Do you want to start a profitable export business in Dubai? If YES, here are 50 best small export business ideas & investment opportunities in Dubai, UAE.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), trading is one of the most important industries there. Data that was gathered just recently found out that the UAE is the 25th largest exporter in the world. Dubai is popular as a global ‘City of Opportunity.’ It was ranked 1st for airport connections to business districts and 5th most affordable city in 2014.

Why Start an Export Business in Dubai?

According to the PWC report, the state ranks 1st for lowest corporate tax rate globally, finishing 10th in the cost of living index. The country also ranks 17th in the cost of business occupancy. In addition, according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI), the UAE also has one of the most complex economies in the world.

Due to the very successful economic diversification plan that was implemented by the UAE Government, it has succeeded to attract an important number of foreign entrepreneurs seeking for development and expansion opportunities in the Middle East.

The UAE is world-renowned for many things: its immense oil riches, the bright lights and sky-high buildings of Dubai, 7-star hotels, buzzing business districts and vast deserts. However, one thing above all else draws envious glances from around the globe – its strategic location.

Not only is the UAE perfectly placed to do business with both established and emerging markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, but with two-thirds of the world’s population within an eight-hour flight, it’s the ideal hub from which to trade with all corners of the globe. This position is only strengthened by comprehensive road, sea and air links: the UAE is home to some of the world’s busiest airports and seaports.

Naturally, such infrastructure along with the UAE’s position at the crossroads of busy trade routes between Europe, China, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region makes it hugely popular with Dubai import export business.

In 2016 alone, the UAE exported some 98.8 billion dollars worth of goods. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that the trading license is one of the most sought-after in the Emirates – with overseas entrepreneurs commonly choosing to set up in the UAE’s many free zones.

The UAE is a country, consisting of seven smaller ‘emirates’ which are similar to states. The seven states are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, and Umm al Qaiwain. Here are 50 Best Export Business ideas & Opportunities in Dubai.

50 Best Export Business ideas & Opportunities in Dubai

1. Export business agent: an export trade agent is a person who sends products to other countries. In order to start this business, you must be aware of currency transactions and import and export laws and policies by the government.

2. Freight Brokerage Company: the role of a freight brokerage company is to serve as an intermediary between shipping and client companies who need freight brokerage services. Freight brokerage companies are also known as clearing and forwarding agents. You can make lot of money in this business in Dubai because of its vibrant export industry.

3. Exportation of used cars: with the advancement in technology and personal taste, new vehicles are constantly being manufactured. So, many people may want to buy new vehicles and need to get rid of their existing cars in order to get a new one. You can buy these fairly used cars and then export them to other countries.

4. Product Sourcing Agent: As a product sourcing agent you can conveniently plug into the export value chain. You can build up your exportation business from almost nothing because it requires very little financial investment and you don’t even need a lot of experience in order to get started. All you need is a good head for organizing and paying constant attention to little details. As a product sourcing agent, you will need to make contact with exporters.

You can register with some trade portals where you will have access to their chosen commodities, specifications and contacts details. You can also send a mail to them and inform them that you can meet their requirements. As a product sourcing agent, you will deal majorly with farmers.

You will need to go to their farms and deal with them directly and you might need to transport the commodity to the city. You can also deal with the local buying agents and the commodity merchant.

5. Electronics Product export: Power wire, fuse, capacitor, earth wire, rubber key pad, PCB board, row socket, screw nut, DIODE bridge, computer accessories are the popular electronics products, India imports in huge quantity.

6. Medical & Surgical Equipment Import: Different types of high quality medical, surgical and healthcare product are produced in Dubai. You can also make tie ups with foreign reputed manufacturers as an exclusive sales representative in Dubai.

7. Precious Metals export: Precious metals like gold, silver and gems including diamonds are the most profitable export opportunity in Dubai. These precious metal are in high demand in various countries of the world and an entrepreneur can always take advantage of this to make money.

8. Vehicle Exports: The auto industry in the Dubai makes it a great area to focus an exporting business. You can work with manufacturers or even export used vehicles.

9. Auto Parts Exports: if you do not want to export vehicles but still want to be in an area that is similar to exporting vehicles, you can focus your efforts on smaller products within the automotive niche like parts and tools.

10. Activated Carbon from Coconut Shell Export: even though Dubai is not a major producer of coconut in the world today, some of it is still grown here and it still constitutes a viable commodity for foreign trade. Basically, activated carbon is an essential product for gold extraction and water purification.

11. Aluminum Import Export: Aluminum and the related products have got the potential of the both export and import in Dubai. However, this business is highly licensed and required specific licenses and permissions from different Government authorities. In some cases, you may need to obtain permission from Pollution Control Board.

