Doing Business in Dubai
With an efficient, secure and dynamic business environment, Dubai is the ideal location for the establishment of businesses that want to position themselves in an ecosystem built for growth. Dubai’s strategic geographic location, global reputation, robust infrastructure and excellent government support has made it an attractive place to conduct business around the world.
The mainland refers to the areas outside the free zones in the UAE, and the Department of Economic Development (DED) serves as the regulatory authority responsible for granting mainland licenses. Mainland businesses are permitted to operate without limitations both within the UAE and internationally.
Free Zones are designated economic areas that provide preferential tax and customs rates for trade. They were initially established in the UAE to enhance international business by offering advantages such as 100% foreign ownership. The UAE currently has more than 50 free zones, some of which provide generic activities for all industries, while others cater to specific sectors.
Offshore entities are authorized to establish a bank account in the UAE; nonetheless, they are restricted from obtaining work visas or establishing a physical presence within the country. Typically, offshore licenses are utilized as holding companies and are primarily established for foreign operations, aiming to gain financial, legal, and tax advantages. It is worth noting that offshore companies located in free zones such as JAFZA and RAKICC are authorized to possess real estate in the UAE.