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5 Top Reasons to Start a Business in the UAE

Wednesday May 25, 2022

UAE has emerged as one of the most preferred start-up and investment hubs for global entrepreneurs. The UAE government is increasingly looking to drive the economy through foreign investments and providing vibrant opportunities for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. These initiatives make UAE the perfect place for new beginnings. Here are five top reasons to start a business in the UAE.

  1. Favourable Rules and Regulations:
  • Legal Framework: UAE has an excellent legal framework for foreign investors who are willing to start a business in the country. Barring the criminal law, there are completely different set of rules and regulations for foreign nationals.
  • The Licensing and Registration Procedures to start a business are simple and require minimum to no paperwork. Red tape is minimal, and all legal procedures are fast-tracked.
  • Flexible Visa Rules: UAE’s approach to family and employee visas is quite accommodating. The visa rules are fairly flexible for business owners considering relocating to the UAE with family and expat staff. The validity of visas is one to three years, so relocation can be long-term.
  • Easy Financial Transactions: Financial transactions are easy since currency regulations imposed on foreign exchange transactions do not apply to Free Zone businesses. In SPC Free Zone, there is also no requirement of paid-up share capital. This flexibility makes it lucrative for start-ups that are challenged by lack of capital.
  1. Ease of Doing Business:
  • 100% Foreign Ownership: UAE Free zones offer 100% foreign ownership. This means that the company can be solely owned by the expat without the need for a local sponsor.
  • 100% Duty Exemption: The import-export duties are exempt in UAE Free Zones. This saves the company from substantial paperwork and red tape requirements. With no excise duty taxes, start-ups can earn higher profits on a smaller investment.
  • 100% Repatriation of Profits: While operating in the Free Zones, foreign investors can repatriate all their company profits to their country of origin.
  • Well-Connected Trade Routes: UAE is well-connected to global trading zones in the MENA region. It has one of the most impressive transportation infrastructures in the world in terms of roadways, seaports, and airways.
  • No Office Space Requirements: For Free Zone businesses, procuring an actual office space is not always a pre-requisite. In fact, in Free Zones like Fujairah Creative City, there are no office space requirements. In some, you can even share desks or office locations. This helps to save office infrastructural investment. 
  • Sophisticated Communications Network: A sophisticated communications network combined with innovation and technology makes the business environment very lucrative for start-ups.
  • World-Class Infrastructure: The strategic location, well-developed infrastructure, and connected facilities make business conduct easier for foreign investors.
  • Vast Human Resource Pool: UAE has a pool of skilled and unskilled human resources from more than 200 countries, making it easy for businesses to get workforce in any area of expertise.
  1. Upcoming Tax – Lowest in the World!
  • Currently, UAE recognises several business ownership structures and offers different tax options to foreign investors. Many businesses in the UAE enjoy zero income tax on their profits as there are no personal income or corporate taxes. This, however, is set to change. To meet international tax standards and minimise the compliance burden for UAE businesses, the UAE will introduce federal corporate income tax (CIT) from 1 June 2023 onwards. Nonetheless, UAE will still have one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world.
  1. Growing Impetus to Entrepreneurs and Innovation Centres:
  • UAE is setting up innovation centres to woo foreign entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the country. They offer easier business licences, flexible office spaces, and access to funding. The entrepreneurship department of Dubai Chamber of Commerce has launched Dubai Startup Hub to attract start-ups in the UAE.
  • The Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) was initiated by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA). Dtec is MENA’s largest and one-of-a-kind tech hub and coworking space for start-ups and innovations. It is home to 800 start-ups, Start-up boot camps, Intelak incubator, and Intel Center.
  1. Quality of Life:
  • UAE is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and offers a good quality of life and high living standards to expatriates living and working in the region.
  • A range of renting options are available that are easy and reasonably priced.
  • It is home to world-renowned hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, retail stores, and other conveniences.

Key Takeaway:

With such a favourable business environment, UAE is one of the best places for local entrepreneurs and expat investors to start a business.  The low-cost start-up options, wide range of business activities, tax benefits, modern infrastructure, and access to international trade routes are some of the most favourable features.

If you are a foreign investor, looking to start a business in the UAE, seek professional guidance from business setup advisors like Creative Zone.  

Our team will assist you in selecting the most appropriate jurisdiction for your business, legal structure, banking solutions, business location, funding, and more. Please call us at 800 LICENCE (5423673) to speak to one of our business setup advisors today.


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