UAE, a federation of seven Emirates, is a federal, independent, and sovereign state under the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates that came into effect in December 1971. The seven Emirates include Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras-Al-Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm al-Qaiwain. Around 85% of the residents of the country are foreigners and around 95% of the people working in private sector companies are non-locals.
UAE is best known for its diversity and dynamicity, highly-developed infrastructure, vibrancy of cultures and religions, high-quality medical facilities, and rich lifestyle. It is an economic hub of the Middle East, also known as a business-friendly country in this region. There is a significant presence of small and big companies in UAE from different regions and continents of the world.
In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report of 2020, UAE ranks at the 16th position and among the Arab countries, at the first position. This is primarily because of the successful business regulatory reforms to make the operations of businesses easier and better. If we track the major contributors to UAE’s popularity in the Ease of Doing Business survey, it is because of the factors such as reduced fees of business incorporation, measures for minority investor protections, drop in the time for import and export due to digitalization, and adoption of a risk-based approach for construction permits and inspections.
How is UAE different from other western countries for business?
The best part about UAE is the diverse and dynamic workforce and people living in the country. UAE provides the right mix of different cultures and business practices because of the rising number of immigrants in it. There are fewer administrative restrictions in the country as compared to many other Western nations.
The UAE locals mainly believe in brands, as buying branded items is considered a status symbol socially. Therefore, business setup in UAE becomes difficult for start-ups and small businesses. Even if new ideas, new products, new technologies, and new processes are introduced, it becomes difficult to get a good number of customers, since brands are still a priority among the people living in UAE.
There is a higher prevalence of family-based businesses in UAE. In addition, they pay a lot of importance to business relationships, and therefore, plenty of effort is required for building business associations. The major factor that differentiates UAE from other Middle Eastern countries is that they are not dependent on oil and gas reserves only for their revenues, but tourism and financial industry, and allied fields are great contributors to the economy.
How different are UAE and Saudi Arabia?
UAE is quite different from Saudi Arabia in terms of political nature, economic scenario, and many other factors. The key factors that differ in the business environment in UAE and Saudi Arabia are:
- In UAE, each Emirate is ruled by an Emir and the Emirs of seven Emirates are part of a Federal Supreme Council, who together take major decisions such as the selection of the President and Prime Minister. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is ruled by a King and no other person holds any power in decision-making for the country.
- Another big difference is the population composition. While Saudi Arabia mainly comprises Arabics, UAE has a cosmopolitan culture because of immigrants from different parts of the world.
- A key difference is a dependency on oil and gas reserves. While UAE has other sources of income such as tourism, the financial sector, and the hospitality industry, Saudi Arabia’s economy is mainly based on oil reserves.
- Saudi Arabia’s welfare plans for its citizens are almost negligible while UAE is supportive of its citizens through free healthcare, best education facilities, and high employment opportunities for its people.
- Especially the ease and record time you need in establishing your business in the Emirates is considered the fastest, as the government’s approach to using smart systems and developing them is one of the government’s priorities.
- And as mentioned above about the high rate of the state’s reliance on foreign workers, which in turn allows investors to easily attract skilled and specialized workers and obtain work permits.
These are some of the factors, which make UAE a better and attractive option for individuals and businesses for doing business in Abu Dhabi.
Why UAE is a good investment hub for foreign investors?
UAE has implemented favourable measures to encourage investors in UAE and to increase the employment opportunities in the country. Specifically, the flexible rules regarding property investment have encouraged a good amount of investors’ interest in the country. Furthermore, relaxation in taxation, repatriation of funds, and a pro-business climate make it an attractive investment option.
UAE’s stable political environment for a long time and its strategic geographical location make it a striking investment base for companies and individuals. Other factors such as accessibility to low-cost energy options, efficient labour at low prices, rich reserves of hydrocarbons, and strong infrastructure for transport and manufacturing also contribute to its attractiveness. Some of the industries with high potential to attract the highest investments are gold, financial services, retail trade, real estate property, manufacturing, and mutual funds.
A law was passed in 2020, which enlisted 122 economic activities in which 100% FDI is permitted. This law opened the doors of UAE for further investment opportunities, specifically under the categories of education, healthcare, services, renewable energy, agriculture, hospitality and food, and manufacturing. If not on the mainland, then free zones are always available for 100% ownership in businesses.
The issuance of a law in 2020 that grants golden residency to some segments of investors and work on drafting a new law for granting citizenship to them according to specific criteria
If reading this makes you think of investing in the country or if you still have more questions on the benefits of investing in UAE, you can discuss it with us. We can provide you with the required relevant consulting on doing business in UAE.
Any company in UAE, whether established in the mainland or any of the free zone,or as an offshore company has specific pros and cons. If you are unable to decide, you can contact us and have an initial discussion on your goals and your expectations. Based on the discussion, we can give you relevant suggestions and help you in company formation in UAE.
In UAE, the business are charged one-time registration fees, annual license renewal, and lease renewal costs. Besides these, there is 0% or 5% VAT; the rate is dependent on the goods and services you provide.
Our services in setting up a business in UAE inlude forming a company in any of the emirates of the country. Our services also extend to other countries across the world.
Once you plan to invest in UAE, we, at NR Doshi & Partners, will help you set up your business and tread on the path of development. We are a leading provider of business setup consulting services who can assist you in doing business in Dubai in the mainland, any of the free zones, or as an offshore company. Our expert company formation experts support you in end-to-end services, starting from the selection of business type and legal structure, choosing a name, filing an application, and receiving the license. Our strengths lie in experience in multiple industries, our market reputation, and our expert business setup professionals.