Doing business in the Middle East region and more specifically in Dubai is the dream of so many people around the world. However, the question is… do you have it in you to do business in Dubai? This post will discuss 4 practical things you need to keep in mind to figure out if this is for you or not. Also, the particular focus here will be small scale startup companies.
Dubai is a shark tank and if you are not financially ready to compete, you will get eaten up by the sharks. You need to do your homework on all the costs of running your business and exactly how much money you also have to play with. Know this, in Dubai there are numerous different costs and who you pay and how much depends on your type of business.
Excluding the set up fees, official government fees (which will probably be annual) and a large minimum bank balance, as a small startup entrepreneur, you will need to take into consideration other expenses. Expenses such as flights, accommodation, potential VISA runs or renewals and getting around the city to name a few. Before you know it, all of this adds up and you are losing way quicker than you are gaining. This is why, this point is super important. You must take into consideration how much you have to spend beyond the obligatory fees, how often you need to visit, will you move there and will you need to employ?
The bottom line here is that you must ensure you are financially ready for a city like Dubai.
This one’s deep. Why do you want to do business in Dubai? You must be honest with yourself and truly discover if you want to do business in Dubai for the right reasons or the wrong ones. Do you want to do business because it is the it thing to do right now? Being an entrepreneur is cool… Is that why you want to do business? Do you want to do business in Dubai because you enjoyed your last holiday there? Remember, a good holiday destination isn’t necessarily a good “business home”. So, ask yourself… why do you want to do business in Dubai?
Having connections is useful in any foreign country, but Dubai more so. These connections must be honest, reliable and knowledgable about their expertise. A combination of these three attributes is key. You will need someone who helps you set up your business, someone who will arrange your visas, someone who will set up your bank, someone who will help you find an office space to rent, someone who will take care of the numerous amount of fees that are due upon you, someone who will help with marketing (if needed) and the list can go on.
So, I mentioned that a combination of honesty, reliability and knowledge is needed. This means that if you know someone who you like because they are honest and reliable and know all about business set up, it doesn’t mean they know about marketing. And approaching them about marketing or something they actually are not experts in will end up being detrimental to you and your pocket.
So, get to know good and honest people. Continuously seek advice from experienced people, but only take advice from those that are experts in their fields (as well as being honest).
Patience is virtue. In business you NEED patience. Especially as a startup company you need to be very patient. You need to be prepared for failure (never aim for it, always aim for pole position, but be prepared for it). You need to be prepared for financial setbacks, emotional setbacks and physical setbacks. For many, the first year (maybe two) will just be a case of riding it out and surviving. The successful ones are always the patient ones, the ones who made it to the third year, the ones who came close to the brink of collapsing and rose again!
Patience goes hand in hand with point 1 (money). The less money you have, the more patience you will require. However, this doesn’t mean if you have a lot of money, you don’t need patience. Without patience, you will not make it. Mark my words.
This blog post covered four things you need to take into consideration if you want to open a business here in Dubai. These points can easily be transferred over to any country to be honest. So, please feel free to benefit, comment, share and subscribe!