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Company Formation in Dubai
Having the Right Team on Your Side
Knowledge, Experience, Integrity

Small or large, individual or Enterprise – it makes absolutely no difference. Any business formation in Dubai, or anywhere in the UAE for that matter, requires a Company that already has its feet on the ground, immense experience, and global expertise to make sure everything goes perfectly. Arqaam Global is that Company.

Getting a business, or a new office set up has a plethora of required details. Yes, the benefits are simply amazing here in terms of tax-relief, moving currency in and out of the country, repatriating your earnings without let or hindrance … But it is also a maze for Companies that are not familiar with the system, and going astray is inevitable, unless you have experienced experts to make sure you take advantage of every opportunity!


Dubai is rife with world class infrastructure to serve your needs.  Did you know, for example, that Dubai still manages to make the Top 10 in world Seaports and is the only non-Asian country topping the list after China on world shipping?

Dubai’s Jebel Ali seaport is the largest in all of the Middle East; it connects to over 140 seaports around the world, and holds the world record for the largest manmade harbour on the entire planet!

Not fast enough for you?  Dubai also has Dubai International Airport (DXB) the 6th busiest Air Cargo airport in the entire world!  It is so extensive you must fly above low-hanging clouds to get all of it into one image!  Dubai is the best of both worlds – offering both speed and economy.

Dubai easily and comfortably handles more than 90,000,000 passengers annually.  Not enough?  The new airport, Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), has five runways, allowing five planes to land simultaneously.  It is planned to be capable of handling 160 to 260 million passengers annually.  It currently supports 6,500 direct flights per week around the world.

Located in a single Free Economic Zone, it will provide logistics, residential and commercial facilities, as well as on-site manufacturing and assembly.

The simple fact of the matter is that if you do not know about Dubai, you do not know about Opportunity in the 21st Century!  This is the place where the rules work for you, not against you.

So Many Choices!

What sort of business model will you need to be effective?  It all depends on your primary activity, and may even be aided by forming multiple branches and divisions to make sure you get all of the advantages available to you.  Planning and execution is the key to success which is why you need Arqaam Global expertise and council.

Which sort of licences should you opt for?  Which would be the perfect jurisdiction for you?  Do you have a UAE native partner who can hold 51% of the company shares in order to gain some highly useful economic advantages, or would your business be better off in one of the Free Zones, where 100% foreign ownership is perfectly acceptable?

  • Where should your offices be located?
  • Who is your primary audience?
  • Do you need single or multiple warehousing spaces, or discrete Manufacturing and Assembly facilities for different aspects of your business?
  • Do you need easy access to air or sea shipping?

Do you want to start business in Dubai? Do you want to setup LLC company in Dubai? Or may be you want to setup a freezone company? All these questions and more can be addressed by our expert consultants, who are available 24/7/365 to answer your questions and offer advice.  We’ll take you from initial understanding to full comprehension so that you will have complete confidence that you are making expert decisions that will be the envy of others that struck off on their own!

This is your business – your livelihood – and it warrants your full attention. Stakeholders will appreciate your efforts, particularly taking the extra steps to get it right the first time. Effort wasted is money lost, and that directly impacts your bottom line.

And we know all about bottom lines, too!  Arqaam Global is one of the largest accounting, tax and business consultancy firms in the region, with international experience that spans the globe.  We have the numbers to back up everything we say.  You can’t do any better than to have your business setup and accountancy all in the hands of the same people.  Call it gestalt – call it synergy – but whatever you call it, use the potential of combined expertise to make sure your Company has every single possible advantage to succeed in the UAE!

What Should I Choose?

Would it be best to be an Offshore Company? Maybe a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the route to go. Operating as a Free Zone Company confers many advantages with tax-free status, and more. Let’s briefly look at some of the options more closely.

To begin with, every Company on the UAE mainland generally requires that one or more national partners have a 51% stake in the shareholding of the Company, unless the company is an international banking institution, is located in an economic free zone, or unless it belongs to the group of companies in the Oil & Gas sector, companies that produce gas or electricity, Oil companies with concession agreements, or companies involved in water treatmentdistribution, or transfer.

