Being a relatively young city, Dubai has shown a substantial development since it was officially founded as a fishing village in 1833 (Dubai FDI, 2012). Today, Dubai is considered to be the most developed of the Emirates. Its multi-cultural community, excellent infrastructure, and even geographical position, along with positively effective government strategies, make it not just a great place in which to live, but also a great spot for doing business. The business environment in Dubai is competitive yet full of opportunities both for local entrepreneurs and large international organizations, whereas the rights of the consumers are actively represented on a government level.
Business in Dubai
At the core of Dubai’s considerable economic success is its geographical position: it is “the geographic and economic lynchpin of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia” (Dubai FDI, 2012), granting easy access to various global companies, as well as to 15 million tourists, who currently represent the biggest consumer community of the Emirate, pushing forward the retail sector of the business. “Dubai now equals London as the most popular retail city in the world, attracting about 56% of the international brands surveyed” (Peter & Anandkumar, 2011, p. 5), proving it to be an excellent growth opportunity for any business.
Government’s support of the business cannot be underestimated: zero personal and corporate tax, as well as a variety of free trade zones, attract international workers and investors, whereas the transparency and stability of political and business environment ensure cost effectiveness and safety for both selling and buying (Allah, 2016, para. 8). However, the development of the corporate sector will not stop there; Allah (2016) highlights, “According to the Department of Economic Development of Dubai, the Emirate is considering other options to promote the growth of business” (para. 1). Oxford Business Group (2015) claims that the Department has governance over each sector of the industry with regard to “issuing licences, enforcing regulations, promoting e-government and the sector as a whole, establishing access management policy, resolving disputes, and ensuring service quality and access equity” (sec. 2). Such policy of the government contributes to the fruitfulness and organization of the business, ensuring a high quality of service and goods.
However, the same set of factors makes the business environment a lot more competitive in Dubai than in other Emirates (OBG, 2015, sec. 6). Companies aim to get competitive advantage over their rival, for instance, by lowering prices and offering various promotions (Peter & Anandkumar, 2011, p. 5), pioneering new innovations (Dubai FDI, 2012), as well as by investing in the quality and variety of goods and services offered (OBG, 2015, sec. 6). All of the above factors also make Dubai an attractive spot for customers, irrespective of their choice of product. And, due to the intense focus on business sector development, the government aims to facilitate positive interaction between the customers and the providers.
Dubai Consumer Protection
The central aspect of securing the retail consumer rights in Dubai was the establishment of a special division of the Department of Economic Development, Consumer Protection Association. According to the main website of the organization, “The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector of DED has been charged with the responsibility to ensure that the retail sector continues to grow and remains transparent and regulated as it grows” (Consumer Rights, 2012). The focus of its activity is to spread awareness of customer rights’ laws and regulations, aiding in resolving claims or disputes, and investigating complaints to curb the activity of corrupted or illegal sellers (Consumer Rights, 2012).
The Consumer Protection Association also works with businesses to educate them on retailers’ rights and responsibilities, offering training as well as other useful information. For instance, Consumer Rights (2012) website contains a section with guidelines on dealing with customer complaints, which provides a step-by-step process to ensure a fair outcome for both parties. It stresses the importance of being calm and polite, empathizing with the customer, avoiding making false promises, and providing follow-up communication even after the issue has been resolved (Consumer Rights, 2012). It is also advised to record all conversations with the customer for evidence and to use each complaint as an indication of the business’ weaknesses that need to be addressed to ensure better efficiency (Consumer Rights, 2012).
Overall, it is clear that Dubai aims to respect both the needs of the business and the needs of the customer. This is an effective strategy that helps to continue to develop the Emirate as a major business and tourist destination: “The city has firmly established itself as a leading commercial and trade hub with a state-of-the-art infrastructure and a world-class business environment” (Dubai World Trade Centre, 2016). Moreover, it enhances the city’s economic situation by contributing to its GDP growth: Allah (2016) states, “The retail and wholesale sector in Dubai contributed about 29% of the GDP of the Emirate [in 2014]” (para. 7), and this figure is expected to grow further, from 107 billion dirhams to 140 billion by 2021. Hence, Dubai provides an excellent example of how all three blocs (consumers, businesses, and the government) can successfully interact within one active business environment.
Allah, A. S. (2016). Economic development»: Dubai is considering new options to enhance the business sector. Emirat Alyoum. Web.
Consumer Rights. (2012). About consumer rights. Web.
Dubai FDI. (2012). Why Dubai? Web.
Dubai World Trade Centre. (2016). Dubai means business. Web.
Peter, S. and Anandkumar, V. (2011). A study on the sources of competitive advantage of Dubai as a shopping tourism destination. Web.
Oxford Business Group. (2015). Growing market saturation in Dubai telecoms increasing competition for high-quality content. Web.