We all need money in order to live and survive, and that applies no matter where in the world we find ourselves, including Dubai. However, the way in which we make money certainly changes depending on our location, or does it?
Well, location can play a role, but the modern world is different in that you can be based anywhere on the planet, and you can still make money dealing with people on the other side of the world.
That’s such a cool thing that can happen, and it provides you with a sense of freedom and an ever-increasing number of opportunities.
But I don’t want to overwhelm you with a large number of different ways to make money. Too much information makes you feel unable to proceed as you are swamped, and who wants to feel like that?
So, I will ensure this cannot happen by limiting this discussion to just ten of the best ways to make money in Dubai.
Out of the ten, I’m sure you will find at least one that resonates with you and feels as if it could be something you can put some action into and perhaps even start to increase your income.
1. Real Estate
The real estate market in Dubai is huge. Actually, it accounts for 8.2% of the GDP, and that’s amazing. Also, it attracts investors from around the world eager to take advantage of a continually booming market.
I know people are often concerned about real estate and the bubble bursting, but that’s just not happening in Dubai. Actually, it increased by 11% in 2022 compared to the previous year, and that trend is not about to stop any time soon.
But also, you need to think about yields, which is another area where you can become a real winner in real estate in Dubai. It’s not uncommon for yields of around 6%, and that’s the type of income you should be excited about.
With so many people moving to Dubai for work reasons, the rental market is one you can break into and continue to earn an excellent income year after year. However, take time to find the right property. Prices continue to rise, but some areas are more “up and coming” than others.
2. Maintenance and Repair
This method follows on from the real estate option in that all those properties will require some form of maintenance or repairs carried out, and that’s an area you may be able to work in.
But I’m not saying you need to be a fully qualified builder, for example, as you may be in a position whereby you can hire people to do that while you go after the jobs. I know that will then cut into how much money you could earn on a single job, but you are then free to employ more people and build your business faster as a result.
According to market research, areas of maintenance, plumbing, and electrical services in Dubai came to a total of $3 billion in 2020, and that figure has continued to grow. That’s a considerable sum, and it shows the opportunities that do exist within that market.
But before you dive into this, a word of warning. You need to have a professional license to operate this business in Dubai. Get some professional advice on establishing your company in the UAE, as this is something they will crack down on should you fail to do things correctly.
Also, get insurance. You never know when things could go wrong.
3. Enter the Luxury Market
If there’s one thing people associate with Dubai, then it’s luxury. After all, Dubai is home to the only seven-star hotel in the world in the Burj Al Arab. However, the luxury goods market is one that is anticipated to grow by around 3% over the course of the next 12 months.
That is a significant increase in a market valued at $3.78 billion in 2022.
Out of this, jewelry and watches remain the most significant market, which is marketed at $1.71 billion in 2022. Yet, I have another important statistic that I think you should know about: the role of e-commerce.
It is anticipated that 18% of the luxury goods market will involve online transactions. At first, 18% may not sound like much, but when you are looking at a market closing in on $3 billion per year, that’s a lot of money.
I’m not saying you must stay within jewelry and watches, though. Clothing, rugs, and even luxury Arabian coffee are options that are worth exploring. Luxury car rental is another booming area if you have the connections. People link Dubai with luxury around every corner, which means you have a number of avenues to explore.
With Dubai being a hub of international business and trade, life in Dubai is fast-paced, opening up the possibility of running a highly-profitable concierge business. Actually, this type of business is becoming even more popular in Dubai because of the pace of life, and it gives you a fantastic opportunity to get involved.
So, what do you need?
First, you need a good understanding of what’s happening in Dubai and the UAE. That means you must know all about different companies or suppliers capable of providing different products or services. Generally, this could include the following:
- Helping your client to arrange a journey
- Helping your client to organize an event
- Arranging home repairs
- Running errands for them
The basic idea is that you will do various tasks that would otherwise eat into time that your client would instead use in their business life.
But here’s a tip if you want to be a success. Don’t try to offer a concierge service covering absolutely everything at first. Instead, focus on a few key areas and promote yourself as something of a specialist in those areas. Once you have established yourself, you can include a number of other areas to improve your effectiveness as a concierge.
5. Health and Fitness Instructor
One thing that is huge in Dubai is health and fitness. That will be great news for anybody who has already undergone training in those areas. However, if you haven’t done that, perhaps getting some qualifications would be a good idea.
Actually, market research indicates the fitness industry will be worth an estimated $600 million per year in Dubai alone by 2025.
Now, this method can work in a couple of ways.
First, you can do this in person by working as a private fitness trainer via a one-to-one scheme. This does work better when you have the appropriate qualifications, but people do love the idea of a personal trainer.
Alternatively, you could run classes for groups if you can hire a space. Again, this works well, but you need to look at the time of day when most people would want to do this. Dubai is a busy place, so don’t be surprised if it needs to be very early in the day.
The other option is via online classes. This allows people to do their workout at a time that suits them, which is a superb option in the modern world. You may also wish to offer consultations on nutrition and diet if you are qualified, which can be another added bonus.
