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Online business opportunities in Dubai

online opportunities Dubai

Setting up a business is an ambition for many people – the chance to be your own boss and see your hard work rewarded is very tempting.

There are an increasing number of people who are now taking the plunge and setting up on their own, and many decide to come to Dubai to do it, taking advantage of the tax regime, as well as the advanced infrastructure.

For some, setting up online is the preferred option, as it often involves less initial outlay than taking up physical premises. In this article we outline 10 online businesses entrepreneurs can consider setting up.

  • Market opportunities for online businesses in Dubai
  • 10 online business opportunities in Dubai
  • Why choose Dtec?

Market opportunities for online businesses in Dubai

Dubai, and its authorities, have worked hard in recent years to ensure that the emirate is seen as a desirable destination for entrepreneurs, and it seems to be working: there were more than 72,000 new business licences issued last year, compared to under 43,000 in 2020, according to figures from the business registration and licensing sector at the Department of Economy and Tourism.

Most businesses were classed as ‘professional’, with 41% said to be ‘commercial’ entities, and these were across the spectrum of industrial sectors.

Meanwhile, the value of ecommerce is growing in the UAE, with transactions worth more than $5 billion completed in 2021. This is expected to grow to more than $8 billion by 2025, demonstrating that there are many opportunities for online businesses in Dubai and the UAE.

10 online business opportunities in Dubai

Digital marketing

With so many businesses now in Dubai and competing for customers’ attention, the role of marketing is more important than ever. Digital marketing is playing an increasing role, with greater demand for market research and analysis, and taking advantage of the wealth of data that can be mined from email and online advertising campaigns to determine value for money.

Cloud kitchens

Demand for cloud kitchens rocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but even though lockdown regulations have been eased, many people still want food delivered to them. Cloud kitchens – those with no shopfront or dining facilities, just a delivery service that can be ordered through online platforms – have become a favoured option for those who do not want to make the investment needed for a traditional restaurant. By only having a kitchen, it keeps costs down.


Again, with the increasing numbers of businesses starting up in Dubai, it means that accounting and bookkeeping services are more in demand than ever. Many startups or small businesses won’t have the necessary expertise in-house to manage their books and will outsource it to a professional. These professionals now don’t have to be office-based, they can work from home and communicate and distribute financial details through secure cloud-based apps and programmes.

Fitness trainer

Many people want to stay fit and healthy, but with busy lifestyles, some don’t always have the time to go to a gym or leisure centre. It has meant more people are turning instead to online fitness trainers. Many fitness trainers now run individual sessions or classes via videoconferencing platforms. Running the business online means you avoid the expense of renting gym space, and it means you can be flexible with timings of classes, so they can be run around other things in your life, such as childcare.

Translation services

Dubai is famous for its residents coming from all over the world – about 80% of people living in the emirate come from overseas. While languages such as English and Arabic are most often heard, a whole range of others are regularly used. This means that services of translators are in demand, especially for converting documents into the necessary languages. Businesses in sectors such as medicine, commercial, technology and the law in particular want these services. So, if you are fluent in two or more languages, this could be a career option.


Online tutoring services are another booming sector: there are many parents seeking to get some extra help for their children in certain subjects, as well as adults who want to undertake extra qualifications. Online tutors generally offer individual sessions or an hour or half-hour for a set fee, although group lessons can also be taught. There are plenty of online marketplaces for tutors to advertise services and fees – and these also offer secure methods of payment.

Website design

A company website is now the first interaction that many potential customers have with a business, which makes it a vital resource. A poorly functioning or hard to navigate website can put would-be customers off in seconds. As a result, skilled website designers, who can build dynamic, attractive and easily navigable websites, are highly prized and can charge healthy fees. Those who decide to strike out on their own can make a healthy living.

Freelance writer/blogger/content creator

Being a freelance writer just takes a laptop and a decent internet connection. Many newspapers and magazines across the world employ freelancers to write features, cover news shifts and update online content. But it isn’t just about writing for newspapers and magazines. Many businesses outsource blog writing, giving writers a topic which is then ghost-written on behalf of the company. Content creation services for websites, social media, emails etc. are also much in demand. There are websites available that freelance writers can sign up to and showcase their services to potential clients, as well as pitch for jobs.

Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants are another profession that is growing in popularity. Managing directors often need an organised administrator to help deal with their busy schedule and delegate tasks too, and this is a job that can be done effectively remotely. Virtual assistants provide a range of tasks from diary management to replying to emails and marketing, all of which can be done from a home office. Some virtual assistants specialise in certain sectors, such as legal, which can increase their value. There are a range of online platforms that can connect virtual assistants with entrepreneurs.

Online retailer

Setting up an online shop is still a viable option for many entrepreneurs. They lack the overheads of a physical premises, and give access to a potential global market, rather than just the people in the area local to the area. This is an option that many people who make craft items such as jewellery or bespoke gifts prefer, as a well-designed website with easy online purchasing and payment methods can take a business to another level. There are also online marketplaces that can be signed up to, to bring in more potential customers who are searching for specific products.

Why choose Dtec?

Whatever type of online business you choose to set up in Dubai, there can be complications in the process. But Dtec is here to make that process as stress-free as possible by helping entrepreneurs to set up new businesses.

Dtec is the biggest technology innovation campus in the MENA region and is a hub for many high-tech companies.

Dtec gives startup businesses all the resources they could need to make sure their ambitions for their business are realised and they contribute to the economy. This includes providing collaborative coworking spaces, accelerator programs, networking events with major players in the tech sector, and access to funding opportunities.

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