Start A Small Business In Dubai: Ideas & Costs

Akshay Vinayak

Akshay Vinayak

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Dubai may be famous for big business and huge buildings; however, there’s plenty more here besides. Most of the emirate’s economy is driven by startups and SMEs, with over 30,000 new businesses launching out here yearly.

And there’s more good news if you’re looking to open a small business in Dubai. With the right support, it can be effortless. The company formation process is designed with speed and simplicity, so when you work with a local expert, you can be up and running in no time.

Steps To Start A Small Business In Dubai

With the help of Meydan Free Zone, you can open a small business in Dubai in just five steps.

  • Select your business activitySelect Your Business Activity
    The first step is to select your business activity. There are thousands of activities permitted in Dubai. We can help you align your operation to one or more to ensure that you are correctly licensed to trade.
  • Choose a trade name for your businessChoose A Trade Name For Your Business
    To comply with Dubai’s business naming rules, your company name must clearly describe what your company does. At the same time, it must not include any terms that could be considered offensive or potentially blasphemous.
  • Choose your business locationChoose Your Business Location
    This is a major consideration when starting out in Dubai. There are two common options, free zone or mainland. In many cases, setting up in a free zone is the more convenient and cost-effective option.Many companies choose to base themselves at Meydan Free Zone because it offers a 0% tax rate and 100% foreign ownership. We can advise you on setting up your free zone company here and provide the support you need to make your business a success.


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  • Complete your application and pay feesComplete Your Application And Pay Fees
    In order to receive your trade license to open a small business in Dubai, you will need to complete your application form and obtain a residency visa. We can support you throughout both aspects at Meydan Free Zone to ensure a simple and fast process.


  • Receive your license and open a business bank accountReceive Your License And Open A Business Bank Account
    Once you receive your trade license, you’ll need a corporate bank account to make and receive payments from clients in the UAE and abroad.Meydan Pay is our simple digital banking solution for businesses working in our free zone. It gives you an IBAN and digital wallet with all the features you need to start making and receiving payments.

Documents Required To Start A Small Business In Dubai, UAE

You will need to provide certain documents when setting up your business. Depending on the shareholder type you choose, it may vary.

Individual ShareholdersCorporate Shareholders
  • Passport copy
  • Passport size photo (digital)
  • Residence visa Copy (if applicable)
  • Emirates ID copy (if applicable)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Certificate of Incumbency or equivalent
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Board Resolution

Cost Of Starting A Small Business In Dubai, UAE

At Meydan Free Zone, you can pick up a license inclusive of three business activities for just AED 12,500; if you wish to include the cost of your visa, this price increases to AED 14,350. For a license package inclusive of six visas, the total cost is AED 23,600.

Check Out Our Calculator Now For A Discount

Small Business Ideas That You Can Start In Dubai With Little Or No Money

  • Consulting: If your skills and knowledge are coveted in the business world, consulting can be a great career path. There are no formal requirements to work as a consultant here in the UAE. However, you will need to demonstrate that you have the requisite experience. This could be through relevant qualifications or years of experience working in the field.
  • Freelance Writing: Every business has a story to tell, and they are willing to pay to get it out there. Whether for editorials, articles, blogs, web copy, or social media posts, the demand for quality writers is consistently high here in Dubai. Once again, little is needed to get this type of company off the ground. If you have the skills, you’re good to go. Meydan Free Zone does not offer freelance license or visa options. 
  • Social Media Marketing Agency: Social media has quickly become an integral part of business strategy. Companies across all industries must have a social presence; opting out is no longer an option. Many businesses, however, do not have the time or skills to manage this operation on their own. So, if you’re socially savvy, you could find a large and demanding audience in Dubai.

  • Personal Stylist: Dubai’s residents are famed for their sense of style. Add to this a young and predominantly affluent population, and you can see why becoming a personal stylist could be a great career move in this part of the world—got an eye for a great outfit? Then this is the business for you.
  • Photography: Corporate events, sales, marketing, weddings, and parties – are all big businesses in Dubai, and they all require a photographer. While this one takes a little more equipment than the others on this list, it’s easy to turn your hobby into a career if you already have a camera and an artistic vision.

Why Choose Meydan Free Zone

Meydan Free Zone is a thriving, centrally located economic district with one of the most prestigious business addresses in the region.

We offer our businesses a host of innovative investment and lifestyle benefits in a secure regulated environment that empowers productivity.

When you set up at Meydan Free Zone, you’ll benefit from:

A Business Presence In The Heart Of Dubai
You’re never far from the hustle and bustle of the city center at Meydan Free Zone. Just 15 minutes from the Dubai International Airport and mere minutes from Downtown Dubai.

An Empowering Environment
Setting up your business in Meydan Free Zone gives you exclusive access to a networking community that inspires growth through innovation and collaboration. Dubai is home to countless startups, SMEs, and multinational corporations, making it the perfect city for you to start and grow your business.

A Paperless Experience
Don’t let red tape hold you back. Our intelligent and intuitive license application kit means you will work with easy-to-use forms that significantly reduce time and effort during the application process. In addition, the platform combines all aspects of compliance and regulation for your businesses (such as UBO, ESR, AML) in a single interface.

Contact Meydan Free Zone today and start trading in no time

Our expert team can assist across all processes involved in business setup in Dubai, from registering your company name to managing your license and visa applications.

To find out more, visit our website, or get in touch with us via or 800FZ1.

If you prefer, you can visit us at Meydan Free Zone Business Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Meydan Hotel, Meydan Rd, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, UAE.

Start your business with Meydan Free Zone

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