Best Middle East cities for starting an international company

Middle East cities are becoming very popular among USA citizens. Many of them relocate and start their new life here. Some of them even move their companies and some start whole new businesses. This is not just a pure coincidence, there are a few good reasons for that, but we will talk more about that phenomenon later on. If you are looking to relocate or start an international company of your own in the Middle East let’s explore some of the best Middle East cities for starting an international company. That will make your decision on where to start your new business easier.

Reasons for starting an international company in the Middle East

The Middle East is a top destination for financial, research, development, and innovation industries. It’s even more appealing than European cities nowadays. It’s also good that their economy is very stable even now during the global pandemic which is very important while doing your research on where to start your new business. Also, research about timing – when is the best possible time to relocate.

The best Middle East cities for starting an international company

There are many amazing cities, but some of them are not suitable for starting your business. Some are great for tourists and some of them are holy cities but there are a few like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Dammam, or Manama that can be the perfect spot for you to start your international company. You should know that this will not be cheap (opening a company is not cheap in any country in the world), but it can be worth it! Your future might be in one of these cities so do thorough research before deciding on one of them. You can also consult some experts in this field. Online research is good but talking with someone who has done it is much more valuable.

Abu Dhabi

There are areas called Free Zones that are very popular amongst foreign investors. Those Free Zonesoffer 0% corporation and personal tax, along with 100% foreign ownership and import and export tax exemptions so that is the reason why they are quite appealing. They don’t exist only in Abu Dhabi, they are all over UAE. To start a company you need in Abu Dhabi you need to go through these steps first :

  • determine activity and legal form
  • registration of your trade name and activity
  • memorandum of Association
  • establish the location of your company
  • obtaining Approvals of Government Authorities

Those are just the first few steps you need to take in order to start your business. There will be many more after those, and it’s important to get legal help to open your business and start a company. You want everything to be done right from the beginning.


Dubai is probably the most popular and also one of the best middle East cities for starting an international company. You can start a business in Dubai even as a foreigner. There is a big demand in Dubai but the following businesses are very popular here: real estate, transportation, restaurant, wellness, private healthcare, web development, and cleaning services. There is a high demand for those and if you are in any of these lines of work consider Dubai to be the best place for you.

Dubai is truly an amazing city, full of possibilities for young professionals. Opening an international company here can be a smart move.


This city is the capital of the Eastern Province and is known for being a major administrative center for the Saudi oil industry. They have a very good and stable economy and it’s also the wealthiest region in KSA. So, this can be a very good place to open your company. It’s also good to know that this is a very safe city and crime rates are very low. In this city, demand is very different. If you are in the construction, solar energy business, education business, processed foods, healthcare, luxury goods, or financial line of work that this city will be the best for you to open your company. Luckily for you, when you relocate, Damman-based professionals are there to help. They can help you with unpacking and settling in quickly so you can start with your business plans soon.

Yet another great city for opening your international company.


Manama is the capital city of Bahrain. Their economy is based on the traditional economy was based on pearling, fishing, boatbuilding, and import trade. There is no personal income tax in Manama. This is one of the best middle east cities for opening a company, but relocating here and doing logistics and customs clearance on your own is not a smart move. There are simply too many rules and doing any little thing wrong can set you way back. It might be best to work with experts in this field in order to relocate quickly and be done with logistics and customs in no time especially if you are relocating your business here.

Relocating to one of those Middle East cities

Relocations can be hard even if you are moving to a town nearby. Overseas relocations are much harder. That’s why people don’t do this by themselves. It’s smarter to call movers like to help you out. That way you are left with easier things to do like packing and preparing for relocation and all that heavy lifting and logistics is their job and they do their job very well.

man looking at a globe
Relocations can be hard and complicated but that’s why there are professional movers that can help you with all the hard tasks.

Good to know before starting

There are some things you should know before employing their citizens. The rules are not the same as you are used to. You need to research their laws carefully and customs too. For example, the bathrooms need to be separate for women and men. There are few other rules you need to respect and accommodate people working for you. Respecting them and their religion will give you a great start.

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