The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a rising expatriate community of over 8 million people, and a large percentage of these expats have assets in both the UAE and their home country.
This blog is for expats living in Dubai or Abu Dhabi who wish to learn more about wills in the UAE. Writing a will is part of estate planning and should be included in your own financial strategy. As an expat, you will need to discover how the will writing system in your country of residency works, as there may be numerous variances from what you are used to.
Read on to discover:
What Are the Benefits of Writing a Will?
A will is a written document that explains your instructions and preferences for how your estate (money, property, possessions, and other assets) should be distributed after your death. A will can be as simple as a remark or as complex as a document.
If you have dependents, such as small children, disabled children, or elderly parents, you must write a will. Your will can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. It specifies who should care for your minor children or elderly parents and how your inheritance should be transferred after your death. In a difficult time, this makes settling your estate for your loved ones much easier and less stressful.
Wills do not need to be registered in the UAE because it is not required. In spite of this, it is highly recommended that expatriates living in the UAE or those who own immovable or movable property in the UAE register a will pertaining to their movable and immovable assets, including real estate, investments, and any bank accounts in the UAE. This is done to avoid the legal complications that the legal heirs may face on the death of a testator, which is the person who grants the will.
Five Primary Vehicles for Protecting Assets and Property in the UAE
If you live abroad in the UAE and own property or other assets, it would be in your best interest to establish a long-term plan to secure them. If you fail to do so, the Sharia law will apply to your estate which will limit the benefits your loved ones can receive.
It is essential to obtain legal advice when setting up any of these five vehicles. However, once they are established, and you have a long-term working relationship with an advisor with whom you can handle changes in your circumstances, you will be able to relax knowing that your UAE assets and property are adequately safeguarded.
Read on to examine the five types of protection for your property and assets in the UAE.
1. A DIFC WillThe DIFC Courts Wills Service was established to give the non-Muslim community who own assets in the United Arab Emirates the clarity and certainty they need to avoid applying Sharia law and transfer their assets in accordance with their own intentions after death. It allows non-Muslim expatriates to make wills under regulations resembling those of England and Wales and offers testamentary freedom for the Sharia law system of compelled heirship.
You can register a DIFC Will if you are older than 21, are not a Muslim, and have assets in the UAE. To draft your Will, you will require a draughtsman who is registered with the DIFC. You can transfer your assets as you see fit by registering a DIFC Will, and the probate procedure is also quicker and more efficient than it is for non-DIFC Wills.
The five primary reasons why non-Muslims should register their wills with the DIFC Courts Wills Service are as follows:
- Your assets can be transferred as you wish
Non-Muslim individuals with assets in the United Arab Emirates can register their Wills in English through the DIFC Courts Wills Service.
- Non-residents and residents alike can use the service
The registration of your Will does not depend on whether you reside in or outside the UAE.
- A signing process that is simple
In order to register a Will, the testator must go to the offices of DIFC Courts Wills Service located at Dubai International Financial Centre and sign it formally in front of a Wills Service officer.
- A clear legal framework
As in the UK, Singapore, and Malaysia, the DIFC WPR Rules are based on common law principles and legislation.
- Streamlined probate process
A Will registered with the DIFC Courts Wills Service requires the DIFC Court to issue probate grants and court orders for the distribution of estates and guardianships according to the requirements of the will.
As a result, a non-Muslim over the age of 21 who has assets in the UAE would need to prepare and register their Will with the DIFC Courts Wills Service if they do not wish Sharia Law to govern the distribution of their assets and the guardianship of minor children.
02. Abu Dhabi WillsThe Abu Dhabi Wills Registry was established by the Abu Dhabi Courts Judicial Department to give non-Muslims with assets in Abu Dhabi/UAE and/or children the option to register their alternative wishes instead of adhering to Sharia law.
The establishment of the Abu Dhabi Wills Registry is a significant step toward ensuring that non-Muslim expatriates’ intentions are accurately expressed in the documentation and registered while also providing them with the assurance that Sharia law would not be applied to their Abu Dhabi estate.
A non-Muslim expat who possesses movable or immovable assets is able to file a will with the court that has jurisdiction over each emirate of the United Arab Emirates or with the appropriate authorities in the United Arab Emirates in favor of his or her legal heirs or anyone else they desire to name.
03. GiftingIt is possible to transfer assets and/or property as gifts; however, strict legal procedures must be followed. Although you will need to pay registration fees, the transfer fee will be cheaper. Gifting property is one of the most cost-effective estate planning tools in Dubai for inheritance and succession planning.
In the UAE, giving property often refers to changing a name on a title deed so that ownership of the property is now in the name of the recipient. The purpose of this is to protect the property from regional inheritance laws. Gifts of real estate are given to either offshore firms or to families.
Assets can only be gifted to your spouse or children, and no transfers are allowed between siblings. Property owners may decide to designate a property to specific family members in order to avoid the distribution that would otherwise be required under Sharia law and to make succession difficulties simpler. To prevent siblings from inheriting a property, for instance, a husband can transfer his half to his wife. After a divorce, transfers can also be used to remove a spouse from the title.
04. Placing the property in a holding company or a trustIt is possible to transfer property and assets out of your ownership and into a holding company or a trust.
A trust is established by a settlor and is overseen by trustees on behalf of the beneficiaries. Therefore, you might create a trust to safeguard your assets and property for your spouse, kids, and grandchildren. Since a trust is not a legal body, the public cannot access information about it. For the benefit of the designated individuals, often known as the beneficiaries, the trustee will hold the trust’s assets. A trust structure is a binding contract that transfers ownership of the trust’s assets from the settlor to the trustee.
A holding corporation is a distinct legal entity. You can take over as the company’s largest shareholder, maintaining control over the assets and/or real estate it owns. Setting up a holding company can be a smart method to buy property in the UAE because it makes your life much easier by allowing you to hold assets in a secure and private manner while reducing administration.
It is also possible to obtain a residency visa more easily if you own property through a holding company in Meydan Free Zone.
05. FoundationsAs a civil law jurisdiction, the UAE allows the establishment of foundations. A foundation is a legal entity that holds assets on behalf of beneficiaries. Foundation charters and bylaws govern the foundation’s purpose, assets, and organisation. In addition to being registered as a legal entity and possessing its own legal personality, foundations have characteristics similar to trusts in that they can separate legal and beneficial interests. Foundations do not have shareholders, and through a foundation, the founder can continue to exercise control over the organisation.
A Foundation is an asset structuring option available to UAE residents and investors. DIFC or ADGM Foundations have several advantages, including:
- Corporation tax is not applicable
- A strong governance structure
- Founders and beneficiaries remain anonymous
- Setup costs are low
Why Do You Need to Protect Your Property and Assets in the UAE?
As mentioned previously, if an individual passes away in the United Arab Emirates without leaving a will, the estate will be divided in accordance with Sharia law, where the division of the assets is fixed. They will also not have guardianship over minor children. This means a mother in the UAE does not automatically get guardianship of her children if her husband dies without a will. It is due to such situations that make it is necessary for an expatriate to have a will before they pass away.
If you’re an investor or expat living in the UAE, you can secure your assets by establishing a DIFC Will, gifting assets, or putting them in a holding company or perhaps a trust foundation. A private client solicitor can help you set up the best vehicle to protect your property while you reside in Dubai.
Dubai, one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, has a thriving economy and an unrivalled property portfolio. Along with its luxury appeal, the Dubai real estate market also provides a higher return on investment (ROI) on properties than other major international cities, making it a popular choice among global investors.
After the long-awaited foreign ownership decree was passed in 2002, allowing non-UAE citizens to own property in Dubai, the city’s property market experienced a massive boom. It then enacted a new law in July 2022 to encourage the growth of real estate investment funds in the emirate.
Real estate investment remains one of the best ways to build wealth, and Dubai is now more profitable than ever, attracting investors from all over the world. Continue reading to find out if investing in Dubai property should be your next money move
This blog will cover:
Understanding the Property Investment Funds Law
A real estate fund is a type of mutual fund that invests primarily in securities issued by publicly traded real estate companies. A real estate investment trust, on the other hand, invests directly in income-producing real estate and is traded like a stock.
On July 19 2022, Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, enacted a new law to encourage the growth of real estate investment funds in Dubai. According to WAM, the law grants certain privileges to real estate investment funds as part of efforts to position the emirate as a global destination for real estate investment.
According to the Dubai Media Office, Decree No. 22 of 2022 applies to all real estate investment funds that are regulated and licensed by the relevant authorities. The Dubai Land Department (the DLD) has established a new register that grants registered funds specific rights to facilitate their investments in the emirate.
The main difference is that the registration mechanism now allows registered UAE funds to acquire and own real estate assets in areas of Dubai where foreign ownership is restricted. The fund will not be permitted to sell property assets in districts restricted to foreign ownership without first obtaining preliminary approval from the special committee.
In order to register a fund in the register, you must meet the following requirements:
- The fund is required to have a valid license from the appropriate authority.
- When submitting the registration application, the fund’s property assets must be worth AED 180 million (USD 49M)
- The fund must not be suspended from trading its shares in Dubai’s financial markets at the time the registration application is submitted.
- The Dubai Economy and Tourism Department requires a registration fee of AED 10,000 (USD 2.7K).
As soon as you submit your application, the DLD will use a valuation specialist accredited by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) to confirm that the fund meets the requirements. This step improves the overall transparency of the procedure.
As a result, registered property real estate funds will be able to purchase freehold, usufruct, and long-term lease rights in Dubai areas where foreign ownership is prohibited.
Conditions for Property Acquisition in Areas Not Designated for Foreign Ownership
The committee will take the following factors into account for properties located in non-freehold areas:
- The property is worth at least AED 50 million in the market (USD 13.6M).
- The property must have an investment yield that meets DLD standards.
- If the property is granted, it will be in accordance with the terms of Decree No. (25) of 2022.
- Other factors as determined by the DLD.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, introduced a new law in July 2022 with the goal of regulating the use of commercial land in Dubai by granting Musataha to develop property projects. The contract can be extended for up to 50 years.
Fees for Property Dispositions
The real estate fund’s property purchase, sale, usufruct/long-term lease, and waiver of right/benefit of the long-term lease are subject to the DLD fees listed below:
Purchase – A 2% registration fee is charged when a real estate investment fund acquires a property asset and registers it in its name.
Sale – A 4% registration fee is charged when a real estate investment fund sells a property asset in its portfolio and registers it with third parties.
Usufruct / Long-term lease – 2% registration fee when a real estate investment fund registers the right of usufruct/long-term lease
Waiver / Benefit – A 4% registration fee is charged for the waiver of a right or benefit of a long-term lease.
These fees apply only to the disposition of property assets, not the disposition of property shares by fund shareholders.
Benefits of the Property Investment Funds Law
The move comes as Dubai ramps up efforts to attract foreign investors, with real estate being one of the city’s focus sectors.
- The law encourages significant funds to invest in Dubai real estate and opens the UAE market to large capital infusions. The UAE has recently been identified as the preferred destination for millionaires looking to relocate. This initiative will further propel Dubai to the top of the list of wealthy investors.
- In addition, the new law would encourage investors and real estate funds to enter the market while increasing transparency and governance. It will help to regulate Dubai’s private development and free zones. As a result, as wealthy individuals flock to Dubai, this legislation opens up new opportunities for personal and professional relocation.
- By removing liquidity and asset management risks, real estate investment trusts should be able to attract 15% more investment while also supporting liquidity and market growth.
Why Invest in Dubai’s Real Estate Market?
The following are the factors that make Dubai’s property market appealing to international investors:
- Higher Annual Rental Yields
According to research conducted by the real-estate investment consulting firm Global Property Guide, the average yearly return on Dubai properties is 5.19%. Annual rental yields in New York (2.9%), London (2.7%), Singapore (2.5%), and Hong Kong (2.4%) are all significantly higher. With the rise in real estate values post-Covid, Dubai’s property market has much greater potential for even better returns.
- Lower Property prices per square meter
Property prices per square meter are lower in Dubai than in other international cities. According to the Global Property Guide, the cost per square meter for a 120 square meter apartment in Dubai is US $5,918 compared to Hong Kong (US $28,570) and London (US$ 26,262), New York ($17,191), Geneva ($16,467), Tokyo ($16,322), Paris ($15,867), and Berlin ($7,325). It is also significantly cheaper to buy a home in Dubai than in other international cities.
- Zero Property Tax
In Dubai, there is no tax on property purchases or income tax returns. According to the International Tax Competitiveness Index, the burden of the property tax rate is higher in other countries such as the United Kingdom (2.53%), France (1.70%), Greece (1.50%), Iceland (1.48%), and Italy (0.71%).
The UAE is one of the safest regions in the world, making it a popular place to invest. The UAE was ranked the world’s second safest country in 2021, according to Global Finance, compared to Germany (ranked 20th), Japan (ranked 22nd), the United Kingdom (ranked 38th), France (ranked 57th), and the United States (ranked 71st). In terms of Law and Order, the UAE was ranked 10th in the 2019 Gallup Global Law and Order Index.
- Residency Visa
In order to make its real estate sector more appealing to global investors, the UAE government has implemented new visa laws linked to property investment that provides a fast track to residency (subject to certain conditions).
- Higher Annual Rental Yields
Why Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is a thriving, centrally located economic district with one of the region’s most prestigious business addresses.
We provide our clients with a variety of innovative investment and lifestyle benefits in a safe, regulated environment that promotes productivity. And we can assist you in joining them as well. Our knowledgeable team can help you through the entire company formation process, from registering your company name to managing your LLC license and visa applications. Speak to us today.
Retail, whether traditional or online, is something that Dubai embraces and incentivises. Therefore, it is no surprise that the UAE’s eCommerce market size, anticipated to be worth $ 17 billion by 2025, is still in ascendance and we can expect exponential growth for the foreseeable future.
The GCC’s eCommerce market has been transforming the dynamics of consumer behaviour and business models, and Noon.com has been dedicated to developing and extending the region’s online retail sector since its inception. Providing entrepreneurs with a quick and easy way to get their products in front of a huge number of potential clients, Noon.com has also been leveraging its region’s growing need for convenient online shopping.
There are a few requirements you should be aware of if you want to sell products on Noon in the United Arab Emirates. This blog will cover:
Benefits Of Selling On Noon
One of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the UAE, Noon.com has millions of shoppers accessing the site every day. This means that setting up an eCommerce business in Dubai and selling on this site is a lucrative business opportunity.
The following are some of the benefits of selling on Noon.com, whether you’re an eCommerce startup, a drop seller, or someone with a bricks-and-mortar store that would like to start selling online:
Reach Millions Of Customers:
Marketing in an entirely new market is a challenge and Noon.com provides you with valuable exposure in the new market. Aside from being featured in the relevant category on the website with your product, your company gains online momentum by being in the side and bottom bars that display similar products. Reaching out to potential customers in this manner is preferable to spending money on aggressive and ineffective marketing methods such as pop-up advertising, and you will receive this effective publicity and coverage for a fraction of the cost of standalone promotions.
Gain Customer Trust:
The first thing an online store needs in a new market is a good reputation and the trust of its customers. Customers are wary of new initiatives and sellers, preferring to stick with long-term merchants. If you don’t want to spend your time attempting to build a reputation while working on one-time orders, Noon.com is the place to start your eCommerce business.
Grow Your Brand:
Adding a new country to your market is no easy undertaking, from purchasing offices and warehouses to employing local workers and dispatching managers and supervisors to the region. Meydan FZ can help you settle into the UAE, while Noon.com allows you to develop your eCommerce business by utilising its warehouses and vast operational setup.
If you use Fulfilled by Noon, you won’t have to pay expensive depot fees in Emirates. It operates similarly to FBA in that you give your products to Noon and it handles the rest—from packing to shipping.
Obtain An Online Presence:
Noon Marketplace provides online businesses with the ability to gain significant exposure to potential customers in a highly effective manner.
When it comes to increasing brand awareness, the eCommerce platform has a domino effect. Being exposed on Noon can help businesses gain more digital foot traffic to their websites/eCommerce platforms, and the much-needed trust factor opens the door to increased client acquisition, engagement, and retention.
Noon charges a minimal sales commission on any items purchased through their website. Depending on the product, this can range from 4% to 27%. Home appliances are subject to a 4% sales fee, while clothes and footwear are subject to a 27% commission.
If you use Noon’s services and facilities, there may be additional expenses. Shipping and handling are calculated as a proportion of the overall sale price, which is often approximately 10%. A monthly storage cost of AED 0.2 to AED 5 is also charged, depending on the products.
Reach New Markets:
Noon.com made its debut in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Dec. 2017 with a $1 billion investment by Emaar Properties, ushering in the era of digitization. In Feb. 2019, Noon was catering to Egypt, hosting over 20 million products in its own massive warehouse, and after collaborating with eBay, it now brings global products to MENA.
Noon has partnered with small and medium local businesses, dealers, and suppliers for years, so it would be an understatement to suggest that Noon serves as a springboard for many new regional brands.
Selling and expanding through Noon has advantages for any small and medium-sized internet business. The e-commerce platform has made sure that the platform is easy to use, so anyone can become a vendor on Noon within 48 hours.
Similarly, the payment process is rather simple. You may expect to get your revenue every week, with no delays or deferred payments. With such easy sailing on Noon, you don’t need to hire a single person to handle problems at the end of Noon – you can easily incorporate that into your multitasking.
Steps To Get Started Selling On Noon
In order to start selling on Noon.com, you need to follow these steps:
The first step is to have a valid trading licence and to be a registered company in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Those who already hold a licence must create an account on Noon.com, submit copies of all relevant paperwork, and pay a nominal fee known as a Noon seller fee.
Once you have completed the documentation process, you must wait a week for the Noon seller support team to examine and validate the information you provided and assist you with any Noon seller training that is required.
You will need to provide legitimate bank account information, such as IBAN and SWIFT numbers, as well as the below details on a signed and stamped company letterhead:
- The company’s legal name
- Bank branch
- Store currency (once chosen, it wouldn’t be possible to change it in the future)
- A Cancelled Cheque (It must have IBAN number and account number, if not, then Noon bank form must be provided signed and stamped Noon Bank form).
- In order to sell products related to Health & Beauty, proof of purchase/invoice, distribution authorization letter, or a manufacturer permit/certificate is required
Following account activation, you can select one of the fulfilment options provided by the platform, or you can use both methods as long as your inventory is managed separately for each option.
Noon B2B Fulfilment
You are responsible for the handling and maintenance of your products. You have complete control over your products’ pricing, processing, and quality.
Noon FBN (Fulfilled By Noon)
You allow the marketplace to hold your products in their own fulfilment centres, handle and maintain them, and deliver to clients directly from there.
The Documents Required To Sell On Noon.com
A valid UAE trading licence or commercial registration is the first and most significant document necessary to sell on Noon.com. You can obtain a UAE eCommerce licence through the Department of Economic Development or a free zone.
Once you have obtained your eCommerce license in Dubai, you can submit it to the Noon seller portal along with other required documents, including your passport or residence ID and a VAT certificate or a VAT non-enrolment form (if you are not VAT registered), and your store will be validated within a week.
How To Open A Noon Seller Account
To sell on Noon, you must be a firm registered in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt. First, you need to create a Noon customer account, then you will need to set up your seller store.
