Register of companies in any country is kept by the appropriate state authority, which is responsible for incorporation and other activities related to companies – alteration of articles of association, alteration of shareholders and directors, alteration of name, address of a company, etc.
Access to Registry of companies can be either restricted, or unrestricted, i.e. available to third parties. In many countries of the world registry of companies, as a rule, is open, that allows potential partners of companies to verify correctness of data relating to companies, powers of directors and shareholders as well as good standing of company. From this point of view unrestricted access to register has particular advantages.
At the same time, free access to companies register entails relevant risks. First, it may lead to various hostile takeovers. Also, such free access can be used by unfair competitors. And, of course, there is no privacy with respect to companies registry of this type.
Another type of company register - closed registry, i.e. register is not available to third parties. This type of company registry is used in Dubai and other Emirates. Access to confidential information in the register of companies in the Emirates is not allowed. In order to get information from the registry in the UAE it is necessary to have an appropriate decision of the court of the UAE, which is issued only in special cases involving serious and proved offenses. This is the first important feature of companies registry in the UAE.
The second feature is that due to the fact that the Emirates have different types of companies, plus several dozens of free trade zones, there are, accordingly, dozens of different company registers. For example, two registries can be kept just within one free trade zone of one of the Emirates. The first is for onshore companies in the free trade zone. The second, absolutely separate register is for offshore companies.
Accordingly, company of each respective type is handled in the appropriate registry. Applicable regulations with respect to various types of companies in this regard may also vary. The most important differences in the registers are observed with respect to companies having fundamentally different nature. There are three of them in the United Arab Emirates - onshore in free trade zone, offshore in the free trade zone and company on the mainland.
Furthermore, each register has its own peculiarity within the scope of one type of companies - slightly different constitutional documents of companies, differences in the maximum permitted number of shareholders and directors, types of activities, formal requirements for preparation and signing of incorporation documents, etc.
In conclusion - the following main points of registry of companies in Dubai, United Arab Emirates can be summarized - its privacy and high level of ownership rights protection due to clear and reliable legal framework.