In this article, we consider the main properties that have to be taken into account when considering investment opportunities in Dubai, UAE. The United Arab Emirates has a growing economy with a population of over 9 million people. Due to the ongoing diversification process, the rapidly developing stock market, future Word Expo 2020 in Dubai, political stability, and a favorable tax regime, the UAE is a very attractive place for venture capital from other countries.
Ways of investing in Dubai, UAE
- Investing in business outside free zones. In most sectors of the UAE’s economy, there are restrictions on the foreigner ownership, which require at least 51% of the shares in a "local" company in Dubai (that is, a company registered outside the free zones) to be owned by UAE citizens or companies owned by UAE citizens. Expats should understand that the local market has its specifics. Here, as in other countries of the Middle East, personal meetings and previously established business relationships are appreciated most. Decisions made by partners and Dubai businesses can significantly depend on the level of proximity of business relationships. Therefore, when planning to open your own small business here, it is essential to spend some time and effort to create trust and understanding with your local partner from Dubai. Particular attention should be given to this issue.
- Investment in business in the UAE free economic zone. Free economic zones have been created specifically to facilitate the flow of foreign capital. Some of them are intended to develop specific sectors of local economy, for example, the medicine industry, IT, energy, etc., others do not have a certain specialization, but all have a number of typical advantages, including the possibility of 100% foreign ownership of a company and exemption from taxes and customs duties, access to local banks, and the possibility of obtaining a residence visa for an expat. Land and real estate can be leased for a certain period with the possibility of extending, land ownership can be granted for up to 99 years, and in some free zones there is the possibility of acquiring a freehold by the right of ownership, that is, unlimited. Most of these areas are located in Dubai: Dubai International Financial Center, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Creative Clusters, Dubai Airport Free Zone; there are some in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi: Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, Masdar Free Zone, Abu Dhabi Global Market, and Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone; besides each Emirate has at least one local free zone, for example, SAIF zone in Sharjah.
- Real estate investing in Dubai, UAE. The different Emirates have different restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate. Usually foreign citizens are either forbidden to own a villa, or they are allowed to own buildings and apartments or other premises only in specially designated territories, but we should note that there are quite a lot of such places throughout the country. Most foreigners and companies owned by foreigners rent houses and office space. Enterprises operating outside free zones have the right to lease space in Dubai, UAE after registration as a local company, or a branch or representative office. Registration of a legal entity as a free zone company in most cases requires a lease or purchase of real estate with the freehold right from the free zone. Areas permitted for foreign ownership of real estate are not necessarily territories of Dubai free zones.
It will take a really lot of time to describe all the opportunities available to a foreigner to invest in Dubai, UAE. Contact our consultants; they will provide you with the most complete and comprehensive information about the issue you are interested in.