hungry to tap the opportunities that the city offers in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
The Emirate’s population increased 5 per cent last year to 2.1 million in 2012, according to estimates from the Dubai Statistics Centre. In addition, it was estimated that there were 1 million daily visitors last year, up 2 per cent from the previous year, 2011.
The Emirate is virtually crime-free and provides a very high standard of living, on par with the best cities of the world.
World Class Infrastructure
- Dubai has a sophisticated and world class transportation infrastructureserved by over 242 shipping lines and linked via130 airlines to over 220 destinations.
- Dubai is the third-largest transshipment centre in the world after Hong Kong and Singapore.
- Dubai is also a centre for international quality higher education and healthcare in the region.
Global Travel Hub
Located within an eight-hour flight of approximately 5.8 billion people, Dubai is literally the crossroad of the world. DubaiInternational Airport is today, the world’s third busiest airport by international passenger traffic, overtaking Hong Kongairport and is expected to overtake London’s Heathrow by 2015 or earlier. Emirates Airlines has become the world’s largestairline by scheduled international passenger-kilometers flown. The growing air passenger traffic (over 57 million in 2012)and air freight cargo is by far the biggest in the region.
Discretionary Consumer Spending
- Dubai International Airport accounts for nearly 7% of all global duty free sales.
- Although many think of Dubai as thriving on oil money, 94% of Dubai’s GDP comes from non-oil sources.
- Dubai was ranked as the world’s eighth most attractive tourist destination, outshining cities such as Barcelona andRome, according to MasterCard’s Worldwide Index of Global Destination Cities. The index predicts visitor spending inDubai to increase by 19% in 2012 reaching USD 8.8 billion, while the Tourism Authority in Dubai has estimated visitornumbers at 10 million in 2012.
International Financial Centre
- The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the world’s fastest growing international financial centre, bridging thetime gaps and the geographical distances between the major capital markets of New York and London in the West andHong Kong in the East. Firms operating in the DIFC are physically located onshore but are operated as if they areoffshore and are eligible for benefits such as a zero tax rate on profits, 100% foreign ownership, no restrictions onforeign exchange or repatriation of capital, operational support and business continuity facilities. Financial services inthe DIFC are regulated to international standards by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
DIFC is also home to 18 of the top 25 global banks, six of the 10 largest insurers, six out of the 10 top law firms andeight of the top asset managers in the world.
Business Friendly Environment
The Emirate has many free trade zones. Investing in a free zone allows 100% ownership to the enterprise, 100%repatriation of capital and profits, no minimum capital investment, no corporate or personal tax and no need for a local partner. One of the oldest and most successful is the 58 square kilometer Jebel Ali Free Zone, set up in 1980 which hasthe largest man-made port in the world. The new Maktoum International Airport under construction makes Jebel Alithe only free zone with both an international port and airport.
- Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) was named the bestFree Zone in the Middle East and the second best in the world by the Foreign Direct Investment magazine of theFinancial Times.
- 364 of the Fortune 500 companies and 53 of the FTSE 100 companies have a presence in the Emirate.
- Dubai is one of the largest gold and diamond trading hubs in the world.
- With different types of visas, immigration and other restrictions in various Middle Eastern Countries, Dubai through its open trading policies has become a de-facto hub for doing business in the Gulf and the Middle East.