Starting a business in Dubai offers great flexibility. There is an emerging market that demands unique business offerings as well as an established consumer base, which preferences can be traced back with the versatile taste–the old and new.

If you are planning to set up a business in the UAE, Dubai mainland offers the most benefits, which will give you the freedom to grow once your business is ready to scale up. Even at a time as a pandemic, Dubai remains a hotspot for investors as they unceasingly look for opportunities to do business in all sectors.

Here, we present the popular business activities where investors and entrepreneurs pour their money into thriving and growing until growth and profit become synonymous with their brands and businesses.

Top Dubai Mainland Business Activities you can Register - Smart Zone


During the unexpected global lockdown, firms have become more reliant on outsourced companies that can do various tasks and functions without having to worry about hiring people. Consultancy activities have a wide range of scope. It can be marketing, accounting, or business consultancy. Wherever your expertise may fall into, a consulting firm only requires a specific skill set that can be offered to other businesses and become profitable in return. These business-to-business type of companies support other businesses in managing specific departments within the organization.

General trading

Established with a general trading license, a general trading business involves the import, export, and distribution of products. With this type of business activity, you are allowed to trade multiple items. This is generally popular for vendors who offer different kinds of products but are entirely legal to trade.


Retail is a popular business activity where most shops and outlets in the UAE are categorized. Physical shops in malls or other public areas are considered retail. It is one of the business activities that has witnessed growth over the past years and continues to do so. Setting up a retail business in Dubai gives you the ability to attract markets from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Why? Because the UAE as a whole is a melting pot of all races and this is a factor that you must always consider.


Manufacturing activity in the UAE is not as daunting as it may sound. It is incredibly easy to find your niche in the manufacturing sector, as Dubai is considered a gateway to the East and West, where you can leverage your production capacity from a logistical perspective. This type of business activity in Dubai mainland allows you to distribute locally and globally without using a distributor. You can entirely do it on your own, provided that you have a Dubai DED license. If you have products that are worth turning into a profitable commodity and you have the resources to manufacture, then this business activity is entirely yours to take.


The rise of e-commerce has doubled in just a span of years. This activity has given people the freedom to explore the digital world by just a click of a button while capitalizing on the millions of people who use the internet every day. E-commerce or online businesses are leading the trend for offering ease of shopping anytime and anywhere. When you think of e-commerce, it is basically taking over the online world with your products and services and reaching millions of people across the whole world. As long as you have the right tools to increase your online presence and build a strong customer base, this particular business activity can bring profits into your pocket even when you are asleep.  E-commerce can also be automated, which saves you more time than expected.