Dubai is attracting exporters and investment companies for the first time, with the UAE having become the first destination for foreign companies looking to buy and sell their products. 

The UAE was a hub for the oil industry in the early 1980s, when the country was in its first decade of independence.

Since then, the capital has become one of the world’s fastest growing financial hubs, attracting foreign direct investment, as well as attracting major international players.

The UAE is now the second largest financial centre in the world behind London, with investment companies setting up shop in Dubai.

The UAE has also become a centre for foreign direct investments, with companies investing $10 billion in the country in 2016 alone, according to an Al Jazeera report published in January. 

“Dubai is now in the midst of an international expansion of its economy,” said Al-Kasim, a UAE-based UAE economist.

“There are about 300 million expats in the UAE, and these are the people who are making Dubai a world-class financial centre.”

“What’s going to be really important is the pace of that expansion,” he added.

The Dubai Economic Zone, a project of the UAE Economic and Social Council, has set up a number of offices and companies to cater to expatriates looking to make their money in the city.

The zones office is now opening its doors to help expats open accounts.

“They’re all the first to come here and start buying and selling products and services,” said a spokesperson for the office.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for them to open accounts.”

Al Jazeera’s Alisha Harris reports from Dubai.