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Start Retail & E-Commerce Business in Dubai

MEDIA / Articles / 2021 / Start Retail & E-Commerce Business in Dubai
Benefits of opening retail stores in Dubai

Each year thousands of tourists flock to the UAE because of its strategic location. Also being a popular shopping destination, the UAE annually attracts a high-volume of population and is ranked as a top tourist spot globally.

Dubai Shopping Festival is one-month event that takes place across Dubai city annually and is known to be an ultimate shopper’s paradise. During this time, shoppers from all over the world come over and indulge in various promotions and offers on products at every shopping centres, malls etc. All this ultimately accelerates growth of the retail sector in Dubai.

Steps to consider while opening and setting up retail business in Dubai

  • Decide on the type of business
  • Finalize a local UAE Partner as stakeholder
  • Obtain commercial license and registration
  • Finalize the business jurisdiction
  • Obtain special permission from the relevant regulatory authority
Process for opening retail shop under DED

  1. Requires a Local Sponsor before opening a retail store.
  2. Commercial license. Require approval from DED, need an Ejari (physical address is mandatory), approval from Ministry of Economy (MOE), Dubai Municipality.
  3. Select right location for conducting business targeting high volume of consumers

E-commerce business in UAE is rapidly growing and the UAE boasts one of the largest business to consumer e-commerce markets and expected to grow two-fold by 2022. Dubai has almost 60% of online buyers. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping was further accelerated leading to a great change in the consumer’s shopping behaviour.

What are the forms of online business?

Free Zone such as DMCC offers activity such as ‘E-Marketplace Service Provider’. Such activity enables the e-commerce company to act as an intermediary between the seller and buyer.

Another choice is setting up of a company and sell goods/products through their own website.
Lastly, a company dealing with any business activity can be set up and conduct business activity online.

Factors to be considered:
  • A company incorporated for the purpose of stating e-commerce can be registered anywhere in the UAE as the business can be managed from any location. However, it is important for businesses to have a physical address for registration and procedures related to license.
  • One must be mindful that to ensure smooth operation of delivery of goods on-time, an e-commerce company must establish a proper logistics system.
  • Similarly, it is important to establish ties with a reliable banking partner and ensure a secure payment gateway.
  • Ideally, business selling physical goods and products online must have a storage facility and it can happen either by owning a personal warehouse or leasing.

Do you wish to stay informed?

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