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Business relocation to the Gulf

Business relocation to the Gulf

Dubai, at the heart of the UAE, provides the EMICapital team with the perfect launch pad from which to assist clients with their business relocation needs.

Why relocate your business to the UAE?

The Emirates are a vital location for a range of industries and activities such as:

  • Meetings and exhibitions
  • Travel (including tourism)
  • Corporate regional head offices
  • Finance (especially banking, insurance and reinsurance)
  • Media

In this sense, the Emirates operate like an entrepôt in the Middle Ages - a central business hub around which a huge world of trade operates.

The key appeal of business relocation to the Gulf is the openness of the economic climate where there are no taxes (except for oil extraction and some foreign banking operators) and no limit on profit extraction. However, there are other significant considerations which may benefit your business, such as:

  • Free trade (neither barriers nor quotas)
  • Free foreign exchange (no limits or controls)
  • Attractive import tariffs (4% across the board, with many exemptions to any charges)
  • Moderate land and building costs along with competitive energy tariffs.

Of course, there are other factors to build into your business plan. For example the World Bank’s 2016 “Ease of Doing Business” report ranks the UAE as 31st out of 189 countries worldwide for its attractiveness to businesses. The fine details of relocation however, are what make EMICapital’s expert resources so vital to business success. As the World Bank records, actually starting a business in the Gulf has become more technically complex in the past 12 months, with the UAE ranking dropping from 57 to 60. This is in part due to changes in Federal Law dated 1 July 2015, which requires some structural changes for already registered companies, such as the reduction in the range of company types available from seven to five, a stronger focus on Corporate Governance and mechanisms to make Initial Public Offering (IPO) structures more attractive to family owned businesses. EMICapital has revised its advice to clients relocating to the UAE to ensure they obtain maximum benefit from the new focus on streamlined governance in the Gulf.

Free Zone companies, which can be fully owned by foreign entrepreneurs, are an attractive option, but recognising which structure will best support your business model may require consultancy in depth - franchise operations, for example, may benefit from corporate structures that interconnect several forms of legal entity such as offshore, onshore and free-zone companies. Due diligence in this area not only makes the learning curve less steep, in ensures that the reporting process, which is increasing online in the UAE, is simplified.

There are two areas of business relocation to the UAE where the EMICapital team specialise in straightforward, sensible advice, grounded in long experience of life and work in Dubai, obtaining credit has been upgraded in the World Bank report, with a 15 point climb in the simplicity of credit transactions, and contract enforcement which has often been a complex process in the UAE, is also on the upswing. Because credit and contracts can bring even a successful new business to a halt, EMICapital specialises in building the relationships that ensure a relocated business can thrive.

Finally, family relocation can require more than just business support! From driving licence transfer to selection of personnel to support your business and domestic lives in the UAE, EMICapital has its finger on the pulse of community life and the social and cultural structures that underpin successful business relationships in the Gulf States.

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