To Create a seller account: Visit Noon Seller Lab
Following that, you must provide copies of the following documents for approval:
- Trading license or commercial registration
- Passport or residence ID (both sides)
- Residence visa for non-nationals
- VAT certificate (selling on Noon is also open for non-VAT registered sellers)
It takes one week for your Noon store to be approved once copies of your documents have been received and approved.
What Kind Of Products Can You Sell On Noon?
Noon is a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace that sells to customers in the UAE. It provides entrepreneurs with a fast and accessible way to get their items in front of a huge number of potential clients.
You can sell at Noon if your company is in one or more of the following industries:
- Food and Drink
- Health and Beauty
Why Meydan Free Zone?
Creating your own eCommerce business that sells its products on Noon has never been easier. Free Zones are the best location for distribution centres of major eCommerce platforms due to the extraterritoriality principle that regulates free-trade zones, allowing for faster delivery of their items without incurring additional costs connected to import tariffs.
Meydan Free Zone, which is dedicated to making the aspirations of aspiring businesses a reality, is located 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport and offers easy access to Downtown Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road.
The premium company address will help you acquire top-tier clients. As a member of the Meydan Free Zone family, you will also have access to a fully equipped Business Centre and monthly networking events. Our Business Centre provides a world-class professional environment as well as an ambience that stimulates performance while maintaining privacy.
Speak to the consultants at Meydan Free Zone, if you would like guidance on how to start selling at Noon when you are setting up an eCommerce business in the UAE.
The widespread use of digital technology during the COVID-19 epidemic sparked an explosive development in the online education market, particularly in online tutoring. Rather than being just a transitory fad resulting from lockdowns and societal limitations, this sector is expanding significantly. Parents and students now widely accept online tutoring as a viable option for meeting the growing need for individualised education.
Online tutoring is a profitable full-time or part-time job for anybody who likes to educate and help others. Here’s all the information you need to start an online tutoring business with Meydan Free Zone.
In this blog, we’ll discuss:
What is online tutoring?
Similar to online education or e-learning, online tutoring is a real-time, one-on-one method of instruction that takes place via the internet. Unlike online education or e-learning, online tutoring requires a ‘real person’ to teach the student.
Online tutors will review their pupils’ homework, test prep, and class content. Some tutors focus on helping their students develop better study habits, while others train their pupils to take better notes or take more comprehensive exams. Tutors’ responsibilities might vary widely but often include organising lessons, giving feedback on student work, and keeping tabs on how well their students are doing.
Online tutoring allows students to choose their own pace and focus on the areas they need the most help, making it ideal for students with a wide range of learning styles and preferences. Online tutoring creates a system of education that is both efficient and cost-effective.
Online tutoring in the UAE – the opportunity
The online tutoring sector continues to expand worldwide, and the UAE is no exception. This expansion is due to heavy government investment and the growing adoption of online education in most educational institutions.
Parents in the UAE currently pay as much as AED 8,000 yearly for private education for their children on top of regular school fees. For many families, this cost is a considerable drain on their earnings. An economical online teaching system for children in the country has huge potential to become a success among tutors, students and parents.
Requirements to become an online tutor
There are certain prerequisites to being an online tutor. Most online tutors are trained teachers and experts in their fields. A student is more likely to trust you as a tutor if you have one of the following on your list of credentials:
- A teaching certificate or experience in teaching
- Master’s degree or PhD
- Specialisation in a particular field
Although certification is not essential to work as a tutor, it might increase your chances of being hired at a high salary or charging more for your services. Several organisations provide accredited certification if you wish to get certified as a tutor.
Figuring out demand
How do you figure out what type of tutors are in demand? To get started, compile a list of the classes you are qualified to teach. For instance, if you can teach anyone English, list the courses you can teach and whom you can teach them to.
Once you have done that, you can narrow it down further based on niches, for example, by level – an English tutor for elementary, middle, high school, or college students. You can do it by subject – English literature or English creative writing tutor. You can even combine the two and be a tutor for English literature for high school students. You can also tutor based on exam or certification – English tutor for SATs, IETLS, or TOFEL.
The next step is to scour Google for more specific terms. Enter ‘English tutor for’ into the search engine to see what pops up as suggested queries. Now that you know what people are looking for, these might give you some ideas. You may try out several permutations by cycling through the letters of the alphabet. If you use Google’s alphabet search, you can find a wide variety of niches you had not thought of before.
You now have an extensive list of in-demand specialised topics and a rough understanding of the levels involved – elementary, middle, high school, and college. Next, you should start getting rid of some niches that are not as interesting as they were when you wrote them down or do not seem to be in high demand.
You can do this by using the search option on the tutor websites. The results page shows an estimate of the number of tutors available for ‘English’ overall. You can further filter the results by looking at the prices, the number of reviews, and hours taught to determine what subjects and tutors are in demand.
After reviewing the available niches, you should cross out the ones with insufficient potential students or too many competitors. Ideally, at the end of this process, you should have five to seven specialisations you can successfully pursue.
How to tutor online?
In today’s online tutoring classes, teachers and students have access to everything they need, making it possible to conduct individual or group lessons. During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to do the following:
- Access sessions on any device.
- Commence a real-time video conference.
- Take the student through the lesson step by step while simultaneously seeing what you are doing.
- An advanced digital whiteboard allows users to write, type, erase, and draw using various colored pens and editing tools. Many tutoring services provide a trial period when you may use their virtual whiteboard service.
- Engage in conversation with each other with the highest possible quality of sound and video.
- Communicate with one another via the use of various instant messaging apps.
- Easily copy and distribute your data.
How to attract more students
Once your tutor profile is verified and you have completed a few online sessions, you should consider these steps to encourage more students to schedule sessions with you:
Updating your profile
Consider the search phrases or terms your potential students use to find their ideal tutor and include them in your profile. As this is one-on-one tutoring, you must add a video message to your profile. A video adds more value than a standard content profile as it gives your students a preview of you and how well you can communicate.
Get students’ feedback and rating
The best time to ask students for feedback is immediately after the class. Your chances of making it to the front search page increase proportionally with the number and quality of reviews and ratings you have received. Also, ensure your tutoring profile prominently displays your rating and feedback.
Availability is key
For many students, tutor availability is a significant challenge. They will not schedule appointments with you if your schedule does not work for them. Always remember your potential students’ time zone and work around that.
Steps to get a business license for your online tutoring business
Getting a license in Meydan Free Zone is a simple process. To apply, you must complete the formalities on our website, which are as follows.
- Step 1: You must submit a completed Know Your Customer (KYC) form with your application.
- Step 2: Wait for the necessary government and security permissions, which typically come through in 24 to 48 hours.
- Step 3: You receive your license.
Why Meydan Free Zone?
At Meydan Free Zone, our goal is to help set up companies and turn them into successful enterprises. Our consultants will support you with all aspects of your business setup in Dubai, so you can focus on teaching online and earning money.
One of the benefits of opening your company with Meydan Free Zone is getting a premier location for a business address. Located in The Meydan Hotel, Meydan Free Zone is 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport and has quick access to Downtown Dubai, Dubai Media City, and Sheikh Zayed Road. Furthermore, a prestigious business address presents a high-end status and can help get top-of-the-line clients.
Being a member of the Meydan Free Zone family, you also got access to a fully equipped Business Centre and monthly networking events. Our Business Centre has a world-class professional environment and an ambiance that inspires performance and provides privacy. In addition, you can also take advantage of our exceptional offers for F&B and stay at The Meydan Hotel if needed.
Imagine a marketplace in the UAE that almost half of the population visits regularly. This would surely be the place to set up your shop if you wanted to sell products. Perhaps you thought we were referring to the Dubai Mall (the world’s largest). Instead, we’re thinking of Instagram, the social media app that doubles up as a shopping platform. Over 45% of the UAE population browses the platform regularly.
Instagram makes it easy to sell goods, which is a fantastic place for your business to launch an online presence. In this blog, we get expert tips from Rawan Kayat, Head of Content at Zbooni, who provide tools and solutions that support businesses with payment on various digital platforms, including social media. We also describe other ways to sell on Instagram:
Expert Advice From Rawan Kayat Of Zbooni
Rawan, Head of Content at Zbooni, answers your key questions about selling on Instagram.
Do I Need A Business License To Sell On Instagram?
In the UAE, you need a business license to sell anywhere. The good thing is it is now easier to get one. Zbooni has partnered up with Meydan Free Zone to make obtaining licenses seamless, easier and faster.
Can I Make Money With 1,000 Instagram Followers?
Yes, you can! Every follower is a potential customer if you are communicating the right thing. Sometimes starting with a small community is even better because you can quickly respond to questions on chat and take the conversation further by showing real engagement with your potential clients. You can also convert that conversation into a transaction by generating an order with a payment link that can be sent over any chat. With Zbooni, you can increase your conversion rate by 81% by creating an order in 10 seconds, sending it via chat and getting paid on the spot.
How Much Money Can I Make On Instagram?
The sky’s the limit – and we can help you get there. You can link your Instagram page to a store where people can view all your products and purchase from you. This increases the possibility of impulse purchases – and 81% of shoppers believe social channels help them make a shopping decisions.
For example, our partners put their Zbooni store in their Instagram bio. When this link is clicked, it redirects customers to a page where they can browse products and prices and can either check out on their own or click on a “Chat to shop” button that allows them to talk to the store on WhatsApp in case they have any questions, concerns or need any customization.
How To Grow On Instagram Without Spending Money?
There are four main things you need to be doing:
- Be consistent in posting and updating your page, and keep yourself informed. Currently, Instagram is trying to move away from still images to reels, so create your content accordingly. Instagram’s algorithm will push your content’s reach.
- Keep your customers happy because word of mouth is significant. People telling their friends about their experience with you helps you grow organically.
- Send free samples to influencers if that is a possibility for you. Most of them will publish their stories, which will help you spread awareness and gain followers.
- Be responsive by answering your clients’ questions by chat, whether on Instagram or if they redirect to WhatsApp. Remember that 53% of shoppers say they would instead buy from companies they can reach by chat.
How Do I Retain My Customers After They Have Purchased From Me On Instagram?
Retention of customers is as important as securing new customers. With the new era of social commerce, forget traditional re-marketing tools such as emails. A huge 70% of shoppers say they would only engage with personalized marketing messages – and messages have a 98% open rate compared to emails with only a 10% open rate. The best re-marketing tools are those that meet the customers on the channels that matter the most to them. For example, Zbooni is introducing personalized collections, a feature that allows you to curate collections for your customers based on what you already know about them and send those collections to them via chat.
Thanks to Rawan for these practical insights! Learn more about Zbooni here.
How To Sell On Instagram?
At Meydan Free Zone, many businesses working in our high-tech office spaces sell products on social media platforms like Instagram. Our experts support many at Meydan Commerce – a unique service that helps startups sell on e-commerce platforms. Based on this experience, we’ve put together the following tips to help you sell on Instagram.
- Identify your niche: A vital step in selling any product or service on Instagram is to figure out your niche and how you can differentiate your company. Instagram provides plenty of useful tools for figuring out what kinds of products and goods people are interested in, so use hashtags and find out more about what’s hot.
- Perform competitor research: As with any business plan, it’s imperative to know what your competitors are selling, how they speak about their products, and which hashtags and Instagram marketing techniques they use. You can then use this information as inspiration and figure out creative ways to differentiate your brand.
- Set up Your Website: To be able to sell any products on Instagram, you first need an online store through which you can sell your products. At Meydan Free Zone, we can provide plenty of help and support when building an attractive, easy-to-use and profitable website.
- Apply For An Instagram Business Profile: This step is free – you register your company with Instagram. At this stage, you can also set up an Instagram Shop, which will connect to your external website.
- Start Marketing Your Goods: Success on Instagram depends on your marketing savvy. It would be best if you learn how to take attractive photographs, use tools such as hashtags, and figure out the best time to post your content to get on Instagram’s Explore page.
- Create Shoppable Posts: A Shoppable post is a post where you show an image/video of your products and include a link where customers can buy it from your web store.
- Develop A Marketing Strategy: You don’t want your Instagram profile to seem cluttered with sales content, so try to find a balance between general branding and marketing posts and those more specifically about selling your products.
- Use Live Shopping: Instagram allows you to create Live Shopping events where you demonstrate your product in a live environment, and viewers can watch you describe the item and ask questions. This encourages much more interaction and engagement with you, letting your potential customers ask questions and, therefore, boosting higher sales.
- Use Instagram Checkout: Instagram Checkout is a feature that you can add to your Instagram Shop profile, allowing people to order directly from Instagram without having to leave the app. This makes it easier for people to purchase goods through their social media feeds and is especially helpful for impulse purchases.
Cost Of A Business License To Sell On Instagram In The UAE
Applying for a business license to sell on Instagram in the UAE starts from AED 12,500 at Meydan Free Zone. For this, you will receive your business license and use smart offices with 24/7 access and high-powered internet. You’ll be based in attractive surroundings, which you can use as a background for eye-catching Instagram photos (we are right by the golf course and racecourse, as well as attractive, landscaped shopping and leisure facilities).
What Is The Penalty For Selling On Instagram Without A Business License?
All businesses in the UAE must have a business license if they wish to sell products and services, and this includes businesses selling through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and other platforms. The UAE government has warned that individuals or businesses that sell products on social media without a license in the UAE could face fines of up to AED 500,000, according to the Khaleej Times.
Why Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is a fantastic location for setting up your company and selling products on Instagram. All our office space is furnished with high-powered internet, which is, of course, vital when it comes to selling products and services online. Since we are open 24/7, you know you’re always able to work and sell products to customers around the world. You won’t be short of attractive backdrops for your photos, as we are located in central Dubai, right by the golf course and racecourse. You’ll also never be far from attractive scenery, including Dubai’s iconic skyline and seashore.
In addition, starting an Instagram business at Meydan Free Zone will provide you with plenty of networking opportunities with other e-commerce and social media businesses. And, of course, you’ll benefit from broader advantages of basing yourself in a free zone, including 0% income tax, 100% foreign ownership and no VAT. Our consultants can support you with all aspects of business setup in Dubai, so you’ll be well placed to begin selling on Instagram and making money.
If you have an entrepreneurial mindset and a knowledge of e-commerce, setting up a dropshipping business in Meydan Free Zone can be very exciting.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the most internet-connected countries in the world and the leading e-commerce market in the Gulf Cooperation Council region. According to the trade.gov website, the UAE saw $3.9 billion in e-commerce sales in 2020 according to the trade.gov website, and this market is expected to reach $8 billion by 2025. These figures indicate that dropshipping could be a fascinating market today.
In this blog we will discuss:
- What is dropshipping?
- How does the buying and selling or receiving of goods work?
- Does it need a distribution network? Do I need to partner with a logistics company?
- What kind of financing is required to start a dropshipping company
- Dropshipping in the UAE – advantages & opportunities
- How to start a dropshipping business in the UAE
- Top five dropshipping suppliers in the UAE
- Do I need a license to start a dropshipping business in the UAE?
- Cost of starting a dropshipping business in the UAE
- How to grow a dropshipping business
- Is dropshipping legal in the UAE?
- Why choose Meydan Free Zone for your UAE dropshipping business?
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model where the vendor does not hold any stock themselves. Instead, they display products on their website, and ask their supplier/the manufacturer to ship the product directly to their customers.
How Does The Buying And Selling Or Receiving Of Goods Work?
Put simply; a drop shipping business owner is a ‘middleman’. Your role is to find exciting products to sell online and market them to customers. You take customer payments and then pass the order to the supplier while retaining a share of the profit.
Most dropshippers begin by building a website targeted at a specific audience. They then seek products for sale on large B2B marketplaces (such as AliExpress). The dropshipper then agrees on a deal with suppliers of each product they sell, whereby the supplier will deal with order fulfilment. This approach benefits both parties; the supplier may not know the dropshipper’s market so that they can find new markets for their products. It also benefits the dropshipper since they do not need to hold large amounts of stock.
Does It Need A Distribution Network? Do I Need To Partner With A Logistics Company?
No, the dropshipper does not need to set up a distribution network themselves – the manufacturer will take care of this. The customer can choose what type of shipping they want and pay for this themselves.
It is sensible to verify that the manufacturer can deliver products in a reasonable timeframe. If it’s going to take weeks to ship orders placed through your website, customers may be unhappy, and either request a refund or they may not purchase from you again.
What Kind Of Financing Is Required To Start A Dropshipping Company?
The main costs involved in starting a dropshipping company in Dubai are
- The costs of applying for a business license
- The costs of setting up an online store
Besides this, the costs of starting a dropshipping company are relatively low. If you find a successful niche, it can even generate a ‘passive income for you.
Dropshipping In The UAE – Advantages & Opportunities
Starting a dropshipping business in the United Arab Emirates could be very profitable if you have a good understanding of consumer trends, a sense of what products are likely to become popular, and a strong knowledge of e-commerce best practices.
There are several advantages and opportunities that come with starting a dropshipping business in the United Arab Emirates, including:
- Digital And E-Commerce Ready: As noted above, internet penetration in the United Arab Emirates is one of the highest in the world. At the same time, e-commerce has seen a big expansion in the country in recent years, meaning that people are accustomed to shopping online.
- Still A Young Market: While e-commerce is already popular in the United Arab Emirates, this is still a relatively young market and is expected to double in size in the next few years. This means that there are still plenty of opportunities for your dropshipping company to find its niche and become a real success.
- Geographic Location: The United Arab Emirates is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Dubai is also one of the world’s biggest ports and trade hubs. This means that your dropshipping business is truly connected to global logistics and know-how, so it might be quicker to ship products from foreign destinations to the UAE and vice versa.
- Business-Friendly Culture: The government of the United Arab Emirates takes a positive view of entrepreneurialism, and dropshipping is legal in the country. With a great quality internet connection and quick setup, starting your dropshipping business in Dubai is easy compared to many other places worldwide.
How To Start A Dropshipping Business In The UAE
Starting a dropshipping business in the United Arab Emirates, especially in Meydan Free Zone, is fairly straightforward – so long as you understand how the dropshipping industry works. Here are some simple steps to starting your dropshipping business:
- 1. Choose A Dropshipping Business Idea:
It is vital to find a niche for which there is genuine demand.
- 2. Do Competitor Research:
It’s important to find out how much your competitors charge, how they brand and market themselves, and what’s unique about them. You can then differentiate yourself, whether that is through price, quality, branding or something else.
- 3. Choose A Dropshipping Supplier:
Finding a reliable dropshipping supplier who can support how your business works and provide the kinds of products you want to sell is vital. Spend some time getting to know different suppliers and browsing the products they have on offer. Read reviews and speak with their sales teams before committing to a relationship.
- 4. Build Your E-Commerce Store:
Although it is possible to run a dropshipping business through websites like amazon.ae or noon.com, most dropshippers can make more money by selling directly through their website. You could use an e-commerce store-building website like Shopify to sell your products directly to consumers.
- 1. Choose A Dropshipping Business Idea:
- 5. Decide On A Business Structure:
If you’re basing yourself in the UAE, there are various business structures you could choose from, from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company. We can advise you on the most appropriate business structure for your circumstances at Meydan Free Zone.
- 6. Get Your Finances In Order:
To start a dropshipping business and become profitable, you need to monitor cash flow regularly and ensure that you are pricing your products at the correct price.
- 7. Market Your Dropshipping Store:
To get customers to spend on your website, you need to market your dropshipping store by using things like search engine optimisation (SEO), influencer marketing, Facebook ads and so on.
