Are you about starting a business in Dubai and you need to raise money? If YES, here are 4 best places to find highly motivated investors in Dubai.
Dubai will always remain well-known to investors due to its strategic location between the east and west and its world-class infrastructure. The Dubai Investment Market offers investors many things to keep them eager and satisfied. People have been analyzing and checking out developing economies and they invest in these cities for them to earn great returns.
Setting up a business in Dubai is not without its obstacles. For instance, you’ll need a resident permit and business license, as well as a “local sponsor” who is given 51% of the ownership stake. That’s a hefty price tag, although there are sometimes ways around that requirement. You could consider the possibility of setting up in one of the many “free zones” in Dubai.
These areas – specifically set aside for foreign business – are part of the Emirate, but are considered outside of the normal customs territory. The rules are different within their boundaries, and they include 100% foreign ownership and tax exemptions. The downside although is that many of them are well removed from foot traffic, and the cost of space is often quite high.
4 Best Places to Find Highly Motivated Investors in Dubai
There are so many things to like about the United Arab Emirates, especially as a potential location for a new business. It’s world-famous, a thriving financial hub, popular with expats, and its economy is booming. Note that it is definitely a good idea to use a local business consulting firm to walk you through the paperwork (i.e. red tape and headaches) and connect you with the local business partners you need.
Here are places you can find investors in Dubai.
- Local Events
The Dubai Investor Forum holds a monthly event that brings entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and angel investors together.
It accepts six entrepreneurs each month, and they pay a presentation fee to participate, but the cost includes six 1-hour sessions prior to the event, on-site assistance on the day of, and a (roughly) 30-minute block of time in front of the investors, as well as facilitating private meetings with interested parties afterwards. If you can get in, it could very well prove the best investment you could possibly make in yourself and your startup.
- Venture Capitalists
There are a lot of local firms in the Emirate, as well as branches of international ones. The Carlyle Group is perhaps the biggest player in the MENA region, with investments and funds in the billions. Local VC firms have large assets and money available to them, and many are owned either partially or outright by the ruling families in the UAE.
They are looking to invest in both local and international startups in a wide and all-encompassing range of industries. For example: Fajr Capital BECO Capital iMena (mainly interested in consumer internet businesses), gfh Capital MENA Private Equity Association etc.
- Angel Investors
You need to understand that the stereotype that all Emiratis are rich is just that – a stereotype. It’s simply not true. Although, there are plenty of wealthy Emiratis and expats alike that are looking to increase their own wealth and give back to the region via investing in businesses that fill a niche or need.
In Dubai, Angel investor groups are popping up all the time, and most have a monthly (or even more frequent) pitching event to bring investors and entrepreneurs together. Envestors is a consulting company with a network of private investors. It provides a slew of other services in additional to just finding an angel investor(s) for you.
- Accelerators and Incubators
Whether you believe it or not, Dubai also boasts of having a good number of startup accelerators and incubators available to local entrepreneurs. In most cases, if your application is accepted, you receive a little seed money (usually $5,000-20,000), physical office space, business training, mentorship, and at least one pitch or demo day at the end of the program.
Dubai has a “city” for many major industries (Internet City, Media City, etc.) where like-minded businesses and companies congregate, and the accelerators and incubators tend to fall within the corresponding city.