United Arab Emirates - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy
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The UAE has an open market economy and there are several market entry options available for exporters. Here are some highlights of market entry topics. The Selling U.S. Products and Services chapters has additional information on market entry strategy.


Trade Events

The UAE is a regional commercial hub and hosts world-class trade exhibitions and conferences where U.S. companies can meet buyers from the UAE, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and around the world. The U.S. Commercial Service offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai support a wide range of trade exhibitions and promotion events designed to help U.S. companies that are seeking to enter and expand in the UAE and regional markets.

Distributors and Agents

Working with a distributor or agent is an option for entering the UAE market. Finding the right local agent or distributor can be a critical first step for success. Due diligence is crucial. The U.S. Commercial Service team has business matchmaking services available to meet qualified distributors and agents and to help with due diligence.

Free Trade Zones (FTZs)

Free Trade Zones allow 100% foreign ownership, quick registration, and advanced logistical support. They are often organized along sectoral lines.

Competitive Positioning

As a regional trade hub supporting significant international business activity, the UAE is a market where U.S. companies can expect to face strong multinational competition. Successful U.S. companies often rely on technological and qualitative advantages, customer service, and after-sales service to compete with foreign companies that may have lower price points. 

Regional Approach

Many U.S. companies looking to do business in the Middle East often find advantages in a regional approach. The Gulf region is also one of the largest and fastest-growing export markets for U.S. goods and services. The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC - UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain) have taken steps to harmonize standards and regulatory measures.