The choices begin with the five basic options of:

  1. Free Zone Entity;
  2. Permanent Establishment;
  3. Branch Office;
  4. Civil Company, or;
  5. Commercial Agency Arrangement.

The 51% ownership is not really a barrier – just a legal requirement – and control of the company remains in the hands of the LLC. The Sponsor simply receives an annual stipend for lending their character and assurances to your business for governmental purposes and does not participate otherwise in the day-to-day operations.

So, what are the choices?

Free Zone Entities operate under a licencing system, and must abide by the conditions of each licence. Licences can be issued for the following activities:

  • Trading, (class or commodity);
  • Industrial;
  • General Trading;
  • National Industrial; and,

Existing in a Free Zone means you:

  • retain 100% ownership;
  • pay no corporate taxes;
  • can move currency in and out, without restriction;
  • pay no personal income tax;
  • operate duty-free;
  • eliminate bureaucracy;
  • enjoy unrestricted recruitment; and,
  • benefit from strong, reliable infrastructure.

Permanent Establishments have 8 general categories, including:

  1. General Partnerships;
  2. Limited Partnerships;
  3. Joint Ventures;
  4. Public Joint Stock Companies;
  5. Private Joint Stock Companies;
  6. Limited Liability Companies;
  7. Partnerships Limited (with shares); and, since 1982,
  8. Establishments by GCC Citizens

Branch Offices have the legal authority and effect of the originating Company (parent entity), and are considered fully-fledged businesses.  Each Emirate will have unique legal requirements to licence a branch office, including (for example) obtaining authorisation from the Board of Directors of the company in its native country, among others.

Civil Companies are only applicable in Dubai and Sharjah, and are effectively licenced “Sole Traders”.  These companies are generally for professions, and not for trading.

And finally, the Commercial Agency Agreement occurs when a UAE-based agent (either a citizen or a 100% UAE-owned company) represents a foreign entity for purchases or sales, so interactions are indirect.  The agent is then paid a commission on all sales.

Free Zones

While the sheer number of required documents can look discouraging, that is why you need Arqaam Global on your side.  We know the system; we know what is required for each type of operation; we know how to get the job done … Read on and consider the possibilities without worrying about the necessary paperwork. That is our job!

Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA)

In addition to all the benefits mentioned above for Free Zone Entities, DAFZA offers a central Dubai location, world-class cargo handling facilities, and speedy 24/7/365 cargo clearance through customs. They also provide great administrative support, well-established links with Government departments, and access to 130 airlines connecting to 220 countries.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority

Dubai Cars And Automotive Free Zone (DUCAMZ)

This zone is the largest in the world for dealing with motorised vehicles. Its primary function is re-exporting used vehicles. There are three basic categories which include:

  1. Right-hand drive to service India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen;
  2. Left-hand drive for local markets, the Middle East, and Africa; and,
  3. Heavy, commercial, agricultural, recreational, and jet-skis.

If you’re looking to build a business in this area of endeavour, this is probably the best place to start! This zone is dedicated to simplified procedures for doing business. You can lease showrooms, workspace for service and repairs, offices and warehouses, all in one place.

Freight charges are low, and transportation and highway access are readily available.  We’re business friendly at the Dubai Ports Authority!

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Cars And Automotive Free Zone

Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ)

6,400 other businesses can’t be wrong! The JAFZ is the place to be! It has the world’s largest manmade seaport, easy-access to an enormous cargo airport, excellent roads, unmatched infrastructure as well as connections to 75 kilometres of Metro system and a planned railway system soon to carry 50 million tonnes of cargo annually! It has all the usual advantages of a Free Zone, low cost municipal services such as electricity and water, amazing administrative support, operational facilities for every need, a huge range of permitted businesses with minimal restrictions, along with plenty of businesses that are willing to cooperate and collaborate with you so everyone can grow together!

