So far this year, the Dubai Chamber has registered 48 per cent more companies than the same period last year, with the vast majority of those small to medium-sized businesses
Meanwhile, free zones, such as Virtuzone, have also experienced strong demand from entrepreneurs setting up shop and five new funds – Beco Capital, Y+ Ventures, Smart Start, Envestors and Virtuvest – are launching in Dubai looking to invest in small businesses.
About 8,600 new businesses have taken the leap in Dubai in the eight months to the end of last month, compared with 5,800 in the same period last year, according to the Chamber.
Despite the growing number of entrepreneurs setting up business in Dubai and investors reacting to the trend by setting up venture capital funds and incubators, industry insiders say more needs to be done to position the emirate as a globally recognised breeding ground for entrepreneurs such as Singapore or Silicon Valley.
The biggest obstacles cited as hampering fledgling businesses are licence fees, the costs of requiring a local partner outside a free zone, and office space.