How to Capitalise on the Building and Construction Boom in the UAE: The Budding Entrepreneur’s Manual

How to Capitalise on the Building and Construction Boom in the UAE: The Budding Entrepreneur’s Manual

October 26, 2022

How to Capitalise on the Building and Construction Boom in the UAE: The Budding Entrepreneur’s Manual

How to Capitalise on the Building and Construction Boom in the UAE: The Budding Entrepreneur’s Manual 


The UAE has always been a hub for business and trade, especially that which is related to building and construction, as construction has been a vital part of the UAE's economy for decades owing to the far-sighted economic diversification policy of the government.  With new projects being announced every day and more investment opportunities, it's no surprise that many people are looking to start their own businesses based out of the UAE. But what are the first steps?

If you want to get into the construction industry in the UAE, you will need to understand how it all works. This article will give you a step-by-step guide on trending opportunities in this booming industry so that you can start your own successful international company in the UAE and reap its rewards.

Why is the UAE a great place for people who wish to succeed in Building and Construction? 

With its astounding vision, world-record-breaking structures, diverse culture, heritage, impressive architecture, and unstoppable growth, the UAE has unquestionably become one of the most prospective homes for micro, small, medium, and large interior design and architecture firms, and building and construction materials suppliers with global ambitions.

Advantages of Setting up a Building Materials, Architecture or Interior Design Company in the UAE

Great Market Forecast

According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the UAE construction market is expected to reach a value of USD 133.53 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 4.69% over the forecast period (2022-2027). The construction market is segmented into different sectors; commercial construction, residential construction, industrial construction, infrastructure construction, and energy and utility construction. 

 The government will invest $700 billion over the next 15 years in infrastructure development in the country. Imagine the opportunities that would arise from this!

Large Market Size

The UAE building and construction industry has many market segments, including residential, commercial, and industrial building and design, infrastructure construction (like roads, railways, and airports), and power generation and transmission-related infrastructure. 

Each market segment is further divided into several sub-segments further expanding the market size. For example, the industrial building construction types alone include

Heavy industrial buildings, warehouses, telecom centres or data hosting centres, cold storage buildings, light manufacturing buildings, research and development buildings, and flex buildings, to name a few.

Government Initiatives

There are numerous upcoming, ongoing, and expanding projects that present business opportunities for construction, engineering, architecture, and interior design companies in the UAE because the UAE government is focusing on investment in energy and infrastructure, including transportation, utilities, decarbonization, renewable and nuclear energy generation, and resolving ongoing water scarcity.

Building and construction companies will see an increase in business as a result of government initiatives like the Energy Strategy 2050, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, and the Dubai Tourism Strategy.

Global Exposure

The UAE’s strategic location makes it a window to not just the entire Middle East but also Asia and Africa, thus helping brands sell to a global audience. Increased foreign direct investments (FDIs), consistent government spending on infrastructure, digital transformation and innovation, and progressive policies of economic diversification create a great business environment for building and construction businesses.

Multi-specialty Free Zones
The UAE has more than 50 free zones, some of which specialize in certain sectors and some that suit all sectors. For example, a free zone like Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone is versatile and offers a great start-up and innovation ecosystem for almost any type of business.

Trade Shows and Exhibitions

The UAE hosts several annual and international trade exhibitions and fairs that are relevant to the building and construction industry, spread across niches like building and construction materials, architecture, and interior and lighting design. Some of the most prominent are:


International Exhibition for Building,Water Technology & Environment, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Cleaning & Maintenance, Glass & Metal


Workspace at INDEX is the region's only exhibition dedicated to commercial interior design and office furniture and is the largest sourcing platform in the region.


International Furniture, Interiors and Retail Design Exhibition.


Largest Lighting Showcase in the Middle East


Middle East International Trade Event for Urban, Architecture and Retail Lighting Lighting Solutions


Dubai International Landscaping, Infrastructure & Urban Development Exhibition

In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of construction trade fairs in the UAE. They are being held to showcase new products, equipment, and services in this industry. Building and construction firms in the UAE can access the entire Middle East through these trade shows, and they also provide excellent networking opportunities.

Top Five Checklist to Start your Building and Construction Company in the UAE

#1 Understand the Market. It is very important to understand the pulse of the market to find a viable market for your business. Attending trade fairs would be the first step to understanding the trending opportunities. For example, advanced construction wearables and exoskeletons, green building materials, and drones in construction fitted with radio frequency identification (RFID) are much in demand these days. Building and construction material suppliers will find no dearth of business here.

#2 Consult for the best business license. Once you have identified your market, you have to find the business license for you. For example, if you are an interior design consultant or architect, you might require a Service License or Freelance Permit. For building and construction material suppliers, this might be a trading or commercial license depending on the scope of your business. Our trading license supports activities like cement trading, glass trading, steel and steel products trading, pipes and fittings trading, and sanitaryware trading.

# 3 Get a cost-effective business license - Getting a cost-effective license can be really helpful when you start afresh in a new market, as it reduces your capital expenditure and helps you bring in more profits. Getting a cost-efficient license in a Free Zone like UAQ Free Trade Zone can be a great choice as you can get a license for easy monthly instalments as low as 786 AED per month.

# 4 Rent and office space - Again for building materials suppliers, getting great office space with world-class infrastructure like UAQ Free Trade Zone might be a great choice as you can get multiple options from flexidesks, co-working spaces, business lounges for meetings, and low-cost warehousing options.

# 5 Get your visa and bank account. One of the toughest things about starting your business in the UAE is getting your visa and bank account. When you choose a great business licensing partner like UAQ Free Trade Zone, all these procedures become hassle-free.

Wrapping up

The UAE has seen rapid growth in the construction sector, and it is expected to be driven by the country’s development agenda focused on growing the country’s industrial, transportation, and energy infrastructure in the coming years. If you need to consult a business set-up expert to help you set up your architecture, interior design or building materials store in the UAE, please write to us at …

Connect UAQ

Subscribe to our e-Newsletter