Nearly Two-Third UAE Professionals Prefer To Be Self-Employed! in collaboration with YouGov has revealed that nearly two third of UAE professionals prefer self-employment over 9-5 jobs.

According to Ola Haddad, the director of human resources at, “Entrepreneurs are part of this rapidly changing landscape where many businesses are adopting entirely new ways of work that will not necessarily revert to pre-crisis conditions. Our annual survey aims to identify the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurship to help entrepreneurs maximize impact and drive growth and innovation in the economy.”

Those who participated in the survey cited several reasons why they prefer business over the job. Most of them said the company provides them with better-earning opportunities, enhanced work-life balance, more family time, and better participation in the community.

Therefore, if they have an opportunity, they would very much prefer business over jobs. And the number of people who favor self-employment over a job comes out to be around 63% as per the survey done by and YouGov.

 Self-employment is a growing trend in the Gulf

The survey included over 2500 individuals from across Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, etc. The results revealed that â…” of the survey participants were more tilted toward having their business than working for someone else. 

Self Employment Is A Growing Trend In The Gulf

Interestingly, self-employment is a growing trend in the Gulf world these days. UAE, the second biggest economy in the Arab world introduced several reforms during the pandemic year to facilitate entrepreneurship. The measure also included provisions to attract foreign investment, foreign skilled workers, and major incentives to those venturing into business.

The significant economic shifts, government efforts, and recent interest in entrepreneurship have positively impacted UAE’s economy. In Global Entrepreneurship Index, UAE ranks at the top, outmaneuvering economies like Japan, Canada, the US, etc.

Besides, per the respondent, those who preferred business were not contempt only operating within the nation’s boundary. In fact, 33% in favor of business hope to expand their operation internationally. When asked about what is the biggest hurdle in starting a business, 56% reported funds, while 40% emphasized on right contacts. 

Why Do Gulf Residents Prefer Business Over A Job?

“Entrepreneurship continues to be a growing trend in the UAE … [and] has become more popular than ever before, with many entrepreneurs looking to grow their start-ups and establish a business. In fact, over six in 10 respondents are planning to hire for their business in the next year,” the survey revealed.

Per the survey, freedom and work-life balance is the major contributor to the growing interest in picking up entrepreneurship over a job. Those already doing business have similar thinking too. When asked, such respondents, cited more income and freedom pushed them to start a business.

However, nearly 27% of the participant preferred a job over business as well. For them, a steady income was the main motivator to pick up a job. Other reasons include stability, job security, and opportunities to learn new things. 

The pandemic negatively impacted the business ecosystem in UAE, however new opportunities arise in the e-commerce and health-tech spaces. Together with impetus from the UAE government, a new breed of entrepreneurs went with their dream of starting something impactful. Their efforts have paid off UAE now sits at number one in  Global Entrepreneurship Index. 

“There are great opportunities to start and grow your start-up that directly responds to current market needs in the context of the global economic decline,” as per Hana Barakat, interim director of started – an Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator.

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