- 8. Analyse And Improve Your Offering:
Continually work to ensure that your business adapts and seeks new opportunities.
Top Five Dropshipping Suppliers In The UAE
There are many different dropshipping suppliers serving the UAE market, but our favourites include:
Do I Need A License To Start A Dropshipping Business In The UAE?
Yes, you need a business license to start a dropshipping business in the UAE. At Meydan Free Zone, we can set you up with a business license and supply you with a flexi-desk and a guaranteed IBAN, in addition to your business license (so long as you pass our security checks).
Cost Of Starting A Dropshipping Business In The UAE
The cost of starting a dropshipping business in the UAE with a Meydan Free Zone license is AED 12,500. If you are a foreigner and need a visa, we charge AED 1,850 for each visa required.
Besides providing a quick and smooth process to get your dropshipping license, we also offer many other solutions, including our Easy Payment Plans that let you spread the cost of starting your business. We also provide an impressive location in attractive offices in central Dubai.
How To Grow A Dropshipping Business?
Once your dropshipping business is up and running, there are several things you can do to grow your business, including:
- Monitor social media and dropshipping websites to discover new trends
- Work with influencers to promote your products
- Invest in SEO and digital marketing to win more customers
- Offer a fantastic service that encourages people to return
- Adapt your business with new products and marketing techniques to stay ahead of the curve
Is Dropshipping Legal In The UAE?
Yes, dropshipping is legal in the UAE if you get your business license from a reputed free zone like Meydan Free Zone.
Why Choose Meydan Free Zone For Your UAE Dropshipping Business?
Meydan Free Zone is the ideal location for starting a Dubai dropshipping business. We are located in the centre of Dubai, close to warehouses, logistics businesses, the sea, and the airport. We provide you with 24/7 access and an internet connection, which means you are perfectly set up for working with customers around the world and speaking to suppliers in different time zones.
We offer e-commerce licenses in Dubai, and our experts can help you with every stage of business setup in Dubai. We offer a range of packages for dropshipping businesses, including Flexi-desk options, which means you have everything you need to succeed in dropshipping in Dubai.
Amazon is by far and away the most popular e-commerce platform in the United Arab Emirates. According to research from the marketing consultancy Podean, 44% of UAE residents buy products from this global e-commerce website. This is a huge market, giving you direct access to millions of consumers.
If you are considering selling products on Amazon in the United Arab Emirates, there are a number of requirements you need to be aware of.
In this blog, you will learn about:
- Advantages of selling on Amazon UAE
- Benefits of Meydan Commerce
- Selling on Amazon UAE – legal requirements
- Steps to get an e-commerce license in Dubai
- Cost of an e-commerce license to sell on Amazon UAE
- How to open an Amazon UAE seller account
- Is it legal to sell on Amazon in UAE?
- Can you sell on Amazon without a license?
- Expert advice from Grow With Amazon
Advantages of Selling on Amazon UAE
Selling on Amazon in the UAE can be a very profitable and exciting business opportunity for entrepreneurs. Some of the key benefits of selling on Amazon in the UAE include:
WHY AMAZON UAE IS A GOOD OPTION
- Huge (and profitable!) market: According to the research mentioned above, 69% of UAE residents have shopped online recently, and Amazon is the preferred site for most. Indeed, the study also found that 40% of shoppers said they spend at least 25% more on this website compared to its competitors.
- Flexibility: Amazon in the UAE is a great platform to sell through because the company offers different ways of working with them depending on your requirements. For example, you could choose to have orders fulfilled by Amazon, or you can fulfill them yourself if you have access to your warehouse and delivery methods.
- Powerful tools: Amazon provides a fantastic suite of tools to help you sell more products, market them, and build out your seller pages, so they are more attractive to potential customers.
- No income tax: Amazon sellers in the United Arab Emirates pay 0% income tax on their profits. And, if you base yourself in a free zone like Meydan free Zone, you also avoid VAT and can have 100% foreign ownership.
- Anyone can sell on Amazon: Amazon provides an easy method for anyone to sell through the platform. Whether you are a major global corporation looking to sell your goods online in the UAE, a local manufacturer, or a solopreneur who’s spotted a gap in the market, all kinds of companies can sell their products easily through the Amazon website.
- Consumer Trust: Amazon is a well-trusted brand, so your customers will feel confident buying through the website.
- No infrastructure required: If you set up a store on Amazon, you don’t need to build your e-commerce website from scratch or deal with setting up a payment system. Amazon does this all for you.
Benefits of Meydan Commerce
Meydan Commerce is a unique solution that e-commerce businesses based at the Meydan Free Zone can use to give their e-commerce business the best start. Meydan Commerce provides you with several key benefits:
- Our experts can set up your Amazon store for you, making the launch process easier and allowing you to focus on managing inventory and selling products.
- We support you with product onboarding and listing optimization – which helps you familiarise yourself with how to use the tools.
- We also support you with product marketing and order fulfillment, which makes running your e-commerce business on Amazon UAE easier.
- Our experts can support you with Amazon Prime listing and delivery, so you can further improve sales.
- We can also help you with Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) approvals and shipping.
- Meydan Commerce’s experts can also help you with Amazon feedback and review management to ensure you get the best reviews and win more customers.
Selling on Amazon UAE – Legal Requirements
You also need to ensure that your products can actually be sold in the United Arab Emirates. Most products sold on Amazon UAE need product conformity certificates – especially for goods such as electronics, cosmetics, food and beverage, and jewelry. Be aware that certain products may be deemed obscene or blasphemous and cannot be sold online in the United Arab Emirates.
Steps to Get an E-Commerce License in Dubai
Getting an e-commerce license in Dubai is very straightforward with Meydan Commerce. Our simple three-step license application process is as follows:
- Start your e-commerce business at Meydan Free Zone
- Complete the application process through our online customer portal
- Receive your license and apply for Meydan Commerce
Costs of an E-Commerce License to Sell on Amazon UAE
The cost of an e-commerce license to sell on Amazon UAE starts from AED 12,500. Depending on your company’s visa requirements, there may be additional costs. Contact Meydan Free Zone for a fee quote to find out how much starting your Amazon UAE store will cost.
How to Open an Amazon UAE Seller Account
At Meydan Free Zone, our e-commerce experts can walk you through the process of opening your Amazon UAE seller account. The process is straightforward Getting started is easy and can be completed in a matter of hours by visiting https://sell.amazon.ae/
- Visit https://sell.amazon.ae/
- Select the ‘Sign Up’ button
- Fill In Your Details, Including Your Name, Email Address, And Password
- Provide The Business Information That Amazon Requests
- You Will Also Need To Upload Documents For Identity Verification
Is it Legal to Sell on Amazon in UAE?
Yes, selling on Amazon in the UAE is legal, but you will need a license to sell products through this website. You need to apply for a UAE e-commerce license, which we can provide you with at Meydan Commerce.
Can you Sell on Amazon Without a License?
No, selling products on Amazon UAE without an e-commerce license is not permitted. You must apply for an e-commerce license, which we can provide you with at Meydan Free Zone.
Expert Advice from Grow with Amazon
Grow With Amazon is a leading Dubai-based business that provides multidisciplinary e-commerce services for companies looking to sell online across the Middle East. We spoke to Hitesh (General Manager) about their expert insights for selling on Amazon.
What are the Future E-Commerce Trends for 2023 and Beyond?
Hitesh points out several important trends shaping e-commerce today. Most significant is that e-commerce sales are expected to continue rising in the UAE, so it will be vital for any retail business to have a presence online.
Consumer behaviour is also changing; the Grow With Amazon pair note explains that people now expect fast, convenient delivery. Indeed, same-day delivery could soon become the norm. Hitesh also adds that the costs of winning and retaining customers will continue to rise, so a smart marketing strategy is vital.
How to Pick the Right Product to Sell on Amazon?
Hitesh describes their strategy for selecting products to sell on Amazon
CHOOSING PRODUCTS TO SELL ON AMAZON
- Choose a feasible product type that has demand but where you can still differentiate yourself
- Choose product niches with healthy competition
- Figure out if you’re competing with Amazon – since they will always have the advantage
- Avoid selling big and heavy products
Amazon Vendor Central Vs. Seller Central – What’s the Difference?
When you sell on Amazon, you can sell to Amazon (‘vendor central’) or sell directly to consumers (‘seller central’). Seller central tends to give you more control of your online store. On the other hand, vendor central allows you to sell directly to Amazon, which takes responsibility for all the marketing and product management, making it easier for you.
How to be a Successful Seller on Amazon UAE?
You can use many tactics and strategies to sell successfully on Amazon UAE. Hitesh points out some helpful tips:
- Improve the number of customer reviews on your products
- Strengthen your Amazon SEO (brand name, product title, keywords, product listing description)
- Advertise on platforms other than Amazon to generate traffic to your product pages
- Run sponsored product ads on Amazon to increase conversion rates and organic search results
Should I Hire an Outsourcing Company for My E-Commerce Business?
Hitesh says outsourcing companies can provide several benefits when running an e-commerce business. They can support you in several ways, including product listing and optimization, social media and marketing, order fulfillment, customer service, and more. It’s also helpful if you’re new to selling online and don’t have the time to learn all the methods and practices for making a success of e-commerce.
Why Choose Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is the ideal place to start your Amazon business in Dubai. Our technologically advanced office space provides a comfortable and productive workplace where like-minded businesses will surround you – many of whom are already selling through e-commerce sites like Amazon.ae and Noon.com.
We are geared to support all aspects of e-commerce business set up in Dubai. This is why we launched Meydan Commerce, our unique one-stop solution for starting your Amazon store in the UAE. You can set up with Meydan Commerce for just AED 6,000, and our highly experienced e-commerce support teams can provide help with everything you need to succeed – from guaranteed listings to setting up your storefront and applying for licenses.
To learn more about Meydan Commerce and how it can help you sell on Amazon.ae, contact us today.
If you’re looking to launch a remote business or to set up your first company as a start-up, then you may well be considering getting a flexi desk license in a Dubai based free zone like Meydan Free Zone. A flexi-desk package is a great option for remote companies and start-ups, giving you a low-cost way to use top quality office space and get a registered address in the UAE – both of which are essential to starting a business and getting a license.
So, what exactly is a flexi desk in Dubai, UAE and how can you get one with a free zone license?
Difference between a Flexi- Desk & Traditional office
Flexi Desk with your Free Zone license in Dubai – What is it?
In Meydan Free Zone (Dubai) a flexi desk is a way of renting a chair and a desk in the co-working area of a free zone, it essentially means that you get access to space and facilities in a co-working area.
With a flexi desk license, you will be doing hot-desking. This means you won’t be given a fixed desk space each day. Instead, desks are available on a first come, first served basis. You will turn up each day and need to find a desk and office chair that is free, and then you set up your laptop and start working there.
You normally need to bring your own computer and cannot leave it on the desk overnight. You will also have access to other services in the building including things like:
- Internet connection
- Ability to use meeting rooms (you may pay extra to hire them)
- A registered office address
- A P.O. Box
- A phone number
Fixed/Dedicated Desk with your Free Zone license in Dubai – What is it?
A fixed or dedicated desk in Meydan Free Zone (Dubai) refers to a more traditional office rental agreement. With a fixed or dedicated desk license in Meydan Free Zone, you will know that each morning you have a specific desk and chair set aside for you in the office. Fixed/dedicated desks may be in the shared co-working space (so there might be people working on a flexi-desk license in the same room). Or you could be in a separated space where only fixed/dedicated desk companies are working.
With a dedicated desk you get all the same facilities as with a flexi desk, but you know that a specific area is set aside for your company. That means you can customise it as you wish. Using a dedicated desk in Meydan Free Zone also means that you can leave your computer and other belongings there overnight, without having to pack them away and take them home. You will of course have to pay more than someone operating with a flexi desk license.
The key difference between fixed/dedicated desks and flexi desk licenses is that dedicated desks tend to be the preferred option for more established businesses that may have a couple of employees and are gradually growing. A flexi desk, by contrast, is more suited to startups or for entrepreneurs who are right at the beginning of their business journey.
Fixed/dedicated desks may also come with more long-term contracts than flexi-desks; there may be the expectation that you’ll hire the desk space for at least 12 months (although each contract is different). Flexi desks may, as the name suggests, offer more flexible contracts.
Benefits of a flexi desk with your Free Zone in Dubai
Having a flexi desk license provides a wide range of benefits to entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in Dubai. These include:
- Ideal solution for start-ups: Flexi desks offer you a physical workspace that includes basic amenities such as a desk, a chair, a P.O. Box, a phone number and internet connections.
- The message it sends to your customers: If you choose a flexi desk at a free zone like Meydan Free Zone, your customers will see this address on invoices and other correspondence you have with them. Having a business address at a well-known free zone shows that your company is a serious, established entity. That gives customers confidence that you are more than just a side hustle or ‘fly by night’ operation.
- Use professional facilities: Having access to a flexi desk license at a Dubai based free zone like Meydan Free Zone means that you can usually use other facilities such as meeting rooms, video conferencing, printers/scanners, cafeterias, and other spaces to hold meetings with clients, interviews with job candidates, and to impress potential customers.
- Most cost-effective option: Flexi desks are the most cost-effective option for start-ups and solopreneurs who need a dedicated office space in the UAE.
- Networking opportunities: With a flexi desk license at Meydan Free Zone, you’ll be surprised how often you can have interactions with other businesses and entrepreneurs in the workspace – either by chance or during dedicated events. This gives you more opportunities to network and potentially find new customers or business partners.
- Social events: Being a solopreneur can sometimes get lonely, but if you have a free zone license with a flexi desk you can avail of opportunities to interact with other people working who are based in the co-working space.
- General free zone benefits: Basing yourself in a free zone like Meydan Free Zone also provides a lot of other benefits, including 0% income tax, 0% VAT and 100% foreign ownership. That means you can retain more of your profits and grow your business faster.
Flexi desk costs in Meydan Free Zone (Dubai)
The cost of a flexi desk in Meydan Free Zone based in Dubai is AED 375, with our business license at AED 12,500 per year.
With our Easy Payment Plans with both local and international banks, you can also spread the cost upto 12 months of paying for your Meydan Free Zone license. That makes starting up as a solopreneur a lot easier.
How to get a Meydan Free Zone license
Getting a Meydan Free Zone license for a flexi desk is very quick and easy. We have broken the process down into three simple steps:
- Submit your application with completed Know Your Customer (KYC) information via our easy-to-use online portal
- Receive security and government approvals
- Get your license issued with IBAN – typically this takes just four days
Our friendly and experienced consultants can help you with every aspect of business setup in Dubai and can answer all your questions to make the process as easy as possible. Join the hundreds of start-ups and solopreneurs already working at Meydan Free Zone – and begin your business journey!
*Meydan Free Zone flexi desks does not offer freelance license or freelance visa options.
Many of the UAE’s biggest and best-known firms – from Dubai Holding to Binghatti – operate through holding companies. But you don’t need to be a major conglomerate to open a Dubai-based holding company – even solo entrepreneurs sometimes choose to operate through this structure.
Holding companies provide an effective way for your business to manage its assets while protecting you from liabilities. Starting a Dubai-based holding company is also relatively straightforward – so long as you meet some key requirements.
Let’s learn more about the benefits of opening a holding company in Dubai, the process of setting up your holding company, and how much it costs.
- What is a holding company?
- Types of holding companies in Dubai
- Requirements to open a holding company
- Activities permitted for holding companies in Dubai
- Functions of a holding company in Dubai
- How do holding companies in Dubai operate?
- Benefits of opening a holding company in Dubai
- Cost of a holding company license in Dubai
What Is A Holding Company?
A holding company is a business structure that owns assets (such as property) and/or one or several subsidiary companies. The principal activity of a holding company is to own the businesses or assets in the group. It is a tax-efficient way for businesses to structure themselves if they hold a variety of assets and would like to limit their liability. You can think of a holding company as a parent company that has a controlling stake (up to 100%) in all of its subsidiaries and assets. This means that it is in overall charge of the group but does not get involved in the actual running of those companies or management of the assets.
Holding companies do not perform any other services or activities. They don’t manage the corporations in the group directly, nor do they administer assets or partake in any decision-making for the subsidiary companies.
Types Of Holding Companies In Dubai
There are two types of holding companies in Dubai. If you choose to open a holding company in the emirate, your options are as follows:
- Open a free zone LLC holding company in Dubai.. This is a good option for foreign investors who would like to maintain 100% control over the holding company.
- Open a Mainland investment company in Dubai. To operate as a holding company in Dubai mainland, you will need a commercial license issued by the Department of Economic Development.
Requirements For Holding Companies
Dubai holding companies must comply with all regulations relating to company law, as well as the following specific requirements:
- Appointing a management board that sets policies for how subsidiaries are organised
- Overseeing subsidiary activities for a management board
- Appointing directors for each of the subsidiary companies
- Verifying that the subsidiary businesses have access to the necessary capital to stay afloat
- Find ways to minimise the risk that the subsidiaries take on
Activities Permitted For Holding Companies In Dubai
Holding companies are restricted from performing the activities of a holding company. They can own assets, subsidiary companies, property, and intellectual property.
Holding companies are not permitted to partake in any operations activities, such as producing products, selling services, or directly managing assets. All these activities must be carried out by a subsidiary company.
Functions Of A Holding Company In Dubai
The function of a holding company in Dubai is to hold shares in subsidiary companies or to own assets. Business owners or shareholders often decide to set up holding companies because they provide a means to limit liability if there are any problems with their subsidiary companies.
How Do Holding Companies In Dubai Operate?
Holding companies in Dubai operate by appointing a board of shareholders. The board will decide on how it structures its ownership of its subsidiaries and vote on key decisions such as mergers and acquisitions and sales of subsidiaries or assets. It will also monitor the behaviour of subsidiary companies, checking in on their performance and overall financial viability.
Benefits Of Opening A Holding Company In Dubai, UAE
The benefits accrue from opening a holding company in Dubai are similar to those in other jurisdictions, but with additional advantages from basing yourself in the United Arab Emirates. Some of the key benefits of opening a holding company in Dubai include:
- No Share Capital Required:
If you base yourself in Meydan Free Zone, you do not need any share capital.
- Tax Efficient:
The United Arab Emirates is well known for its zero tax rates, and if you base yourself in a free zone like Meydan Free Zone, you will pay 0% tax and 0% VAT.
- Risk Mitigation
As with opening holding companies elsewhere, a Dubai holding company helps you to reduce risk. Your business won’t be liable for any risks or debts that your subsidiaries take on.
- Residency Visa Route
Meydan Free Zone license allows you to own property under the company structure. This is done so that in the event your other business goes bankrupt, your property cannot be seized.
Cost Of Starting A Holding Company In Dubai
If you own a business in the UAE and already have an existing visa, then you can open your holding company in Meydan Free Zone with the zero visa package, which means it will only cost you AED 12,500. However, if you need visas, you will need to pay an additional AED 1,850 per visa allocation.
Why Start A Holding Company In Meydan Free Zone?
At Meydan Free Zone, our experienced teams can help you with every step of company formation in Dubai. Many organisations choose to base their holding company in our free zone because of the speed at which we can help you set your company structure up. Thanks to our long experience setting up holding companies at Meydan Free Zone, we can form your business in just a few days – which is much faster than other free zones or the mainland, where the process could take as much as six months.
