Over the last three decades, Dubai has drastically metamorphosed to become one of the major global hubs. Due to its strategic location, the Emirate is a perfect point to connect Europe and Asia. Its low logistical and operational costs as well as its excellent infrastructure, international outlook and liberal government policies attract investors from all over the world.
There is a common misconception that Dubai predominantly lives on the Oil industry but this is far from correct: industries such as transport, tourism, finance and real estate to name a few have helped the emirate's overall economy tremendously and put the city on the map.
Why choosing Dubai as an investment destination?
The fact that Dubai is a city without income tax makes it really attractive for local and expatriate businesses alike. The Emirate is historically known for its seafaring trade and has a long and successful history of doing business with foreign countries. But in recent years and as the city expended, Dubai has now a variety of industries that help it thrive. Diversification and growing away from oil has always been a key target for Dubai and the creation of industry hubs such Media and Internet Cities, IMPZ (Media and Information Technology), Business Bay to name a few are the proof of this strategy as well as the answer to an increasing demand of international corporations relocating to the city and also the creation of new companies.
Tourism is also a big source of revenue for the city-state and an increasing number of international conferences and events are now taking place in Dubai. The Emirate is also the home of some of the most iconic touristic attractions that are The Burj Khalifa (the tallest tower in the world), The Burj Al Arab (the only 7 star hotel in the world), The Dubai Mall (the largest shopping mall in the world) Ski Dubai (the longest indoor sky slope in the world) and The Palm Jumeirah (man-made island in the shape of a date palm, home to the Atlantis hotel). All those are a great window for the city but also the country as whole and guarantee a good amount of visitors. And with a favorable weather between November and May, Dubai is the ideal place for winter sun. From January 2016 to November 2016, Dubai welcomed 13.34M international tourists which is a 3.89% increase versus 2015 same period.
Dubai is a time zone bridge between the Far East and Europe. Its market is quite large as the emirate has established trade relationships with neighboring regions such as the other countries within the GCC, The Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean countries, South East Asia and Africa. Being an emerging country, its economy is one the way up. According to Dubai's Economic Development Committee, the emirate's economy grew 2.7% in 2016 and is predicted to grow by 3.1% in 2017.
On top of that, the government is pro-business and promotes an open and free market to attract investors and business. There is however a well defined legal framework regarding ownership. Under a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a foreigner can own up to 49% of shares and the remaining 51% must be owned by an UAE national with the exception of GCC nationals who can own 100% of a LLC. The only time foreign investors can own 100% of a company is when the business is located in a designated free zone. Although the investor would own 100% of his company, he cannot freely trade outside the free zone he is registered with.
Quality of life
When asking residents of Dubai what they like the most about the city, often the answer you will get is the safety. Indeed where political instability has touched numerous countries in The Middle East, The UAE is a low-crime and politically-stable state. The level of crime is one of the lowest in the world and according to The World Economic Forum, the country takes the third place in the World's 20 safest countries in 2016 (just behind Finland and Qatar)
Over the last 30 years, The UAE and Dubai in particular have managed to build a world class infrastructure. Dubai has a metro (although two lines at the moment, an addition of 4 lines will complete the network) a tram (which will also be extended), buses and taxis. Dubai International Airport is now officially the biggest airport in the world in terms of traffic. The city has a constantly growing road network, two main sea ports, first class hospitals, international schools, globally known shopping malls...
And if all this hasn't convinced you to move to Dubai, think property. Where rental prices are higher than comparable cities, buying property on the other hand can be quite lucrative. As there are no property taxes, owners in Dubai can enjoy a high rental yield with Dubai's average being at 7.2% and some areas delivering up to 12%. And also as rents are paid on a yearly basis, landlords can benefit from a lump sump to use for other projects or investments.