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How To Start An Online Business In Dubai (2022 Guide)

From choosing a business name, to applying for your visa, this guide takes you through everything you need to know about starting an online business in Dubai.

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There has never been a better time to start an online business in Dubai than now.

Experts anticipate retail e-commerce sales to reach a new high by 2022, growing from $4.28 trillion in 2020 to $5.4 trillion. This massive growth is fueled by the always improving availability of electronic devices, new generations of mobile network technology, and more accessible online payment methods, just to name a few factors.

When choosing the best place to start an online business, Dubai should be high on your list. Not only does the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have the most advanced e-commerce market in the whole MENA region, but businesses that decide to incorporate in Dubai can look forward to many benefits, such as:

  • Minimal bureaucracy
  • 0% tax rate
  • 100% business ownership
  • Low operating expenses
  • No import/export duties

Best of all, starting an online business in Dubai is much easier than you might think, and we explain everything you need to know in this article.

Starting An Online Business In Dubai In A Few Simple Steps

The process of starting an online business in Dubai is deliberately straightforward to attract as much business activity as possible. Essentially, it involves filing an application for an e-commerce license, which then allows your online business to operate and sell products or services specified in the license.

Before you go ahead and file your online business application, there are some decisions that you need to make.

1- Choose Your Jurisdiction

The UAE consists of two main economic zones, or jurisdictions:

  • Mainland: Businesses incorporated in the UAE mainland are free to operate anywhere in the UAE market, meaning they can do business both inside and outside the UAE. They can also take on government contracts.
  • Free Zone: On the other hand, businesses incorporated in the UAE free zone are now allowed to conduct their operation in non-free zone without the support of a local agent. However, such businesses get to enjoy a special tax, customs, and imports regime.
2- Pick A Name For Your Company

If you haven’t done so already, now is the right time to pick a name for your online business. While this may seem like an easy decision, you need to keep in mind that the UAE has strict naming conventions, and you definitely want to avoid names that include:

  • Offensive language
  • References to Allah
  • Sectarian or political groups
  • Initials and abbreviations
  • Politically charged terms

If you’re having trouble picking a suitable name for your online business, then you may want to consider hiring a consulting firm with a deep understanding of the UAE, its culture, and customs.

3- Prepare Your Business License Application

You can now submit your business license application. The application process will take far less time if you have all basic documentation in order, including:

  • Properly filled out application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • Two-color passport photos

Again, any inaccuracies in the application form can lead to unnecessary delays and complications, so we highly recommend you double-check everything before you submit your business license application. If everything goes right, your application should be approved in a week or so.

You can, of course, let a company formation expert take care of this step for you, but you need to be ready to pay a rather steep fee for the service.

4- Apply For Your Visa

Although your online business may not need physical premises like a brick-and-mortar store, you are required to have a legal address. In order to move to a Dubai-based office, you and your employees will need a valid visa.

All entrepreneurs who have set up a business of their own at some point in the past can apply for a business visa, which is part of the Golden Visa system under which foreigners can obtain a long-term visa for themselves and their dependents.

5- Open A Bank Account In Dubai

As a Dubai-based online business, you need a local bank account. The good news is that non-residents don’t have to jump through too many hoops to open a bank account in Dubai. As long as you have a password, your UAE identification card, a copy of your visa, and your business license, you should be good to go.

The largest banks in Dubai include:

While some banks cater specifically to online businesses, other banks are less accommodating, so make sure to do your research so that you get the best service possible.

Top 3 Online Business Ideas To Start In Dubai

If you’re reading this article because you’re just thinking about starting an online business in Dubai, then we have a few business ideas for you to consider:

  • Online Store: E-commerce has been booming in the UAE for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated its already rapid growth. If you have a product that people will want to purchase, then there’s nothing easier than setting up an online store and making it available to the entire world.
  • Online Teaching: Traditional learning, which can be defined as teacher-centered delivery of instruction to classes of students, doesn’t reflect our rapidly changing world. If you have any skill that’s in demand, you should consider starting an online teaching business or publishing video courses on the internet.
  • App Development: The number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 3 billion by 2023, so there’s a huge opportunity to start an app development online business and publish mobile apps on major app marketplaces, such as the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Regardless of which business opportunity you decide to pursue, we hope the information provided in this article will help you achieve your business goals and grab your share of the e-commerce market.

Bonus: If you do happen to make it to Dubai, consider getting yourself a Nol card. This card gives you simple access to all public transportation options available in the city.

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How-To

How To Make Your Twitter Account And Tweets Private

How to make your entire Twitter account private to the public and choose which of your followers can view your tweets.

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Although influencers, celebrities, and businesses use their Twitter profiles to promote products, services, or even themselves, the popular social media platform is still built around a base of everyday users sharing the news and opinions they care about most.

If you’ve built a Twitter account with a follower list of close friends and family, you may be happy simply interacting with people you know, and uncomfortable with the idea of strangers being able to see your Tweets. In that case, you’re in luck, because it’s relatively simple to make your Twitter account completely private so that only your list of followers will be able to see what you’ve posted and who you’ve interacted with.

In addition to making your account private to non-followers, you’ll gain an extra layer of security, as you’ll also be able to manually approve which followers can see your posts. Here’s how to change the settings to make your Twitter account private:

Desktop

  • Go to the Twitter website.
  • In the left tab, click More, then Settings and Privacy in the pop-up menu.
  • Click the Privacy and Safety tab, followed by Audience and Tagging.
  • Check the box next to Protect your Tweets.
  • Click Protect to confirm your selection.

In the Privacy and Safety tab, you can find additional settings such as Discoverability, as well as manage who can send you direct messages, and more.

Mobile

  • Open the Twitter app.
  • Tap the Settings menu in the top-right corner (gearwheel icon).
  • Tap the back arrow to see the full settings menu.
  • Tap Privacy and Safety and next, Audience and Tagging.
  • Tap the slider to the right of Protect your Tweets, which will turn green.
  • Finally, tap Done.

It’s worth pointing out that you may have to toggle a different tab in order to view the settings icon in the top right of the screen.

Also Read: How To Lock Your Facebook Profile

How To Approve New Twitter Followers

On Desktop:

  • On the left menu tab, click More, then click Follower Requests in the pop-up menu.
  • Click Accept or Decline for each request.

On Mobile:

  • Tap your profile photo in the top-right corner, then tap Follower Requests.
  • Tap the green tick or red cross for each request.

So there you have it, your Twitter profile is now private and only the followers that you choose can see your posting activity.

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