Unlocking Opportunities: Hong Kong Companies Expand to the UAE from Dubai with 1M BUD Fund Support

ACH Worldwide Ltd
3 min readApr 29, 2024

Written by Dominykas Gaidys, Dr Amanda Lim

Dubai, with its state-of-the-art infrastructure, business-friendly policies, and flexible regulatory environment, has firmly established itself as a global business, trade, and financial hub. From its expansion beyond oil and gas into sectors like construction, tourism, financial services, and technology, Dubai offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses seeking growth and expansion. However, navigating the regulatory landscape, particularly regarding foreign ownership, can be challenging. Fortunately, the Hong Kong government’s BUD (Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales) scheme steps in to support companies looking to expand their footprint into the middle east countries including the UAE, where Dubai is located.

Dubai boasts over 1,000 commercial and industrial activities with the allure of 100% foreign ownership, but many sectors require a local partner. These partners can take various forms, from corporate local sponsors to individual local sponsors or local service agents. Understanding these requirements is crucial for successful market entry.

Different licence types cater to various business activities, including commercial, professional, industrial, and tourism licences. Each licence type opens up avenues for different kinds of businesses, enabling a diverse range of industries to thrive in Dubai’s dynamic market.

One of the standout benefits of setting up in Dubai is its Freezone jurisdictions, where companies can enjoy 100% ownership and operate within dedicated industry-focused zones. With around 40 multidisciplinary Freezones, including 30 in Dubai, businesses have ample options to choose from based on their industry and requirements.

While Dubai presents a promising landscape for expansion, the costs associated with company registration, certifications, and marketing activities can be daunting. This is where the BUD fund comes into play.

The BUD fund covers critical areas integral to business growth and development:

1. Business Plan: The fund supports the engagement of qualified service providers to develop holistic business plans focused on branding, upgrading, restructuring, and promoting sales in the targeted region.

2. Branding: Hong Kong companies can leverage the fund to formulate effective brand strategies, promotions, and management to create a lasting impact in foreign markets like Dubai.

3. Upgrading and Restructuring: Assistance is provided to adopt advanced technology, improve automation, and upgrade overall business infrastructure to stay competitive in Dubai’s fast-paced business landscape.

4. Domestic Sales: The fund aids in strategic planning, sales management, channel management, and team formation to ensure a smooth entry and growth trajectory in foreign markets, including Dubai.

Furthermore, Dubai’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting startups through various business incubators and accelerators aligns well with the ethos of the BUD fund. Together, these initiatives create a conducive environment for Hong Kong companies to thrive and expand their presence in Dubai.

As Hong Kong companies contemplate international expansion, Dubai stands out as a beacon of opportunity in the Middle East. With the support of the BUD fund, navigating the complexities of market entry becomes more manageable, empowering businesses to capitalize on Dubai’s flourishing economy and establish themselves as key players in the region.

Normsun, renowned for its expertise in guiding companies through international expansion, joined forces with Affiniax Partners, a distinguished member firm of Allinial Global. Together, they supported Hong Kong companies eyeing the lucrative opportunities in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai. In light of Dubai’s status as a prime destination for international ventures, Normsun and Affiniax recognize the significance of the BUD fund in easing the intricacies of market entry. This collaboration is designed to empower businesses by providing tailored support, leveraging Normsun’s global market insights and Affiniax’s local expertise. By capitalizing on Dubai’s thriving economy, companies can position themselves as vital players in the region, setting a solid foundation for sustainable growth. To explore how Normsun and Affiniax can assist Hong Kong companies in their Middle East endeavors, visit www.normsun.com and www.affiniax.com.


DUBAI CHAMBER COMMERCE (2022). How to Start a Business in Dubai. Dubai Business Advisor Guide, Page 1–48.