Setting up your holding company in Dubai means that it will have other businesses listed under its control. Even if one of those businesses were to go bankrupt, the holding company itself would be protected from liability, because a Meydan Free Zone license is a limited liability license (LLC). This gives you peace of mind that your assets and investments will be protected.
The United Arab Emirate’s free zones are one of the nation’s biggest economic success stories. Encouraging enormous amounts of entrepreneurialism and exciting opportunities, free zones have supercharged the UAE’s business environment since the first free zones opened here in the 1980s.
According to an article on Arab News, there were over 60,000 free zone businesses registered in the UAE in 2021 – a 4.4% increase on the year before. This shows just how popular Dubai free zones are.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a company in a Dubai free zone in 2023, read our blog to understand the key information you need to know about these entities.
• Can free zone companies do business in the mainland?
• Advantages of doing business in a Dubai free zone
• What is the difference between a free zone and an LLC in Dubai?
• Can a free zone company sell in the UAE?
• How much does it cost to open a free zone company in Dubai?
Mainland vs free zone: what’s the difference?
Most businesses in Dubai choose to either base themselves on the mainland or in a free zone. So, what is the difference between these two options?
Dubai mainland business
A mainland company in Dubai is essentially an onshore company that has received its license from the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET). All Dubai mainland businesses are allowed to trade anywhere in the United Arab Emirates as well as internationally, and they face no restrictions on their trade. You must also pay a 5% customs duty on imported goods.
Dubai free zone businesses
In Dubai, there are several well-respected free zones which are designated areas where businesses can avail themselves of specific advantages. These include a 0% tax on income, 0% customs duty, and 100% foreign ownership, without the requirement to find a local partner. Free zone businesses are allowed to trade with other companies in their own free zone and internationally, but they are not permitted to trade directly with customers in Dubai and the UAE mainland.
Can free zone companies do business in the mainland?
Yes, some select free zone companies can do business in Dubai mainland, but they will require necessary approvals from the free zone. To ensure their chosen business activity can avail this benefit, they should contact Meydan Free Zone.
That being said, many free zones do not permit direct business in mainland Dubai. They are only permitted to trade internationally or with other companies based in the same free zone. Non-compliance can lead to fines of as much as AED 100,000. However, there are a number of ways that free zone companies can trade with the mainland if they decide they would like to. These include:
• Find a mainland logistics partner who can move goods within the UAE for you.
• Free zone-based e-commerce companies can use a courier or delivery partner for delivering goods in the UAE.
• You can also set up a branch of your business on the mainland, through which you can trade with companies in Dubai (it must have the same name and activities as your free zone company).
If you base yourself at Meydan Free Zone, we can advise you on the best way for your company to trade with mainland Dubai.
Advantages of doing business in a Dubai free zone
Starting a business in a Dubai free zone brings multiple advantages. These include:
0% income tax
Being based in a Dubai free zone allows you to enjoy a number of tax benefits, which means you keep more of your profits. Business owners can enjoy 0% income tax rate and no customs taxes, excluding import products sold to the mainland. However, VAT is also applicable for business owners in a non-gated free zone, such as Meydan, who wish to do business with a gated free zone.
100% foreign ownership
Unlike mainland businesses in Dubai, free zones permit 100% foreign ownership – which can be more attractive for companies owned by foreigners.
Specialist support for your business
Free zones in Dubai are designed to be attractive for entrepreneurs, providing numerous perks and support as you get your company up and running.
What is the difference between a free zone and an LLC in Dubai?
An LLC operates in the UAE mainland and its structure is similar to a corporation. Businesses can conduct any business activity permitted by the DET and enjoy complete protection from liability.
On the other hand, a free zone is a special economic area in the UAE that is governed by its respective authority. Generally speaking, a free zone license does not require approval from external authorities. Other benefits include 100% foreign ownership, flexidesk and a specific number of visa packages.
Can a free zone company sell in the UAE?
Yes, a free zone company can sell directly in the UAE, provided they are not selling any physical goods. For example, a service-based company can sell its services directly in the UAE. However, a free zone company cannot work with government entities – without exception. A free zone company is not able to sell goods in the UAE directly either, though this is more of a grey area and there are several ways to get around this. You can begin trading with the mainland while still operating from a free zone by:
• Seeking out a mainland logistics partner to distribute goods for you in the UAE
• If you are running an e-commerce business, working with a courier or delivery partner who can deliver parcels for you
• Another option involves setting up a branch office on the mainland.
At Meydan Free Zone, we can advise you on the best option for your company.
How much does it cost to open a free zone company in Dubai?
The cost of opening a free zone company in Dubai depends on the number of visas that your business needs for its staff. At Meydan Free Zone, companies that do not require any visas pay as little as AED 12,500 to set up their company. The price rises for each subsequent visa required, with visa applications costing AED 1,850 per additional visa (although special rates are normally available when purchasing six visas or more). With our easy payment plan, you can pay as little as AED 1,042 per month and launch your business immediately.
Why choose Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is a premium free zone with a central Dubai location, a short drive from the airport and seaports. It is located in stunning surroundings, right next to the Meydan golf course and racecourse. With 24/7 access, all the technological support you need and a wide variety of comfortable office spaces, Meydan Free Zone provides you with an excellent place to begin your journey as a Dubai entrepreneur.
Our friendly and efficient consultants can help you with all aspects of business setup in Dubai, and if you need help with things like trading goods and services in the mainland, we can also advise you on the best option for you. This means you can grow your business without limits.
We also offer several additional services to help your business expand and grow, including Meydan Commerce – our e-commerce support service; Meydan Pay – a complete banking solution for your start up; and our Easy Payment Plans – which allow you to spread the cost of starting your Dubai free zone business over the course of several months.
Dubai’s property market recorded 43.2k transactions worth AED 115 billion during the first half of 2022. According to Zoom Property Insights, this marks a year-on-year growth of nearly 60 percent in sales volume and 87.8 percent in sales value. According to real estate insights, these figures are up 87 percent from H1 2021. Continuing the momentum of H1, the second half of the year was also robust. July 2022 witnessed 7,092 transactions, which shows a 63.56 percent increase compared to July 2021.
If you want to enter this exciting and rapidly expanding real estate market, this is the right time. Meydan Free Zone can assist you in obtaining a business license. However, Getting approval from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is vital when applying for a Real Estate license. Let’s take a closer look at what RERA is; how do you get your RERA license in Dubai, and what are the steps involved?
This blog will give you an overview of everything you need to know about RERA licenses, costs, and the process of starting your real estate company.
What Is RERA In Dubai?
Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is a regulatory body of Dubai’s land department. It works to regulate Dubai’s real estate market, providing a legal framework for all parties working in the sector, and it also enforces the rules.
This authority ensures that the real estate market operates smoothly, fairly, and effectively and that everyone in the sector follows the rules and meets standards. The program was launched in 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The existence of RERA means that the real estate sector is much better regulated than in the past, and it provides a level playing field where all businesses, customers, and buyers understand the rules. It also means that if businesses and real estate agents in Dubai have any disputes or problems, they can turn to RERA for more information about the rules and seek clarification.
RERA provides oversight of the following kinds of businesses:
- Real Estate Consultancies
- Real Estate Brokerages, Leasing Companies And Mortgage Consultancies
- Real Estate Management Companies
- Businesses Providing Real Estate Services In Dubai
- The Buying And Selling Of Real Estate
- Real Estate Promotion And Advertising
- Any Kind Of Dubai Real Estate Inspection Service
- Owner Associations
- Many Other Related Parties
Responsibilities Under RERA In Dubai
RERA has a wide range of responsibilities under its remit in Dubai. These responsibilities include:
- Licensing all businesses and organisations working in the real estate sector
- Licensing of real estate agents
- Regulation of rental agreements, advertising, and real estate exhibitions
- Producing studies and reports about the sector
- Promoting the real estate sector
- Communicating information about regulatory changes relating to the real estate sector to businesses and private individuals
Benefits Of Becoming A Real Estate Agent In Dubai
Dubai real estate is one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Commissions paid on the sale of high-value commodities are high.
Your interactions with Clients from diverse and multicultural backgrounds will provide you with many opportunities to develop meaningful and outstanding professional relationships.
Dubai’s properties are marvellous in terms of architecture, engineering, and art. The experience of seeing or being inside one of these buildings is incredible. Imagine yourself as a salesperson who sees and hears the same thing now and again.
Steps To Get A RERA License In Dubai
If you would like to open a business in the Dubai real estate sector, you must apply for a RERA license through the Trakheesi system online. At Meydan Free Zone, our consultants can provide guidance and advice on how to submit your application online and support you each step of the way.
The RERA license is just the beginning of your journey to becoming a successful real estate agent in Dubai. To get a RERA license, this is necessary to take the RERA exam and be certified. You need to follow a step-by-step process to get a RERA license in Dubai:
1. Apply For A Residency Visa
If you are not a UAE national, the first step to becoming a real estate agent in Dubai is to get a valid residency visa and Emirates ID.
The United Arab Emirates is a country of laws. Immigration, work permits, and visas are all governed by these regulations.
Residents and citizens of the UAE and GCC are exempt from this step. However, visitors from other countries must have a valid visa to work in the UAE. If you’re new to the country, we also have a detailed guide on how you can apply for Emirates ID.
2. Application process
You must apply for a business trade name that complies with the United Arab Emirates business naming rules, ensuring that it accurately describes what your company does and avoids using offensive terms.
Next up, you must submit various documents and complete your online registration. You will also need to collect signatures from all shareholders and obtain your payment voucher.
3. Register For DREI Certified Training And Take The RERA Exam
If you are new to the Dubai real estate industry, you may need to enroll in the RERA-approved Certified Training for Real Estate Brokers at Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI). This is a 4-day training course for potential realtors to get complete knowledge of Dubai’s real estate market, laws, and practices.
The classes for this course can be taken online or at the Dubai Land Department. You must submit a copy of your Emirates ID and residency visa to register for this course. You must pay an AED 3000 fee to enroll in DREI courses.
TOPICS COVERED IN DREI COURSE:
- History and Development
- The Business of a Broker
- Introduction to Owner’s Associations
- Sales Processes and Agreements
- Leasing Process and Rental Agreements
- Concepts, Definitions, and Market Players
- Legal Module
- Essential Skills
- Code of Ethics
For more information, you can contact the relevant department through the following details:
Address: Dubai Land Department, Baniyas Road, Deira
Contact number: +971 – 8004488
Timings: 07:30 am to 04:30 pm, Monday to Friday
The next step after completing the DREI training is to take the RERA registration exam. The exam fee varies depending on the last educational certificate you hold.
The RERA registration exam would cost AED 3,200 to those with bachelor’s degrees in any field. AED 6,300 is the exam fee for those who don’t hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Besides, if you hold no educational qualifications, the RERA registration exam would cost AED 15,750.
4. Get Your Realtor License And Obtain Approval
To start working as a real estate agent in Dubai, you must get a realtor license. After completing the DREI training and clearing the RERA registration exam, apply for a real estate agent license in Dubai.
The Dubai Land Department must approve the establishment of a real estate brokerage in Dubai (DLD). The DLD is the government agency in charge of all real estate matters in the region.
Also, a Certificate of Good Conduct must be submitted to the Economic Department when applying for a realtor license. This will be the most straightforward and shortest procedure if you have a clean criminal background.
After you’ve submitted these documents, the Economic Department will approve you and issue your license as a real estate agent in Dubai and a broker card within a few days. You must pay and receive your trade license before starting to work in your real estate business.
You can get your business up and running fast by completing these steps to get a RERA license in Dubai. The good news is that the process usually is relatively quick and straightforward, and with support from consultants at Meydan Free Zone, you can be confident you’ll receive your RERA license in no time.
Keep in mind that this license is not indefinite and requires periodic renewal. The real estate agent license in Dubai is valid for one year only. You have to renew it a month before the expiry date.
Documents Needed To Get A RERA License
If you are applying for a RERA license in Dubai, you will need to collect the following documents as part of your application:
- A copy of your residency visa, a passport copy, or an Emirates ID card
- Passport size photographs
- Proof you have completed your RERA certified training and your RERA exam
- A copy of your realtor license
- You may need to obtain a good conduct certificate from the Dubai police
- The NOC from your free zone authority if you are basing your business in a free zone
- Depending on the type of business you set up, you may need a memorandum of understanding signed by all shareholders
- A copy of your trade name reservation
If you are unsure about which documents you need to apply for your RERA license, our helpful consultants at Meydan Free Zone can check over your application and ensure you’ve got all the correct details.
RERA Certificate Costs In Dubai
The cost of applying for a RERA certificate depends on the kind of activity you are doing. Most real estate activities require an AED 5,000 fee to be paid each year per activity. However, some real estate activities incur higher annual charges.
Real estate activities with an AED 5,000 charge:
1- Real estate mortgage consultancy
2- Real estate consultancy
3- Real estate buying & selling brokerage
4- Real estate leasing brokerage
5- Real estate public auction organising
6- Real estate management supervision services
7- Real estate survey services
8- Self-owned property leasing and management services
9- Buying and selling real estate
10- Real estate services trustee
11- Real estate representative office
12- Mortgage broker
13- Real estate promotion trustee
14- Property inspection services
15- Real estate service centre
Real estate activities with an annual AED 10,000 charge include:
1- Real estate exhibition organising
2- Owner association management services
3- Real estate valuation profession licensing
There is also an annual AED 15,000 charge for leasing and managing other people’s property, an AED 25,000 charge for real estate development, and an AED 100,000 charge for real estate registration trustees.
Each license type has an AED 10 knowledge fee and an AED 10 innovation fee.
Why Start Your Real Estate Company In Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is the ideal location for a real estate business set up in Dubai. A digital free zone like Meydan free zone can assist you in getting your license to open a bank account without hassle.
We can advise you on all aspects of applying for your RERA license, and you can avail yourself of all the benefits of starting your business in one of the most premium free zones in the emirate. With 24/7 access, advanced technical support and 0% tax and 100% foreign ownership, you’ll have everything you need to tap into Dubai’s fast-growing property market.
Our professional consultants can support you with applying for a NOC from the free zone’s authorities that will allow you to operate your real estate business from our free zone.
We can advise you on all aspects of applying for your RERA license, and you can avail yourself of all the benefits of starting your business in one of the most premium free zones in the emirate.
With 24/7 access, advanced technical support and 0% tax and 100% foreign ownership, you’ll have everything you need to tap into Dubai’s fast-growing property market.
HOW CAN I CANCEL MY REAL ESTATE BROKER’S LICENCE?
You must submit your application in the Trakheesi (MyLicense) system. There are no cancellation charges.
DO EXPATS NEED TO COMPLETE A CERTAIN PERIOD OF RESIDENCY TO OBTAIN THE LICENCE?
As soon as an expat obtains a residency permit, they can enroll in the licensing process. There is no specified period of residency that they have to complete.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR GETTING A REAL ESTATE BROKER’S LICENSE?
It is not necessary to have a university degree if you plan to become a licensed real estate agent in the UAE, but you need to be at least 21 years old.
Dubai is one of the most popular places for British expatriates to live and work. With a huge British population, decades of cultural links between the UAE and the UK, and a great quality of life, it’s no surprise that hundreds of thousands of UK citizens have moved to Dubai. But can Brits do business in Dubai? If you are a British citizen who would like to launch your own business or start a branch of your company in the United Arab Emirates. In that case, you will need an understanding of things like visas, residence permits, and other information on how to start a business in Dubai.
Advantages of starting a business in Dubai
Tens of thousands of British citizens have set up companies in Dubai, UAE. But what draws UK entrepreneurs to this Gulf nation?
Top benefits of starting a business in Dubai for British citizens
Low or no tax: Dubai is a business-friendly jurisdiction – it offers very low tax, or indeed 0% tax for companies setting up in free zones. Compared to setting up a business in the United Kingdom, you can retain far more of your profits. If you set up in a free zone such as Meydan Free Zone, you will pay 0% income tax, retain 100% ownership of your business and are free to withdraw your investment whenever you wish.
Location: Besides being a major market in and of itself, Dubai is also a fantastic location for companies to reach many markets in the rest of the world. Dubai is a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, not to mention the fact that there are almost two billion people living within just a couple of hours’ flight of the emirate.
Hub of diverse industries: Dubai has an extremely diversified economy, with countless businesses working in sectors as diverse as energy, fashion, architecture, tourism, retail and so much more. This diversity offers enormous opportunities to start a business and thrive.
Strong UK connections: The UAE and the United Kingdom have strong social, economic, and political ties. As global allies and major trading partners, starting your business here makes a lot of sense.
English Widely Spoken: While Arabic is of course the official language of the UAE, English is widely spoken, which makes things easier for expats from the United Kingdom wanting to do business.
Can A British Citizen Do Business In Dubai?
Yes, British citizens can do business in Dubai and have been doing so successfully for decades. Thousands of British citizens are employed by companies working in the UAE and many have set up their own companies, retired here, or invested in businesses in the emirate. The application for getting a residence visa and starting your company here is relatively straightforward and the government is very welcoming to expats from around for world starting companies in the emirate.
If you are interested in setting up a business in the UAE, here are all the steps to launching your company.
- 1. Select A Business Activity
The first thing British expats need to do to start a company in Dubai is to choose the suitable business activity for their business idea. There are thousands of license types you can apply for, so there is almost no limit to what you can do.
- 2. Choose A Trade Name And Location
British entrepreneurs in Dubai must select a trade name that complies with certain rules. For example, your business name must describe what your company does, while avoiding any language that could be considered offensive or blasphemous.
You’ll also need to select a business location. Many British expat entrepreneurs choose to launch from Meydan Free Zone because it offers a 0% tax rate and 100% foreign ownership. Our location in central Dubai, close to the central business district and airport, means you won’t have to travel far for client meetings.
- 3. Complete Your Application And Pay Fees, And Open A Business Bank Account
Next up, you’ll need to complete your application form and provide a range of documents and paperwork. While the UAE uses English extensively, some of the paperwork may be in Arabic, so working with our multilingual consultants at Meydan Free Zone is helpful.
Once your license has been approved, the final step is opening a business bank account, so you can make and receive customer payments.
Entry Requirements For A British Citizen In Dubai
The entry requirements for British citizens in Dubai are straightforward. You do not need a visa to travel to Dubai, but you must collect your 30-day visa on arrival in the emirate. If you plan to set up a business in Dubai, it usually is best to apply for a residence visa, an investor visa or, if you plan to work as a remote company in the country, a remote work visa.
Frequently asked questions
At Meydan Free Zone, we can advise you on selecting the right visa type for your situation and business idea. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked:
Can I live in Dubai with a British passport? Yes, British citizens are welcome to live in Dubai on a British passport. You will need to apply for a long-term residence visa if you are planning to set up your own company in the emirate.
Do UK Citizens pay tax in Dubai? The UK and the United Arab Emirates have a double taxation agreement which means that you will not be taxed twice on your income. If you have set up your company in Dubai and have a residence visa in the emirate, you may pay no income tax at all if you set up your business in a free zone. You will of course have to pay some other taxes such as VAT on purchases.
Can I retire in Dubai from the UK? Yes, Dubai has a number of schemes designed to allow UK citizens to retire in Dubai. Most common is the Golden Visa system. You are expected to purchase a property worth a certain value, then have leave to remain for at least five years.
How many British expats live in Dubai? Statistics suggest that are about what 240,000 British citizens living in Dubai, so you will feel very much at home living in the emirate as a British expat.
