What are the similarities between the doing business in the UAE and Australia that can help you maximise the opportunities presented by attending Expo 2020 Dubai?

Find out how similar the UAE and Australian economies are.

Have you ever wondered if it would be possible for you to set up your Australian business in the UAE?

In this article, we discuss some notable differences between the two countries, whilst also highlighting the surprising number of similarities between them. The UAE can be a great entry point for your business to the Middle East and the Expo 2020 Dubai offers the perfect opportunity to get your business involved.

It is understandable that as an Australian business owner looking to set up in the UAE, you may be concerned about some obvious differences that exist between the UAE and Australia.  Some of these differences are discussed below:

Cultural & political The UAE is a relatively conservative religious state, the laws and traditions of which are largely based on respect to Islam, whilst the secular democratic state of Australia promotes the values of the liberal and humanistic society and exercise lenient social norms.  However, the UAE is the third most liberal country in the Middle Eastern region, making it an ideal point of entry for Western businesses looking to invest in either market.


Market conditions

With regard to market saturation, it should be noted that Australia’s market is developed to a much greater extent by comparison to the UAE’s.  Therefore, although the legislation and the interest rate set favourable conditions for setting up in business, it is important to be mindful of tighter competition conditions in Australia than the UAE in general.

Examining more specific markets such as hospitality and tourism, it is estimated that competition conditions are on a par for both countries.  This is due to the UAE’s constant efforts to enlarge both industries, particularly in the run up to Expo 2020 Dubai.  in the space of 6 months are expected to attend.

Another prominent market in Australia is the healthcare industry, given the volume of educational and research facilities that focus on medical care. As a result of the higher market saturation of medical services in Australia, marketers will have to remain vigilant in emphasising the uniqueness of their brand to remain current and competitive.


Labour force composition  

The labour force composition is highly diverse in both countries.  Australia’s labour force is mostly homogenous, comprising of  71% Australian-born residents.  The UAE’s labour force on the other hand is more than .  shows that the largest employment sectors in the countries are extraction of natural resources (31% of the workforce) and healthcare services (12.6%) in the UAE and Australia, respectively.  Importantly, healthcare services are growing most rapidly within Australia’s labour market, showing a trend towards expansion of the medical industry.

“25 million visitors in the space of 6 months are expected to attend Expo 2020 Dubai”

Similarities between Australia and the UAE

Despite some notable differences between Australia and the UAE, there are also a number of positive similarities that are very encouraging for Australian companies who intend in carrying out business at the Expo 2020 Dubai and beyond in the UAE.

  • In order to decrease reliance on natural resources, the countries are both looking to
  • diversify and are focusing on long term environmental sustainability.
  • Both countries are politically neutral within their regions. Whilst the UAE offers investors a stable base from which to reach the Middle East, Australia offers an economy that has seen an impressive 27 consecutive years of growth
  • A great proportion of the countries’ respective wealth comes from foreign investment. In Australia, 37% of the top 2,000 companies are foreign-owned, while the UAE attracts almost a quarter (22%) of the foreign direct investment in the Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Economies of both countries grow at a similar pace, maintain unemployment within its natural range, and set low interest rates to boost investment.
  • Growing markets in each territory include tourism, healthcare and services. Expansion into these economies offers clear opportunity for a wide variety of companies from SMEs to large corporates.
  • Both countries operate well-structured markets which offer a good return on investment.

As the above analysis highlights, the UAE and Australia surprisingly have more similarities than differences in terms of economic development and investment opportunities.

With efficient legal systems, both countries are safe places to reside and grow, both financially and personally, meaning favourable conditions for business integration and opportunities for business development.  A legal framework which incentivizes

businesses in tandem with the comfortable economic environment, make starting a new business in Australia and the UAE completely possible.

Both countries current macroeconomic environment is supportive of foreign investment initiatives, which is shown by the low-interest rate and tax regime.

“Foreign direct investment, in fact, has a potential to rise by 15-20% in the UAE due to the recently introduced law that allows a 100% ownership to foreign investors in some onshore business sectors”

The political neutrality of both countries points towards a peaceful future, politically and economically.

Unphased by global trade wars, increasingly strict border controls and other complications, the countries allow for bilateral investment relations with either of the opposing forces. In the current political environment, their respective political positions give comparative advantage for Australia and the UAE.



So are there any similarities between doing business in the UAE and Australia?

Overall the countries operate well-structured developing markets which lend themselves to a good return on investment.

In anticipation of the UAE’s economic boom as a result of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Australia’s recent decision to participate in the event, the countriesare expected to develop new networks and build upon the existing ties in the realm of business.

Continuous efforts by both countries to create sustainable economic growth through industry diversification and stimulation of SME growth, provides numerous opportunities for a range of enterprises.  Whether you are an individual entrepreneur or an established business, the UAE is a great place to invest and attendance at the Expo 2020 Dubai is a fantastic starting point.

Need support in growing your business in the UAE?

Our free downloadable White Paper provides a detailed analysis on the similarities between the UAE and Australian economies.  For more information on how to successfully expand your business into the UAE visit our website.