12. Online Export/Import Directory: Publishing a biannual import/export opportunities directory in printed and electronic format has the potential to make you rich, as millions of budding entrepreneurs worldwide are constantly on the lookout for income and business opportunities.

You can start by simply creating an import/export directory that features information about worldwide manufacturers, wholesalers and agents that are seeking to expand their product lines into foreign countries and new markets, or individuals or companies that are seeking to import particular products into their regions.

Charging a fee to be listed in the directory, as well as selling the directories to people who are seeking this type of valuable and potentially profitable information and contact sources would earn revenue for the business.

13. Used Clothing exportation: clothing is one of the basic needs of man. No matter how poor a country is or how bad the economy is, people will still need to wear clothes, shoes, bags, underwear, et al. Now there is a fast growing trend now and that is “Used clothes” or “Recycled clothes.”

In some counties where is economy is less than stellar, people have resolved to buying used clothes rather than new ones. You can export used cloths from Dubai to other countries that are in need of them.

14. Smart Phones exportation: Although smart phones may appear to be “every day” items in most countries of the world, they are just beginning to scratch the surface in many developing nations. You can buy used Smartphone in Dubai and then export it to other countries.

15. Diamond Import Export: the UAE is currently the largest exporter of diamond after India and the European union. The diamond trade is a key sector that contributes to the UAE’s position as a global gateway for trade. Dubai is a key location for polished diamond exports from India and the strategic location of Dubai means that it serves as a getaway to parts of Africa and west Asia. You can source polished diamonds from Dubai and export them to other parts of the world.

16. Electronic Toys Import: Generally, there are usually hot selling toys each year in the world, such as loom bands during 2013-2014, kinetic sand and balancing scooter during 2014-2015. If you can discover the potential of these products and import them earlier than your competitors, then you will already make much money when other people start to sell.

17. Art Exports: You could also start a business that focuses on exporting art to collectors around the world from Dubai.

18. Collectible Exports: There are also a number of other niches that are popular with collectors around the world. So you could start a business with a very specific collectible product line that you ship out to those collectors.

19. Essential Oil Export: By definition, an essential oil is any concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds obtained from plants. Such oils are generally extracted by distillation. Essential oils are increasing in popularity in recent times and have been linked to having many health benefits. You can export this to other countries in order to make money.

20. Used Electronics Importation: While electronics are certainly hot sellers, it is actually the accessories that go along with the latest smart phones, laptops, and other gadgets that are highly profitable items. Many of these items can be purchased wholesale for a very cheap price and then resold to the end user at retail price either online or through traditional brick and mortar outlets.

21. Export/Import Insurance Brokerage: Export shipments are usually insured against loss, damage, and delay in transit by cargo insurance. For international shipments, the carrier’s liability is frequently limited by international agreements and the coverage is substantially different from domestic coverage. Arrangements for cargo insurance may be made by either the buyer or the seller, depending on the terms of sale.

Exporters are advised to consult with international insurance carriers or freight forwarders for more information. Damaging weather conditions, rough handling by carriers, and other common hazards to cargo make marine insurance important protection for exporters.

If the terms of sale make the firm responsible for insurance, it should either obtain its own policy or insure cargo under a freight forwarders policy for a fee. You can therefore become an insurance broker in the import and export business.

22. Leather Products Exportation: Presently the world footwear and leather products sector is moving from high-cost industrialized countries to developing countries and many developing countries have strong potentials in this sector regarding raw material and human resources, however, Dubai still remains a major hub for transformation of leather into finished leather products.

23. Glass & Glassware export: In importing glass and glassware products, the most important is deciding Harmonized System codes (Harmonized Tariff System- HTS) for GLASS and GLASSWARE are mentioned which help you in exporting and importing the glass items.

24. Machinery Import: Basically, the small-scale manufacturing sector is the backbone of the economy of many countries. And the machine is the most important part of any manufacturing business. A lot of countries do not have the technology to develop these machines for themselves and as such, they will have to import it from elsewhere. You can export these machineries from Dubai to these other countries.

25. Palm Kernel Cake Exportation: Palm kernel cake (PKC) as a by-product in the milling of palm kernel oil. Palm kernel cake is considered a medium grade protein in feed, containing 14.6% to 16.0% crude protein, useful for fattening cattle either as a single feed, with only minerals and vitamins supplementation or mixed with other feedstuff.

It has also become the main ingredient in daily cattle ration. Palm kernel cake is commonly exported, mainly to Europe.

It is delivered in bulk via vessel or pack in bags for easier handling and distribution. Lately, it is also used as Biomass fuel in Europe especially United Kingdom to provide heat and energy. The cake is demanded by feed millers and by exporters.

