Two thirds of UAE professionals prefer to set up their own business

Normal and YouGov survey:

22 August 2022

12:38 p.m

6 – 10 entrepreneurs plan to hire new employees
Dubai: “The Gulf”
In a new survey conducted on entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa in collaboration with YouGov, the leading market research organization, revealed that around two-thirds (63%) of professionals in the UAE prefer to work for themselves and establish their own company if they had the opportunity.
The survey results also showed that 64% of employees are currently considering starting their own company, 20% said they had tried to start their own business in the past, and 7% of respondents said that they have never thought about entrepreneurship before. The survey showed that achieving a balance between professional and personal life (44%) and self-realization (41%) are the main reasons that drive professionals to choose private work, followed by the possibility to positively influence society (40%) and greater returns (39%).
It seems that the reality is not very different for people who run their own businesses. When asked in the Middle East and North Africa region what motivated them to establish their businesses, the answers were: independence in performance ( 32%) and higher income ( 32%).
As for the 30% who chose to work for companies in the UAE, the main reasons for their preference were: regular income (40%), learning new skills (39%) and stability and job security (34%).
Commenting on the survey, Ola Haddad, Managing Director of Human Resources at, said: “Entrepreneurs are an integral part of the rapidly changing job market as companies seek to adopt new business strategies that differ from those on ‘ a certain stage has been followed. before the crisis. Our annual survey aims to shed light on opportunities and challenges at the entrepreneurial level, thereby enabling entrepreneurs to expand their reach and contribute to the promotion of economic growth and innovation.”
Most attractive sectors
The trade-retail sectors (12%), property, construction and property development (12%) are the most attractive sectors for entrepreneurs, followed by information technology, internet and e-commerce (9%), and consumer goods and FMCG. (7%).
Entrepreneurship system
Entrepreneurship continues to grow in the UAE. Despite the challenges entrepreneurs face when setting up their companies, the survey indicates that entrepreneurship is becoming more popular than ever, and many entrepreneurs are looking to grow their startups and establish businesses. In fact, more than 6 out of 10 respondents plan to hire new employees within the next year.
Also, 60% of entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa said that they had taken the first step to establish their business in the last five years. Among the self-employed people, the survey showed that 35% of them are at the start-up stage of their companies, while 27% said that their business is stable but its performance is not good, on the other hand, 21% of the respondents said that their business is stable and performing well.
A third of respondents (33%) said they have personal ambitions to grow their business further in their country of residence, followed by 24% aiming to establish global companies, while 24% of respondents aspires to establish a global group of companies. Obtaining the necessary start-up capital (56%), establishing the right network (40%) and irregular returns (36%) are some of the main challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the UAE before setting up their companies.
Guidance and support
The survey shows the benefits that entrepreneurship brings to societies and the economy as a whole. Entrepreneurs are viewed very positively in the UAE, with respondents seeing entrepreneurs constantly looking for new opportunities (82%) and contributing to the creation of new jobs (85 % ).
Some of the top tips given to entrepreneurs by respondents in the Middle East and North Africa are not to be afraid of failure (44%) and to have an appropriate business plan (12%). In addition, more than a quarter of respondents believe that innovation is the key to success for entrepreneurs (30%), followed by hiring the right people (24%) and obtaining the necessary capital (22%).
Zafer Shah, Director of Research at YouGov, said: “Entrepreneurs are the primary source of job creation and innovation, thus contributing to economic growth. The results of the survey show the close connection between entrepreneurship and innovation in the UAE, where data can be used to develop new visions and improve existing ones.”
The survey data on entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa was collected online during the period between 22 June and 19 July 2022, with the participation of 2,727 people from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan and others.

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