An introduction to doing business in the United Arab Emirates
October 23, 2018
Perhaps you’ve been contemplating business growth opportunities or expansion into new markets. Or maybe you’re looking for a better way to optimize your business? We would like to give you more insight into doing business in the United Arab Emirates!
Perhaps you’ve been contemplating business growth opportunities or expansion into new markets. Or maybe you’re looking for a better way to optimize your business? We would like to give you more insight into doing business in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Free Zones, double-taxation treaties and provide you with some useful information which might be beneficial to you and your business!
Before oil was discovered in the 1950s the UAE's economy was dependent on fishing and a declining pearl industry. But since oil exports began in 1962, the country has undergone a profound transformation into a country with a modern infrastructure and high standard of living. This growth was largely driven by income generated from oil and gas resources.
In 2015, 70% of the UAE’s GDP came from non-oil sectors and these diversification efforts are driving economic growth. Today, successful efforts at economic diversification include trade, logistics, banking, tourism, real estate and manufacturing which has significantly reduced the proportion of GDP based on oil and gas output.
The UAE’s location, at the crossroads of international trade routes, allows easy access to the African, Indian and Middle Eastern markets.The country serves as a bridge between the aforementioned markets and Europe to trade goods and services. The country’s legal system constitutes another incentive for investment. The UAE has experienced a continuous process of regulatory modernisation, which has led to the adoption of a variety of measures aimed at opening and commercially integrating the economy into international markets.
The UAE offers multiple business and investment opportunities due to its unique geographical location, legal framework, taxation policies, economic stability, strong banking system and a highly developed infrastructure.
Setting up a business in the UAE is attractive for multiple reasons. There are numerous economic free zones that allow 100% foreign ownership where one can benefit from no corporate tax, no income tax, no wealth tax and no capital gains tax. The UAE has an extensive tax treaty network which allows full repatriation of capital and profits. Having recognized that the UAE market needs to diversify away from oil and gas, the UAE government has opted to create a solid legal foundation, allowing for sustained economic stability and growth as well as assuring freedom and security when commercialising goods and services.
Due to the many opportunities in key sectors such as agri-food, healthcare, water, energy, aviation, logistics, service and creative industries in addition to the many opportunities related to the Dubai World Expo 2020, there are many European firms based in the UAE, a significant number of them small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In January of this year, the European Union and the UAE signed a Cooperation Arrangement to scale up the relation between the EU and the UAE through an intensification of political dialogue and strengthened cooperation on key strategic issues of mutual interest, notably trade facilitation and research. These are key areas to accompany the UAE's Vision 2021 plans to boost growth, accelerate economic diversification and shift towards a knowledge-based society.
You can contact us for more information on doing business in Dubai, and we will gladly assist you in determining how you can also benefit from a corporate Dubai structure!