26. Mineral Fuels & Waxes Export: Different countries have their own requirements to import waxes, oils, mineral fuels and bituminous substance. However, most of the procedures and formalities are same in all countries. The process and formalities to import waxes, oils, mineral fuels and bituminous substance may differ from one another and in country to country.

Also, different procedures and formalities to import each item might be different under import of waxes, oils, mineral fuels and bituminous substance.

27. Organic Chemical export: Basically, the organic chemical sector includes a wide range of products. A lot of countries spend on the import of organic chemicals for their needs. Some of the most important chemicals are Methylene diphenyldiisocyanate, Cyclic hydrocarbons, Acyclic alcohols, caustic soda et al. and it can be exported from Dubai to other countries.

28. Crude Oil Import And Export: Every nation of the world needs energy and fuel to power their economy and not all these countries have in excess these fuel. You can deal in the exporting and importing of crude oil from one country to another. It is important to note that it is for the big dogs as it involves large cost of startup but a very profitable business in the long run.

29. Petroleum Product Export: Dubai is one of the world’s top producer of petroleum products. In other to be able to export petroleum products, you will need to put in substantial investments. Additionally, revenue-wise, this is a lucrative segment too. Some of the most important items are LPG, Kerosene, Gas Oil, Gasoline, Low Sulphur Fuel oil et al.

30. Paper Exports: you can process wood further and ship it to businesses that use it in various manufacturing processes.

31. Pharmaceutical Exports: Though there are plenty of hoops to jump through when exporting pharmaceuticals, you can work with drug companies to arrange the export of various pharmaceuticals to medical suppliers in other countries.

32. Gem Exports: you could focus on a smaller niche and export gems to jewelers and similar businesses in other countries.

33. Information Service Exports: Information services, like IT expertise or consulting, can also provide great business opportunities. And you can easily work with clients outside Dubai either by traveling or communicating mainly online.

34. Training Exports: You could also build a business centered around training for workers and companies in other countries.

35. Readymade Garments Export: Dubai is one of the top exporters of already made garment in the world today. You can export readymade garments from Dubai to all over the world.

36. Gallstone Exportation: Gallstone is clay-like solid substance found in the gallbladder of a matured cow or oxen. It is about the size of a peanut and can be as big as a pigeon egg. At times, they could be as big as ordinary eggs and can weigh between 15 and 18 grammes. They are collected by pharmaceutical companies abroad for medical purposes.

A good quality gallstone should be dried upon collection of some quantity say 100g, you can then parcel them and send to buyers abroad who then pay with hard currency immediately the parcel is received. Gallstone has a well-established market in Asia and America. The market is guaranteed and can take up as much quantity as supplied without any adverse effect on the price.

37. Pure Honey Exportation: Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also contains other sugars as well trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Honey is manufactured in one of the world’s most efficient factories, the beehive. Honey is currently priced between US$ 10.00 AND US$12.00 per kilogram in the international market.

38. Engineering Exports: Similarly, you can start an engineering business where you work with companies and organizations around the world.

39. Export Consultant: It’s also possible to create a consultancy business that helps other businesses looking to break into the business of exporting.

40. Cargo Tracking: As an importer and exporter, there is always a risk involved in the business especially when you do not have the knowledge of the location of your goods on sea. But this risk can be reduced with cargo tracking firms which you can employ their service in tracking and updating you in real time the location of your goods.

The safety and timely arrival of your cargo is paramount. But keeping track of where it is and whether its journey is going as planned can be hard without the right tools.

Cargo tracking solutions is about monitoring cargo while it’s moving so you can make sure it’s where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Moreover, you’ll be able to receive real-time notifications about departures, arrivals and checkpoint clearances so you can document you cargo’s journey easily and efficiently.

It’s the smart way to: monitor and document the temperature of perishable cargo while it’s in transit, document where your goods were and when they reached their destination, locate and recover lost or stolen goods quickly. This business helps you improve the productivity and efficiency of importers and exporters operation because they can organize the rest of their logistics around the predicted arrival of their cargo.

41. Air Cargo Business: The sea is not the only means through which cargos can be brought in, the air can also be utilized in transporting containers. In 2014, airlines transported 51.3 million metric tons of goods, representing more than 35% of global trade by value but less than 1% of world trade by volume.

With the right tools and equipment even though very costly, you can start an air cargo business by helping businessmen transport their goods faster and in a safer way. If you have the ability to sell, and an air of diplomacy, the import/export business might be right for you.

All you need is the desire and determination to make it work. As you progress in the business, many factors become obvious and easy to handle. Once you get the business underway, the commission for setting up sales is very profitable. And after you establish and maintain a number of exclusive accounts, you’ll find the time you spend is highly rewarded with money.