There is nothing strange about when it comes to opportunities and support for women, the UAE leads the region. Innumerable initiatives taken by the UAE government to narrow the gender gap have paved the way for many women to set up their businesses or rise in their career. Now, women in the UAE are taking big strides in the cabinet and boardrooms of large corporations. The establishment of the Dubai Businesswomen Council (DBWC) was one of such decisions that turned out to be the benchmark of women empowerment in UAE’s thriving economy.
Now is the time. Female entrepreneurs are a key part of the UAE’s economic future, and more women than ever are looking to the Emirates to set up their businesses. Across a variety of industries, local and international women are taking advantage of the growing opportunities.
What Makes UAE an Ideal Place for Businesswomen?
When thinking of UAE as the place for women for doing business, there is often a misconception that this country is hostile to women in business life. And this is a clear misunderstanding. There are several women on the very different levels and positions in business life in UAE – from high ranking management in different companies to owners of their own business is very different areas and of the business of very different sizes.
Here are some key indicators of why the UAE is the perfect choice for budding female entrepreneurs and businesswomen:
Various Government Initiatives Aimed at Women
The UAE government is driving initiatives to directly address gender equality in the workforce. It is in fact one of the government’s declared sustainable development goals, as it aims to become one of the top 25 countries in the world for gender equality by 2021. In addition, there are several initiatives to help female entrepreneurs succeed. Initiatives to consider include the Dubai Businesswomen Council (DBWC). Originally part of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this non-profit organization provides education, training, and funding opportunities to aid the career aspirations of UAE-based businesswomen.
If your business idea is very new, you should consider the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen Council (ADBWC)’s Integrated and Innovative Business Incubator. It is designed to help women identify their latent creative potential and translate ideas into productive projects. It offers technical support, provides advice and guidance, and even has some funding available.
Another longstanding initiative, The Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), hosts an annual Women Leadership Exchange Programme, which provides guidance on sustainable leadership practices and offers great networking opportunities.
Availability of Female-Only Setup Package
In theory, free zones are a perfect place to start a business in the UAE. They offer streamlined setup processes, customizable offices or workstations, and one-stop resources for government services. Keeping costs down is as important as setting up in a premier location.
Added Support Through Company Partnerships
Private companies regularly form partnerships with UAE government agencies and charities to increase the depth of training and capital that can be provided to women. The Women Entrepreneurship Summit MENA is a strategic platform aimed at women entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North Africa region. Womena is another interesting outlet – a media company that produces content that is focused on female founders that also functions as an accelerator and network.
Long Term Visas for Female Investors and Entrepreneurs
The UAE government has been given long-stay visas for businessmen, investors, and start-ups for up to ten years. Such reforms reinforce what was already evident; the UAE is drawing businessmen and a new wave of talent. The initiative would offer security as well as trust for women and, as a result, aspiring ex-pat businesspeople are more inclined to consider the Emirate as a long-term plan.
More Help for Women to Return to Work After Childbirth
It’s an inescapable truth that many women –and not just in the UAE– have to balance both family and work responsibilities, especially after having children. This can be hard enough when working as an employee, but when the added responsibility of business ownership is placed into the mix, the pressure can mount. Fortunately, companies in the UAE are developing technology-based solutions to ease the return-to-work process for women. The creation of inclusive work conditions that accommodate everyone, regardless of life commitments, will bolster the UAE’s economy and encourage women from all walks of life to contribute to the workforce or start businesses.
Inclusion of Women in Every Industry
There are several companies in Dubai and other Emirates in nearly every business area which belongs to women. Such companies can be, for example, industrial, logistics, service, etc. A number of women in Dubai are very successful with their companies providing different education services in UAE – various classes for kids and adults, language schools, arts and music schools, etc. Clearly, there are certain business areas where women dominate, for example, the beauty industry – shops, beauty salons, spas; boutiques, or interior design studios. These are the typical areas where woman generally dominates in most of the countries, and UAE is very similar in this respect.
However, it does not exclude a large number for women in UAE being the owners or managers in companies in other business areas. Such areas can be various types of industries, legal and auditing services, recycling, and any practically any other areas. There is also a great number of women working in different governmental authorities of UAE – starting from minor local authorities all the way to very high ranked ministerial positions.
The Time Is Right
The UAE business environment is one that is committed to driving equality in the business world. We would go so far as to say there has never been a better time to be a female entrepreneur in the UAE. For both Emirati and ex-pat women – if you have the drive, vision, and ambition, you will be rewarded based on your skills, and you will be encouraged along the way with a great deal of support at the government and business-organization level that will further strengthen you on your road to success.
How Can We Help You?
The UAE is one of the most important economic centers in the Middle East, and through this initiative, we worked to strengthen women’s economic contributions to their families and their wider communities. To find out more about how to set up a business/company in the UAE, feel free to contact us. At Riz and Mona Consultancy, we have company formation experts with years of experience. They can help you out at each and every step.