Market Research in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The United Arab Emirates is an Asian country comprising of seven emirates.

These are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Here is a glimpse of the ever-growing economy of the UAE.

UAE’s Strategic Industries

Which industries are the biggest in the UAE?

1. Oil

With over 120 billion barrels of oil reserves, the oil industry secures UAE’s economy for years to come. Most of the oil reserves are in Abu Dhabi and the country is aiming at increasing its production capacity to drive more growth.

2. Tourism and Hospitality

As one of the world’s top tourist destinations, Dubai receives millions of foreign visitors every year. Tourists to UAE are treated to different attractions from wildlife and sandy beaches to cultural events in the cities.

The Dubai emirate also hosts shopping festivals which attract tourists from all over the world.

3. Manufacturing

Manufacturing in UAE focuses on sectors such as construction, textile and apparel, food and drinks, perfumes and cosmetics, as well as engineering and metal products. One of the top exports from the country is aluminum.

There is also a thriving printing and paper industry in the country where stationery and packaging papers are produced.

4. Financial Services

Dubai is especially recognized as a business hub and a lot of financial investments are made here. There are three stock exchanges in the UAE; the Dubai Financial Market, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the NASDAQ Dubai.

The FinTech Hive in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) plays a big role in building this industry. It brings together finance organizations, FinTech entrepreneurs, government agencies and technology partners to grow the financial services sector.

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Business Opportunities in the UAE

UAE’s government is actively working to make the country ready for the future. Some of the best business opportunities include:

1. Healthcare

UAE has a well-developed healthcare system. It works to improve it by embracing technology and promoting the sector to investors.

The country hosts the Arab Health Exhibition which has earned it global recognition. Healthcare companies and professionals as well as technology partners participate to showcase new solutions and sign deals.

2. Real Estate

The property market in UAE keeps growing because of the increasing number of expats in the country. Being centrally located between the East and the West, affordable property prices make the country an ideal real estate investment destination.

3. Technology

UAE readily embraces technology since it helps increase efficiency in every sector of the economy. With automation and robots in the manufacturing industry, investments in Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things have a good chance of thriving.

4. Agriculture

Importing over 80% of its food, UAE is on a mission to become food secure by 2051. Lacking the capacity to produce food the traditional way due to aridity, technology is being used to help solve the problem.

In UAE, there are vertical farms, smart farms, hydroponics as well as aeroponics. The country is also looking to strengthen aquaculture with fish being one of the country’s strategic food items.

Challenges Facing the UAE Economy

Although booming in many ways, the UAE economy faces challenges largely due to its desert nature. The biggest challenge is water scarcity. With global warming leading to increased temperatures and reduced rainfall, water problems have only worsened.

Business Hubs in the UAE

Of the seven emirates, most business takes place in Dubai with the Dubai city and Business Bay being the top business hubs. The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is also attracting investors due to its simplified and fast-tracked business setup process.

The Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is a hub for tourism-related businesses. It’s a cultural hub and home to luxury hotels, natural beaches and wildlife such as dolphins and the hawksbill sea turtle.

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The Importance of Conducting Market Research

Market research is the first step an investor takes before setting up a business. It helps identify market needs, understand them and strategize on how to capitalize on the market intelligence to start a business that will thrive.

At SIS International Research, we specialize in researching markets across the globe. We provide qualitative and quantitative research through various methods and develop the strategy which guarantees business success.