Expanding your business into the UAE? Here’s what to consider

Business in the UAE is soaring. In fact, the country now ranks first in the latest Global Entrepreneurship Index, surpassing others like the US, Japan, and UK as the leading mecca for forward-thinking entrepreneurs like you – looking to expand their business footprint in a new prosperous market. 

With the UAE’s many enticing incentives luring more and more business owners to make the move (including its tax-free environment, advantageous business laws, and conducive worldwide connectivity to name a few), here at Strategy Kings we want to share our first-hand know-how for succeeding in a UAE expansion. 

We’ve been there, done it, and now wear the tag of the best boutique marketing agency in Dubai to prove it.

Just know – with the right business plan, a sure-footed mindset, and loads of market research in your arsenal, any launch in the UAE can soar just the way you intended. But first, we’ve got some advice you need to hear.

6 top tips

Know your market inside out

Don’t run before you can walk! Fastidious research into your industry market and your target audience should always come before the official launch. 

Make informed decisions based on the information you find about consumer behaviours, market trends, existing competitors, and what growth opportunities are currently out there. Find out answers to vital questions like: 

  • What are your competitor’s prices? 
  • Is your service already in demand? 
  • What’s your estimated market size?
  • What marketing channels are currently trending?

Watch your manners too…

Be aware of the country’s cultural norms on how to conduct yourself. After jumping ship from Australia, it took a little time for Strategy Kings to adjust, so we recommend doing your research. It might save you from cultural blunders and awkward meetings.

Network with fellow industry professionals

Making connections means having a list of valuable contacts. Network by checking out what relevant business events are coming up or joining seminars and groups that are specific to your niche. That way you can stay up-to-date with industry trends, find out about new tools, and build a close-knit body of associates in the same boat as you. 

Networking leads to partnership

Embrace the possibilities of synergy and collaboration with similar businesses in your realm. By leveraging each others’ strengths, partnering up with strategic alliances and joint services is both a money-making move and a way to save on workforce and resources to achieve rapid growth, together. 

Let’s say you’re a marketing agency like ours that’s come across a huge project requiring you to specialise in video products…instead of investing in a new team of videographers, you could partner up with a video marketing agency and outsource the requirements instead. 

Make the most of free zone opportunities

The wisest entrepreneurs make good use of the UAE’s 40 multidisciplinary free zones – AKA areas dotted around the country where foreign business owners can own 100% of their company and operate tax-free. The free zones are industry-specific too. 

While tech companies can look to move to Dubai’s Internet City, companies specialising in renewable can operate in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City Free Zone. It all depends on your niche and which city you’ve moved to.

The benefits of free zones go beyond just being tax-free. You’ll be able to access accelerating incubators that provide fast and easy set-up procedures – as well as be geographically located in a community of like-minded businesses within your field. 

Find out more about the UAE free zones on the official Ministry of Economy website. 

Adjust your product offerings accordingly

Making such a big move to the UAE becomes riskier when you rely on a single craft, especially if your research finds the market is already convoluted. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to adjust your catalogue of products and services to things that are more in demand with UAE customers. 

Whether you offer additional complementary services or make bolder realignments to your existing offerings, rest assured these decisions can work wonders for raising your profits and expanding your market share. 

Focus on customer satisfaction

Satisfied customers are the key to success – no matter where you are in the world. However, with the UAE boasting such a culturally diverse population, it’s particularly important for business owners to know exactly what consumers to target, what they like, what turns them off,  what their expectations are, and what they need from your brand. In other words, you need to gain vital insights like…

  • What are my buyers’ intentions?
  • Where does their buyer journey start?
  • What are their values?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Why might they need my product/service?

By gaining valuable feedback, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s already working and what might need tweaking in order to acquire new customers and retain loyal ones. Stay customer-driven and be willing to tweak and tailor your business to resonate better with the UAE’s cosmopolitan diversity of unique norms, traditions, and demographics.

Invest in your online presence

Building a strong online identity is essential for your expansion. Having a professional, visually-appealing website and a relevant-yet-culturally-appropriate social media presence improves your reach and better defines your position in the UAE market. 

Think of your website as a front of house-type first-impression where customers discover who you are, what you do, and whether they want to invest in your offerings  — which is where Strategy Kings come into play…

As business consultants, our tailor-made marketing strategies can help chisel out your niche and establish you a robust UAE presence.

We’re a team of marketing experts who’ve experienced our own UAE expansion firsthand, so we know what it takes to succeed out here. Our marketing mission is simple…to provide you with a seamless brand message that builds trust and engages with your audience across various different touch points. Think of us as an extended arm of your business.

Our branding solutions, employee-centric corporate training, and collaborative approach to marketing help you reach your goals and craft a strong brand.

Explore our services to discover the exciting ways we can streamline your expansion.

Final thoughts

The potentials of your UAE expansion shouldn’t be daunting. Success is actually pretty simple, really. Start with a business expansion plan and don’t shy away from taking advantage of government support – there’s a reason the free zones were set up. To help innovators like you. 

Never skip market research, identify your audience like they live on the back of your hand, and be on the lookout for potential partnerships amongst your most valuable contacts.

You know the saying…keep your friends close and your competitors even closer.

Launch your brand with us

As a boutique marketing agency based in Dubai, we offer knowledge, creativity and collaboration to build you a first-rate brand in the UAE. We know the market inside out.

Get in touch to see how we can help you succeed.