Open for Business

The United Arab Emirates, with its rapidly developing infrastructure, investor-friendly policies and political stability, is undoubtedly one of the most attractive business destinations in the region.

The UAE follows global best practices and creates a conducive environment for businesses to operate, and presents ample opportunities for both investors from the region and around the world. The country lies at the heart of a strategic, geographic crossroads where trade, commerce and diverse cultures have co-existed and interacted for hundreds of years.

Foreign investors looking to set up a business in any of the industrial cities, special economic zones or free trade zones established in different emirates have access to single window licensing services that promise quick turnaround in terms of registration and visa processing. Specialised zones for technology, media, education, healthcare, finance and others gives an added dimension to the trade and commercial environment.

The Government encourages the private sector in a free trade regime with low tariff barriers and minimum legal hurdles. Many multinational companies (MNCs) have established branches in the country, many are engaged in manufacturing products or assembling them and many others have set up distribution centres for the region.

The UAE’s transformation was made possible by its major natural resource. The economy still relies on oil revenues but the years have seen a progressive shift away from a fossil fuel base to highly diversified all-round growth in manufacturing and trade, with service industries also seeing exponential development in sectors such as finance, tourism, real estate and information and communication technology. Great strides have also been made in education, healthcare and the general welfare of the people.

Today, the UAE has one of the most open and dynamic economies in the world. The UAE’s tax-free status, world-class infrastructure, low tariffs and 100 per cent ownership for foreign investors in selected zones, make it the ideal location for setting up new business. Today, the UAE stands as a strong nation built on the foundations of security, hope and economic strength, its modern outlook and progressive society bringing it into the front ranks of the Arab world.

Other clear advantages to doing business in the UAE include:

  • No restrictions on profit transfer or repatriation of capital
  • No corporate or income taxes
  • A currency, the Dirham, that is stable, secure and pegged to the US dollar
  • Very low, or non-existent, import duties
  • Competitive labour costs.

Sectors with strongest demand and opportunity include:

  • Construction services
  • Materials and supplies
  • Defence – Aerospace
  • Energy – Alternative Energy
  • Professional services
  • Select tourism products/services including high-end hotel brands
  • Healthcare and education services and products
  • Creative arts and media.
International trade

A member of the World Trade Organization since 1996, the UAE supports open trade and has stable trade relations with countries throughout the world. Thanks to its open economy, attractive business environment and continued economic growth, the UAE has emerged as a key international trading hub between East and West. The WTO has named it the leading Arab economy in terms of global trade and one of the top 30 nations in the world. The UAE Government’s free-market policy and flexible economic and commercial laws are the prime factors in the country’s rise as a regional and global leader.