COVID-19 has indeed brought immense change around the world. The pandemic has left many industries on its knees, especially those related to travel, tourism and entertainment.
However, there has been an accelerated shift in interest and power towards tech, digital and E-commerce in the last ten months as they witnessed some of the highest growth rates in history.
It is with this transformation that we see the rise of a new type of entrepreneur – The Nomad Entrepreneur.
A Nomad Entrepreneur is someone who is fluid, flexible, that operates from one location, but is able to reach all corners of the world through technology. Lockdowns and social distancing imply, whether you are one mile or fifty thousand miles away, the process remains the same since both will have to deliver online meetings, make digital transfers and rely more on efficient transport solutions. This fast-growing breed of entrepreneurs is giving traditional forms of business a run for their money.
Last week, I bought a new case for my new iPhone 12 from a US based website. The item was manufactured and shipped from China. Express shipping cost was only 12 USD and the case was cheaper than buying it at a local shop here in my home city, Dubai. This item to me competes with whatever it is I can buy here at the mall. In this instance, due to the 48hrs express delivery to my home door and product specifications, the mall option has nowhere to stand.
The same applies to hundreds of other industries, products and services. There are hundreds of people that are able to deliver what you deliver at a cheaper, faster, and more professional manner. If you don’t wake up fast enough, tomorrow might be your last day in business.
With this comes the idea of having to set up more efficient corporate structures. In the post-COVID-19 world, nomad entrepreneurs will prefer to do business in districts that are hyperconnected, support intelligent infrastructure, and have receptive markets. The United Arab Emirates being a pioneer in smart city adoption, is ready to take on the post-pandemic world.
The country has rightly invested in advanced digital technologies, including 5G mobile internet networks to facilitate the proliferation of smart services, machine-to-machine communication, and linked transport; that will support the new-age work culture that we all have gotten used to.
In my view there are 7 key things that ‘Nomad Entrepreneurs’ require. This is why I feel Dubai is one of the best destinations around the world to start a new business.
1) 0-tax, or tax-free jurisdiction
Why not operate from a country where you do not have to pay any income or corporate tax.
2) A good and reliable banking solution
Nomad Entrepreneurs need a global bank they can trust but at the same time is easy to operate from afar.
3) Efficient and non-bureaucratic jurisdiction
Business owners need a place where it is easy to run a business and not compliance heavy. Every second spent on paperwork is a second taken away from pitching to a new client.
4) A business address and a jurisdiction that is recognised globally
It is important for international buyers to know whether your company is registered in a small island in the pacific or in a well-developed business jurisdiction. It is, nowadays, in most cases, a deal-breaker.
5) Access to talent
Your customer service team, your operations team or even your finance department could be sitting in all different locations, but you want to have the core team that is in charge of running your business all in one place. That place needs to be a cosmopolitan city that attracts good talent from various nationalities and backgrounds.
6) Accessibility and time zone
You need to be in a place that is easily reachable, a hub of transport, logistics, and communications, that is within a convenient time zone to your target market. In this regard Dubai is at the cross-roads of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. If your product needs shipping you need Emirates, the world’s biggest airline.
7) A welcoming nation to foreigners
Nomad Entrepreneurs need to look for a jurisdiction that welcomes all nationalities and makes it easy to organise working and residency visas for all employees. Again, by setting up a business in Dubai, all partners, employees and their families gain residency visas to stay in the county as long as the company remains active.
In my view, these, among many others, are the main reasons that make Dubai the ideal place for any ‘Nomad or Global Entrepreneur’ to set up their business. I have lived 15 years in Dubai, 12 of them as an entrepreneur. The city allowed me to run a successful media company operating all over the world. Every time I travelled, I was always very well received since Dubai, and the UAE have always been great business partners for most nations around the world. My Dubai address gave a sense of status and credibility that I wouldn’t have received from other business jurisdictions. And of course, I love the idea of having paid zero taxes in 12 years, but at the same time enjoy the excellent services and infrastructure Dubai has to offer.
Presently, I am the CEO of Creative Zone, the largest business setup company in Dubai. And we do exactly that, we help nomad entrepreneurs, global business owners setup their businesses in Dubai and make the UAE the home to their new business journey. Whether you choose to operate remotely or come to Dubai to make this city your home, I can guarantee, this will be a decision you will never regret.