As a female business leader, I feel honoured to have lived in a nation that has always encouraged entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to flourish. This pro-business approach probably accounts for why the UAE was named the best place to start a new business in the 2022 Global Entrepreneurial Index. With a world-class environment and infrastructure designed to support and uplift entrepreneurs in the emirate, there really is no better place to consider starting a venture.
I’ve also witnessed first-hand the impact of female representation in the business sphere, especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as real estate and finance. For me, the importance of female entrepreneurship lies in its ability to provide different insights across multiple aspects of a business. The contributions of female business leaders have already played an essential role in our nation’s success and will continue to be crucial to our future economic prosperity. And it is hardly surprising, given that the UAE is leading the broader region in female empowerment, that women-led entrepreneurship within the UAE continues to grow.
I know from my own experience that starting or joining a new enterprise brings with it a mix of excitement and trepidation, but knowing you’re working in a thriving industry can provide reassurance when taking those tentative first steps. So, here are the best sectors in which female entrepreneurs in the UAE can begin their entrepreneurial journeys.
The UAE is full of incredible business opportunities for women, and in my personal experience, the real estate sector is one of the best. This segment has grown significantly in the UAE within the past year, witnessing investments of over Dh170 billion since the start of 2022. The nation’s business environment also allows aspiring real estate entrepreneurs, such as Tamara Getigezheva, one of Dubai’s top real estate agents, to prosper. Real estate is one of the most female-inclusive sectors in the UAE, with 60% of realtors being women. And, speaking from experience, I can highly recommend getting involved in real estate if you are a budding female entrepreneur! Remember that first you must complete category training and obtain an agent’s license. Here is some more information if it’s something you feel is suited to you.
Fitness and wellness
If, like me, you have a passion for fitness and wellbeing, then starting a business within the wellness sector could be the right choice for you. You would be in good company, too, as 2022 saw women’s entrepreneurship in wellness and fitness rise by 50%. In my opinion, the sheer scope of this multi-faceted sector makes it perfect for would-be entrepreneurs, who can carve out their business niche.
With the wellness and fitness segment in the UAE set to reach over $600 million by 2025, there is undoubtedly potential profit for budding female entrepreneurs here. Diana Osu, for example, founded Reset, a gym that focuses on having fun and taking the work out of working out. The business, now one of the most successful gyms in the UAE, epitomises the way that female entrepreneurs can thrive within this industry. What’s more, if venturing into the wellness sector boosts both your finances and your happiness, what’s not to love?
The UAE is a well-established financial haven, which makes working in the financial sphere even more attractive. The sector is yet another thriving market in the Emirates, with a total value of Dh 9.9 billion in 2021. It’s encouraging to see that the industry is no longer the male-dominated sector that it once was, with women now making up 70% of nationals employed. It’s, therefore, no surprise that female innovators have been making their mark in the world of finance. For example, Hana Al Rostamani made headlines in 2021 when she became the first-ever female CEO of First Abu Dhabi Bank.
To me, it appears that traditional notions of selecting the “best man for the job” are giving way to the “best person for the job”, which can only help more driven and business-minded women realise their full potential. Time to get involved?
I’ve listed just three of the many segments in which female entrepreneurs in the UAE are making waves and flourishing. But, in truth, your successful business venture could spring from any sector. Before I embark on a new project, I always do my market research, evaluate how it matches my strengths, and give real consideration to whether it truly aligns with my interests and passions, because, without passion, the hard-won battles of business can easily take their toll. And remember, if you’re a woman considering launching your own business in the UAE, there is no better place to take the plunge!