Dubai has been the birthplace of thousands of businesses. Each year, entrepreneurs from around the world come here to turn their ideas into reality.
But what if you don’t have an idea that you want to build from scratch? Thanks to franchising, you can still live the dream of running your business in Dubai. All you need to do is decide on the franchise that’s right for you, make your investment and get ready to trade.
In this article, we look in detail at the size of the franchise opportunity in Dubai, along with some of the best sectors to start out in.
- Popular franchise sectors in Dubai
- Legal Requirements to start a franchise business in Dubai
- Cost of starting a franchise business in Dubai
- Advantages and disadvantages of starting a franchise business in Dubai
- Successful Franchise Businesses in Dubai
- How Worldwide formations can help
Popular franchise sectors in Dubai
Dubai’s franchise market is just as vast and varied as its wider economy. There is an industry and niche for everyone, whether you want to work in health, hospitality, technology, retail, and much more.
Here are a few of the most popular franchise sectors.
Food and Beverage
The UAE’s food and beverage sector is thriving, valued at USD 8.9bn in 2021 and expected to grow by 9% CAGR by 2026. Within this industry are multinational brands, local independents and a whole host of franchises.
Both local and global franchises are hugely popular with UAE residents, from Al-Farooj Fresh to Taco Bell. So, there’s plenty of scope around the type of restaurant you can set up.
To home in on the one that’s right for your circumstances, consider where you wish to open and what competition already exists. You should also do thorough research to determine the appetite for different cuisines.
Once you are ready, start exploring the available franchise opportunities until you find that one that fits the bill.
If there’s one thing Dubai’s residents like to do more than eat out, it’s shop. The retail sector out here is worth an estimated USD 27.5bn and is expected to reach USD 37.7bn by 2027. And once again, there is a wide variety among its successful businesses, from international fashion houses to local, single-location boutiques.
Once again, the franchise offering the best chance of success will depend on your chosen location, current competition and the cost of getting started. But while the UAE’s malls and retail districts are certainly well-served, with so many opportunities on offer, from electronics to clothes and car parts, you’re sure to find surplus demand.
Health and fitness
Dubai prides itself on looking good – and so do its residents. Health and fitness has always been a popular pastime out here, but the rise of digital services has sent the industry into overdrive.
Recent research shows that the UAE fitness sector has seen double digit growth in recent years and is expected to be worth USD 600m. And the good news is, it is one of the easiest to franchise – providing you have the required skills and level of fitness.
Some of the biggest health and fitness brands in the world are franchises – LA Fitness, Virgin Active and many more. And as the sector continues to grow, there’s plenty of opportunity to join them.
Education and training
An often overlooked area of franchising is education and training. But with the education market in the UAE predicted to grow by USD 718m between 2022 and 2026, it’s certainly worthy of your attention.
As well as complementary education services that can be sold into schools, colleges and universities, this industry includes many thriving extracurricular activities. Many of Dubai’s resident children go to weekend and after school clubs, so if you can teach anything from art and music to dance or a foreign language, you’re likely be in demand.
Legal Requirements to start a franchise business in Dubai
There is no standalone law covering franchises in the UAE. Instead, they are covered under existing framework governing commercial businesses.
Commercial Agencies Law (Federal Law No. 18 of 1981) defines an agency as an entity represented by an agent ‘for the purpose of distribution, selling, display or rendering of a commodity or service in the State, against a commission or profit’. In practice, this definition extends to franchising.
For this reason, as well as applying for a UAE trade license to operate a franchise, many franchisees also register with the Ministry of Economy as commercial agents. The team at Worldwide Formations will help determine the best way forward for your circumstances.
Cost of starting a franchise business in Dubai
The cost of starting a franchise in the UAE will vary significantly depending your chosen location, industry and brand. There are franchising opportunities on offer ranging from hundreds of dirham to hundreds of thousands.
On top of these setup costs, you will also need to account for visas, premises, staff and equipment. For a full breakdown of the costs involved, get in touch with the team at Worldwide Formations.
Advantages and disadvantages of starting a franchise business in Dubai
One of the biggest advantages of starting a franchise is immediate brand recognition. In most cases, the business you are buying into will have an existing customer base and active target audience – two things that are very difficult to acquire for a new business.
As well as attracting customers, brand awareness can also make it easier to hire top talent.
Another plus is the readymade support system that often comes with franchise models. As well as full training, marketing materials, equipment and more, many franchises will put in touch with a mentor who can guide you through various stages of your business lifecycle.
For this reason, and many others, franchising can be a lower risk alternative to starting a new business from the ground up.
On the opposite side of the equation, franchising is often not suited to more creative entrepreneurs. Most brands stipulate everything from tone of voice and design to the way goods are displayed, priced and marketed. There are, however, many exceptions to this rule.
You are also unlikely to get the full freedom of being your own boss. While you are in charge of your franchise, you are still answerable to the company HQ and will be required to share financial and other reports at regular intervals.
Successful Franchise Businesses in Dubai
Franchise businesses are everywhere in Dubai from small regional chains to some of the largest businesses in the world.
Popular brands include Café Coffee Day, Amul, and EuroKids, along with the likes of Subway, McDonalds and 7-Eleven.
How Worldwide Formations can help
Worldwide Formations are experts in all aspects of business setup in Dubai. So, whether you’re investing in a franchise or want to build a business from scratch, we can help.
Your dedicated contact here will handle everything from licensing and visas to bank account opening, and much more to ensure smooth and simple process.
For more information and a personalised quote, please visit Worldwide Formations.