7 Best Emirates to Start a Business in the UAE

In this article, we'll explore the best emirates to start a business in the UAE and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed choice.

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best emirates to start a business in the uae

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a hub for international trade, attracting business owners from around the world. With its strategic location, favorable business environment, and modern infrastructure, the UAE provides a unique platform for startups and established businesses alike. Nonetheless, if you are considering starting a business in UAE, then choosing the best emirate to launch your company is an important choice that will have a big influence on your productivity. In this article, we’ll explore the best emirates to start a business in the UAE and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed choice.

What are the Best Emirates to Start a Business in the UAE?

Here are the best emirates to start a business in the UAE:

1. Dubai: Where Innovation Meets Business Brilliance

Dubai, known for its iconic skyline and bustling economy, is often considered the business epicenter of the UAE. Registering a company in Dubai is a top choice for many entrepreneurs due to the city’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, diverse economy, and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city’s several free zones, including Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), offer 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and a streamlined setup process.

2. Abu Dhabi: Capitalizing on Stability and Diversification

As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi offers a mix of tradition and modernity. With a strong emphasis on economic diversification, the emirate has invested heavily in sectors like renewable energy, aerospace, and tourism. For businesses looking to tap into government contracts and benefit from a stable environment, Abu Dhabi is a compelling option. Company registration in Abu Dhabi opens doors to government contracts, a strategic advantage for businesses seeking stability and growth.

3. Sharjah: The Cultural Oasis with Business Incentives

Sharjah, sometimes called the UAE’s cultural center, is gaining attention as a business destination. Cost-effective and rich in heritage, Sharjah offers a strategic location, access to well-established infrastructure, and the allure of its diverse economic sectors. Business owners who set up their business in Sharjah can benefit from its commitment to cultural preservation and economic development.

4. Ras Al Khaimah: Unlocking Growth Potential in the North

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has positioned itself as an economic powerhouse, focusing on manufacturing, tourism, and real estate. The emirate offers attractive incentives, including 100% foreign ownership and no personal income taxes. Businesses wishing to expand in the northern region of the United Arab Emirates will find Ras Al Khaimah to be a promising option due to its strategic position and dedication to economic success.

5. Fujairah: Seizing Maritime and Trading Opportunities

Fujairah, strategically positioned on the east coast, is a thriving hub for maritime and trading activities. Boasting a free zone that caters to such businesses, setting up a company in Fujairah provides a gateway to international markets. With easy access to the Indian Ocean, Fujairah is an ideal choice for companies engaged in shipping, logistics, and international trade.

6. Ajman: The Affordable Business Oasis

Ajman, the smallest emirate in the UAE, offers a cost-effective business environment. With affordable living costs and a strategic location, Ajman is particularly attractive to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The emirate’s free zones, such as the Ajman Free Zone, provide businesses with 100% foreign ownership and a straightforward setup process.

7. Umm Al Quwain: Navigating Business Opportunities with Ease

Umm Al Quwain, with its calm and serene environment, is gaining attention as a business-friendly destination. The emirate is a favorable choice for businesses aiming for operational simplicity. The Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone offers a range of benefits, including 100% foreign ownership and minimal bureaucratic hurdles.


Choosing the best emirate to start a business in the UAE depends on various factors, including your industry, business model, and long-term goals. Whether you opt for the cosmopolitan vibes of Dubai, the government-focused opportunities in Abu Dhabi, the cultural blend in Sharjah, or the growth potential in Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE provides a diverse landscape for business success. Carefully consider your options, and leverage the unique advantages each emirate offers for a prosperous business venture in this dynamic region.


In certain free zones, such as those in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, foreigners can own 100% of their businesses. However, outside these zones, a local sponsor is typically required.

Yes, each emirate has its strengths. Dubai is known for finance, trade, and tourism, Abu Dhabi for oil and gas, Sharjah for manufacturing, and Ras Al Khaimah for tourism and manufacturing.

International companies find free zones appealing because they provide 100% foreign ownership, tax breaks, and streamlined import-export procedures.