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If you wish to set up a business in the UAE, Dubai is an ideal choice in a lot of respects. After all, it is the hub of the Middle East and a culminating point for the commercial worlds stretching from the Far East to the West. Add to this its tax-free income, choice of company types and booming real estate and tourism.
To start with, you have the choice to either set up a locally registered LLC business or go the free zone way. In case of the former, it is compulsory to have a local sponsor (UAE national) owning 51% shares in the company; the expatriate owner owns the remaining 49%. The owner gets the flexibility to open his office anywhere in Dubai which gives him the opportunity to extract the maximum potential from the business. In lieu of the support provided, the expatriate owner pays a yearly fee to the local sponsor, which is negotiable.
If you do not want the involvement of a third party, you can consider the free zone model. There are several free zones around providing unique advantages in terms of 100% foreign ownership, speedy set-up services, visa facilities for investors besides superior infrastructure and facilities. However, your business is only allowed to operate within the free zone boundaries and its activities are restricted to those listed in the license.
As a foreign investor, it makes sense to tie up with a business advisory company to assist you in the nitty-gritty of the entire set-up process.
• Dubai a preferred destination for opening business
• Requirements vary depending on type of business
• There are advisory firms offering set-up packages
Source: Priyanka Wade, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer