How to start an e-commerce business in Dubai

The online world and Dubai, both are complementary to each other. In Dubai E-commerce has been one of the fastest growing industries over the past decade. Dubai has an unconquered fertile plain for potential e-commerce growth which has played a great role in launching this place as an e-commerce hub.

Besides this, there is the rise in emerging markets and the growth of social media in Dubai. It can be beneficial for you if you are planning for e-commerce business in Dubai as from past three years 72% of the users in Dubai have moved to the online format and made their first online purchase. Besides this online business is a good idea to start with as it requires low investment. So, if you are planning for e-commerce business in Dubai you can go through following guidelines:

  1. The framing of Business Idea:

Before starting any business you need to have a valid and unique business idea and e-commerce is no exception to it. You can have successful e-commerce future at Dubai as the place is not far behind to become 100% active in this sector. So, if you have made your mind for e-commerce business in Dubai, first you have to come up with the best business idea. Your business idea should involve the solution to a problem. Think about who will use your solution, which you are providing through your business idea.

  1. The requirement of a Business plan:

In Dubai, the web effect is no less dramatic in fact, according to Arab Advisors Group; the value of e-commerce related transactions is about $11 billion a year in the Middle East. You can easily explore your e-commerce business idea in Dubai that too with low investment all you need to have is a perfectly valid business plan. In starting you don’t need to have a formal business plan-but you still need a plan. Your business plan should reflect the importance of a customer, what are you selling and what people are willing to pay for your product or services.

  1. The requirement of Licence:

If you are thinking of web-based company, you need to have a license from the department of economic development. Getting a license truly depends on the zone in which you are planning to establish your business e.g. if you want to set up your business in a free zone, it is mandatory to have a license from the relevant authority. And what type of license will be issued to you truly depend on the nature of your online business which you are planning to do…

  1. The requirement of office space :

One of the important decisions new owners of the online business as often wrestle with is whether or not to set up a physical store. Dubai based companies must have physical office space to be considered legal. Besides this there are other positive ventures of having a physical store, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Legitimacy: Having a physical office for your e-commerce store can add legitimacy for your clients and employees. The rate of legitimacy probably depends much on what type of business you anticipate operating.
  • Meeting Space: By having your own physical office you can have a meeting place for your employees. The in-person meeting allows your neither brain to interrupt nor verbal messages and get more information from the interaction than you would otherwise.
  • Employee accountability: it is the truth, no matter how much you trust your employees; it is much easier to hold them accountable if they are in same space.


  1. Website development:

The website is playing a secret role in the online world as they are considered to be a gateway to this digital world. With increasing number of internet users, your e-commerce business must not leave a single chance to reach the targets. To sell your products online and to meet the needs of your client, it is mandatory to have a well-furnished e-commerce website. The website for e-commerce business acts as an interactive platform between the producer and consumer.

Following steps are needed to be taken into consideration while making an e-commerce website for your online business:

  1. Choose and register a domain name for your website.

What is the Domain name? In simple words, we can say a domain name is your website name. It is the address where internet user can access your website. Having a professional domain name matters for both established business and startups as this will help you in creating the business image in users/consumers mind. There are various companies in Dubai who offer registrations for the domain name and if you want to acquire the services you can search it on Google and can select the best one for you.

Now, if you are planning online shopping services, there are few additional factors which are needed to be considered:

  1. Presence of online payment gateway in your website:

In beginning, many of us are not aware of the importance and usage of payment gateway. When you plan to sell a product online(tangible or intangible), it is important that every transaction is secure and fits the need of your costumer Besides this there is the increase in the number of users opting for a cashless mode of transactions, which is contributing in making payment gateway a necessity.


3. Import/export requirements: If you are planning to import products from outside the country and selling them online to the UAE/Dubai market, it is mandatory for you to register with the relevant Emirate’s ports and customs authority, and receive importer’s code. More often customs duty of 5% is applicable to goods being imported. But if your business is established in a free zone you are free from any customs duties, all you have to do is sell your products /services within the free zone or outside the country. However, if you are planning to sell your product to the UAE market (outside of the free zone), then it is mandatory for you to pay a customs duty and for which you can appoint a local commercial agent.

Mistakes you should avoid while starting the online business in Dubai :

  1. Not thinking about a plan of attack.
  2. Don’t focus too much on little stuff
  3. Never undervalue your service or product, which you are planning to sell online.
  4. Never ignore your customer service
  5. Never spread yourself too thin on social media
  6. Never think that everything in one size fits all.
  7. Never rush on early hires, give it time and choose best for your online store.

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