Why Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone, located in central Dubai, is the perfect place to launch a business in Dubai. Our free zone is based close to the central business district, airport, roads and leisure facilities. It provides 24/7 access, high quality internet connections and all the technical support you need to run your company. Our experienced consultants can support you with all aspects of business setup in Dubai, which means you can focus on starting your marketing agency – and leave the admin to us.
Join thousands of other British expats who’ve launched successful companies in the UAE, and contact Meydan Free Zone today!
For decades, Dubai has been home to a large, entrepreneurial Indian community who have played a pivotal role in the emirate’s dynamism and economic success. Many of the UAE’s most successful businesspeople are Indian citizens, with famous billionaires such Yusuf Ali (founder of Lulu Hypermarket) topping the country’s rich list.
If you are an Indian citizen living in Dubai, setting up a company in the emirate can be a very lucrative opportunity. Here’s everything you need to know about doing business in Dubai as an Indian citizen.
Benefits of Starting a Business in Dubai
Indian entrepreneurs have shown incredibly resourceful when starting businesses in Dubai. Here are just some of the benefits of starting a business in Dubai for Indian citizens:
No tax: Basing your business in a Dubai free zone will mean you pay a 0% tax rate – which means your company can retain more of its profits.
100% foreign ownership: If you are setting up a company in the United Arab Emirates, you will of course want to retain complete ownership of its operations. Basing your business in a Dubai free zone means that you can retain 100% ownership of your company.
100% repatriation of funds: Indian business owners can also repatriate all profits and income from Dubai free zones back to India (or elsewhere) whenever they please.
Location: The United Arab Emirates is a very attractive location for Indian businesses. At the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, it gives you access to a huge global market. With many flights every day to cities across India – not to mention the rest of the world – you’ll be perfectly placed to meet your customers wherever they are.
Business friendly: The Dubai government is well-known for its business-friendly attitude and the ease of setting up a company in the emirate. There are many tax incentives and support available to ensure your company can be as successful as possible.
Local Indian community: With thousands of Indians settled in Dubai, you will have access to fantastic business networks with expats from back home.
Can Indian citizens do business in Dubai?
Yes, Indian citizens can do business in Dubai – many of the emirate’s most successful entrepreneurs are of Indian origin. If you would like to start your company in Dubai as an Indian citizen, you will need to complete the following steps:
1. Select your Business Activity
The first step to opening a business in Dubai is to select your business activity. There are many different license types to choose from, meaning you can open practically any kind of business in the country. We can advise you on the most appropriate license for your planned activities at Meydan Free Zone.
2. Choose a Trade Name for your Dubai Company
There are certain rules in Dubai around the naming of businesses that must be respected. You cannot use any terms that could be seen as offensive or blasphemous, and the trading name cannot utilise your initials. At Meydan Free Zone, we can advise you on all naming conventions in Dubai.
3. Choose the Location of your Business in Dubai
Selecting a business location is vital in launching your company in Dubai. Many Indian entrepreneurs choose to base themselves in Meydan Free Zone because it offers a 0% tax rate and 100% foreign ownership. Our location in central Dubai, close to the airport and the seaport, means you are perfectly positioned to begin trading fast and meet new customers.
4. Complete your Application and Pay the Fees
To receive your business license, you will need to complete your application form and provide a range of documents and paperwork. Paying the associated fees as part of your company license application is also essential.
5. Receive your License and Open a Business Bank Account
Getting your license to start a company in Dubai takes just a few days – so long as all your paperwork is in order and your application form and fees are all correct. At Meydan Free Zone, we can verify all your paperwork, obtain necessary approvals, and make the process fast and efficient.
Once your license is approved, the final step is to open a business bank account, so you can make and receive payments within the UAE but also abroad. Meydan Pay is our powerful digital banking solution for businesses working in our free zone. It gives you an IBAN and digital wallet with all the necessary features to start making and receiving payments internationally. It is very popular with Indian entrepreneurs, allowing them to send and receive payments from customers and business partners back home in India.
Which Business is Best In Dubai for Indians?
Indian businesspeople have thrived in almost every sector when they set up companies in the United Arab Emirates. Here are just some of the many opportunities that Indian citizens can explore when setting up a new business:
Import/export: Thanks to its international seaports and geographic location, Dubai offers fantastic opportunities for import/export businesses.
Logistics: Many Indian entrepreneurs launch logistics businesses from the UAE, capitalising on international connections with other transport companies worldwide.
Software and technology: Indian citizens are renowned for their software business skills, and many take the opportunity to launch technology companies in Dubai.
Education: Numerous Indian entrepreneurs have launched education businesses in the United Arab Emirates. Some focus on the mass market while others offer specialised training.
Medical and Pharmaceuticals: Indian expats run numerous medical and pharmaceutical businesses in the United Arab Emirates.
Can Indians Settle in Dubai?
Yes, Indians can settle in Dubai, and many thousands call the emirate home. Indian citizens in Dubai find the business-friendly environment conducive to launching their own companies. It is no secret that many successful entrepreneurs from India have built business empires here for many decades.
Why Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is located in central Dubai, close to your customers, the airport, seaport, and leisure facilities, and is the ideal location for Indian businesspeople to launch companies in the UAE. Many Indian entrepreneurs have already chosen to base themselves in our free zone, from Kerala to Mumbai, Bangalore to Hyderabad, Gujarat, and beyond; you’ll meet your compatriots at Meydan Free Zone!
Our experienced consultants can support you with all aspects of business setup in Dubai, which means you can focus on launching your business, and leave the admin to us. We also provide several additional services to any company hoping to open a branch office in Dubai, UAE.
For instance, Meydan Pay provides you with a digital wallet and an IBAN, which allows you to receive and send payments to and from India. Learn more about Meydan Pay here. Meanwhile, Meydan Commerce is a unique offering that supports companies hoping to enter the local e-commerce market – our teams help you set up on Amazon or Noon so you can begin selling products quickly. To make launching your company more cost-effective, we also provide Easy Payment Plans so you can spread the cost of business set up.
Why not join the many Indian entrepreneurs at Meydan Free Zone, and launch your Dubai company today?
There was tremendous growth in the UAE economy in 2022, with trade exceeding 1 trillion dirhams and reexports exceeding 300 billion dirhams. On top of that, The Dubai Economic Agenda – D33, aiming to double Dubai’s economic growth over the next ten years, will present entrepreneurs with numerous reasons to relocate here, including opportunities for expats to grow.
If you wish to legally run a trading business out of Dubai, you will first need a trade license to do this. But what exactly is a UAE trade license and how do you go about getting one? In this blog, you will learn everything you need to know about how to get a trade license in UAE.
General trade licences in the UAE are very flexible, and allow you to trade in a huge variety of goods and services. If you have spotted a gap in the market, then a general trade license is a great place to start.
In this article you will learn about how to get a UAE trade license in 2023. We will be covering:
Here’s everything you need to know about getting a UAE trade license in 2023.
What is a Trade License in Dubai, UAE?
The Department of Economic Development issues every free zone trade license in UAE, and a Trade License is a document that specifies which activities a corporation may engage in in the UAE.
It is possible to conduct several activities in Dubai with a general trading license. Among these activities are importing, exporting, and conducting commercial activities.
How to Get a Trade License In UAE
If you would like to get a UAE trade license, you will need to complete the following five steps:
1. Select your business activity
The first step to getting a trading license in Dubai is to select your business activity. There are thousands of business activities that you can choose from in Dubai. At Meydan Free Zone, our consultants can advise you on the most appropriate business activity for your company.
2. Choose a trade name for your business
Your trading name needs to clearly describe what your company does, and you should be careful not to include any terms that could be considered offensive or potentially blasphemous. What is more, the brand must not include any acronyms with your own name. For example, Amir Shah Trading would be fine, but A.S. Trading would be against the rules.
3. Choose your business location
Choosing a business location is a vital step in starting your UAE trading business. Many companies choose to base themselves at the Meydan Free Zone because it offers a 0% tax rate and 100% foreign ownership. Our location in central Dubai means you are close to the airport and the seaport, as well as local retail businesses who may want to purchase goods and services from you.
We can advise you on setting up your free zone company at Meydan Free Zone, and provide the support you need to make your business a success.
4. Complete your application and pay fees
In order to receive your trading license in the UAE, you will need to complete your application form and provide a range of documents and paperwork. It is also essential to pay the associated fees as part of your UAE trade license application.
5. Receive your license and open a business bank account
Receiving your license to run a trading business in Dubai takes just a few days – so long as all your paperwork is in order and your application form and fees are all correct. At Meydan Free Zone, we can support you by ensuring all your paperwork will meet the requirements and avoid any unnecessary admin errors.
Once your license has been approved, the final step is to open a business bank account so you can make and receive payments – Meydan Pay is our simple digital banking solution for businesses working in our free zone. It gives you an IBAN and digital wallet which comes with all the features you need to start making and receiving payments.
Types of Trade Licenses in UAE
There are several different types of trade license in Dubai which you can select during your application process. These include:
- UAE commercial license: Commercial licenses are allocated to companies that trade in goods and commodities – think of things like import and export businesses, as well as some related services such as car rental or real estate.
- Industrial licenses: As the name suggests, industrial licenses are for any company that will participate in manufacturing activities in the UAE.
- Professional licenses: Professional UAE licenses are targeted at people who have specific professions including artisanal craftsmanship, consultancy, IT and technical services, medical services, security, printing and publishing and many more.
- Tourism license: If you would like to run a business in the tourism industry then a tourist license is essential for any firm thinking of operating hotels, tourist trips, cruise boats and any other travel and tourism activities.
- Agriculture license: If you would like to cultivate plants, harvest crops, build greenhouses or run an agricultural consultancy, an agricultural licence is essential
- Freelance license: There is a growing community of freelancers in the UAE and so the government has created a freelance license to meet the needs of this sector. Meydan Free Zone does not offer freelance license or visa options.
There are of course many, many more kinds of trade license in the UAE. At Meydan Free Zone we can help you choose the most appropriate license and business activity for your entrepreneurial idea.
Trade License UAE Costs
Calculating the precise cost of a trade license UAE varies depending on a number of factors about your business, what you are trading in and the number of employees and visas you will need. At Meydan Free Zone, start-ups that require no visas can begin operating from as little as AED 12,500. Meanwhile, companies that need up to six visas can expect to pay AED 23,600. Depending on the specific requirements of your business the exact costs of getting your trade license will change.
Benefits of Getting a Trade License in Dubai
The UAE offers many business advantages, which is why so many companies are setting up branches or organisations here. Dubai trade licenses offer a number of benefits:
1. Increase local and international trade
General trading licenses provide you with a host of opportunities for manufacturing and importing goods. Depending on your product, you can sell it on the local Dubai market or export it abroad and gain profits.
Additionally, business owners can re-export their goods with a general trade license. By doing this, your company will be able to trade goods and services internationally more efficiently.
2. Enhance credibility
Laws and regulations are often abused by businesses looking to gain a bigger profit, so companies that adhere to legalities are more likely to gain customer trust. A trade license enhances the business’s visibility in the markets where it operates. The company’s credibility and trust are built as a result.
3. Obtain tax benefits
Almost no trade restrictions exist in Dubai, making it an excellent place to do business. A general trading license will protect your products from restrictions as long as they are registered under it.
4. Trade restrictions are few
In contrast to other business licenses in the UAE, Dubai trade licenses are much faster to obtain, as long as you have the proper documentation. A business can usually be set up in a few weeks in any of the free zones or mainland in Dubai. Additionally, once you obtain your license, you don’t need to submit auditing reports. As a result, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort on paperwork in the future.
5. Set-up is simple
In contrast to other business licenses in the UAE, Dubai trade licenses are much faster to obtain, as long as you have the proper documentation. A business can usually be set up in a few weeks in any of the free zones or mainland in Dubai. Additionally, once you obtain your license, you don’t need to submit auditing reports. As a result, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort on paperwork in the future.
6. Sponsor opportunities
An advantage of getting a trade license in Dubai is that dependents can be sponsored easily. As a result, you can bring your family members or employees with you to Dubai. Having a trade license allows you to guide others through the visa application process as well. As a result, establishing a new business or life in Dubai is easier than ever before.
Documents Required to Get Your UAE Trade License
If you would like to get a UAE trade license, you will need to compile a number of essential documents. These include:
- A completed application form which describes what your business does and the goods and services you will be trading in
- Copies of your passport and passport size photos
- A copy of your residence visa (if applicable)
- Emirates ID copy (if applicable)
Renewal of Trade License in Dubai, UAE
Upon registering your business in Dubai, you will be required to receive a valid license for conducting trade activities. It is necessary to renew this license every year in order to ensure that you can seamlessly sell your products across the UAE and around the world without violating any regulations.
The Department of Economic Development manages the renewal of trade licenses in the UAE. Your Dubai trade license assists you in verifying the legal status of your business as an established enterprise. The proper renewal procedure for Dubai trade licenses ensures that you are not penalised, prosecuted or even banned for your business.
The best practice is to start the renewal process a few days prior to the expiration of your trade license by understanding the application details and renewal fees. By doing so, you will maintain your legal status and continue running your business without any obstacles.
Why Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is located in central Dubai, next to the golf course and a short drive from the airport and international seaport. It is the ideal location to launch your trading business in Dubai UAE and also boasts fantastic connections to the rest of the United Arab Emirates and the wider world.
Meydan Free Zone is a hub full of exciting and innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs in Dubai. You will have access to a complete range of services and equipment you would expect to launch your business quickly and easily, including 24/7 office space, internet connections, fast company set-up and exclusive community benefits.
What is more, our highly experienced and supportive consultants can help you with every aspect of launching your Dubai trade business. With our Meydan Pay service, you get access to professional financial services including a business account where you can make and receive international payments. Meanwhile, Meydan Commerce is a unique service to support you with trading online in the fast-growing Dubai eCommerce sector. And with our Easy Payment Plans, entrepreneurs can cover the costs involved in launching their business over the period of several months – which means you don’t have to make a major up-front payment when launching your new company.
Providing you with everything you need for business setup in Dubai, Meydan Free Zone is the ideal home for your new company. Contact us today about getting your UAE trade license and start trading in no time at all!
Business and personal affairs can come to the point where one party no longer wishes to or is capable of managing their finances. You had the best intentions when you issued your Power of Attorney, but circumstances may have changed, requiring you to revoke it. It is always good to update your legal paperwork when the situation changes.
Fortunately, making those changes can be done by using a Revocation of Power of Attorney, which helps you cancel your Power of Attorney that is not needed anymore.
Power of Attorney (PoA) gives a designated party the power to act on behalf of another, known as the principal. In most cases, the party with PoA has the authority to make decisions concerning the principal’s property, finances, investments, and medical care.
Other names for this document:
- PoA Revocation
- Power of Attorney Revocation
- Revocation of Power of Attorney Form
- PoA Cancellation
In certain circumstances, a PoA may need to be canceled. As with most legal matters, this can be a complex process and always requires expert advice and guidance.
To help simplify the process, in this article, we’ll cover:
Common Reasons To File A Revocation Or Cancellation Form
If for whatever reason, you’ve become unhappy with the individual you have an appointment to make decisions for you, you may cancel or revoke a standing power of attorney. Here are some reasons why you might want to file a revocation or cancellation form :
The Relationship With Your Agent Has Changed
You can apply for revocation if you no longer wish for the original agent to continue managing your PoA agreement.
You may choose to do this because you feel you can no longer trust your agent or are no longer comfortable working with your agent for any other reason.
Should this be the case, you must first revoke the original PoA and apply to appoint a new agent.
You Found A More Suitable Agent
It may be that you still trust your current agent but have found another that is better suited to your needs. The new agent may have more experience in a specific field, or you have a better working relationship.
Once again, to appoint this new agent, you will first need to revoke or cancel your current PoA. Once canceled, you can then appoint your new chosen agent.
Your Agent Is No Longer Qualified
Certain changes to your health, finances, asset holdings, or personal circumstances can mean that your appointed agent is no longer qualified to handle your affairs.
When this happens, you are free to look for another with the specialist qualifications required to manage the new circumstances that you find yourself in. Having canceled your original PoA, you can appoint your new agent.
Your Agent Is No Longer Available
Agent’s circumstances can change too. An agent may move to a new country or jurisdiction or take on more time-consuming clients. In any case, the result is an agent who is less available than at the beginning of your agreement.
You can revoke your PoA and appoint a new agent in this scenario.
PoA can also be cancelled for the following reasons:
- PoA reaches the agreed end date and is not renewed
- The appointed agent or subject of the PoA is no longer mentally capable
- The appointed agent or subject of the PoA is deceased
How To Revoke Power Of Attorney In Dubai, UAE
The authorised party can cancel a PoA at any time for certain reasons. To do this, you must go through the required steps to officially declare the end of the legal agreement.
The process of canceling a POA in Dubai is not very complicated if you have a lawyer. POA cancellation involves the following steps:
1: Verify Whether You Can Revoke Your PoA
The person that can revoke a POA is the principal while he or she is competent. If the document has named the agent of a durable POA, the principal’s POA may take an agent to court in order for a judge to cancel the POA. This is rarely the case, as no one other than the principal can sue the agent over a POA, as only the principal is given standing.
2: Decide How To Revoke
There are several options for the revocation of a power of attorney in Dubai. It is possible to revoke an entire power of attorney. The POA may also be revoked so that a new one can be signed with a different set of terms with the same or new agent.
3: Get To Know The Regional Procedure
Revocation of POAs in Dubai requires compliance with specific laws. It may be possible that your power of attorney may be revoked with the destruction of all copies of an existing POA.
4: Notify All Interested Third Parties
If the existing power of attorney was sent to third parties e.g. physicians and banks, then there is a need to ensure that they are notified of the cancellation of the POA. A copy of the document may be mailed or taken to the office of the third party who needs to be notified.
Revocations sent through the mail are only recognized once they have been received. If the agent acts according to the POA before the revocation has reached the third party, then the bank won’t be held liable if that’s taken or used in conjunction with a POA. However, for this situation, you may recover damages that the agent has caused as long as proof that the agent knows the POA has been revoked.
- Prepare a Notice of Revocation
- In front of a witness, sign the document
- Notarize the document
- Record the revocation document
- Inform your former POA of your decision
- Notify all financial and medical (and any other) institutions of the decision – provide them with the Revoke Power of Attorney form
How Long Is A Power Of Attorney Valid In Dubai?
A PoA can run for an unlimited period; however, it must be renewed regularly. Renewals take place every two years in Dubai. There is no limit to the number of times you can renew
Steps to Cancel Power of Attorney
Before starting the process of cancelling your PoA, you should first consult with a local business expert in the UAE.
To cancel your PoA, we’ll guide you through the following services:
Step 1: Complete the cancellation form
The first step is to complete the required paperwork to cancel your PoA. When conducting this process, it would be best to work with an authorised agent. This form includes details of the current agreement and the start date of the PoA.
Step 2: Signing the form
As your cancellation form is legally enforceable, the signing process is vital. All signatures must be completed in front of witnesses. Both signatories and witnesses must produce an officially recognised ID.
Step 3: Submit your cancellation form
You PoA cancellation form should be mailed to the agent whose powers you are revoking. Copies should also be sent to any banks, healthcare providers and other institutions that will be impacted by the revocation. Be sure to send by registered mail so you can be sure that each copy has been received.
Do You Need A Lawyer To Revoke A Power Of Attorney?
