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The Emirate of Dubai encourages women to participate in all economic activity. The Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) was established in 2002 to fill a gap in the Dubai economy.
It was also meant to motivate women to follow the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, when he said: “It is not strange for a UAE woman to be an ambassador; she who proves herself merits praise and encouragement.”
This inspirational leadership has played an instrumental role in spearheading significant progress towards the participation of Gulf women in economic progress and the wider society.
Since UAE is a country in which most residents are expatriates, the policy has encouraged many women across ethnic groups and nationalities at various stages of their lives to participate in the economy and many have done so by setting up businesses.
So, what businesses could women consider setting up? Those that offer them an advantage because of their gender – those that cater exclusively to women and where they have a talent or skill that sets them apart.
Fashion design, Dressmaking or Tailoring Business setup
An example of a women’s market service is dress making, tailoring or alteration. The set-up cost can vary with the capacity to invest. What starts out as an alteration service can blossom into dress making and then go on to specialize. One dress maker who set up two years back decided to specialize in wedding dresses because she was able to offer the quality required – elaborate design, sequencing, embroidery and other adornments. Customers are willing to pay more for wedding dresses and they are costlier even in competitive markets. Another has stayed with alterations where the high volume of traffic makes up for lower margins. A penchant for fashion and fit is the first requirement of a would-be tailoring services entrepreneur.
Wedding Planner Business Setup
Some women have entered the lucrative weddings market as event planners and organizers. Here again the customer is one or more women – the bride-to-be, her mother, and other women are far more likely to be involved in the event and can be open with a women event manager. Bridal events are said to be more exasperating and nerve-wracking than corporate events according to an industry insider since emotions and tempers, as well as bills, run high! This profession requires a variety of contacts from reliable suppliers who manage important aspects such as lighting, photography, videography, sound, music, florists… The list is endless and reliability is key. I knew a wedding planner who found most of her market on Facebook where she looked for status change from ‘Single’ to ‘Engaged’!
Lingerie and Nightwear Business Setup
Another domain that women have an advantage in is offering lingerie and nightwear. A product that is for women and one where they would prefer to be served by women will work to the advantage of a businesswoman. The first option is a store in an area of high women’s footfall, but an option is to sell online with promotions at women’s only events.
Ladies Products Business Setup
If a businesswoman decides to set up a store, she could opt for other products that cater to women and attract customers by creative displays – these could be jewelry using precious gems set in silver or gold or cosmetic jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, and fragrances. The look and feel of the store and the storefront will make a difference as will location and footfall. Branding will play a major role in defining the business.
Salon or Spa Business Setup
Amongst personal services, foremost in demand and gender special outlook is salon or spa services or a combination of the two. Specialization by use of certain products or processes can differentiate one service provider from another as well as the location, pricing, quality of staff and service offered. While women compete successfully with men across the gamut of businesses, they have special advantages in some pockets that they can exploit. Research on market potential, competition, and trends in identifying the right product, place and price will lead the make or break decisions for the would-be women entrepreneurs. Expert advice is invaluable especially when the investment involves money as well as time and most importantly the aspiration to succeed.
For detailed information, professional advice, and cost-effective assistance to start a business in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE. Contact us today!
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