9 Best Small Business Ideas in UAE & Opportunities 2021

If you’re a resident of Abu Dhabi or anywhere else in the world and thinking of small business ideas in UAE to kickstart your entrepreneur career, you’ll find them here.

Today we’ll discuss small business ideas with big potential for success in the United Arab Emirates.

We’ll also provide you with a list of the best small retail business ideas in the UAE that you could start with no large investments upfront.

Top Retail Small Business Ideas in UAE 2021

Note that you don’t need to come up with competitive products on a global level to succeed in the retail industry, as you could adopt a certain niche in a single product, or target a particular city or group of people. And also make sure to bring new ideas even within a traditional business industry.

So, to help you kick start your great business we have compiled a list of the small business ideas in UAE with the best return on investment.

Here’s a list of small business ideas 2021, and it goes as follows.

Restaurant and Cafe

People in the UAE have good purchasing power and a large disposable income that makes them lead a lifestyle filled with dining out. Therefore, a good return on investment with high demand if you want to start a business in the UAE can be a small restaurant or a cafe targeting specific cuisines or a combination of traditional ones. 

Cafes and restaurants in Dubai like Tribes Carnivore, Asil, and Awtar are three of the best-rated restaurants on Trip Advisor. Who says you can’t start the next top-rated great business in the UAE?

A great idea

Food trucks are getting more popular in the UAE every day. It works as the perfect small business idea for beginners since it requires very little investment comparing to other good business ideas.

Travel Agency

Dubai is one of the world’s great tourist destinations so the travel market is already developed. The market is still open to withholding a new travel agency, especially if it’s bringing brand new ideas and incentivizing travel offers.

Examples 🏖️

Looking for a good idea? Here’s four! ⬇️

  • Bring exotic resort deals into the market
  • Create discounts on luxurious travel destinations
  • Offer overseas tours for residents
  • Cruise deals and similar stuff which has a lot of opportunities to grab the market’s attention

Printed Clothes and Apparel 👕

As old as printing maybe but it’s still a high demand business to start in the United Arab Emirates.

Selling printed clothes is always a great business idea and could blend with many fashion trends.

It’s especially popular among celebrities. Just be careful not to limit yourself just to silk printing, but aim to use modern techniques such as embossing and digital printing, and you will be on your way to success.

Great business advice 

If you don’t know where and how to source your printed clothes, a good idea is to consider using Printful for a print-on-demand business.

Read this for more info: 2021 Guide to Start a Dropshipping Business from the Ground Up

Create a Free Store on ExpandCart
You can easily start your company setup in no time and start selling print-on-demand products with ExpandCart.

Free for life, no credit card, no hidden fees

Cupcake and Pastry Shop 🍰

Kids love cupcakes, actually, everybody loves cupcakes, especially in the UAE.

In fact, the bakery market in UAE is worth $683 million based on research by Euromonitor. 

Moreover, it was observed that cupcakes have surpassed other kinds of pastry in popularity and likability, making it one solid choice you could stick to and could bring you lots of customers looking forward to getting your delicious treats.

That’s why it’s one of the perfect small business ideas in Dubai with big potential that you could start from home.

Expert Advice 🎓

If you’re thinking of small business ideas from home that could fully operate and succeed, a small pastry shop is one of those good business
ideas to work from home.

But how?

Start by initiating your menu, decide what kind of pastry you’d like to open and the tasty types of cakes you’ll offer your clients to encourage them to buy from you.

The next step after deciding on your menu, create social media pages with your business name and logo, and then utilize ExpandCart to create an inspiring free store where you can list all your products, receive orders, accept all kinds of payments and manage your whole workflow from one dashboard.

Create Your Dream Pastry Shop From Home
Start a free online pastry shop on ExpandCart and automate your workflow from an all-inclusive dashboard

Free for life, no credit card, no hidden fees

Gadgets Accessories

When gadgets are there, you could almost always find accessories for them, almost inseparable from each other.

Since modern gadgets such as tablets, cellphones, laptops are produced immensely in the market, people are looking for accessories to personalize them according to their preferences so that they are unique.

So, it’s quite a good business idea to start selling gadget accessories as they still dominate the market and very easily make it to the top 10 small retail business ideas.

make money selling phone cases like Jawal

Read more about How to Start a Phone Case Business in 2021? [Action Steps] including an example from the United Arab Emirates.

Sport Supplies 👟

You don’t need to wait for the Olympics to start a company setup based on selling sports supplies, especially that sports fans are willing to pay their money for a worthy product.

Providing them with what they want will give you a lot of clients in a short time. There are 20 popular sports all over the world with millions of supporters, so the sky is the limit here within such a niche.

Baby Products 🍼

Selling baby products is a profitable business and whenever in doubt you could consider it one of the top 9 retail business ideas to resort to.

Many businessmen and investors have so many ideas for products to sell and services to promote that could get them very successful, the issue here that they might have little time doing the selling themselves.

That’s when you come to the rescue as a consigner to retail their products for them and get your commission, one smart idea that is not bad at all to be in the top 10 profitable business ideas

Online Business Retailing

Online retail could be classified depending on the type of products being sold. Furthermore, its mode of selling is also categorized as unique since it depends on the internet as a channel of selling.


It could be considered a form of consignment as you sell other’s products on your website which means you have to do the rest of the activities such as marketing & promotion activities, and delivery, and a range of other related activities.

There are many online portals that you can work on to leverage being an online retailer such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.

Read more here: How to Start an Ecommerce Business with ExpandCart

Retail Organic Foods

It’s about time you embrace the green movement that is here and start your organic food selling, one that could nicely and easily fit into the list of 10 top ideas for retail businesses.

Food product description example

The reason is that people are getting more aware and conscious about their nutritional habits and how is their health is being affected accordingly, that is why caution is on the rise, and people are paying more attention to what they eat, and they are focusing on picking the most healthy and green food types, turning that field into a profitable business.

Used Furniture

Selling used furniture is one of the investment opportunities to make a lot of money, especially due to the fact that you can sell furniture for double its price because when it comes to furniture it’s not a deal whether it’s new as it’s old, which gives a huge incentive to start selling it right away.

Beauty Products

As lots of people are trying to pursue perfection, introducing your catalog of just the right mix will go a long way in moving your beauty products business forward, and selling will be easier than you expect, something that solidly positions this business in the top 10 retail business ideas.

Start a Business and Sell Beauty Products Now
Create a free store on ExpandCart and add exclusive integrations to your store

Free for life, no credit card, no hidden fees

Final Words 💬

The list of retail products and businesses you could dive into is endless, and a lot of investment opportunities are out there in the UAE for smart people to grab.

You could sell almost anything as long as you have created a demand for it, so those small business ideas in UAE 2021 are just a guide for what could be trendy at the time but feel free to adopt whatever feels appealing and convenient to you.



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