United Arab Emirates

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DOING BUSINESS

 


Local business incentives - Legal forms of companies - Registration and licensing procedures - Legal framework - Foreign exchange control - Regulations concerning equity investment - FDI inflows - Expertise of the political risk

Local business incentives

The Emirates have implemented several free trade zones, Dubaļ / Jebel Ali, Fujeirah and Sharjah. Jebel Ali, situated in the South of Dubaļ's centre most attracted foreign investors. This free trade zone includes the Port of Jebel Ali, the biggest artificial port in the world. These zones offer different advantages such as free capital and profit repatriation, customs duties exemptions, a guarantee of exemption from any tax during 15 years. As for logistics, the free trade zone Administration can take care of all warehouses' management and invoicing. It ensures a faster service. Nevertheless, companies set up in these zones have the status of foreign companies and real advantages are granted to local companies. This urges foreign companies to find local partners.
The Dubai Development and Investment Authority should be contacted for further information about investment frame in Dubai.

 

Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents
The Sole Proprietorship is a single-member company. 1 person. No minimum capital. The owner is liable for the company's debts on his personal assets. Minimum DH 10,000 No
Public Joint - stock Company Minimum 10 partners. Minimum DH 10 million. Liability is limited to the amount contributed. Minimum DH 10,000 Yes
Private Joint-stock Company Minimum 3 partners. Minimum DH 2 million. Liability is limited to the amount contributed. Minimum DH 10,000 No
Limited Liability Company Minimum 2 partners. Maximum 50 partners. Minimum DH 150,000. Liability is limited to the amount contributed. Minimum DH 10,000 No
Limited Liability Company Minimum 2 partners. No minimum capital. Liability is unlimited for debts and obligations of the company. Minimum DH 10,000 No
Limited Liability Company Minimum 2 partners. No minimum capital. At least one partner must have an unlimited liability.
Liability of other partners is limited to the amount contributed, if they do not take part in the company management.
Minimum DH 10,000 No

Registration and licensing procedures
Companies must register with the Trade Register of the Emirate where the company is settled. Trade Registers are under the control of the Ministry of Economy and Trade. Furthermore, any corporatation requires the granting of a license.

Foreign exchange control
There is no currency exchange control in the United Arab Emirates. Free repatriation of capital and profits is carried out.

Regulations concerning equity investment
A majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is limited to 49 %.  


Foreign Direct Investment inflows in United Arab Emirates

FDI inflows 2003 2004 2005 World rank (*)
2005
FDI inflows (USD million) 4 256 8359 12000 15/141
Source : UNCTAD - World Investment Report
Note : (*) World Rank = UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index. It is a measure of the extend to which a host country receives inward FDI relative to its economic size. It is calculated as a ratio of the country's share in global FDI inflows to its share in global GDP.

 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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