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Establishing business in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considered one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. It provides ideal business environment for investors and entrepreneurs with its excellent infrastructure facilities, supported by professional expertise, premium personal services, digital economy, advanced technological structure and smart government – all of which give the country a competitive advantage over others.

Investment in the UAE is a national priority and therefore, the UAE Government has a series of established procedures for ensuring a constant flow of support for entrepreneurs, starting from the establishment of the business structure and investment type to securing the necessary licenses and permits.

Following are some of the elements that make the UAE an attractive environment for promising investment opportunities.

  • Economic Stability

The economic stability of the UAE is based on a number of advantages including:

  • Strategic location
  • Strong financial reserves
  • Major sovereign wealth funds 
  • Established and strong international relations
  • The growing government spending on infrastructure, digital transformation and innovation
  • A government policy, which is open for economic diversity
  • Multipurpose free zones
  • Increasing direct foreign investments.
  • Competitive economy
  • Open economy
  • Fair, advanced and fast judiciary, and presence of internationally recognized arbitration centres.

 

  • Political Stability

The UAE is a politically stable country with open diplomatic policy with all countries of the world. The UAE has more than 100 diplomatic delegations abroad and hosts about 200 foreign delegations on its land.  The UAE has established ruler ship organizations, high national acceptance and security stability despite all the challenges in the region.

 

  • Social Stability

The UAE is considered a safe place to live and invest in.  It is distinguished by the values of tolerance, acceptance of the other and cultural diversity.

 

  • Open Economy

The UAE encourages the growth of the private sector and its competiveness and has implemented legislations and laws, which prohibit monopoly.  The UAE has strong relationships with major commercial organizations at the regional and international levels, is a member in international organizations, and has more than 36 free zones.

 

  • Versatility of Business Practice Facilities

The UAE allows great flexibility for carrying out business anywhere in the State.  Places for practicing business include free zones, industrial zones, commercial buildings, etc.

  • There are more than 36 free zones in the country, which allow 100% foreign investment locally.
  • The UAE provides modern industrial and commercial business centres.
  • The country hosts high-level conferences, international exhibitions and major commercial and investment events.

 

  • Skilled Labour

             The manpower and the work force in the UAE is considered the most efficient and skilful manpower worldwide. The cultural versatility of the UAE population contributes to enhancing productivity and creativity of the manpower.  The UAE strives to be a leading incubator for talents, skilled labour and human capital in vital and economic sectors, thanks to its flexible labour policies and easy recruitment of foreign manpower.

 

  • Investment Incentives

The UAE offers several investment incentives to entrepreneurs:

  • 100% ownership in all economic sectors, excluding activities with strategic influence.
  • No national agent is required for foreign companies wishing to open a branch and to carry out their commercial activities in the State.
  • Full ownership in all the legal forms provided for in the Commercial Companies Law.
  • 100% ownership of investments in free zones.
  • Flexible visa system that includes long term visas with a validity of up to 10 years.
  • Strong banking system with high levels of cash flow and government support of the banking sector.
  • No restrictions on foreign exchange 
  • High value of currency and full liberty in converting into other currencies without restrictions.
  • Low inflation rate.
  • Low custom tariff between 0 and 5% for most goods.

            

Business Laws and regulations in the UAE

 

The UAE has established a number of laws and regulations which meet the requirements of businesses and their flexible regulation and operations, within a framework of rules and principles which are based on the rules of justice and respect for the rights of all  parties dealing with the same.

Federal laws governing and regulating business activities in general such as the Commercial Companies Law

In general, the Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies and its amendments and Federal Decree by Law No. (26) of 2020 amending certain provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies are applicable to companies which establish principal offices, branches or offices in the State.

 

Laws regulating free zone companies.

Entities in free zones are governed by the laws applicable in the free zones (most legislations applicable in every free zone are attached below). These laws differ according to the zone in which the entity is located.  Sometimes, entities are required to comply with the regulations of another government authority, which governs that specific commercial or industrial activity.

The laws concerning regulation of business and economic activities in general apply to free zone companies, excluding Federal Law No. (2) of 2015 on Commercial Companies which applies to commercial companies established in the State.

Free zone companies shall comply with the laws relating to the economic activity type in terms of practice, protection of proprietary rights, health, safety and environment regulations in addition to the instructions applicable in the concerned free zone.

 

UAE Bankruptcy Law

The UAE Bankruptcy Law issued under Federal Decree No. (9) of 2016 of 2016 on Bankruptcy regulates  various bankruptcy cases encountered by insolvent companies in the UAE and designates the necessary legal tools required to avoid bankruptcy cases and liquidation of the debtor’s properties.

The Bankruptcy Law is not applicable to natural persons, and is applicable only to the companies designated by the Law including:

  • Companies established pursuant to the Commercial Companies Law and its amendments
  • Companies wholly or partially owned by the federal or local government whose legislations provide that the provisions of this Law govern them.
  • Companies and establishments established in free zones with no specific provisions regulating conciliation with creditors, restructuring and bankruptcy, subject to the provisions of Federal Law No. (8) of 2004 Concerning Financial Free Zones.
  • Any merchant who has been given this capacity by the Commercial Transactions Law.
  • Licensed civil companies with professional activities.

 

Laws and policies governing online businesses.

Laws and policies governing the mechanism of practicing online business and businesses conducted through social media channels.

 

Federal laws governing business activities in general.

  • Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies
  • Federal Decree by Law No. (26) of 2020 Amending Certain Provisions of Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 on Commercial Companies
  • Federal Law no. (5) of 1975 Concerning the Commercial Register
  • Federal Law No. 19 of 2016 Concerning Combatting of Commercial Deceit
  • Federal Law No. (37) of 1992 Concerning Trademarks
  • Federal Law No. (4) of 1979 Concerning Suppression of Deceit and Fraud in Commercial Transactions
  • Federal Law No. (1) of 2006 Concerning Electronic Commerce and Transactions
  • Federal Law No. (18) of 1981 Regulating Commercial Agencies
  • Federal Law No. (28) of 2001 Establishing the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology
  • Federal Law No. (4) of 2012 on the Regulation of Competition
  • Federal Law No. (24) of 2006 on Consumer Protection
  • Federal Law No. (18) of 1993 Concerning Issuance of the Commercial Transactions Law
  • Federal Law No. (4) of 2000 Concerning the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority and Market
  • Protection of Intellectual Property –
  • Legislations and decisions of the Securities and Commodities Authority

 

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