The answer is no. There is no legal requirement that a lawyer must prepare or approve a power of attorney. As you read above, the steps are straightforward.
Nonetheless, it can be helpful to consult with a lawyer before signing any legal document to ensure that it fulfills your intended purpose. It is crucial to ensure you assign the right powers within the parameters you intend to set forth.
If you have decided to revoke a POA’s authority, you must know the legal steps involved. Failing to revoke POA properly can create long-term hassles in the future.
Why work with Meydan Free Zone
Meydan Free Zone, the award-winning digital Free Zone, is a thriving, centrally located economic district with one of the most prestigious business addresses in the region.
We offer our businesses a host of innovative investment and lifestyle benefits in a secure, regulated environment that empowers productivity. And we can help you join them too. When you set up here, you’ll benefit from:
A Business Presence In The Heart Of Dubai
You’re never far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre at Meydan Free Zone. Just 15 minutes from the Dubai International Airport and mere minutes from Downtown Dubai.
An Empowering Environment
Setting up your business in Meydan Free Zone gives you exclusive access to a networking community that inspires growth through innovation and collaboration. Dubai is home to countless startups, SMEs, and multinational corporations, making it the perfect city for you to start and grow your business.
A Paperless Experience
Don’t let red tape hold you back. Our intelligent and intuitive license application kit means you will work with easy-to-use forms that significantly reduce time and effort during the application process. The platform combines all aspects of compliance and regulation for your businesses (such as UBO, ESR, AML) in a single interface.
Our expert team can assist across all processes involved in business setup in Dubai, from registering your company name to managing your license and visa applications.
If you prefer, you can visit us at Meydan Free Zone Business Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Meydan Hotel, Meydan Rd, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, UAE.
As one of the world’s most thriving hubs for both technology and financial services, it is no surprise that the UAE is at the centre of the region’s fintech industry.
Fintech is essentially the integration of technology into financial products and offerings. The aim is to improve the user experience for customers and staff alike – and right now, it’s big business in the UAE.
The fintech industry in the Middle East grew at a CAGR of 30% last year. Next year, it is estimated that the UAE will account for around USD 2bn in investment in the space. That’s a significant increase of USD 80m in 2017.
Adding to the draw of the UAE is the ease with which you can start a fintech company out here. With the support of the experts at Meydan Free Zone, your business can be up and running within days.
What Is a Fintech Company?
Fintech companies are companies that provide the full range of financial services typically provided by traditional banks, with the difference that technology is used to modify, enhance, or automate financial services for consumers or businesses. Some examples are mobile banking, peer-to-peer payments, automated portfolio managers, and trading platforms. Cryptocurrencies can also be developed and traded using this method.
Advantages of Starting a Fintech Business in Dubai, UAE
Perhaps the biggest benefit to fintech entrepreneurs in the UAE right now is the market need. Some 70% of people across the GCC are regular smartphone users, a major driver behind the 30% growth in mobile payments in recent years.
The UAE’s tech-savvy population has an appetite for digital services, and the growth potential is at its biggest in the more traditional banking space.
On top of this, the UAE’s attractive tax rate remains at 0% of personal income. And when you set up in a free zone, you’ll also benefit from zero currency restrictions, plus profit and capital repatriation.
Steps Involved in Starting a Fintech Company
There are several equally important aspects to keep in mind as you decide how to start a fintech company. When you put together an agile business plan for initiating a fintech startup, you can focus on the most relevant aspects and then experiment and add your own unique touch to the project. Read on to identify some of the steps involved in starting a fintech company.
1. Identify your niche
The fintech industry is broad, so there are many gaps that need to be filled. It is important to begin small and grow to solve other problems as you go, as solving too many problems at once will lead to failure. Therefore, identify your niche and work with that.
2. Consider the company’s location
It is necessary either to create the startup in a physical location, online or both, after understanding the problem and target customers. This is due to the fact that particular businesses may opt to start out as remote or physical offices.
3. Know the regulations
In order to launch a startup that is globally accessible, you need to understand various laws and how they will impact your company. These laws include labour laws, corporate profits, and data use laws. Since the fintech and banking industries are highly regulated, it is important to know their ins and outs.
4. Know your licenses
Licenses are documents issued by governments that permit people to work in finance legally, and depends on your niche sector. It is important to consider price, preparation work, and the range of services you can provide before choosing a license.
5. Know your competitors
If you are offering a new product, it should address a specific gap in the market. It is also possible to improve what already exists instead of introducing something new.
6. Build a team
You will have to hire a team of experts, or outsource services such as app development. There are only a few startups with more than three co-founders, most of which have one to two co-founders. In order to create the minimum viable product or scale a company, a founding team is crucial
7. Choose your funding options
Fintech startups can raise money in a variety of ways. Among them are crowdsourcing, bank loans, venture capital, angel investors, and startup competitions.
8. Choose your tech stack
To put together the right technology stack, you need to keep in mind that good things aren’t always fast and cheap. To choose the right technology, you should consider third party out-of-the-box solutions, serverless architecture, rapid development tools, good documentation, a large community, and collaboration with an experienced development team.
9. Build and improve
As this process continues, it will extend into the future. Rather than rushing into this highly competitive and saturated market, it is best to start small and keep improving your product. During this process, you will launch your startup, start its operation, improve its processes and products, adopt new technologies and trends, and embrace change as it happens.
Steps to Get a Fintech License in Dubai, UAE
Before embarking on the UAE company process, the best place to start is by consulting with a local business expert.
When you start your business with Meydan Free Zone, you get the benefit of our expertise so you can go into the company formation process with total confidence. Your dedicated account contact will guide you through the following company formation process.
Step 1: Choosing a company name
First, we’ll help you choose and register your company name. The UAE has a set of naming parameters that you’ll need to stick to. But don’t worry, all are straightforward and largely common sense.
Essentially, you should avoid blasphemous and offensive language and names of well-known organisations. There are also a few more rules which we will cover in your initial consultation.
Step 2: License application
Next, we’ll help you apply for your fintech license. At this stage, you’ll need to provide some details about your business and its shareholders, as well as proof of address and identification.
When you set up with Meydan Free Zone, we’ll make sure you are appropriately licensed to operate in the financial industry. As any financial trading is heavily regulated in the UAE, this means gaining approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).
Depending on the exact nature of your business, you may also require additional approvals from government and industry bodies.
Step 3: Getting your visa
Finally, we can help you with your visa application and assist with the opening of your corporate bank account.
As part of the visa application process, you will need to undergo a fitness test, blood test, and chest x-ray. You can also sponsor the visas of others such as dependent children and parents, your spouse, and any domestic staff.
Cost of a fintech license in Dubai, UAE
Costs for starting a fintech business in the UAE start in the region AED 12,500-35,000 inclusive of formation and application costs
However, total final costs will depend on many factors, including the size, nature and location of your business.
More often than not, starting your business in a free zone is more cost-effective than setting up in the mainland.
Operating in a free zone also allows you to take advantage of virtual and flexi-desk packages as well as coworking facilities and other business support services.
For a detailed and personalised breakdown of the costs involved in starting your fintech business, get in touch with the team at Meydan Free Zone.
Why work with Meydan Free Zone
Meydan Free Zone is a thriving, centrally located economic district with one of the most prestigious business addresses in the region.
We offer our businesses a host of innovative investment and lifestyle benefits in a secure regulated environment that empowers productivity. And we can help you join them too. When you set up here, you’ll benefit from:
A business presence in the heart of Dubai
You’re never far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre at Meydan Free Zone. Just 15 minutes from the Dubai International Airport and mere minutes from Downtown Dubai.
An empowering environment
Setting up your business in Meydan Free Zone gives you exclusive access to a networking community that inspires growth through innovation and collaboration. Dubai is home to countless startups, SMEs, and multinational corporations, making it the perfect city for you to start and grow your business.
A paperless experience
Don’t let red tape hold you back. Our intelligent and intuitive license application kit means you will work with easy-to-use forms that significantly reduce time and effort during the application process. The platform brings together all aspects of compliance and regulation for your businesses (such as UBO, ESR, AML) in a single interface.
Our expert team can assist across all processes involved in business setup in Dubai, from registering your company name to managing your license and visa applications.
If you prefer, you can visit us at Meydan Free Zone Business Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Meydan Hotel, Meydan Rd, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, UAE.
FAQ 1: What is a fintech start up?
A fintech startup is a startup that employs (typically mobile) technology to provide a financial service. Fintech apps are those that enable users to bank, pay, save, spend, invest, borrow, or make money through digital payments, digital lending, digital banking, digital investment, and consumer finance.
FAQ 2: Is fintech in high demand?
Yes, the fintech sector is growing rapidly, and it has created a wide range of job opportunities for individuals with a strong understanding of its technical aspects.
FAQ 3: What do you need to launch a fintech startup?
Though profit margins may sometimes be slim without large amounts of capital coming in, investing in a small business normally pays back far more than you may expect. Before starting your business, you need to know that investing in a small business provides you with many avenues for business growth, is less stressful, saves time and allows you to focus on what you do best!
FAQ 4: What Are the Advantages of Starting a Fintech Company?
- Customers are increasingly interested in Fintech solutions due to its high adoption rate.
- The availability of a variety of technologies enables effective and relevant solutions to be created.
- Fintech is being incorporated into major industries due to its numerous uses both internally and externally.
The Dubai Municipality is a powerful authority that regulates standards for products imported and sold to consumers, products manufactured in Dubai, and any goods exported (and re-exported) from the emirate. It can withdraw certain products from sale if they are considered toxic, dangerous for consumers, or offensive.
For example, in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the Dubai Municipality inspected over 100 hand sanitizer products on sale in the emirate. As a result, the authority discovered that six hand sanitizers contained harmful substances to human health. The authority, therefore, removed them from the sale.
If you want to import consumer products into the United Arab Emirates, manufacture goods in Dubai, or export them, you must register those products with the Dubai Municipality. Registering with the Dubai Municipality will require some paperwork and time since the authority is responsible for verifying the safety and security of your products – which is of the utmost importance. In this blog, you will learn everything you need about product registration in Dubai.
At Meydan Free Zone, we have plenty of experience helping all kinds of companies to register their products smoothly and quickly with the Dubai Municipality.
Why Is Product Registration Mandatory In Dubai, UAE?
In short, product registration is the law. If you wish to import, export, or manufacture products in Dubai, you must register the products with the Dubai Municipality. This applies to practically all kinds of goods intended to be used by consumers (such as food, cosmetics, textiles, etc.). However, the rules are slightly different for products sold to businesses or the government.
The government of Dubai has set very high standards for products sold in the country to protect consumers from harm. The onus is on manufacturers and importers to demonstrate that their products are safe for human consumption. Product registration brings many benefits to both manufacturers, wholesale customers, and end consumers:
Benefits of Product Registration
- Trust: By registering your products with the Dubai Municipality, you show your customers that your products meet the highest health and safety standards.
- Compliance: Registering products with the authorities allows you to verify that you are compliant with all rules and regulations about substances and materials used in products.
- Avoid Moral Offence: Certain culturally or religiously offensive products cannot be imported or manufactured in Dubai.
- Avoid Legal Problems: Since selling products that have not been registered with Dubai Municipality is illegal, you will avoid being prosecuted if you register your products first.
- Brand Reputation: If your company adheres to health and safety regulations, then you will be positively perceived by your customers and consumers.
Validity Of Product Registration In Dubai
If you wish to register any new product in Dubai, you must complete the following steps to receive a valid product registration:
- Select Your Business Activity
The first step to getting a car rental business license in Dubai is to select your business activity. There are a few potential license types you could apply for, depending on the type of vehicle rental you hope to do. The most common is ‘Passenger Transport and Car Rent’, although you may need a different license if you operate in a slightly different sector. We can advise you on the most appropriate license for your activities at Meydan Free Zone
- Register With Dubai Municipality
The next step is to register your company with the Dubai Municipality. Then, you need to sign up on the online portal where you can provide information about your business, including a copy of your trade license, email address, contact details, registered office, and other information.
- Submit Product Information Documents To The Dubai Municipality
To get your products approved for sale, import, or export, you must provide product information to the authorities. This includes providing a complete list of ingredients in each of your products. You will also need to submit a product sample to the authorities. The application process also requires you to pay certain fees. Then, if there are any potential issues with your product, you may need to modify it, provide more evidence, change information on your labels, or provide additional certificates.
- Receive Registration Certificate For Dubai Products
On completion of the product registration process, your product will be registered, and you will be provided with an electronic registration certificate. You can then display this certificate on your products and branding to demonstrate that it is compliant with Dubai’s product health and safety standards.
How To Register Food Products In Dubai
Dubai is a global hub for importing, exporting, and re-exporting foodstuff from around the world. To register your food products within the Dubai Municipality, you must provide:
- A list of ingredients.
- Information about your country of origin.
- Date of production and consumption.
- Other mandatory details.
Furthermore, certain types of food require more detail, including organic food (which must demonstrably meet some organic food standards) and halal products.
You must register food products in Dubai with the Dubai Municipality. You can do this by completing the steps described above.
How To Register Health Supplement Products In Dubai
Dubai has strict rules around labelling and information about health products to protect consumers. Therefore, if you wish to import, manufacture or export health supplement products in Dubai, you must register with the Dubai Municipality.
You can do this by following the steps described above. You will need to provide information about the ingredients in any supplements, their purpose, and any scientific evidence required to back up any medical claims.
Why Work With Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone, located in central Dubai, is one of the leading free zones in the emirate. Many businesses operating out of the Free Zone manufacture, import, export, and sell products on the Dubai market. We have helped many of these firms apply for permission to sell their products from the Dubai Municipality – and our highly experienced consultants can help you every step of the way thanks to our experience.
We know how to register all kinds of products with the Dubai Municipality and can provide tailored guidance to your business so you can receive approval for your products in the shortest time possible. We can help you identify any problems in your registration application, which means your product will likely be approved faster.
Moreover, thanks to our expertise in helping businesses take their goods to market and our extensive network, we can also give you all the support you need in selling, marketing, and distributing your products.
To learn more about registering your products with the Dubai Municipality, contact us today.
If you prefer, you can visit us at Meydan Free Zone Business Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Meydan Hotel, Meydan Rd, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, UAE.
As one of the world’s most important logistics hubs, the United Arab Emirates is a fantastic place to launch an import-export business. Indeed, the country has been recognised as having the world’s most advanced and efficient customs procedures, making the business highly efficient for any firm.
From Dubai’s international airports through to its seaport and its land transport links, everything is set up to make importing and exporting goods from the emirate extremely easy. Dubai, and the UAE as a whole, also benefit from its strategic location at the crossroads of international trade between Europe, Africa and Asia. There are few better places on Earth to trade from!
You will need a Dubai customs code if your company wants to import or export goods through Dubai. Given how to trade-friendly the emirate is, it’s no surprise that getting a customs code is generally a straightforward process. In this article, you will learn what a Dubai customs code is, what you need to do to apply for one, and how much a customs code for Dubai will cost.
Obtaining a customs client code in Dubai brings many benefits, including:
- Freedom [AS1] To Import And Export Goods Legally
- A Speedy And Efficient Customs Clearance Process
- Means You Avoid Any Potential Legal Risks Or Government Fines
What Is A Customs Client Code In Dubai?
If you want to import or export goods to Dubai from the rest of the world, it is a legal requirement for you to have a Dubai customs client code.
A Dubai customs client code gives your company approval for importing or exporting goods to and from Dubai. If you want to run any import or export business from the emirate, you must register with Dubai Customs. Once your application is complete, you will be approved and given a Dubai customs client code. You then use this code on paperwork when importing or exporting goods from the emirate.
Every company receives a unique customs code valid until its business license expires. The Dubai customs code must then be renewed every 12 months.
Is A Customs Client Code Required In The UAE?
It is mandatory to have a customs client code if you wish to import or export goods from the UAE, and it is illegal to import or export goods without such a code. Depending on which emirate your business is based in, you must apply for the customs code from that emirate’s customs authority. If your business is registered in Dubai, you must get the customs code from Dubai Customs.
You don’t need to apply for a Dubai customs code if you are just a private individual bringing over your goods to the country or buying products from abroad. You only need a Dubai customs code if you are a business that either plans to sell products imported from abroad into the local market or export goods to other countries.
Besides getting the customs code, you must also ensure that any goods you import comply with national laws.
There are several types of goods which it is illegal to import into Dubai, including:
- Illegal narcotics
- Pirated content
- Counterfeit currency
- Gambling machines and related gambling paraphernalia
- Publications or artwork that contradicts Islamic teachings
There are also various restrictions on importing animals, foods, medication, vehicles and weaponry. You must inform yourself about what you can and cannot import into the country.
Documents Required To Apply For A Customs Client Code In Dubai
If you wish to apply for a customs client code for Dubai, you must submit an application through the Dubai trade portal website which can be found at the following link: https://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/Procedures/RegistrationAndLicensing/Pages/ClientCode.aspx
To apply for the Dubai customs code, you will need to provide the following documentation:
- Valid trade licence. If you do not yet have a valid trade licence in Dubai, you must first apply for one and receive approval. At Meydan Free Zone, we can help you with every step of applying for a Dubai trade licence.
- A copy of your passport, as well as any of your business partners’ passports.
- An undertaking letter. [AS2]
Cost Of Customs Client Code
Meydan Free Zone helps its clients to obtain the customs code at AED 525. The fee is renewable at AED 525 each year. Clients can apply using Meydan Plus services.
Three Steps To Obtain A Customs Code In Dubai
As a country that has been recognised for having the most efficient customs procedures in the world, it is unsurprising just how straightforward the process of obtaining a customs code in Dubai can be. The process is smooth and rarely takes longer than a couple of working days to complete. Here is how to obtain a customs code in Dubai:
1. Begin Application
Go to dubaitrade.ae where you can complete your application for a customs code. As part of the application process, you will need to provide the following documentation within the portal:
- A copy of your trade licence
- A copy of your passport
- Your phone number
- Make a payment of AED 525 as part of the application fee
2. Register On The Dubai Trade Portal
After you have initially registered, they will send you an email confirmation and you can then confirm your account and log in with your username and password. Within the portal you must click on the Mirsal 2 link and then choose new business registration link. On this page, you will have to provide the following information:
- Details about your business
- Information about your facilities and warehouse
- A profile for the different users
- Submitting various documents
- Filling in Mirsal information
- Completing the registration process
3. Receiving Your Customs Code
The final step of the process after you have registered is to wait for your new business code to be generated. This typically takes little more than a couple of working days, and you will then be able to begin importing and exporting goods into Dubai. You include your customs code on any paperwork.
Why Work With Meydan Free Zone?
As the steps outlined above show, the actual process of applying for a Dubai customs code is relatively straightforward and requires little expertise. Nevertheless, working with Meydan Free Zone can be really beneficial. When you choose to base your imports-exports business in our free zone, you will experience several benefits:
- Tailored advice about how to fill in your customs code application form
- Advice on related issues (such as how to find a warehouse or using logistics partners)
- Support with all processes and any necessary introductions
- Guidance on which information to provide
- Basing yourself in the free zone means you will have a business address which is vital part of the application process
- Benefit from our location which is in close physical proximity to Dubai’s international airport, the emirate’s port and other logistics hubs
A VISION OF DUBAI’S FUTURE SUCCESSES
Meydan is the visionary concept of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. Our mission is: To make entrepreneurship accessible and inspire business growth. To foster a vibrant and connected ecosystem for entrepreneurs and innovators to create, grow and lead.
