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Why is UAE Great for European Investors and Start-Ups?

In today’s uncertain world, trading arrangements between countries are highly unsteady. When it comes to Europe, no one knows the consequences of Brexit and the trading effects on the European Union (EU). In this context, trading links between the EU and the UAE have assumed greater importance than ever before. European businesses can enjoy enormous benefits by fostering this relationship. Some industries and sectors particularly stand out, which will see immense growth over the coming years. Let us explore the various sectors in the UAE that are great for European investors and start-ups.

  1. Abundant Opportunities for Export-Import:
  • Designer Clothes Brands: In 2018, exports of European designer clothes to the UAE were worth €659 million. The insatiable desire for exclusive Designer Brands from Europe in the UAE makes clothing exports a lucrative business opportunity for European investors. So, top business opportunities for European designers and artists include import/export of branded apparel, costume design, tailoring, costume jewellery, costume rental, and more.
  • European Food: There is an ever-growing appetite for European food in the UAE that generated €2.58 billion in exports.
  • Machinery & Transport Equipment: Machinery and transport equipment is another big export area that accounted for €16 billion in exports in 2018. Moreover, as part of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, this sector is seen as an even more lucrative market for European businesses than others.
  1. Diversification to the Agricultural Sector:
  • As the UAE plans to diversify from oil and gas products, developing agriculture has become a priority. So, the agricultural food and beverage market will also grow in the coming years. The F&B industry is now a lucrative area for European investors and start-ups.
  1. The Major Invisible Export – Travel and Tourism:
  • Tourists from the EU account for nearly 30% of room nights in the UAE. And this figure is set to increase even further with an increasing number of mid-market hotels being built in the UAE to cater to budget travellers from Europe. So, travel and tourism form major business areas for European businesses.
  1. The Rapidly-Expanding Medical Tourism:
  • Health tourism is rapidly rising in both the UAE and Europe. Currently, the Europeans account for nearly 15% of patients who travel to the UAE to take advantage of world-class medical treatment and expertise in the UAE. This availability makes healthcare tourism a lucrative area for European investors.
  1. Educating the Expat Population:
  • Since most of the UAE’s population constitutes expats, there is a growing need for multi-lingual educational services in the area.
  • So, European investors have a huge opportunity to establish a school, college, or education service and develop the necessary infrastructure.
  • Digital learning is also growing in the UAE, allowing European investors and start-ups to take advantage of this business opportunity without a large capital overlay.
  1. Investor-Friendly Business Environment:
  • The UAE has gone to great lengths to encourage not just the trading relationship with Europe, but also an inward investment.
  • The UAE offers many tax breaks and incentives to encourage European investors to set up businesses in the Emirates.
  • There is a great accommodation supply and a wide choice of properties and property sizes, including villas, available to rent. The flexibility to rent instead of purchase helps businesses to lower staff turnover in the region.


With ties getting closer between Europe and the UAE, European investors and start-ups can leverage several business opportunities in the UAE to enjoy enormous mutual benefits. 

If you are a European investor or a start-up looking to set up a business in the UAE, our team of experts at Creative Zone can help. We can get your business to start quickly, without any hassle. Call 800 LICENSE (5423673) to consult with one of our Business Setup Advisors today!

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