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UAE Key Facts

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UAE Key Facts

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Introduction Who we are? Registered management consultants, business consultants and accounting professionals and auditors Offices in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah in UAE and associates and counter-parts offices in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Chennai, Singapore and Hong Kong having more than one-decade experience.

What this presentation is all about?

Topics covered:

  1. UAE Geography and Economy in nutshell
  2. UAE Free Trade Zone Company formation
  3. Key benefits of UAE Free Trade Zones
  4. Types of company formation in UAE

1. UAE Geography and Economy

  • UAE is an Arabian peninsula located southwestern coast of Persian Gulf and northwestern coast Gulf of Oman.
  • Majority of citizens/residents speaks English even though official language is Arabic
  • More than 155 nationalities living in UAE, working, doing business and enjoying quality life style
  • Federal type of government system- seven emirates namely Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah
  • Easy access to all Emirates within range of 15 to 150 km
  • Vibrant Economy
  • Access to Excellent Banking Systems
  • FDI department setup for major push for manufacturing sector
  • UAE Free Zones plays major role in UAE economy
  • Political and economic stability
  • Average GDP growth of 8% annually since 2011
  • UAE engaged with global treaties to avoid double taxation
  • From 2018, VAT is going to be introduced in UAE

UAE Economy Recent Fact File

  • Population 9.45m
  • GDP-USD 419 Bn
  • Exports- USD 368 Bn
  • Imports-USD 273 Bn
  • FDI 14 Bn

2. UAE Free Trade Zone Company formation

  • Special Economic Zones
  • 100% ownership for expatriate investors
  • Tax Free
  • Free Customs Duty, if you bring goods from free zone to mainland companies for trading purpose attracts duty
  • UAE has more than 40 free zones across the country. Choosing free zone depends on customer’s business model and requirement
  • Some free zones having rep offices worldwide
  • User friendly rules and regulations
  • All govt. departments are under one roof

3. Key Benefits of UAE Free Zones

  • 100% Tax free operations
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Guarantee against taxes
  • No personal income tax
  • No corporate income tax
  • No restriction on repatriation of funds
  • No currency restrictions
  • Formation of holding companies
  • Cost effective solutions to meet your requirement

4. Types of company formation in UAE


  • Mainland Companies
  • Free Zone Companies
  • Offshore Companies

Types of business entities.

There are mainly three types of business entities permitted by law in the UAE and they are:

(a) Professional

(b) Commercial/Trading

(c) Industrial

- Onshore –Mainland companies (LLC companies, most common type of companies) with 51% UAE local Shareholder and 49% Expatriate Shareholder. Public Joint stock companies, Private Joint stock companies, Simple Commandite Company and Joint Liability Company

- Onshore-Free zone Companies can be formed with 100% foreign Ownership

- Offshore Free Zone IBC Companies (International Business Companies)


JAFZA Offshore

Ajman Offshore

SPV’s-Abu Dhabi/Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah

(d) Branches –

(i) Branches can be established for Foreign Companies. The branch office shall carry on the activities of the Parent Entity. The Branch Office should have a local agent who shall be a UAE National.

(ii) Branch also includes branch of a UAE based company where the branch is 100% owned by the parent company.

(iii) Branches can also be branch of GCC based company where the branch is 100% owned by the parent company which is headquartered and based in one of the GCC countries.

(iv) Similarly, a Free Zone Company can have a branch in mainland.

(g) Representative Office – office set up in the UAE to represent a Foreign Company which can only perform the liaison function and is not permitted to import or export goods.

Presented by Nayeem Kokan.

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