Since its inaugural opening in 2010, Meydan has attracted worldwide attention. The Meydan Racecourse is the centerpiece of Meydan. It offers an entire season of exemplary horseracing, the highlight of which is the world’s most spectacular race day, the Dubai World Cup.
The Meydan Group’s broad portfolio extends far beyond the racecourse. Meydan real estate projects include villas, townhouses, and apartments, plus Emirates Airline housing that features 528 townhouses set amongst retail, lush green parks, and necessary amenities. So, what draws entrepreneurs to the Meydan Free Zone, and why should you consider basing your business here?
Meydan Free Zone’s outlook is all about building a future-forward strategy. The free zone is designed to empower any company operating here and give them all the tools they need to be successful. And this is why we offer a wide range of options for incorporating your business.
Eight Reasons to Choose the Meydan Free Zone
With its stunning glass and steel façade and location right next to the Meydan race track and golf course in central Dubai, the Meydan Free Zone offers an excellent base to impress customers, build your company and enjoy your leisure time. But it provides a lot more than just attractive aesthetics! Let’s look at eight of the most important business reasons to choose the Meydan Free Zone.
In this blog, you will learn about:
- Strategic Location Close to Airport, Seaport & Central City
- Designed For Ease of Expat Ownership
- A Vibrant, World-Class Community
- Award-Winning All-Inclusive Digital Platform
- A Paperless Experience
- Take and Make Payments with Ease
- E-Commerce Tools at your Fingertips
- Interest-free deferral plans for 12 months
Strategic Location Close to Airport, Seaport & Central City.
Located a short 15 minutes drive from the Dubai International Airport, Dubai Ports and 12 minutes from Dubai’s buzzing downtown. From the Dubai International Airport, there are 2.5 billion people living within a four-hour flight and 5 billion within an eight-hour flight or less. Dubai offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest emerging growth markets, including GCC countries, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Europe.
Meydan Free Zone is centrally located for ease of access. You’re never far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre at Meydan Free Zone. This makes it incredibly easy for business owners to facilitate the import and export of goods or look for warehousing. In terms of access, the free zone itself resides within the iconic and beautiful Meydan Hotel, overlooking Meydan Golf Course and the horse racing track.
This makes for an impressive location to host both business and personal guests, and you will benefit from wonderful views and access to all the hotel’s amenities (restaurants and entertainment) for those deal-clinching meetings or a fun day out with family.
The Meydan Free Zone is Designed for Ease of Expat Ownership
Meydan Free Zone’s trade-friendly environment is designed to be as attractive as possible for the budding entrepreneur. You will benefit from the following:
- MOFA recognised business licenses with bank account opening.
- 100% foreign ownership
- Tax-free policies for both corporate and income tax.
- Low-cost setup starting from AED 12,500.
- 3,500 business activities to choose from
- Modern infrastructure with flexi-desk, dedicated offices and meeting rooms.
- No currency restrictions
For new businesses looking to establish or expand, Meydan Free Zone offers efficient, seamless, and cost-effective startup options. All businesses operate under a Limited Liability Company license issued by the free zone (LLC).
Meydan Free Zone provides a vibrant community where you can work, live and play. You will have endless opportunities to network with other businesses and innovative entrepreneurs and partner with other companies in your field.
A Vibrant, World-Class Community
Setting up your company in the Meydan Free Zone provides access to a unique community that inspires growth through innovation and collaboration. Meydan City boasts a sprawling freehold housing community, schools, a hospital, and recreational amenities.
Our location in the center of Dubai gives you direct access to everything you need to start and grow your business. The city is home to countless startups, SMEs, and multinationals from various industries and sectors. There is a dynamic mix of Private and Government companies working in Dubai and at Meydan which you can connect with.
Award-Winning All-Inclusive Digital Platform for Customers to Setup
Meydan Free Zone supports entrepreneurs in building a digital platform where you can perform all transactions with ease and speed. As part of our digital transformation, our award-winning platform is designed to eliminate all the ‘paperwork’ side of your business. You can log in to the portal from anywhere worldwide and access our services, select your requirements, and finally pay online.
You’ll have access to our innovative customer platform when you set up in the Meydan Free Zone. This is designed to ease operations and simplify the process of setting up your business. The platform combines all aspects of compliance and regulation for your businesses (such as UBO, ESR, and AML) in a single interface. You can choose from a wide range of licenses, immigration services, business support services, and a choice of workspaces to streamline the workflow seamlessly from right within the platform – and you can manage all your company’s records and business documents in a single place.
A Paperless Experience
We offer you a paperless experience when setting up and running your business in the Meydan Free Zone. Our smart and intuitive license application kit will significantly reduce time and effort during the application process. We’ve also developed a digital payment platform that provides an easy payment option. That means you can instantly access and pay for services at the click of a button – no complex and time-consuming bank transfers! Our digital platform lets you do things like:
- Complete all processes relating to establishing a new company
- Licensing applications and approval
- License renewal
- Apply for and store permits
Meydan Free Zone simplifies the entire business setup processes for companies. We aim to deliver accessibility through technology innovation and to create a paperless experience, all delivered through our purpose-built platform. Our customers value the ease of use of this technology and freedom from reliance on endless paper forms, stamps, and filing.
Start Taking and Making Payments – Fast
When you start your business at Meydan Free Zone, you get access to Meydan Pay — the first and only banking solution providing our new businesses with bank account opening solutions from local and international banks. You can start transacting in the UAE without waiting for lengthy due diligence and opening account procedures.
To access Meydan Pay, all you need to do is start your business at Meydan Free Zone, complete the sign-up procedure and receive your instant IBAN in 4 days from our banking partner – Commercial Bank of Dubai.
Get Everything you Need for Ecommerce
Our businesses get exclusive access to Meydan Commerce, our tailor-made solution for eCommerce companies.
Meydan Commerce gives you guaranteed product placement on Amazon, Noon, and other major eCommerce platforms of your choice. Starting from just AED 6,000, we’ll set up your eCommerce stores, optimise your product listings, and help manage order fulfillment, vendor management, and delivery.
Signing up for Meydan Commerce is easy. Once you have received your Meydan Free Zone business license, complete the short online application, and we’ll do the rest – giving you access to your eCommerce services in no time.
It is the simplest way to start your business at Meydan Free Zone, complete the sign-up procedure, and receive your IBAN immediately.
Easy 12 Months Payment Deferral Plans with No Interest Rate
Meydan Free Zone offers a wide range of license packages to meet the needs of businesses of all types and sizes.
You can get a trade license here for just AED 12,500, which will allow you to operate within three business activities. For AED 14,350, this package also includes one visa allocation. If you need greater scope, our AED 23,600 package includes an allocation for up to six visas, with more available on request.
Thanks to our close links with some of the region’s most prominent local and international banks, our license packages are available on 0% Easy Payment Plans, helping you reduce initial costs.
Set Up your Business in the Meydan Free Zone
The Meydan Free Zone offers a fantastic base for your entrepreneurial ambitions. With a great mixture of quality office space, location, smooth business setup, and an environment that encourages success, Meydan Free Zone brings together everything you need to start your company in Dubai.
If you’re ready to set up your Dubai business, choose the Meydan Free Zone. It is very straightforward to get started in the Meydan Free Zone. The location offers a smooth registration process, tailored packages, and assistance on hand to ensure all your specific business needs are met.
Fundraising – it’s a crucial aspect of any start-up business. Garnering enough funds to get started can prove challenging — and your business’s future success depends on it. But, if you do your research and build the right relationships, capital is out there for the taking. From angel investors to venture funds, there’s money available for your business, if you know where to look.
In this guide, we’ll be covering the benefits of raising venture capital in Dubai, the documents you’ll need to raise venture capital, steps you’ll need to take to raise venture capital, and how to find angel investors in Dubai.
First of all, it’s important to note that fundraising is both a science and an art. The way in which a start-up is able to raise money will also vary in each case. Some may use personal savings or money borrowed from family to get started; others have found crowdfunding to be a useful way to get enough money together in the first instance. However, venture capital funding remains the main source of initial income for start-ups — and it’s currently at an all-time high.
Corporate venture capital (CVC) is the investment of corporate funds directly in external startup companies. CVCs tend to invest with a strategic goal in mind: that might be to tap into innovation in industries related to their own, as well as gaining a financial return on their investment. The CVC model can prove to be very beneficial for both the investor and the start-up; this is because the start-up not only gets funding, but also the insight and infrastructure that comes with partnering with a much larger or more established corporation. Meanwhile, the investors are able to boost their innovation and gain an extra income stream.
Corporations often find that the best way to test-drive a start-up before investing is to provide them with a proof of concept (POC) around a collaboration concept that takes a couple of months to complete. Once the POC is successfully completed, the corporation can feel confident in onboarding this start-up — and can start to explore ways in which to invest in them for the most profitable outcome.
Another upside to this CVC approach is that it allows start-up companies to build a track record of performing well and offering a strong return on investment. This, in turn, helps them to attract additional investors which then allows them to grow their business further.
What Is Crowdfunding for Business?
A company can raise funds through crowdfunding by securing small, individual contributions from a large pool of donors through online platforms such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and other social networks. By expanding investor pools beyond traditional owners, relatives, and venture capitalists, crowdfunding websites are bringing investors and entrepreneurs together for the purpose of increasing entrepreneurship.
There are three main crowdfunding models:
1. Equity crowdfunding – An investor receives a share of a company’s equity or a portion of a specific product’s revenues or profits in exchange for their investment. Usually, this model is best suited to growing companies at an early stage.
2. Debt crowdfunding – A company borrows money from investors at relatively high interest rates. Due to their small loan sizes, they mitigate their overall lending risk by spreading large sums of money over many loans.
3. Donation/rewards-based crowdfunding – Companies set a fundraiser goal and solicit donations for the development of an eventual product or service in exchange for some token or receipt. Investors receive their funds back if the target is not reached.
Documents Required to Raise Venture Capital in Dubai, UAE
So, what paperwork will you need to get started as a business looking to raise venture capital? There’s a de facto industry standard, in terms of what venture capitalists expect to be provided with at each stage of the application process — which is useful to know, as it gives start-ups the opportunity to prepare everything they need with confidence, ahead of time.
In essence, these documents need to show that the start-up in question has the potential to grow into a large, thriving and profitable company in a suitably short period of time. This is what will ultimately tempt venture capitalists to invest.
Some of the key documents you’ll need to produce at this early stage are:
- An introductory summary of what your start-up does, and why: write a couple of sentences that include your key differentiator or hook — like an elevator pitch in writing.
- What problem does your start-up solve? State facts and reference points, showing how you’re solving this problem and why your solution is unique.
- Your business model: This may be as simple as a couple of sentences, which you can then expand upon in your business plan to include sales and marketing strategy.
- Who’s in your management team, and what are their skills/experience? Short bios of all the key members of your team are useful to include.
- Top-line financial projections, as well as your bottom line to show revenues, expenses and profits on one clear page. In your business plan, you can expand on this to show the full financial model.
Ways to Raise Venture Capital
Financing your startup can be done in a variety of ways. Do your research, think about what will work for you, and make sure to ask questions along the way. Here are a few ways to raise venture capital:
- Bootstrapping – Bootstrapping means stretching your resources and finances to fund your business. In other words, you are starting your business with your own money and assets. There are many advantages to this option, including full control, being forced to strive for efficiency, and no debt or obligation to third parties.
- Donations from Friends and Family – It is typically your first choice outside of yourself to seek family donations because they do not require paperwork like other debt-funding outlets. The equity or control in your company can be preserved by crowdfunding your inner circle for capital in the form of debt.
- Business Loans – The most traditional form of debt-based funding for businesses is a business loan. Investors and venture capital firms take losses, but banks do not. Low interest rates are offered by government-backed loans, but they have strict requirements. Start-ups without track records may struggle to qualify for personal loans due to high interest rates and good credit requirements.
- Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding is the process of pooling money from a large number of individuals through an organisation or website. Donations, equity or tangible rewards may be exchanged for capital, such as merchandise, exclusives, and memorabilia. Taking the rewards-based approach also allows you to maintain a high level of control over your business.
- Business incubators – Business Incubators offer support and resources for early-stage businesses, which young firms find difficult to access. This support may include networking opportunities, investments, mentorship, or co-working spaces alongside other companies and experienced professionals.
- Angel Investors – An angel investor is a high-wealth individual who puts up startup capital for a percentage of the company. In addition to investing, angels often serve as mentors or advisors in a company, so their industry knowledge is essential. On the other hand, angel groups pool the money of several angel investors to invest a significant amount in various startups at once.
- Venture Capitalists – The venture capitalist exchanges startup capital for equity, similar to an angel investor. Investors in venture capital do not pay out of pocket, but invest other people’s money, such as private equity or pensions. Therefore, they generally invest in high-risk, high-reward companies, such as young technology startups, so they can be sold or go public.
- Use a Credit Card – Consider using a business credit card to finance part of your startup costs. Starting a business this way is a popular choice for many business owners. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully and choose one that offers a reasonable interest rate. It’s important to make sure you can pay off the balance on a monthly basis.
Steps to Raise Venture Capital in Dubai, UAE
May have posed the question, “how do venture capital firms raise money?” The process is quite simple. Read on to be well versed in the steps to raise venture capital.
1: Introduction and application
Many venture capital organisations have an online submission process. If possible, however, try and find a contact at the organisation that you can approach directly — at an event or informal meeting, or through the reference of a trusted source. This may give you the edge over other applicants.
At this stage, these are some of the key documents to prepare:
– A short pitch deck: covering your management team, top-level financial forecast, and information on the product or service your startup provides.
– A short executive summary, plus a short business plan including two pages of financial information.
Plus: remember to include your contact information, in case the venture capital corporation is interested and wants to get in touch with you!
2: First meeting
You’ve been invited for a meeting — so make sure you come prepared for any questions your potential investors might have. At this stage, you’re likely to be delivering a pitch to them — and they’ll want to quiz you on your business to make sure you’re clear on financials, projections and more.
3: Due diligence process
If you reach this stage, congratulations! Get past this part of the process, and you’ll have an investor on board! But the deal’s not done yet, so make sure you don’t rest on your laurels. The due diligence process is often the final hurdle, where the venture capital organisation will require a number of final deep-dive insights into your business. These could include:
- A full business strategy, including marketing strategy and market analysis. This may be as lengthy as 20-30 pages.
- Feedback from your customer: prototype or customer validation surveys, to show how well your product or service is being received.
- Information on any loans or financial liabilities, so the investor can see if there’s anything that might hinder cash flow and revenue.
How to Find Angel Investors in Dubai
Angel investors — essentially, a one-person equivalent of a venture-capitalist corporation — are also a great option. These arrangements are often less formal, and involve the angel investor investing their personal finances in a start-up in return for an equity stake in the business. There are many networks out there — such as the Middle Eastern brand of Angel Investment Network — that specialise in connecting investors with start-ups. Tap into these excellent resources, make sure you come prepared to meetings at every stage, and good luck!
For more guidance on your next steps as a start-up, get in touch today.
FAQ 1: How can we raise capital in the UAE?
In order to raise funds for your business in the UAE, you can look locally for investors via business incubators, bank loans, family and friends, crowdfunding in Dubai as well as angel investors in UAE.
FAQ 2: Is crowdfunding legal in the UAE?
Crowdfunding is legal in the UAE. The Dubai government launched DubaiNext, a digital crowdfunding platform designed to help SMEs. As of March 2022, both public and private sectors have been permitted to participate in crowdfunding activities.
FAQ 3: Who is an Angel Investor?
Angel investors invest their own money in small businesses in exchange for a minority stake (usually 10% to 25%). The majority of angel investors are entrepreneurs or business people with extensive experience.
FAQ 4: What are the types of fundraising for a business?
There are a number of types of fundraising for business in the UAE. Some of them include pre-sales, bootstrapping, donations from friends and family, credit cards, strategic partners, business loans, crowdfunding, angel investors and venture capitalists.
It is a cliché, but the saying “you’ve got to spend money to make money” is undeniably true. From the advertising campaigns of multi billion dollar companies like Apple and Coca Cola, down to the smallest ‘one man band’, investing in your company is absolutely vital to ensure continued growth.
The UAE is home to countless entrepreneurs – over 15% of the working age population is currently running a small business or is working as an early-stage entrepreneur. If you are part of that enterprising group, the following tips will help you decide where to invest money to ensure your business keeps growing.
Why invest in your business?
If you are running a small business, there may be lean times where profit margins are slim. Without large amounts of capital coming in, it might seem unwise to spend any more money than you absolutely need to. This is completely understandable; but investing in a business normally pays back far more than if you were to simply keep treading water.
The benefits of investing in your business include:
Your business will grow
So long as you make smart investments with a clear plan, investment often leads to more customers, sales and growth.
Investing in your business means you will have more capital or resources available to do the things you want to do today. Rather than scraping by and struggling, investing in the business means you have access to more resources and breathing space.
Allows you to focus on what you do best
Investing in your business means that you can delegate or outsource tasks which you prefer not to do (be that accounting, sales, account management or anything else). That gives you more time to focus on the things you do best.
Similarly, investing in your business can also save you a significant amount of time. Rather than spending all your hours doing every single task, you can outsource or delegate jobs to people who can do the work for you.
5 investments entrepreneurs should make in a small business
So, are you ready to take the plunge and make some investments in your business? It might be nerve wracking at first, but the benefits normally outweigh the costs.
Here are five investments that entrepreneurs and small business owners can make to grow their companies.
1. Invest in yourself and improve your skills
No business owner knows everything about running a company from day one. It is therefore valuable to set aside some time to expand your own skill set in order to run your company more effectively. Investing in your skills can take a variety of formats – it might simply be about reading business management books, signing up to a training website, or attending a specialist course related to your industry.
The benefits of investing in yourself to improve your skills is that you will become significantly more efficient and capable when running the company. While trial and error is always a part of entrepreneurship, you can save a lot of time – and avoid a lot of common mistakes – by learning from people who’ve been there before.
Example: Leila runs a tailoring business for professional women’s wear in Dubai. She decides to join a mentorship scheme where she learns from more experienced business owners. They are able to discuss her business model, provide invaluable advice on how she can grow the company and introduce her to potential customers.
2. Invest in your people
Your employees are by far and away your most valuable asset. They have key skills which are often vital to the running of your company. Investing in their skills will only make them more productive and efficient. Training can focus on specific task-oriented skills (such as a marketing course for marketeers) or general skills, such as management training.
Besides making them better at their jobs, the benefit of investing in your people is the fact that it makes staff feel much more valued by your company. Investing in them shows that you are taking their long-term professional development seriously – and this can really boost loyalty.
Example: Mohammed runs a small technology consulting firm. He has employed two junior contractors to provide technology support to customers, and he decides to send them on a week-long training course where they gain new skills in customer service. Once they are back from the course, both employees start offering customers much more helpful support, and this generates several new contracts for Mohammed’s business.
3. Invest in product offering and revenue channels
Many businesses start out with a very limited set of products or services which they have found a market for. This is great to begin with, but if you wish to grow your start-up it is usually essential to expand your product line and grow your revenue channels.
Once you have initially sold a product, adding new lines gives your initial customers a reason to come back, while also attracting new business too. Another benefit of investing in your product offering and revenue channels is that it means you can cross-sell and upsell much more easily if you already have additional products available.
