VAT Returns deadline is 28th of every month. Excise Tax Returns deadline is 15th of every month ESR Notification Submission deadline, 6 months from the end of the financial year ESR Report Submission deadline, 12 months from the end of the financial year Click here to know the Foreign Exchange (FX) rates applicable for VAT from the UAE Central Bank website
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Why Dubai?

In 2018, Dubai attracted 523 Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) projects. Over 40% higher than in 2017.

Keep reading to find out why so many foreign investors are coming to Dubai, UAE to set up their companies. You will quickly realize that you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to establish your business in Dubai!

Corporate Benefits for UAE Set Up of Foreign Investments

Fewer Taxes:

Not only does the UAE have 0% corporate income tax for most businesses, but these other taxes are non-existent:

  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Withholding Tax
  • Dividend Tax
  • Personal Income or Payroll Taxes
  • Import and Export customs duty within Free Zones (with exceptions)
  • Stamp Duty on contracts

It’s also important to note that as of 2017, 74 countries have Double Tax Treaties in force with the UAE.

Quick and Confidential Application Process:

Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (“DED”) reported that the city is now ranked number ten among the top global destinations for capital investments. It is now easier and faster than ever to establish a business in Dubai.

Any new applications for foreign investment projects require a response from relevant authorities within five days. If your application is denied, there is also an appeals mechanism provided by Federal Law on Foreign Direct Investment.

The FDI Law ensures the confidentiality of all applications. Harsh penalties, including jail time and fines up to AED 10 million, are enforced for sharing sensitive information about investment projects.

Favorable Business Regulations:

Foreign investors may hold 100% ownership of companies in UAE Free Zones. In Mainland UAE, international stakeholders can have 100% ownership for professional licenses, and 49% foreign ownership for others.

The UAE’s FDI Law also says that companies must receive the same treatment and benefits as those based on UAE Mainland. It adds a layer of protection against expropriation of assets too.

Non-Corporate Benefits for UAE Set Up of Foreign Investments

 Location, Location, Location!

The UAE is the second safest country in the world when it comes to crime according to UK based Which? organization. It’s no wonder why over 200 nationalities call it home, especially when you consider the six months of beautiful summertime weather.

There’s plenty to do in Dubai. Many cultural events and international sports tournaments are held regularly. There’s also the luxurious lifestyle and endless shopping possibilities. 

If you’re interested in traveling, Dubai is the place to be! It’s a well-connected city to destinations around the globe. There are 142 Emirates direct flights to various locations across the world. 

Setting Up

Thousands of law firms, consultants and PROs can assist you in the establishment of your business in Dubai. Not to mention that the online platforms of the different licensing authorities is self-explanatory, and one can do it with eyes closed.

The catch though, and this is where the majority of foreign investors trip, is location and compliance.

The UAE has over 40 free zones; out of which 30 are in Dubai. Each jurisdiction has its own regulation and usually used for different business activities. Are you setting up a distribution center? A manufacturing plant? If yes, where are your customers’ located… Middle East? Or a service company or a headquarters?

Every type is unique and should be looked at individually to provide the best location for a foreign investor.

Second is compliance. Compliance is essential and may lead to material “avoidable” penalties down the road if not taken seriously. The different locations and jurisdiction in Dubai mean different compliance rules and regulations.

The main two areas of where we always see gaps in are Value Added Tax (“VAT”) and Banking and Finance for Early Startups and SME’s.

VAT is a new system for the UAE in comparison with other countries. Having a consultant on board who understands VAT in detail and provides practical solutions is critical to ensuring accurate treatment of VAT for your business.

Banking and Finance & Accounting is a domain where good banking relations are important for raising finance or any other credit lines. Setting up Finance and Accounting department can be tricky for a startup and SME’s and also expensive and time consuming.

Have a word with your advisor and be compliant and less bothered for a life time. Spectrum Accounting & Auditing, your UAE experts in the field of Accounting, Auditing, Value Added Tax, Business and Advisory services. Reach us today @ +971 50 9866466 or +971 4 2699329.


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Balaram Vuchidi

Managing Director
+971 50 9866 466
[email protected]
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