Doing Business in the UAE: What are the Latest Market Trends?

There are a number of different market trends in the United Arab Emirates. As a country with a small but considerably wealthy population, well-established infrastructure and a stable relationship with the USA, the market for trade in the UAE is thriving and continuing to expand every year. Growing sectors include luxury goods markets such as cars, consumer electronics, cosmetics and perfume, with natural materials like oils and energy reserves remaining strong. However, the UAE has tried to diversify its economy away from the oil trade to some extent. Here is TNT’s guide to the current market trends:


Luxury Goods

Famed for its notably upmarket living, with some of the most impressive shopping malls and hotels in the world, the UAE’s luxury goods market is thriving. As the UAE’s population includes a lot of very affluent people, the richer inhabitants tend to have a lot of disposable income to splash out on finer goods.


Thanks to the growth of tourism and the country’s economy, the number of those with disposable income is boosted significantly by tourists who regularly visit the big cities to buy tax free goods and expats who move to the emirates for a better way of life, driving the growth of the luxury goods market. In places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, commodities such as leather, fine wines, champagne, spirits, watches and jewellery are very popular. Premium beauty products, prestigious designer clothing and expensive footwear are also increasing. Trusted brands like Rolex, Cartier, Gucci, tend to be most popular as a result of their strong brand heritage and connotations of pure extravagance and luxury.


Although, despite the growing trend in shopping for luxury goods, the way people shop in the UAE still remains largely traditional with offline shopping preferred to online shopping. As home to some of the most incredible shopping malls in the world, physically shopping for the premium goods is all part of the luxury experience.

Energy Reserves

Thanks to its geographical position and status as commercial capital of the Middle East, the UAE has amazing reserves of crude oil and natural gas, and was the world’s 7th largest provider of oil and gas in 2014. Hydrocarbons provide the largest single source of income for Abu Dhabi whereas Dubai’s hydrocarbon market is much less so, so efforts to boost the economy in other sectors like logistics, media, business and leisure are more prominent.


Despite this, energy reserves are one of the biggest markets with 2.79 million barrels of oil produced per day with both on shore and off shore oil reserves. This means there are lots of opportunities for trade of power generating machinery and equipment making this a continually lucrative market.



Currently, the UAE is home to three of the biggest airlines in the world including Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia, and there is an ever growing demand for their products and services across the globe. The UAE taking over as a world leader in aviation was confirmed in January 2015 when it was announced that Dubai’s international airport was the busiest airport for international passengers, taking over from London’s Heathrow.

The Future of UAE Business

The future of market trends in the UAE looks set to enjoy continuous growth. With plans in the pipe line, the energy resource sector’s growth looks set to remain constant with plans to build nuclear reactors in 2017 and plans to expand the renewable energy park in Dubai. The heath care sector looks to expand with the UAE’s financial sector also seeing huge growth.