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"How Do I Approach Businesses In Dubai?" Answers To The Most-Asked Questions By New Members Of Dubai Startup Hub From approaching businesses to accessing quality, affordable accounting or legal services in Dubai, check out how entrepreneurs can go about it.

By Megha Merani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Dubai Startup Hub, an entrepreneurship arm of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, runs various support initiatives to help startups sustain and grow, including networking events that foster a self-supporting community of people.

In addition to making new connections, participants also have the chance to ask Dubai Startup Hub representatives for advice on how to deal with the various challenges they might face and how to find new opportunities to expand their businesses.

Faisal AlShehhi, Project Manager – Entrepreneurship at Dubai Startup Hub, answers some of the most commonly asked questions at our new members webinar earlier this month:

How do we approach businesses in Dubai?

Overall, you really need to deliver a package. You need to understand your client and how much they really need your service and develop the package accordingly. If you have that ready, and you have some track record right now with previous clients, you are more than welcome to look at our Market Access programme that provides you the opportunity to connect with corporates that could benefit from your solution. Otherwise, as we see many entrepreneurs do, it's knocking on doors- making the list of potential customers and reaching them one by one.

How do I access quality, affordable accounting or legal services in Dubai?

There are some legal entities in Dubai that often provide probono consultations and others that provide free templates online that you can modify and adjust based on your needs for standard processes. For VAT filings, which happen through a government portal, personally I've been told that by people who make their filings that it's pretty straightforward and you can do it yourself. Of course, if there are areas you are unsure about or specific to a situation then you will still need to pay to consult a professional. There are many firms that now cater specifically to small businesses.

How do I find affordable office spaces especially for ejari?

If you are just starting out, I would personally not look at getting a full-suite of physical office space. Many startups and companies opt for desk space instead or buy memberships with co-working spaces that are more affordable. Some co-working memberships even allow you to work from different parts of the city including coffee shops, restaurants and hotels with meeting room facilities.

What's the best way for a B2C entrepreneur to reach new customers?

B2C reach is more reliant on digital footprint. What are the different channels you can use to reach your customers digitally? How good are you in optimizing your digital campaign and targeting your customer? That's what you need to focus on learning how to do. Dubai Startup Hub runs webinars and training workshops to help new startups up their online game. For example, we hosted a workshop with global internet domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy to help founders bring their ideas online and grow their audience.

Where can I find research and insights about the Dubai market?

Dubai Startup Hub frequently updates its library of reports, whitepapers and business articles. Our quarterly Panorama reports are your most valuable tool when identifying resources and opportunities to network, find partners, investors and programmes that can meet your needs. For example, our Panorama 8.0 edition on Funding Your Startup In Dubai gives you a bird's eye view of our entrepreneurship ecosystem, including all the different incubators, accelerators, investors that are available in this region, that is especially useful to overseas founders looking to setup or scale in the emirate. Meanwhile, our latest edition Panorama 9.0 provides a practical guide to legalities for startups amid COVID-19.

This article was originally published on Dubai Startup Hub and has been reposted on Entrepreneur Middle East based on a mutual agreement between the websites.

Related: Startups To Play Much Bigger Role In Supporting Dubai's Transition To A Digitally-Driven Economy

Megha Merani

Independent Journalist

Megha Merani is an independent journalist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her stories have made headlines across a number of publications including Reuters, Associated Press, Entrepreneur Middle EastBloomberg Middle East, Arabian Gulf Business Insight, Arabian Business, and former local daily 7DAYS.

Megha also produces editorial for government platforms including the World Government Summit and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. She has been a grant winner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Global Initiative Against Organized Crime funded by the government of Norway to report on the online trade in illegal wildlife.

Megha is also an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) at Murdoch University in Dubai and leads its Digital Newsroom course unit. In addition, Megha serves as a United Nations Women mentor to support equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and supports various other programs including TIE Women, 60 Day Startups, and the Watt Inc. Business Incubator.

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