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Updated time: Aug 31, 2018 , 15:24 (UTC+08:00)



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is situated in the Southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. In December 1971, the UAE became a federation of six emirates - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah, while the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, joined the federation in 1972. The capital city is Abu Dhabi, located in the largest and wealthiest of the seven emirates.

Since its Federation in 1971, the UAE has developed rapidly and is now noted for its modern infrastructure, international events and status as a trade and transport hub. It possesses among the highest per capita incomes in the world.

Law and Taxation

The UAE is not regarded as a tax haven in the negative sense of the word by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is in fact on the OECD "white list" of jurisdictions recommended for offshore investing. The UAE has double tax treaties with nearly 50 other countries. Those who establish an offshore company in the Emirates are in the vast majority of cases 100% exempt from UAE taxes.

If an offshore company conducts business directly or indirectly with the Emirate the company may be subject to corporate income taxes. There are also special taxes imposed on oil and gas producing companies. Branches of foreign banks are required to pay an annual fee. These taxable situations rarely involve offshore companies. A 100% exemption from taxes is generally the rule when an offshore business is incorporated in one the the Emirates' free zones. This exemption usually comes in the form of a "tax holiday" which in most cases can be in effect for up to 50 years, if not longer.

If residency is established it is possible to have a certificate of residency issued for foreign tax authorities. UAE regulatory authorities guarantee that offshore companies are given complete privacy, confidentiality and protection of assets information.

There are no withholding taxes, capital gains taxes or personal income taxes in the Emirate.

Corporate Requirements

Type of Company Limited by shares
Political Stability Excellent
Common or Civil Law Any
Disclosure of Beneficial Owner Yes
Migration of Domicile Permitted Yes
Corporate Taxation Nil
Language of Name English or Arabic
Corporate Requirements
Minimum Number of Shareholders / Members One
Minimum Number of Directors / Managers One
Corporate Directors / Managers Permitted Yes
Usual Authorised Capital Dhs 1,000 (minimum)
Minimum paid up Fully paid

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