Arab Franchise Times

Deborah Roider

Professional Commercial &
business Engineer
Franchise Director in F&B pillars

UAE: An Extraordinary Resilience

T he United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rapidly becoming one of the top
business destinations in the world.
In a global ranking of 50 major cities regarding the COVID-19 response, Abu Dhabi has repeatedly ranked number 1, and Dubai number 4.
This is due to the effective healthcare management, quarantine management, vaccination rates, and government support provided to the private sector.
The UAE government has introduced several initiatives to attract foreign investors,including allowing 100% foreign equity ownership in companies, introducing 10-year Golden Visas, a $100 billion+ government stimulus to reignite the economy, and significant lowering of
the cost of doing business.
These initiatives have resulted in outstanding results, such as a 19% increase in retail sales in Q1 of 2022 compared to Q1 of 2019, and a tripling of tourist arrivals from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022.
The International Monetary Fund projects GDP to grow at a rate of 5.3 percent in 2023, and the UAE’s free trade zones help attract
foreign investors. UAE’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) has grown 36 times, up to $ 414 billion in 2018.
The UAE ranked 26 out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking, with a World Bank ease of doing business rank of 16.
Dubai has a highly developed food supply chain and hosts the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show, “Gulfood”, which attracts over 98,000 visitors annually. Franchisors looking to expand to the UAE should ensure consistency of their brand and quality of services in all markets. The high demand and large industry in the UAE allow producers to sell bigger volumes on the market and reduce prices.
Franchising is a growing trend in the UAE, with key growth sectors in
education, healthcare, mobile services, pure online franchise concepts, and the food and beverage industry. In terms of franchise direction in UAE for 2023, franchisors should consider incorporating cloud kitchens into their franchise offerings, as cloud kitchens continue to
grow rapidly.
Pilot franchising can also be beneficial for introducing lower recognition brands to the country