9 Mar

Top business ideas for women entrepreneurs

Women have been making waves in the business arena in our region for some time, with the UAE regularly positioning highly in the World Bank’s MENA rankings for female economic participation.

But the women of the UAE economy are doing much more than ‘participating’. From education and engineering to healthcare, technology and more, they are changing the cultural and business landscape of the country. 

Women own almost half of all SMEs in the UAE and currently contribute 20% to the country’s GDP. By the end of 2023, this figure is expected to reach 25%. 

If you would like to join them in this vast and highly supportive market, check out our list of top business ideas for women entrepreneurs. This article will give you an overview of five industries primed for you to make your mark. 

Five UAE industries where women excel

If you want to start your entrepreneurial journey in the UAE and are wondering what kind of company to set up, take your pick from the business ideas for women.

Event management

Events and exhibitions are big businesses around the world, with the global industry valued at approximately USD 890 billion in 2020 – and expected to reach over USD 2 trillion by 2028.

As a global events destination, the UAE sits at the centre of this enormous market. Dubai alone hosted over 120 events in 2021 and has plans to increase that figure to 400 annually by 2025. 

For the UAE’s women entrepreneurs, this brings plenty of opportunities in an industry that traditionally lends itself well to the female gender. A recent survey of the international meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry found that 77% of the entrepreneurs in the event management sector are women. 

While there are undoubtedly many reasons behind this, one explanation for this dominance could be women’s propensity for multitasking. Although it may sound a little clichéd, there is plenty of scientific evidence to back it up. Research published in BMC Psychology found that women were faster and more organised than men when switching rapidly between tasks – a vital skill when running events. 

Counselling, tutoring and mentorship

If you already have experience in business, education, healthcare or any other professional field, you may be much closer to starting your business than you think. With so many thriving industries in the UAE, there is plenty of opportunities in which to monetise your existing skills. 

For example, counselling and mentoring form part of a GCC health and wellness market worth USD 63.4 billion – expected to reach USD 94.7 billion by 2028. Within this, there is no limit on the services you can offer to provide if you have the relevant knowledge or qualification – from psychiatry and relationship counselling to holistic therapies and mindfulness practices. 

Online tutoring and e-learning also hold high potential, with even greater scope around the services you can provide. You could teach a language or instrument, academic subjects like mathematics or science, or a skill such as PowerPoint presentations or public speaking. 

Finally, there remains a potential gap in the market for female mentors in the UAE. A 2019 survey found that just 52% of women had a female mentor and this lack of role models likely hinders career development. While much work has been done to rectify the situation in the years since, if you have the skills and experience to inspire the female leaders of tomorrow, you are sure to see demand for your services. 

Nursery and daycare 

Another industry primarily dominated by women is childcare. Around the world, the vast majority of childcare businesses are female-owned. 

While this could be a hangover from traditional gender roles, once again, science offers another potential answer. 

As reported by CNN, women are better at empathising than men, “no matter where they live in the world, no matter what their cultural or family influences”. Empathy and compassion are, of course, hugely important traits in the childcare industry. 

So, if you possess these characteristics, along with a head for business, the UAE makes for an incredible place to start a nursery business. 

The country’s large expatriate population means many working parents do not have family support nearby and must rely on childcare professionals. 


Thanks to its reliable climate, incredible landscapes and world-class production and post-production facilities, the UAE has long been a desirable destination for the global film industry. Star Wars, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Independence Day and many more multimillion-grossing film franchises have filmed out here in recent years. 

And while there’s no doubt that this remains a male-dominated industry, one of its most prominent names in this part of the world is a woman. Dubai-born Nayla Al Khaja has won multiple accolades for her work and was the first Emirati ever to be awarded a seat at the Producers Network at the Cannes Film Festival. 

But do not worry. You do not need to be the next Al Khaja to start a business out here. Alongside a thriving film scene, the UAE has a digital media market worth USD 554.5 million, comprising broad and varied subsectors, from gaming to digital music and video on demand. 

Whatever your skills and your passion, there is a media trade in which to apply them, from animation and illustration to set design, sound engineering and distribution.  

Cosmetics and fashion 

UAE’s Total beauty and personal care market revenues were estimated at USD 1.3 billion last year. Meanwhile, UAE fashion revenues are predicted to reach USD 4.56 billion by 2023 and increase to USD 6.36 billion by 2027. 

We mean it when we say beauty and fashion are billion-dollar industries out here – and once again, it is women leading the way. 

One of the country’s fastest-growing cosmetics brands, Huda Beauty, was launched in 2013 by entrepreneur Huda Kattan. The American-born influencer spent time in the UAE growing up and returned to launch her first eyelash range in Dubai Mall with cosmetics giant Sephora. The company now counts several Kardashian sisters among its clients and boasts an estimated worth of more than USD 510 million. For her part, Huda has been featured in the Influencer Rich List, Time magazine’s ‘Most Influential People on the Internet’, and Fortune’s ‘40 under 40’. 

Another trailblazing female entrepreneur, Ella Stapleton, is seeing similar success in the fashion industry and believes there’s no better place than the UAE for working women: “The UAE is full of opportunities for both men and woman, and the UAE shows great initiative in promoting the future of female leaders.”

Start your business with the RAKEZ BusinessWomen Package

Whatever your idea or ambition, our BusinessWomen Package is designed to empower entrepreneurial women just like you. 

Now that you know the top business ideas for women, take your pick from eight business license types, including commercial, educational and media, as well as a range of office space solutions and business support services. 

Our application process is simple and our packages are affordable. As well as low business license costs, you will also get two free additional activities, 25% off visa fees, and the option of a zero-balance bank account. 

Ready to get started? Sign up with RAKEZ today.


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Last Updated on 12/29/2019 9:23:05 PM

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