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Online business ideas in Dubai (without investment)

busienss ideas without investment

Here are seven online businesses you can start in Dubai without investment.

Many people dream of starting their own business, but there are many that require a lot of up-front investment before trading can start and, for some entrepreneurs, that isn’t an option.

But today there are plenty of sectors where people can set up a business online that doesn’t need much capital to be able to begin selling or offering a service.

Below are seven businesses that be started online with the minimum of startup investment. These can be a main job, or a side hustle – or a side hustle that turns into a main job.

  1. Online health/fitness coach
  2. Freelance writer
  3. Recruitment consultancy
  4. Online language tutor
  5. Sell e-books on Kindle
  6. Become a virtual assistant
  7. Social media community manager


1. Online health/fitness coach

Understandably, in the past two years, online health and fitness coaches have seen an explosion in growth. While the market had already been growing, the pandemic boosted it significantly as many people were forced to stay at home, but still wanted to stay fit.

Online fitness coaches can work with one person at a time or run group sessions via videoconferencing apps such as Zoom or Teams. One advantage of this is that they can run at any time – and at a time convenient to you, which can be ideal if you have other responsibilities. Note that the Dubai government has been cracking down on unqualified trainers and a Register of Exercise Professions or equivalent qualification is needed to practice.

Also, while it may be necessary to invest in a good quality camera, as well as sound and lighting setup to ensure a professional look, these costs can easily be recouped once the business has secured some regular clients.

2. Freelance writer

Being a freelance writer just takes a laptop with a good wifi connection and a phone. Freelance writers can and do write about anything and everything: from writing news copy and features for traditional newspapers and magazines, to handling PR and marketing literature, to writing copy for websites and ghostwriting blogs that optimise SEO to get a company higher in the Google rankings.

One effective way for freelance writers to find work is to sign up to websites where they can market their services to potential clients and also pitch for writing jobs from around the world. Sites such as UpWork, Fiverr and Problogger provide a secure way for writers to interact with customers and take payment – although the sites will take a cut of the fee, which must be taken into consideration when bidding for jobs.

3. Recruitment consultancy

As the number of businesses choosing Dubai as the place to set up their operations continues to climb, so does the need to recruit employees. Hiring new people can be a time-consuming process for businesses, and one fraught with difficulty – if the wrong person is hired, it can end up costing a business thousands. This is why many turn to recruitment consultancies to handle the process for them.

While traditionally recruitment consultancies have operated in physical premises, more are setting up as online entities, using videoconferencing apps to handle the interviewing process.

Prior experience in the industry is useful if you want to set up as an online recruitment consultancy, as it is a sector that often relies on reputation and word-of-mouth.

4. Online language tutor

With people from all over the world attracted to Dubai, there are a multitude of languages spoken, but also demand to learn other languages, from Arabic to English

Online language tutors usually offer one-to-one sessions for a fee, usually charged hourly or half-hourly – although they can also teach group lessons.

The advantages of this are, again, that no investment, other than in the technology, is needed and the business can be worked around your schedule

As with freelance writers, there are online marketplaces for language tutors where you can advertise your courses, services and fees. These marketplaces also provide secure means of getting paid – and means of recourse should there be any disputes.

Advertising to promote your service can be done for free via social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all places where creative posts can get a business noticed.

5. Sell e-books on Kindle

It is said that everyone has a book in them and many people write texts, but getting them published the traditional way can be difficult. It can take a long time to find an agent, and to get a manuscript accepted by a publisher.

This is why many people now look to sell their e-book on Kindle. The registration process is simple and free and your book can be available to buy within two days. The advantage of this is that publishers receive a much greater share of the royalties than in a traditional publishing model – up to 70% in some cases.

Another advantage is that you retain control over the rights to your book and you can set the price for it. Publishing online also means you can make changes to your book at any time.

6. Become a virtual assistant

Virtual assistants have gained in popularity in the past two years. Here, the assistant can provide anything from regular administrative tasks such as replying to emails and making travel arrangements through to social media management and marketing, all from their home office. This job can be suitable for those with a range of skills who are looking for a career change.

How much you can get paid will depend on your skills and experience, but it is worth checking job adverts for assistants to work out how much you should be charging for your expertise. Some virtual assistants choose to specialise in certain fields, such as law, which can increase their employability.

7. Social media community manager

A social media community manager is a person, or people, who oversees a company’s output across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.

This involves creating and publishing engaging content, whether it is in the form of videos, pictures, memes or blogposts.

The role can also involve brand management and customer relations skills, especially when reacting to comments on posts or complaints that can be posted online. Posts often have to be tailored to a certain style in keeping with the company’s public face.

Often working in tandem with the marketing department of a business, it can be done with just a laptop and some good editing equipment.

About Dtec

As this article has shown, there are many businesses that can be set up online in Dubai with no investment. But business setup in Dubai can have complications. However, Dtec can make the process smoother by assisting people to establish new businesses including securing access to high-speed wifi.

Dtec is the biggest technology innovation campus in the MENA region, and it is a hub for a raft of cutting-edge tech-focused businesses.

Dtec provides all the resources that those starting businesses could want to ensure their ambition turns into cash, including collaborative coworking spaces, accelerator programs, access to funding and regular networking events attended by leading figures in the technology space.

For more information on what Dtec can offer you, please contact us.