Although it is considered an exciting hub of business activity, many are daunted by the stiff competition and substantial costs of starting up a business in the UAE. It’s worth remembering, however, that the UAE government has streamlined the process of registering a business and facilitated startups in Dubai through numorous means. Almost half of the companies set up in Dubai are startups and there are plenty of success stories to inspire would-be entrepreneurs who also wish to open a business in Dubai.
Discovering a niche
Take, for instance, the case of Jon Richards, CEO of yallacompare.com, whose personal experience of feeling frustrated by the lack of easily available information about financial services back in 2011 led to his decision to launch a comparison website for the same.
As he was driven by a hunch, Richards did not invest all his resources into a single big idea. Instead, he launched as many as seven websites at the same time in order to determine where the demand for his product really soared.
From among these different websites — one for restaurant reviews, one for car comparisons, among others — he found people were most interested in researching about financial services online. Then, he got to work to meet that need.
For Eslam Hussein and Pulkit Ganjoo, the research made it clear: there was a growing market for a car subscription service, such as Invygo.
After an initial period of bootstrapping, the duo succeeded in securing pre-seed funding worth USD 275,000 from angel investors. Then, they were accepted into the Misk500 accelerator programme, where they grew their app from scratch. Invygo went from having zero subscribers to being the highest-earning startup among its founders’ graduation cohort. In November 2019, Invygo won investment worth USD 1 million in its seed round.
It goes to show that entrepreneurs starting a business in Dubai don’t necessarily have to have capital of their own to execute a million-dollar idea. At present, the app has nine employees, is collaborating with three car dealerships, and has plans to expand into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other GCC countries.
Every startup idea isn’t a success, says Instashop founder John Tsioris, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from trying again.
While his current grocery shopping delivery service is a mega-hit, boasting over 350,000 subscribers and a very impressive 75% retention rate, his first app was riddled with problems. The idea for a voice-based social media app may have been sound, but Tsioris admits that he didn’t have the experience at the time to set up a new business in Dubai. Learning from his mistakes empowered him to run Instashop more effectively. Today, it is in use in as many as five GCC countries with plans to expand beyond the region.
Are you ready to register your business in Dubai? Book an appointment with Decisive Zone’s expert consultants to get started.
Decisive Zone is a business setup company helping you find the best-suited solution when establishing a company in UAE. Decisive Zone will advise you on the corporate structure and jurisdiction to choose from, while covering all technical, administrative and financial aspects of UAE business setup.