Top benefits of setting up a business in the uae

Ranked as the 18th freest economy globally, the UAE has emerged as a business hub for investors across the world. A favorable taxation regime, excellent geographical location, economic and political stability, and a host of benefits for foreign investors, makes this financial powerhouse an economically efficient and attractive hub to start a new business.

Here are the top benefits of starting a business in the UAE

1- Free trade zones

One of the chief attractions of doing business in the UAE is access to specialized free trade zones. These free trade zones have always attracted entrepreneurs across the globe. While the first Free Trade Zone came up in 1985 in Jebel Ali, presently there are more than 35 Free Trade Zones in the UAE. 

Each zone offers unique benefits such as 100% foreign ownership of the company, exemption from payment of corporate taxes, and excellent social infrastructure, including office premises, roads, and land. Moreover, each free trade zone focuses on specific business activity, allowing you to choose a zone best suited for your business plan. 

2- 10-year visa for investors

UAE has also launched a Golden Visa Scheme that grants 10-year long residency visas to certain foreign investors. 

You are eligible for a 10-year investor visa if you have invested:

  • At least AED 10 million in the public sector in the country, which includes investing in an investment fund, or setting up a company in UAE whose share capital is at least AED 10 million, or becoming a partner in a UAE company where your shareholding is not less than AED 10 million;
  • The amount if not obtained through a loan; and
  • You maintain the exposure for at least three years.

If you invest in real estate with a gross value of at least AED 5 million, maintain the investment for a minimum of three years, and have not borrowed the investment money through a loan, you are eligible for a 5-year investor visa.

3 – 100% repatriation of profits

There are no currency exchange controls or restrictions on the remittance of funds in the UAE. Additionally, companies set up in the Free Trade Zone can repatriate 100 percent of their profits according to the specific regulations applicable to such a Free Trade Zone. Moreover, any foreign currency of almost any denomination can be readily exchanged. 

4 – Attractive tax regime

There are no tax laws passed by the federal government of the UAE. While the individual emirates have corporate tax decrees, those are only applicable for foreign oil and gas production activities and branches of foreign banks. There are no withholding taxes in the UAE. 

Free Trade Zones in individual emirates also provide tax incentives such as tax exemptions for a certain period, 100% foreign ownership in a company exempted from corporate taxes, and no customs duty. 

Moreover, the UAE has executed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with over 80 countries across the globe. These tax treaties ensure that taxpayers and international residents are not liable for paying taxes in two countries, making it an attractive proposition for foreign investors to set up business in the UAE.  

5 – Strong Anti-Corruption and Money Laundering Laws

The UAE is a party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Several federal and Emirati legislations prohibit bribery.  It is a criminal offense to offer bribes to a UAE public official, including employees of any state-owned corporations or individuals occupying ministerial positions. Whether the public officials have benefitted from such a bribe is of little consequence. 

Bribery within the private sector is also prohibited though only the person accepting the bribe is punished. 

Penalties for bribery include up to 10 years of imprisonment and heavy fines. Moreover, the statute of limitations does not apply to bribery-related crimes.

6 – Diversified economy

While the UAE is synonymous with oil reserves that account for 40 percent of the GDP, the federal government has consistently emphasized its intention to diversify the economy.   In 2014, the government unveiled the UAE Vision 2021 and set the goal for non-oil sectors to contribute to 80 percent of GDP for economic prosperity. By boosting sectors such as retail, real estate, petrochemicals, and financial and business services, the UAE is slowly moving towards a more diversified economic landscape. 

7- Business-friendly government

The ease of doing business in any country is mostly dependent on the functioning of the local government. The federal government and the local government of the individual emirates foster a climate that empowers businesses. For instance, recently, Dubai Trade, UAE’s single window portal that facilitates cross-border trade, launched ZADI. This unified food import platform will simplify the import and re-export of food shipments through various ports in Dubai. This can help companies to lower operational costs and increase profits. 

To cope with the aftermath of the post-COVID world, seven emirates also announced a string of relief measures to support the SMEs through affordable credit, subsidies, and waivers.

8 – Political stability 

Changes in political stability can be a cause for great concern when setting up a business in a foreign location. UAE is regarded as the most stable nation in the Arab world. Since attaining independence in 1971, the UAE has worked tirelessly to empower the various federal institutions. Moreover, strong relations with the US have also strengthened the political stability of the UAE.

9 – Access to events and exhibitions all year round

Regardless of your industry, every business can benefit from marketing initiatives. The UAE hosts a wide range of trade expos and exhibitions to provide a strong launchpad for your business. Participating in these events can help you to strengthen your brand presence and attract more clients. 

Ready to set up your business in the UAE? Get in touch

An open economy boosted by several incentives from the government makes UAE a fantastic destination to launch your business. But doing it alone may be a daunting proposition. 

That’s where the experts from Centurion Consulting LLC., can step in. The team consisting of qualified business and finance experts provide excellent end to end business consulting services in the UAE. Whether you need to refine your entry strategy, or need assistance with market research, or want a feasibility study conducted, or even need regulatory compliance advice – Centurion Consulting LLC., can do it all.  

Set up a 45 min free online or offline consultation session with their team to explore the way forward and establish your presence in the land of opportunities.


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