Dubai has been an economically dynamic city since long before the establishment of the UAE in 1971. In the years since, it has demonstrated a track record of remarkable economic growth and political stability. Over this period, Dubai has moved from being a small, local trading city into a global hub of commerce.
Dubai is the second largest Emirate by population and size. Dubai borders the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Dubai has fostered a dynamic and open trading economy in less than two decades. Strategically located at the crossroads of trade and commerce between Europe, Africa and Asia, Dubai has leveraged its position and built world-class infrastructure to become the undisputed regional hub for trade, logistics, business, finance, retail and leisure.
With its ambitious growth strategies, Dubai has emerged as a global city and business hub of the UAE.
Since the 1970's, Dubai has been moving strategically to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas business to a broadly diversified economy based on international trade, banking, tourism, real estate and manufacturing.
Dubai has attracted world attention through its state-of-the-art infrastructure and outstanding business environment. It has now become the global economic hub and a logical place to do business in the Middle East, providing investors with a unique and comprehensive value added platform.
Dubai is at the centre of a region that is emerging as a major force in the global economy. Stretching from North Africa to South Asia and the Caspian to South Africa, this region comprises of 42 countries, some of which are the world's fastest growing emerging markets.
By combining a business friendly environment with world-class hard and soft infrastructure, and increasingly deep trade, travel, business and investments ties not only with the rest of the Arab world but much of Africa, South Asia and other parts of Asia, Dubai has emerged as the leading regional commercial hub. In fact, it is the world's third-largest re-export hub.
Through its flag carrier, Emirates Airlines connecting Dubai to more than 140 destinations worldwide, the Dubai International Airport has handled 70.4 million passengers in 2014.
Moreover, with its excellent logistics, warehousing, transportation facilities, telecommunication networks and a city offering high-quality lifestyle and welcoming nationalities from across the globe, Dubai has become a significant business destination.
Dubai is part of the UAE, which has established a reputation for being a low-crime and politically stable country. The ability of the UAE to withstand the impact of the global financial crisis demonstrates the UAE's financial and monetary stability.
Several steps taken by the government to promote recovery from the crisis have resulted in deposit growth and capital inflows, increased activity in the markets and a rise of indexes.
Dubai's well-developed banking system ensures extensive credit facilities and ample liquidity. The state has shown consistent commitment to business friendly and liberal economic policies.
Much of Dubai's remarkable economic development and growth can be attributed to a progressive government, with a clear vision and strategy for Dubai's economy. It is also a government that has a remarkable track record for executing large, complex and ambitious projects in a timely and efficient manner.
Dubai's open economic policy, minimal government control and private sector regulation have played an instrumental role in attracting vast foreign direct investment (FDI).
In order to further encourage foreign investment, a number of economic free trade zones have been established across the UAE, offering foreign businesses attractive concessions and a number of investment incentives. The main concessions and incentives offered to entities that establish in the free zones include 100 percent foreign ownership (foreign ownership restrictions apply across the UAE outside of the free zones) and the guarantee of zero percent taxes for a specified period of time (usually for 50 years).
Dubai has more than 20 free zones catering to a wide range of business sectors or activities, such as media (Dubai Media City), manufacturing (Jebel Ali Free Zone) and information, communication and technology (Dubai Internet City).
Dubai's policy of investing heavily in its transport, telecommunications, energy and industrial infrastructure has significantly enhanced its attractiveness to international business.
The Emirate has seven industrial areas, one business park and three highly successful specialised free zones, two world class seaports, major international airports and cargo village, a modern highway network, state-of-the-art telecommunications, a Rapid Transit System (Dubai Metro), recently launched Trams and reliable power and utilities, all of which deliver efficiency, flexibility, reliability and cost efficiency.
Apart from a favourable tax environment, companies in Dubai can obtain significant cost advantages due to the absence of foreign exchange controls and trade barriers or quotas. Similarly costs in other areas like import duties, labour, energy and financing are competitive by international standards.
Similarly costs in other areas like import duties, labour, energy and financing are competitive by international standards.
Dubai boasts an extensive foreign trade network, giving the investors an extensive choice of potential global marketing outlets for a diverse portfolio of goods and services. As a city within the UAE, Dubai is also part of the world's third-largest export and re-export centre, after Hong Kong and Singapore.
Expatriates comprise over 80 percent of Dubai's population, with more than 200 nationalities working and living together in a safe, multicultural and largely crime-free environment. Dubai attracts a highly skilled workforce, due to the country's growing number of international companies, professional service firms and financial institutions.
Expatriates enjoy tax-free salaries, schools accredited to international standards, a high standard of health care and excellent recreational facilities - including 8 championship golf courses.
Dubai is ranked among the top 10 most popular business locations in the world, with the world's largest companies operating in the emirate. Dubai improved its ranking in the 2014 The Banker (FT Business) of international financial centres to fifth place, preceded only by London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. In retail, only London has a larger representation of international retail brands.
The asset boom and the vast increase in private and institutional wealth in the region have created a huge demand for specialist financial services.
Dubai is the perfect base to target opportunities in a market that is hungry for new financial products tailored to regional investor preferences and risk requirements. International and regional players who establish themselves in Dubai now are perfectly placed to take advantage of the regional market's vast long-term potential for financial services market growth.
The United Arab Emirates will host the World Expo in Dubai in 2020. This will mark the onset of the world's fair to be held in this region for the first time ever. As one of the largest and oldest mega-events, the Expo will launch country's Golden Jubilee celebration, serving as a springboard establishing a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.
Expo 2020 will run for six months from October 2020 to April 2021. The year 2021 will mark the UAE's 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Expo 2020 will generate jobs for more than 30,000 volunteers to support the event and generate massive job opportunities for individuals in the region.