Dubai Business Setup

American Companies Doing Business in the UAE

July 10, 2024

American businesses are bringing their products, services, and business to the United Arab Emirates to expand their global footprint; in doing so, they are creating jobs and encouraging international trade and investment between the U.S. and U.A.E. Many American companies are operating in the different free zones; the free-trade zones in Dubai, for example, continue to be a preferred destination for setting up business as a base to expand into the region.

According to the recent Dubai Chamber Annual Report, the Emirate is a favorable environment to set up a business. Other sources covering the area agree that the seamless operation of commerce has made Dubai a major global city. “The UAE economy is booming and the opportunities to do business in the country are limitless,” tells UAE Interact.com.

Dubai emirate has a leading role as a hub that has come to strengthen global collaborations and growth across its diverse sectors with international trading partners, including United States of America; the partnerships create significant contribution to the GDP and also fall in line with objectives outlined under the Dubai Plan 2021 to strengthen the emirate’s status as an attractive investment destination.

American companies, in particular, are using Dubai as an access point to expand their reach to markets in the Middle East and in Africa. Today, there is a growing number of US businesses looking abroad for new trade opportunities in exploring new markets, says Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the ideal platform for American Financial Services firms to reach into and out of the emerging markets within the region, which has set the stage for a new era of growth and continue to lend momentum to the economy. This is the place playing a pivotal role in meeting the growing needs of prospective clients across a wide range of businesses in the financial services sector, including investment banks, asset management firms, insurance companies and private equity firms. The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) grants licenses and regulates the activities of all banking and financial institutions in DIFC

The rising importance of Dubai as a global business hub has attracted “top American banks and financial institutions; insurance companies and legal firms,” says Kevin Birkett, Managing Director – Business Development, DIFC Authority. He also mentioned how American firms were among the first to establish regional headquarters in DIFC in 2004. Since then, this has led to more US financial services firms establishing a presence in DIFC with US companies having constituted in 2012 up to 15% of the client base, occupying around 20% of the space and employing around 9% of the total workforce.

However, there is still a lot of growth potential for US companies in DIFC with its “supportive infrastructure and its tax-friendly regime make it the perfect base to take advantage of the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services,” as mentioned on the official website.

Already in 2010, a delegation of American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)  visited the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), as part of the US-Dubai 2010, “Dubai’s economy is full of investment opportunities in many sectors and as the US investors are looking at emerging markets to expand their business activities, Dubai provides the ideal destination for their investments due to its geographic location, world class infrastructure and competitive advantage.” The meeting facilitated multilateral negotiations and has prepared the path for an expansion of the US market in the UAE that is still in full swing today.


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