TO DO BUSINESS IN THE UAE
UAE is an open environment for doing business. Looking to diversity its
economy away from oil exportation, the UAE is especially interested in
seeing the development of industries which would reduce its dependence
on imported goods as well as developing product lines for export.
are regulated by the Federal Commercial Companies Law No. 8 which was
enacted in 1984 and has been fully enforce since businesses that can be
Private shareholding companies
· Public shareholding companies
· Limited liability companies
· General partnerships
· Limited partnerships
· Partnerships limited by shares
· Shareholding or joint venture companies.
law also stipulates minimum UAE national equity of 51% in nationally
incorporated companies and 100% for public or private shareholidng
companies or individulas wanting to do business in the UAE must at least
have a sponsor or service agent and obtain a trade license. Foreign
companies must register with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
the Economic Development Departm,ent and with the Ministry and Finance.
businesses require approval from certain governing authorities as listed
companies or individuals must seek a local partner or sponsor under 1 or
2 options :
Agreement as a sponsor or serice agent
2. Agreement as an active partner with at least 51% equity.
the UAE is open for business and investment, the establishment of free
zones offers additional incentives for locating here. Advantages for
locating within the Free zones are :
· Superb communications
· 100% foreign ownership allowed
· No recruitment / sponsorship problems
· Corporate tax exemption
· Customs duty exemption on imported raw materials and equipment
· No levy on exports or imports
JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE - Dubai
Free Zone in Jebel Ali was established in 1980 by the Dubai Government,
which allows for 100% foreign ownership of companies operating in and
from the Free Zone. It consists of the Dubai Port Authority, Jebel Ali
Port and the industrial and commercial free zone. It is comprised of 67
berths, over 15 kilometers of quay and an ultramodern container freight
PORT AHMED FREE ZONE-Umm Al-Quwain
Port Ahmed Free Zone was established in 1986. The quay for the Free Zone
in 845 meters wide and the area allocated for light industry is 118,000
sq. meters. The Free Zone Authority provides water, power, and telecom
services, accommodation for workers, stores, transport, management and
HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE - Sharhaj
Hamriyah Free zone is strategically located on the Arabian Gulf between
3 continents, serving a growing market of 1 billion people. It consists
of 10 m swaure metres of land, a 14 metre deepwater port. Investors at
HFZ can lease land to build their own facilities or lease re-built units
in sizes 400 sqm. Or 600 sqm. In addition to the full ownership and
exemption from taxes and customs duties. HFZ's facilities include
abundant and inexpensive energy and labours, highly developoed
infrastructure, on-site accommodation and excellent transportation links
via 3 seaports and Sharjah Int'l Airport.
FUJAIRAH FREE ZONE AUTHORITY -Fujairah
Facilities for Warehousing, Trading Offices, Assembling and
Sharief Habib Al Awadhi
Tel. : 09 - 228000
Fax : 09 - 228888
accepted for operation in the Free Zone will be granted on of the
following licensed :
· Industrial License
· Services license
· National Industrial License
licenses are issued by the Free Zone Authority and are renewable
annually as long as the lease agreement is in force.
holding Trade or Industrial licenses can only conduct business and sell
its products within the Free Zone or abroad. If it wishes to conduct
business within the UAE it must use a UAE official agent. Such Companies
can, however, obtain products and services from within the UAE without
using a go-between.
most important conditions for obtaining each of these licenses are as
Trade Licenses are issued for companies within the Free Zone or
legally incorporated outside the UAE in the area of products selling,
import and export. No license is required from the Economic Department.
Ownership may remain 100% foreign.
Industrial Licenses are issued for companies within the Free Zone
or legally incorporated otuside the UAE in the area of industrial
production activities such as manfacturing, canning packaging and
reassmbly. No license is required from the Economic Department.
Ownership may remain 100% foreign.
Service Licenses are issued to companies holding a valid license
form the respective government body in the UAE. Such companies may
provide service activities such as banking, insurance contracting,
profesional land similar services. Such serices, though provided in the
Free Zone must abide by any requyirements of the UAE governing body.
National Industrial Licenses are issued for companies within the
Free zone or legally incorporated either inside or otuside the UAE in
the area of industrial production activities such as manufacturing,
canning, epackaging and re-assembly. Share capital must be at least 51%
AGCC. Value added to products manufactured in the Free Zone must be at
least 40% of the sale value. This license provides it sholder with the
same status as local or GCC companies inside the UAE.
Submit a completed questionaire to the Authority. This allows the
Authority to assess if the company's need can be met.
Receive documents form the Authority which include a license
application, Performa of information required for planing, a Consumer
requiest for electricity supply, and Form B for environmental concerns
Submit a License application
completion of these steps results in provisional approval at which time
the company must submit documents concerning legal status as per the
license they wish to obtain. At the same time they will be provided with
a specimen lease agreement, personnel secondment agreement and copies of
administrative instructions governing operations in the Free Zones.
These will be followed by actual documents one the company
representative has met with the Authority to discuss and finalize
details of the project. This is followed by :
Signing the agreement.
· Sponsorship of staff.
· Preparation of construction work.
· Building completion and operation fitness certificates.
· Industrial firms registration to be handled by the Authority.