Investment Incentives in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is considered an investment attracting country in the Gulf and Middle East region since it provides a favorable investment climate. In this article, we highlight the economic, investment and legal advantages of investing in the UAE in general  in the framework of the economic and commercial climate of the country.

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Listed below are the main reasons why you should consider investing in the UAE:

I – Geographical Location and GCC Membership

The geographical location of the United Arab Emirates between the East and the West makes it an attractive area for investment in manufacturing, re-export, and pharmaceutical industries.

In addition, the UAE’s proximity to the Gulf region and being a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council with the facilities and guarantees it provides to member states.  

II – Legal and Economic Legislations

The United Arab Emirates is working on developing its laws and legislations to increase confidence in its economy by issuing commercial companies laws, commercial competition laws, trademark protection laws, and patent protection laws.

Hence, the United Arab Emirates is a leading country in introducing legislations that create a favorable environment for economic investment. Moreover, UAE has a clear,  fair and fast judicial system, ensuring the speedy settlement of disputes necessary to end commercial and industrial disputes.

It also provides all judicial solutions such as arbitration and conciliation to enhance the options available to parties and to ensure a suitable environment for investment.

III – Strong Infrastructure and Easy Administrative Procedures

UAE has a reliable infrastructure thanks to power, electricity, water, communication and road networks providing all necessary factors for investment of all forms and ensuring a strong structure for services. In addition, UAE has several ports including 6 international seaports receiving giant vessels with different cargoes, giant warehouses at these seaports and giant airports. Moreover, UAE also provides a strong infrastructure for residents including hospitals, medical services and education of all types.

There are Indian, Pakistani, American and French schools and branches of international universities to provide all required services to residents and investors.

All governmental authorities provide all their services electronically via the internet in the framework of converting to electronic governance, the thing which contributes to enhancing the infrastructure and reducing and facilitating all administrative procedures to improve investment in the country.

Listed Below are Some of the Several Incentives Offered by the UAE to Investors:

1 – Exemption from Corporate and Individual Income Tax

Both Companies operating in the UAE and individuals working in UAE enjoy exemption from the income tax. However, certain sectors are subject to taxes such as oil, communication and tourism sectors. The state shall determine the taxable economic activities. (It should be noted that UAE has started applying 5% VAT taxes recently)

2 – The Free Flow of Capital and the Ability to Transfer Profits Abroad in Foreign Currencies without Restrictions

Free flow of capitals, absence of restrictions on their profits and  free transfer of profits in foreign countries aboard are of the most important economic constituents of UAE.

3 – Custom Duties not Exceeding 5% and Application of Custom Exemptions

Imports are subject to custom duties not exceeding 5% and all foodstuffs and capital and intermediate commodities involved in the production industry are fully exempted from custom duties.

4 – 100% Foreign Ownership in Free Zones

The United Arab Emirates allows foreigners the right to own companies in free zones with all corporate and personal tax exemptions for fifty years, as well as the freedom to fully transfer profits and capital in foreign currencies without restrictions.

Such free zones enjoy diversity of its fields and services, as it include manufacturing, professional services, media and information, internet and knowledge services, etc. All these aspects ensure clear diversity in free zones.

5 – Token Fees for Lands Allocated for Industrial Projects

The United Arab Emirates provides several guarantees and incentives to investment, including, in particular, token fees for lands allocated for industrial investment to promote manufacturing process.

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