Read More: Busienss Setup in Jebel Ali Free Zone

Dubai Knowledge Village Free Zone (DKVFZ)

Is HR (Human Resources) your game? Are you into Consulting, Training, or Personal Development?  Maybe you’re into Assessment & Testing, or Content Development. Are you a Non-Profit Organization? Maybe R&D is your greatest strength! International Universities have made DKVFZ their base of operations, as have Executive Search Firms.

If your line of work has anything to do with increasing or improving knowledge, you have found your perfect place. Other permitted services include Hotelier, property management, and even leisure services. Come check us out!

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Knowledge Village

Ajman Free Zone

As its name suggests, the Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) is a free zone where businesses can be established in order to reap a number of cost-saving benefits. The AFZ was established in 1988 and its strategic location on the Arabian Gulf turned it into a business hotspot. Today, the AFZ has become a state-of-the-art business ecosystem that attracts foreign investment from all over the world.

The free zone is home to more than a thousand companies, and it is continuously attracting more businesses. Its location and the facilities that are provided make it ideal for new companies.

Read More: Business Setup in Ajman Free Zone


We can find you a reliable partner/sponsor!

JAFZA Offshore (JAFZA)

If you’re looking to incorporate an Offshore Company, this is a great place to do it. As long as you’re not into banking or insurance, your business can be licenced for any legal activity in the UAE, tax-free, when you’re based in JAFZA!

Read More: Business Setup in JAFZA Offshore

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

RAKEZ is one of UAE’s busiest FTZs. It is home to more than 14,500 companies, hailing from more than 100 countries from all over the world. RAKEZ provides a business-friendly environment where investors can establish free-zone and non-free zone entities.

RAKEZ attracts a lot of attention from all over the world for a number of reasons. It is located in the industrial heartland of Ras Al Khaimah. The economic zone is in close proximity to various ports, including Port Saqr. Businesses operating over here have very easy access to international markets. They also enjoy tax exemptions and customs relief. RAKEZ is divided into 6 business zones, each providing dedicated infrastructure and support for different businesses. This, along with a wide variety of business licenses makes RAKEZ an incredibly diverse business zone. One where businesses of all shapes and sizes flourish.

Read More: Business Setup in RAKEZ

RAK Offshore (ROC)

RAK is an independent area, not subject to pressure from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to alter its business regulations. It is also not blacklisted as a tax-haven!

It’s a great place for foreign companies to establish a presence as an International Company, in a zero-crime-rate area. One of the best benefits is that there is no need for an office or physical address, nor for an actual presence in RAK in order to incorporate – it can all be accomplished remotely. With special permissions, you can even carry out banking and insurance activities.

Read More: Business Setup in RAK Offshore

Dubai International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) (free zone)

Do you create media in Graphic Arts services? Are you associated with printing and publishing? Are you a movie maker? Do you provide services to media production companies, such as legal, auditing or accounting? The following three companion zones offer services that cover virtually all aspects of media.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai International Media Production Zone

Dubai Media City (DMC) (free zone)

This media community has 2,000 media companies, both international and regional, with over 20,000 people ready to support your endeavour. Are you into Advertising, Communications, Marketing, Event Management, or support services? Here you will find the right people for the job, and low business costs.

Read More: Business Setp in Dubai Media City

Dubai Internet City (DIC) (free zone)

Are you an entrepreneur with a great networking idea, or a huge security firm looking for a hub? You can manage retail here, bring a fresh new software idea that we can help you turn into a business, develop internet content, or turn your current business into an international giant. Come see what we can do for you.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Internet City

Dubai Studio City (DSC) (free zone)

Are you a movie maker, produce television or radio shows, provide support services for Film, TV, or Radio Production?  Are you in the Music or Entertainment Industry? Do you run Themed amusement and Recreation facilities? There are 275 companies, supported by a workforce of 2,500 people, ready with huge sound stages, water tanks, backlots, recording studios, production offices and everything needed to produce your media.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Studio City

