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Dubai as business center of the UAE

Article image: Dubai as business center of the UAE

The Emirate of Dubai is the second largest Emirate of the United Arab Emirates. It is located on the Arabian Gulf coast and covers the area of about 4 thousand square km - about 5% of total area of the Emirates. Despite its relatively small area, today Dubai is the largest financial and business center not only of the UAE, but of the whole Middle East. The basis of its economy is oil, different productions, e-commerce, financial services and tourism.

Advantages of doing business in Dubai

There are several free trade zones in Dubai providing a lot of advantages to foreign companies. The most attractive for international business is Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). This is the first Free Zone established in the UAE, located near Al Maktoum International airport.

Companies registered in Jebel Ali are fully exempt from taxes and thus are able to conduct business activities in the UAE in the status of resident company. While foreign nationals can only own 49% of shares in a local company on the main territory of the country, subject to FTZ regulations, foreigners may own 100% of shares in such companies. In addition, registration of business in Free Zone has several other advantages:

  • exemption from corporate and personal income taxes;
  • no restrictions on repatriation of profits and capital;
  • free employment of foreign nationals;
  • no currency restrictions and customs duties;
  • simple registration procedure.

Jebel Ali Free Zone, which is the largest FTZ of the UAE, is among the TOP-10 best international ports. It is the sales center for 5.5 thousand international and regional companies.

Clarify the cost of opening company, corporate or personal bank account, obtaining a residence visa, or another question regarding business in Dubai, UAE:

Companies registered in the FTZ shall obtain license to conduct business. It may be service, retail, industrial and national industrial, its validity time - 12 months with possibility of extension. In addition, offshore companies in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Ras Al-Khaimah are allowed to open bank accounts in the Emirates to cooperate with local auditors, accountants, lawyers and consultants. Also it is possible to hold shareholders and directors meetings on the territory of the Emirates, lease, purchase and sell real estate of developers Emaar and Nakheel (or other developers of the UAE, but after obtaining permission from FTZ authorities). Accordingly, offshore companies are not allowed to conduct commercial, banking, financial and insurance businesses, be engaged in production of films, publishing, management and advertising activities in UAE. There are no such restrictions for onshore companies in FTZ.

Beside JAFZA FTZ, there are also other free zones in Dubai:

  • DAFZA - an ideal choice for companies which value efficiency of shipment of goods to different countries;
  • TECOM - the world center of telecommunications, information technology, media and e-commerce;
  • DUCAMZ – adjusted to export of second- hand cars;
  • DGDP - unites international health care organizations;
  • DHCC and DMCC – Free zones, providing great benefits to jewelry companies.

The aforesaid is just a very small part of FTZ list in Dubai; on the whole there are more than 20 of them. All these FTZs provide possibility to conduct virtually any business with full foreign ownership. The benefits stated above make Dubai one of the world’s most modern and highly attractive centers for business.

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