Business opportunites in Dubai & beyond

Unlock Success in Dubai: A Hub for Startup Expansion

Expand North Star brings together Welcome to Dubai - the city where innovation meets opportunity! Discover why Dubai is the ideal destination for startups looking to expand their horizons and achieve unprecedented success.


  • Dubai’s geographical advantages outnumber many global cities – making it an epicentre of economic activity with trillions of dollars of trade and investment flowing between Europe, the Americas & Asia.

  • 2.5

    Billion people live within a four-hour flight from Dubai, the city is home to the busiest airport for international traffic worldwide, welcoming 86.9 Million Passengers in 2023.

  • 2/3

    of the global population are within an 8-hour flight from Dubai.


The value of foreign direct investment (FDI) amounted to USD 22.7 billion in 2022; ranking 1st in the West Asia as well as MENA region attracting 47.1% and 32.4% of total investment for the respective regions.

Incentives to investors and entrepreneurs that attract FDI:

  • 100% Company Ownership for investors and entrepreneurs of all nationalities
  • 40 Free Zones widespread throughout the UAE
  • 10-year Golden Visa (applicable for limited liability companies)
  • No Income Tax and Full Profit Transfer
  • No Minimum Capital
  • Low Custom Tariffs
  • Various Legal Ownerships
  • Shareholding Company Boards


The consistent and robust support for entrepreneurs, investors and SMEs reflects Dubai's business-friendly environment, making it an attractive destination for both local and global investments.

HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council

Dubai was the first to kick-start a regional tech movement and remains at the forefront of the tech & startup ecosystem across the fast-evolving Middle East, Africa & Asia.

  • #1 For Starting a New Business

    UAE emerged as the best place to start a new business in 2022 with a NECI score of 6.8 in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report by the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association.

  • #1 For Innovation in MENA

    Dubai ranks top economy for innovation in MENA in the 2023 Global Innovation Index

    Dubai's shorter-term ambitions include attracting 300+ new digital businesses to Dubai by the end of 2024, being home to over 20 unicorns by 2030, and having a digital economy worth well over US$100 billion annually by 2031.

World-Class Infrastructure

Dubai's commitment to infrastructure development is evident in its world-class facilities. The city is home to the world's busiest airport, Dubai International Airport, and a state-of-the-art port, facilitating seamless logistics for startups engaged in international trade.

The UAE’s construction sector is expected to see a solid recovery in the next five years with construction industry value growing at up to 4.7% per year, according to experts. Growth will be driven by the country’s development agenda focused on growing the industrial, transportation, and energy infrastructures. As part of the “Projects of the 50” initiative, the UAE government announced plans to implement a series of projects aimed at accelerating the UAE’s economic development to transform the country into a comprehensive hub for all sectors. It aims to attract $149.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the next nine years.

Transportation and road infrastructure development continues to be key to the UAE to meet the needs of the growing population and increasing number of cars. This is in line with the government’s plans to expand urbanism and tourism in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The UAE has a sizable transportation and road infrastructure projects pipeline, including the $11 billion Etihad rail project, the $5.9 billion proposed hyperloop project between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the $2.7 billion Sheikh Zayed double-deck road project, and more.

Access to Funding

  • As a step to support the global expansion of Dubai-founded small and medium-sized enterprises, the government have announced a $136 million initiative to help SMEs expand regionally and globally. Over 90% of registered businesses in the UAE are small businesses (SMEs). The emirate aims to double the size of its economy by 2033, according to the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33.

    Dubai has a robust funding ecosystem. In 2022, the Dubai government launched the Dubai Future Fund, a $275 million initiative aimed at supporting startups and technology firms. Additionally, the city hosts events like the GITEX Global, attracting investors from around the globe.

    Entrepreneur Middle East

    “With Over US$11.7 Billion Raised Across 306 Scaleups Since 2010, Dubai Continues to Lead the Growth of The MENA Startup Ecosystem.”

  • Dubai is home to over 40% of the scaleups in the MENA, with 306 scaleups calling the metropolis home. Dubai still accounts for over 90% of all scaleups in the country, which is home to 338 scaleups in total; the majority of the remaining 33 scaleups in the country are headquartered in the country's capital, Abu Dhabi. Dubai's 306 scaleups have raised over $11.7 billion in funding over the course of 2010 through till 2022, which represents an impressive 60% of the total cumulative fundraising total in MENA.

Dubai's Dynamic Talent Landscape

  • Global Workforce Diversity:

    Dubai is renowned for its multicultural environment, attracting professionals from around the world. As of 2022:

    • 90% of Dubai's population comprises expatriates, creating a melting pot of cultures and ideas.
    • Over 200 nationalities call Dubai home, contributing to a rich tapestry of skills and perspectives.
  • Skilled Workforce:

    Dubai's commitment to education and innovation has led to a highly skilled workforce. As of the latest data:

    • 68.3% of the population holds a tertiary education degree.
    • Dubai's education system boasts globally recognized institutions, producing a steady stream of highly qualified graduates.
  • Business-Friendly Visa System:

    Dubai's flexible visa policies make it easy for startups to attract and retain top talent. As of 2022:

