Why not weather the economic downturn in the UAE?

economy UAE

The poor state of the economy has had many hard-working US citizens wringing their hands in despair as they search for ways to escape a downturn which seems to have been with us now for many years. Almost in desperation, many have looked overseas for economic salvation, to oil-rich Persian Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for example.

The UAE and other countries in the region have weathered the economic downturn extremely well, enjoying solid GDP growth figures year-on-year which many governments in the West can only but dream of emulating. It’s not hard to understand the reason why either, given the wealth oil brings them. But it’s more than just about the oil. After all, the USA is also an oil producer.

Rather, it’s about what you do with the wealth that counts, how you share it within the country. It’s also about long-term investment planning both in terms of infrastructure and diversification of the economy. To that end, the UAE has been particularly successful, turning itself into a hub for international trade, finance and culture. Little wonder expatriates from all over the world flock to the country in their tens of thousands every year, determined to grab the opportunities available by both hands and so improve their personal circumstances.

The overseas business community has not been slow either, long recognising the UAE as a land of commercial opportunity, too, with many investors and entrepreneurs attracted in part by the huge concessions on offer, such as a zero corporate and personal tax liability. Such concessions mean there are now thousands of foreign businesses from all corners of the globe successfully operating out of the UAE.

Of course, many companies have set up in one of the dozens of free zones for which the UAE is so rightly famous for. As well as the corporate and personal tax liability alluded to earlier, there are also many other benefits which make starting a new business in the country almost a no-brainer. Then there’s the UAE’s central location in respect of markets to the east and west, both emerging and maturing. That alone means potential customers in the hundreds of millions which can all be easily accessed. No wonder businesses see the UAE as a première location.

The advantages of setting up a venture in the UAE are indeed manifold with perhaps 100% foreign ownership allowed a particularly important one. However, that’s fine if your market is fully overseas. Servicing the country’s domestic market requires partnering with a UAE national. And under the rules, you’ll only ever be allowed to own a 49% stake in the business.

Some of the other free zone benefits include 100% repatriation of capital and income allowed; negligible import and export duties; no currency restrictions; quick company formation – days as opposed to weeks or months; competitive energy costs; and a large labour recruitment pool with little or no restrictions in terms of hiring and firing.

Add  light-touch regulation and a highly developed business banking sector to the mix, with familiar names such as HSBC, Barclays and other multinationals well to the fore, and you have the perfect set of conditions in place for any venture to succeed. So shouldn’t you be one of them?

Click here for more on the benefits of setting up a business in the UAE.

Author Bio

The article was written by Julie Cheung.

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