IMA Overview

Country overview

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a federation of seven individual Emirates, is the UK’s largest civil export market in the Middle East and our third largest market outside Europe – only China and the US were larger in 2017.

It is a major regional hub and the commercial capital for the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, with one of the most liberal trade regimes in the Gulf.

There are a number of reasons to choose the UAE as an export destination: English is widely spoken, it has a large expatriate population, no taxation on personal income and capital gains, it is a good base to use as a bridge into other Gulf markets with low import duties, and it is an important market for re-export to other countries. There are also strong cultural and historical ties as many Emiratis have studied in the UK, have UK homes and visit regularly.

Despite the global economic downturn, the UAE economy continues to grow and the overall economic outlook is positive. The UAE’s reserves of oil and natural gas both rank in the top ten largest in the world. The country holds almost 6% of the world’s proven oil reserves. Production is currently about 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd), and is mostly exported. The government intends to reach 3.7 million bpd by 2020 through the redevelopment and expansion of existing wells, and the development of marginal oil reserves, both onshore and offshore.

About IMA Guides

About this guide

This guide aims to provide a route map of the way ahead, together with signposts to other sources of help.

The main objective of this Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates Guide is to provide you with basic knowledge about the United Arab Emirates; an overview of its economy, business culture, potential opportunities and to identify the main issues associated with initial research, market entry, risk management and cultural and language issues.

We do not pretend to provide all the answers in the guide, but novice exporters in particular will find it a useful starting point. Further assistance is available from the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in the United Arab Emirates. Full contact details are available in this guide.

To help your business succeed in the United Arab Emirates we have carefully selected a variety of essential service providers as ‘Market Experts’ Click Here

The guide is available in 4 formats:

  • this website

  • a ‘free’ downloadable 'mobile device-friendly’ app – available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play store

  • a full colour hard-copy brochure (to order your copy please Click Here)

  • PDF download/e-flipbook (available to download below)

UKTI Video

About IOE&IT

An introduction to the Institute of Export & International Trade

IOE&IT Homepage You Tube Icon 304x 250px

Established in 1935, the Institute of Export & International Trade is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade. Offering a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training, the Institute is the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally.

To view other videos, please visit the IOE&IT YouTube Channel.

For more information visit:

Market Experts

Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates Guide Market Experts - Please click on the logos below to view our Market Expert profiles and to find out how they can help you to succeed in the United Arab Emirates!


Al Wathba Small Logo 240X140px

Certification & Compliance

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Shipping & Logistics

DHL Small Logo 240X140px

Free Trade Zone

DAF Small Logo 240X140px

Company Formation / UAE Business Start-up Services

Europe Emirates Group Company Small Logo 240X140px

Project Management / Design Engineering

Hatch Small Logo 240X140px

Bank / Financial Services

HSBC Logo 240x 140

Education / School Services

ISP Small Logo 240X140px

Healthcare Services

Kings College Hospital Small Logo 240X140px

Facilities Management Services

OCS Small Logo 240X140px

Recruitment / Management Solutions

RPI Small Logo 240X140px

Real Estate

Waha Land Small Logo 240X140px


Winston Strawn Small Logo 240X140px


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Export & International Trade

IOEIT Small Logo 240x 140px

Download the 'Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates Guide' as an e-Flipbook or a PDF


UAE Cover Image _with OUTLINE


E -Flipbook Download (UAE Gold )JPG

Click the button above to Download the full
'Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates Guide' as an e-Flipbook

PDF Download

PDF Download (UAE Gold )JP

Click the button above to Download the full 
'Doing Business in the United Arab Emirates Guide' as a PDF Document   



Download the FREE Mobile-App! 

Simply search 'Doing Business Guides' 
to download!

Available _appstore

On -google -play

UAE I Phone Cover Image

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