Starting up in the UAE – what people are saying

I recently wrote an article from my perspective on the challenges faced starting a business in Dubai, particularly for small startups.
 

(click pic for link to The National website)

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After publishing, I also found these two articles (a couple of months old) which talk about similar issues facing SME’s.  

The first, from a British Business Group briefing on how small manufacturing businesses are struggling to start business operations in the UAE

(click pic for link)

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The second, from a conference on SME’s in Dubai.  Comments from a lawyer stating that starting a business the right way from the start prevents costly later problems.  An issue which I briefly refer to in my National article. 

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I thought it might give a better context in which to understand the urgency of the situation, by grouping together general feedback on the issues faced by people starting a business with the hope that information becomes much more available in future conferences and workshops, and, that the actual cost of starting a business can be brought down. 

We can talk endlessly about the need for entrepreneurship but without a proper look at lowering the costs, its never going to happen.  Most pressing is the stifling of ecommerce activities by the banks. 
 

According to the Global Information Technology report 2012 by WEF, “Bahrain has managed to create one of the best environments for entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide” .  This is based on its ICT readiness, although the UAE is supposed to be one of the most wired countries on earth with its investment into FTTH. 

Yet i don’t feel that we are seeing the volumes of entrepreneurship that we should be from Bahrain if this is the case. Yes, they did have the potent “Business Friendly Bahrain” communications plan for a while, but that seemed to have been somewhat damaged due to the political situation

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Indeed the Sindibad Investment Report in Internet and Technology suggests that it is Jordan that sees the highest amount of startup activity across the region. 
 

(click the pic to download the pdf via Dropbox)

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Another great resource for Starting Business in Dubai this personal account of looking at the various licensing authorities and granular costs by Ayman Itani.  This is based on his research only, but is highly detailed and much more comprehensive than anything I’ve seen on official channels.  I’d actually like to see this covered in a dedicated section on www.souqalmal.com

 

(click the pic to download the file on Dropbox)

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Several people have questioned why am I bothering to set up a business in the UAE in the first place, rather than opening anywhere else and having a branch here.  My answer is that how would I know which is better?  And since I live in Dubai it makes sense for me to want to open a business there.  So with the aim of generating new business in the UAE,  shouldn’t we be asking how can we exert pressure as business owners of the future to overcome these obstacles?  Why is the Levant less wealthy yet they are generating more output with less? Why is creativity typically found outside the GCC, yet, the GCC spends hundreds of millions trying to attract the best talent from all over the world?  What needs to change? 

 

Source: New feed
Starting up in the UAE – what people are saying

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