COVID-19 has indeed brought immense changes to the world. The pandemic has left many industries to their knees, especially those related to travel, tourism and entertainment.
However, there has been an accelerated shift in interest and power towards technology, digital, and e-commerce over the past decade as they have seen some of the highest growth rates in history.
It is with this transformation that we are witnessing the emergence of a new type of entrepreneur: the Nomad Entrepreneur.
A nomadic entrepreneur is a fluid, flexible person who operates from one place, but who is able to reach all corners of the world using technology. Lockdowns and social distancing mean that whether you’re a mile or fifty thousand miles away, the process remains the same as both will have to host online meetings, perform digital transfers, and rely more on efficient transportation solutions. This fast growing breed of entrepreneurs gives traditional forms of business a chance to make their money.
Last week I bought a new case for my new iPhone 12 from a US website. The item was manufactured and shipped from China. The express shipping charge was only $ 12 and the suitcase was cheaper than buying it from a local store here in my hometown Dubai. This item for me competes with anything I can buy here at the mall. In this case, due to the 48 hour express delivery to my doorstep and product specifications, the mall option has nowhere to stand.
The same is true for hundreds of other industries, products and services. There are hundreds of people who are able to deliver what you deliver cheaper, faster and more professionally. If you don’t wake up fast enough, tomorrow could be your last day in business.
With this comes the idea of having to put in place more efficient corporate structures. In the post-COVID-19 world, nomadic entrepreneurs will prefer to do business in hyper-connected neighborhoods, supporting smart infrastructure and having responsive markets. The United Arab Emirates, a pioneer in the adoption of smart cities, is ready to face 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 related transportation; that will support the new-age work culture we have all become accustomed to.
In my opinion, “nomadic entrepreneurs” need 7 key elements. This is why I believe that Dubai is one of the best destinations in the world to start a new business.
1) Tax-free or tax-free jurisdiction
Why not operate from a country where you don’t have to pay income or corporate tax.
2) A good, reliable banking solution
Nomadic entrepreneurs need a global bank that they can trust, but at the same time are easy to operate from afar.
3) Efficient and unbureaucratic jurisdiction
Business owners need a place where it’s easy to run a business, not for compliance. Every second spent on paperwork is a second take for introduction to a new client.
4) A professional address and a world-renowned jurisdiction
It is important for international buyers to know if your business is registered in a small Pacific island or in a well-developed commercial jurisdiction. Nowadays, in most cases, a decisive factor.
5) Access to talent
Your customer service team, operations team, or even finance department may be located in different locations, but you want to have the core team responsible for running your business in one place. This place must be a cosmopolitan city that attracts good talent from different nationalities and backgrounds.
6) Accessibility and time zone
You need to be in an easily accessible location, a hub of transportation, logistics and communications, in a time zone that suits your target market. In this regard, Dubai is at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. If your product is to be shipped, you need Emirates, the world’s largest airline.
7) A welcoming nation for foreigners
Nomadic entrepreneurs should seek a jurisdiction that welcomes all nationalities and makes it easier to organize work and residence visas for all employees. Again, by setting up a business in Dubai, all partners, employees and their families are granted residency visas to stay in the county as long as the business remains active.
In my opinion, these are, among many others, the main reasons that make Dubai the ideal place for any “nomadic or global entrepreneur” to start a business. I lived in Dubai for 15 years, including 12 as an entrepreneur. The city allowed me to run a successful media company operating around the world. Every time I have traveled I have always been made very welcome from Dubai, and the UAE has always been a great trading partner for most countries around the world. My address in Dubai gave a sense of status and credibility that I would not have received from other commercial jurisdictions. And of course, I love the idea of having paid zero taxes in 12 years, while still enjoying the great services and infrastructure that Dubai has to offer.
Currently, I am the CEO of Creative Zone, the largest start-up company in Dubai. And this is exactly what we are doing, we are helping nomadic entrepreneurs, global business leaders to start their business in Dubai and make UAE the home of their new business trip. Whether you choose to operate remotely or come to Dubai to make this city your home, I can guarantee that this will be a decision you will never regret.