Specialised Zones
Dubai Gold and Diamond Park (DGDP) (free zone)

This is an extension of JAFZ (above), dedicated to a particular area of endeavour, in this case, gold and diamonds. Its featured attraction is the tourist drawing mall where hundreds of jewellers and gold merchants offer unique wares. Guests can obtain custom work here with ease. Overall it represents a great opportunity for retail, manufacture, or particularly, investment.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Gold & Diamond Park

Dubai Textile City (DTC) (free zone)

According to business analysts, textiles are going to be the next strongest industry for this area, after the oil industry. Offices and showrooms are easily available, as well as warehousing and long-term storage. This zone even provides Custom Duties exemptions, no personal taxes, and no corporate taxes.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Textile City

Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) (free zone)

What is your product? Is it tea, gold & precious metals, energy, jewels, cotton? The DMCC provides high-tech security, vaults, assaying facilities, nearby shipping, and secure delivery services to over 8,700 companies. This crime-free area is the perfect host for your valuable commodity trading/wholesaling venture!

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) (free zone)

The DIFC has a unique and separate legal system to maintain integrity of all business transactions here. Unlike any other area, this zone uses English Common Law to resolve issues between companies, and the DIFC has exclusive authority over the companies registered within it. This makes the DIFC a very attractive area for international companies more used to ECL as a dispute resolving mechanism.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) (free zone)

Maritime-based businesses appreciate the DMCA as the world’s most comprehensive maritime agency. The manmade peninsula clusters similar businesses together, fostering networking, cooperation, mutual support and growth. The DMCA really stresses maritime safety, making this a genuine safe harbour!

Top-rated infrastructure makes the DMCA a world-leading facility with great communications, transportation, and energy availability to make operations simple and easy. Labour laws are designed to help you get the job done, not tie you up in red tape.

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Maritime City

Dubai Outsourcing Zone (DOZ) (free zone)

The DOZ provides support services for all outsourcing ventures. This zone is administered by the Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA). This is where people call for Customer Care services, from all around the world. This zone manages Transactions Processing for the world, IT services, Documents Management, Consultation, Operations Support, and even Property Management Services…

Read More: Business Setup in Dubai Oursourcing Zone

International Humanitarian City (IHC)

If your service is Humanitarian in nature, designed to help the less fortunate, does not have a political or religious agenda, where most funding comes in the form of contributor donations (excluding governments), then this is the area for you. It must be a democratic organisation, respectful of human rights, responsible to both contributors and those assisted, whose aim is primarily aid in a non-discriminatory fashion.

Read More: Business Setup in Internaional Humanitarian City

Creating Your Business Entity
Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The LLC is what most people or companies choose when forming a business in the UAE.  It is versatile and opens up the entire UAE market, plus many surrounding markets. It is an excellent choice. Licencing in the area is managed by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Read More: LLC Company Formation in Dubai

Foreign Company Branch in Dubai/UAE (FC)

Establishing an office of a Foreign Company generally falls under the area of forming a Branch Office, as discussed above.  In some cases you may wish to form a Representative Office, which can promote your company, but is not authorised to conduct business on its behalf.

Read More: Setup Branch of a Foreign Company in Dubai

Local Company Branch in Dubai/UAE (LC)

Sometimes a Local Company will want to do business in a Free Zone. This is similar to registering a business for the first time, and licencing requirements must be considered to assure that business activities are permitted under the appropriate licence.

Read More: Setup Branch of a Local Company in Dubai

The Takeaway

It may seem complex and intimidating, but Arqaam Global is here to assist you and make sure that everything runs smoothly. While the above-mentioned details serve as general guidelines, there are many more details. Our Expert Team of Professional Consultants is based in Dubai and able to talk to you 24/7/365, and to meet with you, to assist in exercising due diligence, and to provide specific guidance.

A dedicated Partner can be reached at: or at +971 50 395 8931
to discuss your requirements for company formation in detail.
We will ensure that you are served in the best way.

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