    • Entrepreneurial Visas: Entrepreneurs and skilled professionals can benefit from specialized visa categories designed to facilitate business growth.
    • Residency Programs: Initiatives like the Golden Visa provide long-term residency to investors, entrepreneurs, and skilled professionals.
  • Tech and Innovation Hubs:

    Dubai's free zones and innovation hubs serve as magnets for tech-savvy professionals. Recent statistics reveal:

    • Over 50,000 companies in Dubai's free zones, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of innovation.
    • The Dubai Future Accelerators program boasts a 75% success rate in bringing innovative solutions to market, attracting top-tier talent in the process.
  • Industry-Specific Talent Pools:

    Dubai's focus on industry diversification ensures a wide range of expertise in various sectors. Key sectors include:

    • Technology: Dubai's tech sector has witnessed a surge, with a significant increase in the number of skilled professionals.
    • Finance and Fintech: The fintech sector, in particular, attracted over $1 billion in investments in 2021, indicating a growing pool of talent in financial technology.
  • Continuous Learning Culture:

    Dubai's commitment to ongoing education and skill development is evident. Notable figures include:

    • Continual Training Initiatives: Government-backed programs and private sector initiatives encourage continuous learning and skill enhancement.
    • Professional Development Opportunities: A plethora of workshops, conferences, and training sessions cater to professionals seeking to stay ahead in their fields.
  • Quality of Life Factors:

    Beyond professional opportunities, Dubai offers a high quality of life, contributing to talent retention. Recent surveys indicate:

    • Top Healthcare Facilities: Renowned healthcare institutions in Dubai, such as the Dubai Healthcare City, attract top medical professionals.
    • Cultural and Recreational Amenities: A vibrant cultural scene, world-class entertainment, and recreational facilities contribute to an enriching lifestyle.

Innovation Hubs

Explore our dynamic innovation hubs, where creativity meets collaboration to spark groundbreaking ideas. From vibrant workspaces to cutting-edge technology, dive into the world of innovation shaping the future.

Innovation hubs in Dubai serve as central meeting points for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. Through co-working spaces, events, and networking initiatives, these hubs facilitate collaboration, allowing startups to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and form strategic partnerships. The collaborative atmosphere nurtures innovation and accelerates the growth of businesses by providing a supportive community.

Startups often face resource constraints, and innovation hubs in Dubai address this challenge by providing access to essential resources. These hubs offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, shared workspaces, and cutting-edge technologies, enabling startups to operate efficiently without the burden of high initial costs. Moreover, many innovation hubs collaborate with industry leaders, offering startups access to mentorship, expert advice, and potential investors.

Dubai's commitment to innovation is evident in the emphasis on research and development (R&D). Innovation hubs serve as incubators for R&D activities, providing startups with the necessary tools and support to experiment, iterate, and develop groundbreaking solutions. These hubs often collaborate with universities, research institutions, and industry leaders, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Innovation hubs act as magnets for global talent, drawing in skilled professionals, researchers, and entrepreneurs from around the world. The diverse talent pool contributes to a melting pot of ideas and perspectives, creating an environment conducive to innovation. The influx of global talent enriches the startup ecosystem, bringing in diverse skill sets and fostering a culture of creativity and adaptability.

Many innovation hubs in Dubai are closely connected to investment networks and venture capital firms. These connections provide startups with access to funding opportunities, mentorship programs, and pitch events. The hubs act as intermediaries, connecting startups with potential investors and helping them secure the financial support needed for expansion and growth.

Dubai's innovation hubs often cater to specific industries or sectors, such as technology, fintech, healthtech, and more. This specialization allows startups to immerse themselves in an ecosystem tailored to their niche, providing industry-specific expertise, mentorship, and networking opportunities. This focused approach accelerates the development of startups within their respective sectors.

Innovation hubs collaborate with government entities, aligning with the broader vision of the city. Government initiatives, such as the Dubai Future Foundation, provide support, grants, and incentives for startups. Innovation hubs act as intermediaries, helping startups navigate regulatory processes, access government-backed programs, and take advantage of incentives to fuel their growth.

UAE corporate tax: what startups need to know?

While the UAE has introduced a recent corporate tax law, startups stand to gain additional advantages through the implementation of a new legislation known as the Small Business Relief Law. This particular law is poised to offer substantial benefits to startups, complementing the increase in the minimum corporate tax threshold initiated by the UAE.

  • The UAE’s Ministry of Finance has raised the minimum threshold for corporate tax from $100,000 (AED 375,000) to $816,000 (AED 3 million) for small and micro businesses, startups and freelancers.
  • The Small Business Relief Law is intended to support startups and other small or micro businesses by reducing their corporate tax burden.
  • The law went into effect at the beginning of June 2023, and will continue until the end of December 2026.

Dubai offers startups a unique combination of strategic advantages, a nurturing business environment, and a high quality of life. The city's commitment to innovation and growth makes it an ideal destination for startups aiming to make a mark on the global stage.

North Star is committed to fostering the growth of global startups by providing them with a platform to accelerate their business endeavors. Through our exhibitions, startups gain unparalleled exposure to a diverse audience of investors, industry leaders, and potential partners from around the world. This exposure not only helps in securing funding but also opens doors to valuable collaborations and partnerships that can propel their businesses forward