As confidence fraud becomes more commonplace, buoyed by current market conditions and as many as 75% of expats affected, consumers are faced with an unending amount of potential scams and scam-style tactics when it comes to engaging professional services and tradespeople. 

When looking for trusted service providers, expats simply do not know where to search for credible, licensed providers. Once they have found what they need, they also require the reassurance that makes their experience safe. Often, unsuspecting and trusting consumers are targeted by unscrupulous service providers who are not always what they seem, or even qualified to dispense the advice that they give.

With a landmark court case in Dubai against financial advisory fraud under her belt, Professional Lawyer Coach and author of "The Great Fraud Fightback” Amber Waheed knows how difficult it is for expats to find credible, experienced, and legally regulated service providers. She knows how to win, and keep expats safe from unlawful providers who are not who they say they are, or are inappropriately licensed within their categories.

Partnering with some of the UAE’s most credible services, Amber has launched WizBizLa as a brand new portal that gives expats the opportunity to find the right service from the right provider, and vetted businesses the chance to profile themselves with transparency, and credibility at the fore.

WizBizLa is an online platform that matches consumers with UAE-based service providers  - unlike any other site or directory, WizBizLa matches verified companies to expat consumers who can be reassured that the people they choose to work with are adequately licensed and ‘safe’ to do business with – giving the confidence that the connections users are making are genuine and trusted.

WizBizLa is independent and exercises a verification process to confirm the service providers on their platform.  This includes a strict qualifying criteria, holding an active, verified trade license, and all service providers must list their regulatory bodies.  This means that consumer expats are safe in the knowledge that the correct licensing and appropriate accreditations are carried by all companies listed, and they can avoid costly mistakes, and make informed decisions on a service provider.

Founding partners on WizBizLa include Khaleej Times, Ghaladari Advocates, Creative Wrap, Expat Motors, and Prime Health - all empowered to deliver the best, most transparent options for consumer choice, and all who recognise the importance of showcasing the best of local business, in a truly independent way.

On a mission to ensure expats in the UAE do not fall prey to scammers as she did,  WizBizLa Founder Amber Waheed says “My own experience against unlicensed financial advisor Neil Grant leaves me to empower fellow expats with protection against improperly accredited service providers. Safety is a priority in such a transitional market, so education is key and that is what WizBizLa is about. We want to promote the best parts of the expat business community, and luckily our founding partners and providers on the site feel the same. When fake reviews, testimonials, and glossy websites are rife, WizBizLa brings together the kind of service providers the consumer can trust, from household names to smaller entities, but all with the goal of giving the consumer a truly verified, safe option of service - and, importantly,  an independent level of legal and regulatory recourse should it be required”

Amber continues: “ Through my own experience, I learnt how to check exactly what type of license a business should hold to be protected within the appropriate jurisdiction, it is not a case of simply checking, but what to check for. ‘Verification’ is not enough for security, consumers need the psychological reassurance that providers are not working outside their service license and that they have true, independent recourse, that works for both the users and the providers themselves. I know first hand that you cannot take reviews, testimonials, and even legitimate-lookingpaperwork as a guarantee that your service provider is the right one for you, or one you can trust should anything go wrong. 

With the launch of WizBizLa, users gain a resource community of advisors, with proven expertise, offering services and resources in a multitude of fields and trades.

Starting with 20 service categories, from legal to pet relocation, automobiles, medical and more, sub categories exist to showcase industry specialism and connect the user with their exact needs, so they avoid struggling between generalists and specialists because they don’t have industry knowledge.

WizBizLa takes the guesswork away and provides the user a safe option, and the providers themselves gain the WizBizLa stamp of transparency and credibility.

WizBizLa provides protection for both the user and the service provider, with a recourse process not offered elsewhere. WizBizLa recognises service disputes happen even if you are licensed and regulated, but some parties may take advantage of the fact that the court process can at times be lengthy, complicated, and expensive. Here, there is a recourse in the first instance through WizBizLa, who help to resolve any issues before it escalates to a professional body or courts.  WizBizLa research showed that this is the element that will make the expat consumer purchase services more confidently, knowing they have a ‘safety net’ should something go wrong.

For businesses, the benefits to claiming their own profile on the WizBizLa site are clear. For establishing credibility and transparency, the due diligence process is an immediate mark of trust. The WizBizLa profile is deliberately holistic yet comprehensive knowing that first user impressions on business profiles are fast - licensing, regulatory, credibility,and thought leadership status are important. The WizBizLa intermediary process is independent and protects both users and providers and businesses attract leads on the platform that match their client profile. Businesses must be appropriately licensed within their region and specialisms and provide accreditation from their regulatory bodies to display and be included.

No ‘reviews’ are held on the site but users can leave a recommendation rating and providers can choose to make this public on their profiles if they choose to. This leaves all entities both visible and equal, with no false influence over browsers, and leaves the focus on service and credibility.  

WizBizLa has launched with opening offers for founding businesses who can register for just AED 89 per month with welcome gifts including dining experiences and incentives for profile media production. 20 service categories are included alongside educational content via the WizBizLa blog. Online educational courses, events, a podcast and exclusive F&B offers are due to be rolled out in the coming months.


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