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Majority of UAE employees want to be entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial aspirants are considering businesses in hospitality, leisure, entertainment, and e-commerce.

Majority of UAE employees want to be entrepreneurs
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Fast Company Middle East]

You’re not alone if you think you’d love to be your own boss. More than six out of ten employees, according to a recent survey, prefer to be self-employed, illustrating the growing trend of entrepreneurship in the UAE. 

According to the Bayt.com and YouGov survey Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa 2023, more than 56% are considering establishing a business, 24% have tried to do so in the past, and only 4% have never thought about doing so.

A minimum of 86% of respondents also expressed confidence in their ability to contribute to creating new jobs, and more than 60% said they planned to start hiring for their company as early as next year.

There were 1,800 participants in the MENA-wide study from the UAE, the GCC, and other Middle Eastern and North African nations.

The ability to determine one’s work-life balance (47%) and personal fulfillment (49%) are the top motivations for choosing self-employment, according to Ola Haddad, director of human resources at Bayt.com.

Others who have already launched their businesses also support them with similar justifications. 42% of those who launched their firm cited greater independence and increased income as their motivations (32%).

However, the top three concerns of respondents when starting their own business are finding the necessary funding (64%), making the correct connections (41%), and the unpredictability of profit and income (37%).

Entrepreneurial aspirants are considering starting companies in hospitality, leisure, entertainment, IT, internet, e-commerce, and real estate and property development sectors. Around 9% of those surveyed want to enter the FMCG and consumer goods industries.

However, only 26% of UAE respondents preferred to work for a corporation.

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