6. Travel Organizer & Tourism
Dubai has well over 10 million visitors a year, and that is an area you could really exploit and make some money. Now, I’m not saying you will go ahead and create your own hotel or supply accommodation, although perhaps you could run an Air B&B? Instead, it’s more about being a travel organizer.
The problem with Dubai, and it’s an excellent problem to have, is that you have so many different things to do with various attractions, shops, and places to eat. With so many choices, narrowing things down and knowing where to begin is tough.
That is where you can become a helpful resource.
By marketing yourself as an expert in Dubai, you can, in effect, become a concierge of sorts for people visiting the city. You can create an itinerary to help them see as much of the city as possible, and thanks to your efforts, they will stand a better chance of enjoying their time in Dubai.
For this, you need to know the best places to visit, the best restaurants, and the hot spots everyone wants to check out, and from that, learn how to get people around the city quickly and safely.
And how do you make money? By charging a fee for creating the itinerary and helping people organize their stay in Dubai. With so many yearly visitors, this could be a great money spinner.
7. Working in E-Commerce
E-commerce continues to boom, and both Dubai and the UAE are no exceptions. Actually, the online market in the UAE is going crazy, with it expected to reach $9.6 billion per year by 2026.
That figure does mean it is behind a number of other countries, but the industry is growing at around 15.6% per year, which is a substantial amount.
But just thinking about e-commerce, in general, doesn’t work. Instead, the UAE has several key categories that account for the majority of the sales. So, you may wish to focus on those areas if you would like to make money via an online business.
According to the figures available, fashion accounts for almost 38% of the total e-commerce sales in the UAE. I should add that this includes jewelry and watches; those two things account for the biggest share.
But fashion is not the only industry that’s performing well online in the UAE.
Electronics currently accounts for around 20% of the total market. Once again, that is a healthy industry to get into, as there’s clearly a demand for a range of electronics being bought online. Even furniture and home appliances count for 15% of the market followed by DIY and hobbies at 14%.
What you can see here is you have a number of opportunities in what are clearly burgeoning markets. It’s just a case of you working out which area you wish to focus on and launching yourself into that industry.
8. An Interpreter or Translator
I know this only works if you can speak more than one language, but when you have so much trade and business flowing through Dubai, then working as an interpreter or translator can be a fantastic career. I actually see it as one of the best areas to work in, especially when dealing with a business hub such as Dubai.
Here, it would help if you show your proficiency in both languages, so again, you either need a portfolio or qualifications. After that, start small and work on translating a few things for a company or individual to help grow a portfolio or to get your name out there.
To earn money, you can either charge per hour or by a set amount of work. This all depends on what the job involves, so it may be something you need to decide on at the time.
9. Trading Logistics
I’ve mentioned on several occasions how Dubai is a central hub for business, which is reflected in the size of the logistics market. By 2026, some experts believe it will be market worth in the region of $31.4 billion per year, and that’s due to a yearly growth rate of over 8%.
So, what would you do?
A logistics business implements plans and then manages the movement of goods and products. As Dubai is such a huge hub for trade, with it being a real focal point for the world, companies around the world are looking for people on the ground in Dubai who can ensure the movement of those goods goes off without a hitch.
This is one of those businesses where it pays to physically be in the location, as opposed to so many other businesses where it’s done online, and that’s where you can win.
Focus on defining the exact services you offer. Create a network of individuals in Dubai who can help you, whether it’s from a legal perspective, contacts in customs, or contacts in shipping companies. It all depends on how you plan to help people move goods from A to B.
Keep in mind that Dubai alone has three shipping ports. That’s a huge number of shipping containers that are then processed on a yearly basis. As businesses go, working in logistics is one that will continue to grow in both income and also need.
We always need food, and Dubai has more than its fair share of restaurants, with an estimated 20,000 in the city. I know that then makes it difficult to contemplate breaking into that market, so you may need to think about things from a different perspective.
You see, those 20,000+ restaurants all need ingredients; they need laundry done, cleaning, upkeep of their establishments, and several other areas and categories. While you may not be able to open a restaurant, there’s a massive opportunity in being able to service those restaurants in some way, and this could easily become an ongoing thing.
Of course, you need to have the ability to either source ingredients, carry out the laundry, or whatever you intend to do.
Remember that the food supply market is currently valued at almost $9 billion per year, and it has expected growth of more than 9% up to 2026. Those are impressive figures, which means you have ample opportunity to get in on the action simply by offering restaurants and coffee shops some sort of product or service.
The Bottom Line
As I said at the outset, these ten methods are not the only ways in which you can make money in Dubai. However, I hope to have at least inspired you and got you thinking about what is actually possible.
I’m not saying that any of these ways will earn you a substantial income. That’s impossible to predict, but with some work and a desire to do well, there’s no reason why you will not see a significant difference in the money you can then earn.
The key is to think about a few areas. What are you good at? What do you love? Is there a way to monetize it?
As long as you have the right answers with this, then there’s no reason why you cannot go ahead and even build a successful career.