Dubai is actively and successfully attracting international business. Although this development began with the discovery of oil deposits in the emirate in 1966, it was the strategic decisions focusing on the development of trade, financial sectors and tourism that have led to the situation that today the income from this resource accounts for only 4% of GDP.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have promptly set off to make long-term investments, which were not based only on income derived from crude oil. Thanks to that, Dubai is becoming not only a popular holiday but also business destination. The city attracts many foreign investors with tax benefits, a friendly atmosphere and a favourable work environment. In 2015, over 22 thousand foreign entrepreneurs were granted permission to conduct business activities in this city.

The increasing importance of the ICT- BPO sector

The authorities in Dubai have started financing the BPO industry early as they recognized the potential of business service outsourcing in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) and in the United Arab Emirates themselves. Special zones with necessary technological facilities as well as laws and regulations were created, with the aim to monitor the developing area. The UAE IT companies, which over the last 15 years have become the most developed in the GCC region (Gulf Cooperation Council), can also count on being supported. One of the zones, where such international IT companies as Oracle,
[one_half_lastIBM or Microsoft operate, is Dubai Media City, which is a part of TECOM (Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority). In 2013, the Dubai Smart City plan was created on the initiative of the Prince of Dubai. Its ambitious objectives are based on the implementation of publicly available, modern solutions, including transport, communication, telecommunications infrastructure and education. In 2015, over 22 thousand foreign entrepreneurs were granted permission to conduct business activities in Dubai.][/one_half_last]

Modern technology week

Dubai also tries to attract start-ups, IT companies as well as small and medium-sized companies that create innovative solutions. According to the Gartner research, the new technology industry in the MENA region will be worth even 168 billion dollars by 2020. In order to extend business perspectives, establish contacts and emphasize the role of the technology industry, every year Gitex Technology Week, a new technology fair, is organized. This year, it will take place for the 38th time from 14 to 18 October. The Business in Małopolska Centre (CEBiM) will have its 30m2 stand at the fair,
where the representatives of ICT from Małopolska will present their offer and, with the help of interpreters, engage in B2B conversations with foreign partners from the region. Moreover, on 11 and 25 September, the headquarters of CEBiM will organize free information meetings concerning the cooperation with the UAE, as a part of “Power Up Your Business in Małopolska” programme.  Remember that Friday is considered a rest and pray day in Islam. Also, during Ramadan, meetings must be properly prepared.

Annual Investment Meeting

Another interesting meeting that attracts investors, representatives of the governments or development agencies from all around the world, is Annual Investment Meeting (AIM). So far, there have been 8 editions. This year’s meeting was held at the Dubai World Trade Center, on an area of 8,000 m2. The meeting was attended by 20 322 participants from 143 countries, including entities from Małopolska – Kraków Nowa Huta Przyszłości SA, the Marshal Office of the Małopolska Region and Kraków and the Business in Małopolska Centre. Polish representatives had the chance to discuss particular issues during the fair and workshops.
For example, investors from India were interested in creating branches of their own companies and factories in Poland; Arab entrepreneurs took up the subject of food import from Poland; whereas businessmen from the USA and Ukraine asked about cooperation with start-ups. Business relations with the UAE are quite formal, and thus it is not recommended to get down to brass tacks at the very first meeting.

Polish companies in Dubai

Entrepreneurs who would like to move to the UAE should remember to register their legal business and have a local sponsor who controls 51% of the company’s stock. To avoid this and retain 100% ownership, you can choose one of 40 special economic or duty free zones. Currently, Poland is one of the 12 biggest exporters to the UAE. The value of Polish commercial transactions in the Emirates reached USD 950 billion in 2016 and is constantly increasing.
The growing demand for innovative products and preferential business conditions in Dubai may also be a chance to develop for entities from Małopolska. Currently, Poland is one of the 12 biggest exporters to the UAE. The value of Polish commercial transactions in the Emirates reached USD 950 billion in 2016 and is constantly increasing.

Closer to Małopolska

Companies interested in cooperation with partners from Dubai do not have to worry about long business trips. Since 8 April 2018, there is a direct connection from Kraków to Dubai, operated by Flydubai in cooperation with Emirates Airlines. Dubai is also an ideal place with many flights to Asia, Australia and Africa – today it is the biggest airline hub in the world, which served 88 million passengers last year. Thanks to such great location, Emirates Airlines have been able to build its position and offer high quality business and tourist flights
The connection from Kraków, which is operated within the framework of codeshare cooperation between Emirates and Flydubai is, after flights from Warsaw, the second direct connection from Poland. This highlights the attractiveness of the region for investors from the UAE, as well as makes it easier for companies from Małopolska to build business relations with companies from the Persian Gulf.