Why Set Up a Business in UAE
The United Arab Emirates is one of the most progressive economies in the Middle East. With a GDP of over 370 billion as of 2015, it is one of the riches countries in the world. From this number alone, it is easy to surmise that an entrepreneurial venture in the UAE would be a smart investment. However, if you are looking for other compelling reasons to start a business in the UAE, here are a couple of points for you to consider as well.
Free Trade Zones
The UAE recognised the need to diversify its assets to create a healthy portfolio of income generating investments. Oil remains its main economic driver, but to encourage diversification and draw international investments, the national government established Free Trade Zones across the country. Free Zones are areas where foreign investors and entrepreneurs can establish their own businesses, and enjoy special benefits.
There are currently more than 37 free zones in the UAE today, including the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Dubai Internet City, Jebel Ali Free Zone, RAK Investment Freezone, Hamriya Free Zone, Umm al Quwain Free Trade Zone, Fujairah Free Zone, and Masdar City. While these free zones have their own zone authorities and set of business rules and regulations, there business and legislative advantages that are universal for all FZ areas.
For example, companies and businesses established within these areas enjoy specific advantages including corporate tax exemption, income tax exemption, exemption from import and export duties, and capital gain tax exemption. Additionally, businesses in these areas can enjoy 100 per cent repatriation of their profits.
Most importantly, investors and entrepreneurs can have complete ownership of the company, without needing sponsorship from a local partner – a benefit that is available only to free zone areas.
Growth and Development
The country has enjoyed exponential growth over a span of two decades, which has manifested in accelerated infrastructure development. If you look at pictures of how Dubai looked in the 1990s, and compared them to how it looks today, you would barely see any resemblance. Over the span of 20 years, the emirate has transformed itself into the New York of the Middle East and North Africa, housing an international community of investors and entrepreneurs, and becoming a melting pot of cultures and people from all over the world.
Further improvements can be expected in the coming years, as the UAE government strives hard to fulfil its National Agenda Indicators – a list of 52 key performance areas to make the country one of the leading countries in the world by 2021.
The UAE sits right next to the Arabian Gulf, which makes it the perfect location for logistics and distribution. It is home to major shipping ports, including the Jebel Ali Port, Mina Rashid Port, Mina Zayed Port, and Khor Fakkan Port. Each of these ports are capable of handling large shipping vessels and are equipped with solutions to accommodate expedited distribution, such as warehouses, cold storage facilities, inland container depots. Due to its positive economic relations with neighbouring countries and advanced logistic capabilities, the UAE can become a major hub for international shipments.