United Arab Emirates

Why Dubai?

By (19/09/2017)


This short piece aims to shed a light on Dubai's attributes as a leading destination for international investors. Dubai has become the world's fifth most important hub for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) according to the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2016, climbing from eighth place in 2015.   

Safety and Security

Perhaps one of the major concerns for investors looking toward the Middle East, is the region's lack of stability. Dubai however, stands shoulder to shoulder with the world's safest cities.  It has a stable political system and one of the lowest crime rates globally. The Dubai Police Department is doing a fantastic job to ensure the safety of its residents, and is well resourced.

A Welcoming and Easy Place to Relocate to

There are a number of avenues that investors can take to obtain residency in Dubai. The residency permit is granted to individuals who are contracted to work in Dubai, or to a member of the board of directors of a company operating in Dubai. Residency is also available to real estate investors who own a property in one of the freehold areas, or  to entrepreneurs or investors who own a business, or shares through a Dubai registered company. The same resident status can be extended and granted to family members once the main applicant's  residency status is granted. A resident with a reasonably well established living standard who has a regular income and a rented residency can apply to sponsor their spouse and their children and their domestic helpers, namely a nanny, house keeper or a driver. In some particular cases the resident can apply to sponsor their parents or other family members if they fall under the dependent definition as per the public authorities. This is subject to the government's official's approval.

The residency application takes one to two weeks to process. The government of Dubai screens its applications through a fast track process, almost 90 per cent of which is handled online. The government screens all of its applicants to ensure that they have clean criminal records and are medically fit to live and work in the UAE.

Establishing a Business in Dubai

Registering a company in Dubai can be done through resident registration with the local authorities, with the Dubai Department of Economic Development, or with one of the free zones located in the city. Dubai has more than 30 free zones that allow foreign investors to set up any kind of legally recognized business with 100 per cent foreign ownership. The costs of establishing a business in Dubai vary depending on the business activity and the location of the office facility, or the free zone where the business is registered. However, costs are between US$10,000 to US$20,000 on average. It usually takes between two and six weeks to get a company registered and up and running - the timeline can depend on the complexity of the ownership structure.

Banking in Dubai

All residents and registered companies in Dubai can open bank accounts in the Emirates using United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), US dollars (USD) or Euro. Other currencies may also be accepted by the UAE central bank. Many of the world's biggest banks have set up their operations in Dubai, whether conventional or private banks. Some have representative offices in Dubai as well. The Dubai International Financial Center  is one of the biggest free zones in Dubai and is home to European private banks operating in USD. These banks are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authorities. Residents will have the same quality of experience using banks in Dubai as they would internationally.

Among the Best Places to Live in the World, and Affordable too

Dubai residents are offered a high standard of living, and security at a very affordable cost, making the city stand out among other prestigious locations worldwide. Dubai is constantly evolving and changing, offering investors a diverse array of investment opportunities, real estate being prime among them. 

A Country that Promotes Tolerance

It might be a sensitive subject to highlight, however I am able to personally affirm that Dubai is one of the most welcoming and accepting nations I have ever encountered. Relocating family to a new place is nearly always met with challenges and concerns. In Dubai international visitors and residents can maintain their regular lifestyle as long as they respect the public order and the state's laws and regulations.

In 2015 the UAE introduced a new anti discrimination law. The law criminalizes any acts that stoke hatred or insult anyone through any form of expression. Penalties for violation include jail terms ranging from six months to ten years, and fines from AED 50,000 to AED 2 million.

Zero Income Tax and Zero Corporation Tax

Residents of the UAE do not usually pay income tax or corporation tax. Companies that do pay taxes operate within the oil industry or include the branches of some foreign banks.

Perfectly Situated

Dubai's location makes it an ideal stopover between Europe, the Far East and Australia. Dubai airport is known to be one of the most busy airports globally, and Emirates Airlines is ranked as one of the top five airline providers in the world.