Say Hello To A New Way Of Starting Up
Gulf Business|Gulf Business April 2018

Launched in February, Etisalat’s Hello Business Hub aims to remove obstacles involved in launching a business in the UAE. The company’s acting senior vice president for small and medium business, Esam Mahmoud, explains how the hub is making life easier for start-ups in the emirates and why collaboration is key

Neil King
WHEN ETISALAT OPENED the doors to its Hello Business Hub in February, life got that extra bit easier for start-ups in the United Arab Emirates.

The facility located at One JLT in Dubai seeks to serve as a one-stop-shop for small and medium sized businesses looking to kick-start their journey, whether it be registering their company, setting up a bank account, getting insurance, telecommunication services or another aspect of operational set-up.

The initiative has united 13 partners to make this possible, each offer integrated propositions unique to SMBs visiting the hub, helping to make the business centre not just convenient but financially savvy, too.

Speaking with Gulf Business at Etisalat’s Dubai headquarters, the acting senior vice president of small and medium business, Esam Mahmoud, reveals why the hub was launched and what it aims to achieve.

“We had done a survey across the UAE – mainly with new companies – as we needed to understand the obstacles: what are the issues they’re facing when they come to open a new business in the UAE,” he explains.

“The results showed different elements; one of which is the process, or the struggles of getting the registration, deciding whether they need a freezone or mainland license, what documents they need. It’s not straightforward, and they would have to go to different entities to find out the answers.

“Secondly, to open a business there are a lot of requirements. They need a bank account; they need to have insurance – so many different elements. And again they need to go to different entities to apply for them. It can take around six to seven months in total – the whole process is very lengthy.

“So we came up with an idea that is unique: the Hello Business Hub. A one stop-shop that can serve all the SMBs – mainly the start-ups – in one location.”

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