Written by Global Ambassador, Adwoa Benefaa Ofori, Class of 2017 Master of International Business student, Dubai Campus
When you think, “Dubai”, what comes to mind? For many people, the first thing that comes to mind is the momentous feat of architecture and planning that has led this Emirate (city) to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in our modern world. It is true that Dubai has some very inventive tourist attractions; last year they brought “Dinner in the Sky” there, an event where 50 people are taken 50 meters above ground, suspended by a crane, to have dinner whilst enjoying the view of the city below. But, there’s more to this city than might initially meet the eye. For a business man or woman, especially an entrepreneur, Dubai is a great location to start a business. These are the three things I love about Dubai from a business perspective.
“The Hult Entrepreneurs Club visited 1776, an incubator, and engaged in a workshop where we turned a business idea into a working business.”
1. Dubai has cultivated a culture for invention
During the 9 months, I have stayed in Dubai as my Hult home campus, I discovered that it’s a place where crazy ideas are able to take form. The idea of a flying car, for example, has always seemed a little far away. But in Dubai, they released the first prototype of an automated flying car this year and by July, aerial and autonomously driven cars will be publicly available for transporting people within the city. That’s only one example. In the Fintech space, Dubai is looking to have all government entities operating on blockchain technology by the year 2020. In energy efficiency, Dubai has the world’s largest fully automated train system, the Dubai Metro, which cut down the city’s energy consumption by 25% upon its completion. The list just goes on. With numerous incubators in the city, people are given the opportunity to hone in on their ideas and develop them. The Hult Entrepreneurs Club visited 1776, an incubator, and engaged in a workshop where we turned a business idea into a working business. The workshop was hosted by an alumnus who has started a business operation in Dubai and some new business owners in the area also came to share ideas to learn more.
“The Emirate is strategically located in the heart of the Middle East, between the Far East, Europe, and Africa.”
2. Dubai is an International Business Hub
Dubai has quickly become a business hub that is now competing against other renowned established hubs, such as Bangkok and Milan. This popularity is because of a few interrelated factors. First, the Emirate is strategically located in the heart of the Middle East, between the Far East, Europe, and Africa. Second, Dubai has the infrastructure to facilitate high volumes of movement of people and goods. For example, Dubai International Airport is the busiest airport in the world where 8.7 million people passed through last year. Third, Dubai has laws conducive for businesses and has already attracted a high number of conglomerate, multinational firms. Licensing rules are lenient, free zones allow for businesses to set up with little restriction and to pay virtually no taxes. This has fostered a hospitable business environment for companies of all sizes.
“These businesses honed in on a key idea: the U.A.E. is a melting pot of culture and ideas.”
3. A diverse and multicultural community
On campus, I participated in five different events organized by companies like Nescafe, 3M, and some other private organizations as well. These competitions were run with student teams developing a business solution to problems outlined from a business case provided in the challenge. This allowed people with diverse skill sets, from different nationalities, and even different universities, to work together in teams. These businesses honed in on a key idea: the U.A.E. is a melting pot of culture and ideas. The population of Dubai is made up of 83% foreign nationals. Having people from many different nationalities means that there is access to a wide range of skills that might be needed for any business venture. It’s also a good thing to have for networking. Having a wide variety of nationalities is also something we’re familiar with at Hult.
These are three things I discovered from staying in Dubai for nine months as a Masters of International Business Student at Hult. There are many other things the city has to offer. In the realm of business though, the three above-mentioned really stuck out to me. If discovering Dubai and the Middle East is on your to-do list, I encourage you to give it a try and have an experience you will never forget.
Adwoa Benefaa Ofori is a Master of International Business student at the Hult Dubai campus. Pursuing her post-graduate degree internationally became a springboard for her to discover new markets and her inner entrepreneur. Ajwe has a keen interest in business development and finance. Her goal is to establish a tech business that becomes a major player in the finance industry.