A series of events during the last period has changed the world business landscape dramatically from 2020 onwards. It so happens that when the global economies trip over the pandemic and other geopolitical hurdles, businesses find their safe haven in resilenced UAE. According to Dubai FDI Monitor, Dubai continues to maintain its leadership position among the world's preferred destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting AED15.9 billion (US$4.3 billion) of FDI capital inflow from 378 projects in the first nine months of 2021.
The current rising trend of business relocation to the UAE will continue in 2022. It can be attributed to many factors, including communication and technology, deteriorating political, social, and environmental conditions, and armed conflicts. This, in turn, would result in the development of a better and more trustworthy business-centered environment that moves the previously possible market constraints out of the radar.
Let's deep dive into the emirate’s attractiveness by clustering all sensible perks of relocating your business today.
A series of reforms in the UAE has improved foreign investors' long-term residency aspirations. Relocation has become a well-established mechanism since the majority of the population is made up of foreigners.
Professionals from any country with entrepreneurial experience are eligible to apply for a business visa. To apply for a business visa, a person must obtain approval from a UAE government-supported incubator (currently AREA2071 in Dubai and HUB71 in Abu Dhabi). Once approved, one will be asked to apply for a visa through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security.
- If a person resides outside the UAE, he will be granted a six-month visa to enter the UAE, explore opportunities and settle. Before the expiration period, one will need to convert it into a residence permit.
- If a person is currently residing in the UAE, he will be granted a temporary one-month visa and will need to convert it to a residence permit before it expires.
Anyways, one should request SERVICES1 in Emirates Towers, Dubai, or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security to convert visas into residency quickly and conveniently.
Green light for startups and SMEs
The UAE government announced the Entrepreneurial Nation initiative in November 2021. Its main goal is to make the UAE home for 20 start-ups worth more than $1 billion by 2031. The businesses that become part of the initiative will receive government support through a series of public-private partnerships.
The UAE also launched the National Program for Coders, which aims to create more than 1,000 tech companies in the country over the next five years. The country will also provide 100,000 golden visas to entrepreneurs, business owners, start-ups, and tech professionals.
Free economic zones in UAE offer foreign investors several tax benefits and customs preferences, such as no taxes on personal income and business income, 100% foreign ownership of company shares, 100% repatriation of capital, and profits, and low customs duties with many exemptions. The UAE is not tax-free, however. There is an income tax, but it is levied only on companies involved in the extraction of oil, gas, and natural resources. There is also a recently introduced 5% VAT.
All free economic zones have a high investment attractiveness. However, be aware that expatriates are not allowed to carry out entrepreneurial activities with clients and suppliers outside of the chosen zone. It is also necessary to take into account the requirements and nuances of each such zone.
Innovation & Infrastructure
Dubai is at the forefront when it comes to innovation and infrastructure facilities for businesses. Focusing on further business development, the emirate continues to develop digital infrastructure for future technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G networks, and the Internet of things.
According to the Global Innovation Index, UAE is ranked among the top 3 innovation economies in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region and 36th globally. Dubai is also ranked in the top 20 of the most innovative cities in the world.
UAE, particularly Dubai, continues to implement new strategies and policies that further build the confidence of investors and entrepreneurs, leveraging its unique value proposition as the City of the Future. Many start-ups are already successfully operating in Dubai's enabling environment today, capitalizing on Dubai's world-class physical, social, and business infrastructure to reach billions of consumers. Is it time for your business to relocate this year as well?
Note that this article is for informational purposes only. If you are planning to relocate to the UAE, you will need thorough expertise, customized solutions, and on-ground tailoring support.
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