Stock - UAE jobs
At least 86 per cent of the respondents believe they will help create new jobs. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Are you dreaming of being your own boss? Chances are you are not alone. A recent survey has revealed that over six in 10 professionals (62 per cent of the surveyed audience) prefer to be self-employed, highlighting the growing trend of entrepreneurship in the UAE, despite the challenges of starting a business. Only 26 per cent of UAE respondents prefer to seek employment in a company.

The and YouGov’s ‘Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa 2023’ study also revealed that over 56 per cent are currently thinking of starting a business, 24 per cent have tried to start their own business in the past, while only 4 per cent never thought of establishing a new company.

And at least 86 per cent of the respondents believe they will help create new jobs, and more than 60 per cent want to start hiring for their business as early as next year.

The MENA-wide survey was done on a sample of 1,800 respondents from UAE, GCC, and other Middle East and North African countries.

Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at, said the survey identifies personal fulfilment (49 per cent) and freedom to choose work-life balance (47 per cent) as the top reasons for preferring to be self-employed.

And those who have already started their business have similar reasoning. Those who started their own business said they did it for more income (42 per cent) and greater independence to achieve their goals (32 per cent).

Major concerns

Procuring finances to start (64 per cent), establishing the right contacts (41 per cent), and the uncertainty of profit and income (37 per cent) are the top concerns of respondents while setting up their own business.

Those looking to become entrepreneurs are considering launching businesses in hospitality, recreation, entertainment, IT, internet and e-commerce, and real estate and property development sectors. About 9 per cent want to enter consumer goods and FMCG markets.

Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov, said: “MENA region’s entrepreneurs foster a culture of creativity that inspires others to take risks and pursue their own ideas, leading to innovation and growth in the economy.”