Example: Karim has launched a company that sells a special kind of in-home air purifier. It is popular to begin with but after selling the products to a number of customers he sees demand gradually drop off. Rather than continue trying to sell just one product, he invests some of his profits in expanding his revenue channels. Karim offers an air purification consultancy service where he visits potential customers’ homes to advise them on how to improve indoor air quality. This means he not only wins new business, but he can also cross-sell the original product too.
4. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) for your website
The Internet is a major source of information about products and services for many people today. Whether they are looking for services or products, designing your website so that it appears on search engine results pages is a vital step to winning new business.
Example: Amira runs a small business that sells luxury handwoven carpets to tourists and high net worth individuals. While her traditional method for selling the carpets was a physical store in Sharjah, she decided to invest in SEO for her website. By improving the way pages are organised, she begins selling significantly higher numbers of carpets over the website – both within the UAE but also internationally.
5. Invest in increasing your brand exposure
Brand exposure is about getting your company’s name out there. Fundamentally, if people don’t know what you do, their chances of hearing about you are very limited. Increasing your brand exposure is about marketing and communications, as well as public relations. It involves a long term strategy for getting your company’s name out there. There are many different brand exposure strategies, and they will vary depending on the kind of business you run.
The benefit of increasing your brand exposure is that you are more likely to be ‘top of mind’ when someone is thinking of purchasing the product or service you offer.
Example: George is the owner of a small engineering consultancy in Abu Dhabi. His company does excellent work for a small number of clients, yet he is struggling to gain new business. George decides to increase his company’s brand exposure by using the services of a PR agency. They get a number of stories written by bloggers and journalists which feature some examples of George’s company’s work in specialist trade publications. This exposure means that new customers who had never heard of his business before start getting in touch to inquire if he can help them on new projects.
Ready to invest in your business?
Investing in your small business can make a real difference when it comes to growing your company and winning new customers. And, as the examples above demonstrate, those investments can pay off significantly.
FAQ 1: What Should an Entrepreneur Invest In?
Knowing how to invest as a small business owner as well as what you should invest in, is a very important matter. Here are a few key things you should invest in:
- Invest in Yourself and Improve Your Skills
- Invest in Your People
- Invest in Product Offering and Revenue Channels
- Invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your Website
- Invest in Increasing Your Brand Exposure
FAQ 2: What Are Small Businesses Investments?
Small business investment companies (SMICs) fill the role often played by venture capital firms by providing small businesses with debt and equity financing. Small business investment companies are known to be licensed and privately owned by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
FAQ 3: What Do I Need to Know Before Investing in a Small Business?
Though profit margins may sometimes be slim without large amounts of capital coming in, investing in a small business normally pays back far more than you may expect. Before starting your business you need to know that investing in a small business provides you with many avenues for business growth, is less stressful, saves time and allows you to focus on what you do best!
FAQ 4: How Much Should You Invest in a New Business?
Depending on the business activity and license, the minimum share capital amount varies significantly by free zone, ranging from AED 1,000 to AED 1,000,000. Free zones in Dubai generally require 50,000 AED in share capital.
The coronavirus has led many people to think again about what they want from their careers. For some, this will mean thinking about entrepreneurship – becoming your own boss can provide you with a huge amount of freedom and job satisfaction, as well as being financially rewarding. In fact, there has been a worldwide surge in the number of people starting businesses during the pandemic.
If you could see yourself running a company but don’t yet know exactly what you would do, the following small business ideas in Dubai might give you the inspiration you are looking for.
General Advice for Starting a Business in Dubai
If you are considering starting a business in Dubai, it’s first essential to understand the process of setting up a company here. We have written about this process before, but essentially you will need to follow the below process.
- Select a business activity
- Choose the right structure
- Choose an appropriate name for your business
- Find a location for your offices
- Get company approval
- Make all necessary payments as required
- Receive your licence
Setting up a small business in Dubai is typically very straightforward, and you should be up and running within just a couple of weeks.
Five Small Business Ideas in Dubai
People sometimes assume you need large amounts of money to start a company, but this isn’t necessarily true. The following business ideas in Dubai with no investment show that it is possible to create a company with very little start-up capital.
The following are five small business ideas in Dubai to help you get started.
1. Cleaning Services Business in Dubai
Do you love organising rooms, making places look fabulous, and improving the health and safety of occupants? Setting up a cleaning service business in Dubai could be a great option.
How to enter this sector: To run a cleaning service business, you don’t necessarily need professional experience or qualifications – although various certification courses are available. This makes running a cleaning service one of the most accessible start-up ideas.
Nonetheless, it’s not necessarily easy. You must build good relationships with clients, differentiate yourself in a crowded market and build a strong reputation for reliability and excellence. It’s also a trust-based industry – especially if you’re cleaning people’s homes.
What will it cost? Start-up costs for running a cleaning business are generally low. You will need to invest in some cleaning equipment and get insurance, which is instrumental in having your transport. You might also need to invest in marketing, including printing fliers or joining online cleaning job boards.
What are your prospects? Hourly rates for cleaning services in Dubai are competitive – starting at around AED 50 per hour. If you hope to earn more, you need to start employing people and building your business. Finding a niche (such as contracts for cleaning hospitals or hotels) can help you earn more.
2. Remote Fitness Business in Dubai
During the pandemic, there has been a considerable growth in the number of people taking fitness classes over the Internet. So, if you are passionate about helping people meet their health goals, this could be a great business idea.
How to enter this sector: You’ll need experience in the fitness instruction industry – most remote fitness instructors will have previously worked at a gym, as a personal trainer, as a yoga instructor, or something similar.
What will it cost? Starting a remote fitness company is a great business idea in Dubai with no investment. You’ll need little or no equipment besides a room, an exercise mat, and perhaps a couple of weights.
What are your prospects? This is very much an industry that relies on relationships and reputation. If you can build close relationships with clients, they will likely keep coming back for months or even years.
3. Online Personal Assistant or Virtual Assistant in Dubai
Are you good at organising schedules, planning meetings, taking notes, or efficiently solving administrative issues? Running an online personal assistant or virtual assistant business is a great small business idea in Dubai. The emirate has many entrepreneurs and business executives who could benefit from your help and support.
How to enter this sector: Experience working as a PA is a plus, but it isn’t essential. If you have the right attitude, organisation skills, and knowledge of various software, it should be possible to enter the industry.
To begin offering this service, you could try tapping into your network to find out if there’s anyone who needs help. There are also several websites where you can apply for virtual assistant jobs. It’s also worth contacting potential customers directly.
What are the costs? A great benefit of being a virtual assistant is that you need very little capital to start your company. You’ll need office space, an Internet connection, a desk, and a computer.
What are your prospects? If you are efficient and fast and make your client’s lives easier, you could potentially build up a solid base of repeat business that continues for years.
4. Freelance Digital Marketer in Dubai
Do you know how to run marketing campaigns, generate leads, and manage company websites? If so, working as a freelance digital marketer is a great small business idea in Dubai. Many companies require support in various aspects of their marketing operations. From copywriting to SEO or more general marketing consultancy, freelance marketers have plenty of opportunities.
*Meydan Free Zone does not offer freelance license or freelance visa options.
How to enter this sector: Most freelance marketing professionals will already have a few years of experience working in the industry in-house or at an agency. We don’t need to tell professional marketers about the importance of specialisation and marketing yourself, but it’s advantageous to draw on your network and have a solid strategy for generating new business.
What are the costs? Start-up capital for working as a freelance digital marketer is typically relatively low. You will need office space, a computer, and an Internet connection to invest in a website.
What are your prospects? Freelance digital marketers can expect to earn a healthy income living in Dubai. Thousands of businesses in the emirate (and internationally!) need support with various aspects of marketing. Many freelancers eventually set up their agencies offering outsourced marketing too.
5. Language Coach in Dubai
Do you have skills in one or more international languages? Working as a language coach can be an excellent option for starting a company in Dubai. You could be teaching people grammar and vocabulary online, offering training to individuals and businesses, and helping people express themselves in a second language.
How to enter this sector: Entry into this industry depends on the languages you can offer coaching. For some languages (particularly English and Arabic), the market in the UAE is understandably very competitive – although there’s always a high demand. On the other hand, if you can provide language coaching skills for less common but still attractive languages (such as Russian, Chinese, Spanish, or similar), you might be able to carve out a niche. You might also need a formal teaching qualification, especially if you teach more common languages.
What are the costs? Starting up as a language coach is generally inexpensive. Besides a desk, equipment, and various textbooks, your main cost usually involves travel to your customers’ homes and offices.
What are your prospects? Working as a language coach in the UAE can be a gratifying business idea if you can find a few regular customers who have a long-term need for your support. There are often opportunities to diversify and offer other skills, including translation, interpretation, academic support, etc.
Ready to Develop a Small Business Idea in Dubai?
As these five examples of business ideas in Dubai with no investment show, there are many kinds of companies that you could set up and become your boss. So, what kind of company will you launch?
*Meydan Free Zone does not offer freelance license or freelance visa options.
Value Added Tax (or VAT) is an indirect tax, common across the world, charged on most supplies of goods (and services). VAT is charged throughout the supply chain, with businesses paying the government the VAT that it collects from customers – but equally may get a refund from the government on the tax it has paid its suppliers. In short, it adds value throughout the supply chain.
- What Is VAT?
- How Does VAT Work in the UAE?
- What is the VAT rate in the UAE?
- VAT vs sales tax: What’s the difference?
- How is VAT calculated in the UAE?
- VAT exempt sectors in the UAE
- VAT refunds
- VAT in real estate
- VAT-related responsibilities of businesses
- UAE government statement on VAT and who is required to register
- Government Entities and VAT purposes
What Is VAT?
VAT stands for Value Added Tax, and is essentially a consumption tax levied on goods and services and benefits the government as a form of revenue. As a general consumption tax, the VAT will apply to the vast majority of goods and services transactions. In contrast to income tax, VAT is the same for everyone and anyone consuming goods and services.
How Does VAT Work In the UAE?
In simple terms, VAT is applied at every stage of the value chain process, whilst the registered business selling the goods and services receives a tax credit on the paid VAT by the consumer of the good or service. On the other hand, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) of Dubai also receives an income of 5% because of the VAT imposed. With Dubai’s reputation for having a consumer-oriented business environment, the introduction of a VAT allows the Dubai government to focus their resources on creating a good standard of living with happy citizens.
What is the VAT rate in the UAE?
VAT came into force in the UAE on 1st January 2018 and it stands at 5%.
VAT vs sales tax: What’s the difference?
While sales tax is imposed on the end consumer, VAT is imposed throughout the supply chain – which would also include the final sale. You will also find VAT on imports as a way of helping homegrown businesses remain competitive.
How is VAT calculated in the UAE?
You simply multiply the VAT rate (5%) by the cost price of the specific goods or services.
VAT exempt sectors in the UAE
Let’s now look at the categories where we see exemptions from VAT. These may include:
- Certain financial services
- Residential properties
- Local passenger transport
- Bare land
In addition, there are what’s called ‘zero-rated sectors’ where VAT is 0% on the main categories of supplies. This may include:
- Export where goods/services go outside the GCC region
- Supplies for certain forms of transportation as well as international transport
- New constructed residential properties under certain conditions
- Some investment grade precious metals
- Some education services and the relevant goods/services
- Some healthcare services and the relevant goods/services
- Certain transactions in goods between companies established in UAE Designated (Free) Zones (DZs) may not be subject to VAT. The supply of services within DZs is, however, subject to VAT in accordance with the general application of the UAE VAT legislation.
You may receive a refund from the government on the tax you have paid your suppliers.
To request a refund, follow these steps:
- Go to the FTA’s e-Services portal
- Choose ‘VAT’, then ‘VAT refunds’, then ‘VAT refund request’
- Fill out the request form
VAT in real estate
Real estate and VAT comes down to whether the property is residential or commercial. Commercial properties do fall under the VAT requirement. In contrast, usually residential properties are VAT exempt. This in turn means that buyers don’t incur an irrecoverable cost. To assist real estate developers in recovering VAT on the construction of residential properties, the first supply of residential properties within three years of completion (at the time of VAT introduction) is zero-rated.
VAT-related responsibilities of businesses
Essentially as a business owner in the UAE you must note all your financial transactions to ensure your records are up to date. If you do meet the minimum annual turnover requirement, you will need to register for VAT. Even if you don’t meet the criteria, it’s good practice to keep your financial records in case the government needs to establish the fact that you do/do not need to be registered.
VAT grouping is allowed, provided certain conditions are met.
There are specific documentary and record-keeping requirements, such as the requirement to issue tax invoices and submit VAT returns (on a quarterly or monthly basis depending on the allocation by the Federal Tax Authority [FTA]).
UAE government statement on VAT and who is required to register
The government issued the following statement on the introduction of VAT in the UAE:
“Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced in the UAE on 1 January 2018. The rate of VAT is 5 per cent. VAT will provide the UAE with a new source of income which will be continued to be utilised to provide high-quality public services. It will also help government move towards its vision of reducing dependence on oil and other hydrocarbons as a source of revenue.”
They also noted exact figures to help determine which businesses are required to register for VAT:
“A business must register for VAT if its taxable supplies and imports exceed AED 375,000 per annum. It is optional for businesses whose supplies and imports exceed AED 187,500 per annum.”
Excess input VAT can, in principle, be claimed back from the FTA, subject to a specific procedure. Alternatively, VAT credits may be carried forward and deducted from future output VAT.
Businesses that do not comply with their VAT obligations can be subject to fines and penalties. There are both fixed and tax-geared penalties.
Government Entities and VAT purposes
Supplies made by government entities are typically subject to VAT. This ensures that government entities are not unfairly advantaged as compared to private businesses.
Certain supplies made by government entities will, however, be excluded from the scope of VAT if they are not in competition with the private sector or where the entity is the sole provider of such supplies. Certain government entities are entitled to VAT refunds – this is designed to avoid budgeting issues and provide a level playing field between outsourced and insourced activities.
For the supplies provided for government entities, the treatment of such supplies depends on the same supply and not on the recipient of the supply. Therefore, if the supply is subject to the standard tax rate, the treatment will remain the same even if it is provided to a government entity.
FAQ 1: What is VAT in the UAE?
The UAE charges VAT on tax registered businesses on taxable supplies of goods or services at each stage of the supply chain. This general rate amounts to 5%, whilst some goods and services incur a 0% VAT rate.
FAQ 2: How do you calculate VAT in the UAE?
Based on the invoice you receive for the purchase of either a good or service, multiply the cost price by 5% in order to calculate the VAT amount.
FAQ 3: How to register for VAT in the UAE?
You can visit the website provided by the FTA and log in through the online registration portal in order to commence the simple process of registering which will be followed up by simple instructions.
FAQ 4: How to claim VAT refund in UAE?
To access FTA e-Services Portal, you will need your username and password. Refund forms are available under the VAT tab, then under VAT311 – VAT Refunds.Access the form by clicking on ‘VAT311 – New Tax Refund’ under the ‘Request VAT Refund’ box.
FAQ 5: How to file a VAT return in UAE?
The FTA portal can be accessed at eservices.tax.gov.ae. Make sure you meet all tax return requirements before filing the VAT return form.
Skyscrapers, a vibrant hospitality industry, and the inner-city beaches make the UAE an attractive place to reside, but the thriving economy that plays an increasingly important role in both international commerce and tourism is what draws expats to the United Arab Emirates. Many hope to live, work and settle here when they make their initial move.
To the delight of many expatriates residing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE announced the Golden Visa in 2018, giving long-term resident permits to highly valued foreigners. In April 2022, the UAE cabinet announced a new set of executive regulations regarding entry permits and long-term residence for expats, which will officially be enforced in October 2022. They broaden the qualifying criteria for applying for long-term visas, while also widening the number of people who can apply for long-term visas in various categories, professions, and positions.
This article covers everything you need to know about the Golden Visa UAE, including:
What is the Golden Visa UAE?
In 2019, the UAE announced ten-year golden visas for select residents. They allow foreigners to live, work, and study in the UAE without requiring a national sponsor and with full ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland.
The UAE Residence and Entry Scheme has recently been updated, allowing more people to apply for a golden residence visa. With the new guidelines, the conditions for applying for 10-year visas have been relaxed, and more people from a wide range of professions will be able to apply for the Golden Visa.
What are the new changes being implemented?
From 3 October 2022, the authorities will implement adjustments and changes to the Golden Visa in order to attract even more applicants by increasing the eligible categories. Professionals, specialists, and outstanding abilities are among the latest additions.
The new rule allows Golden Visa holders to sponsor an unlimited number of domestic employees, and the requirement for real estate and property investment to get the Golden Visa has been reduced to AED 2 million. This is applicable not only to real estate investors, but also to students, skilled professionals, and outstanding talents.
Changes to the Golden Visa system will make it easier for foreign nationals to live, work, conduct business, and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor.
Golden Visa UAE benefits and advantages
According to the official website, the Golden Visa is “a long-term residency visa which enables foreign talents to live and work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits.”
These benefits include:
- an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to proceed with residence issuance
- a long-term, renewable residence visa valid for 10 years
- a self-sponsored visa, as there is no need for an employment sponsor
- ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual restriction of six months in order to keep their residence visa valid
- sponsoring their family members, including spouse and children regardless of their ages
- sponsoring an unlimited number of domestic helpers
- allowing family members to stay in the UAE until the end of their permit duration if the primary holder of the Golden visa passes away.
There are other Golden Visa privileges specific to individual emirates, as listed below.
Owners of the Golden Visa Abu Dhabi will be entitled to discounts and deals on vehicles, real estate, health care, hospitality, health insurance, and financial services in Abu Dhabi. To provide the incentives, the Resident’s office has partnered with businesses from a variety of industries.
Abu Dhabi Golden Visa holders will be eligible for discounts on selected properties from developer Imkan Properties as part of the Abu Dhabi Residents Office’s commercial collaborations.
Banks such as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank will provide reduced mortgage fixed-interest rates to golden visa investors as well as attractive savings account rates to non-real estate investors.
Holders will also be eligible for lower prices on annual health insurance policies for families and individuals, with comprehensive network coverage and a package of benefits both inside and outside the UAE.
Golden visa holders will also be eligible for vehicle price reductions and priority booking for new releases, as well as unique payment options, maintenance offerings, and licensing services.
They will receive discounts on restaurants, spa treatments, gym memberships, and hotel stays at chosen hotels.
According to the authorities, foreign residents in Dubai with a golden visa and a driving license from their home country can now take the UAE driver’s test without having to take any additional lessons.
Furthermore, Golden Visa Dubai holders who have a driver’s license from one of 32 authorised countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, New Zealand, Qatar, Kuwait, and Ireland, will be immediately eligible for a UAE driver’s licence.
Outstanding expatriate students and their families will be granted a 10-year residency Golden Visa in Dubai. They will also be granted discounts to attend international university branches in Dubai to further their education.
According to the Dubai Media Office, select groups of Golden Visa holders in Dubai will also be given the coveted Esaad privilege card, free of charge.
Who is eligible under the new Golden Visa rules 2022?
The 10-year visa is currently granted to seven categories of people: property investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with extraordinary talent, scientists, professionals, outstanding students and graduates, and humanitarian contributors.
Real estate investors
Real estate investors can receive the Golden Visa for Real Estate Investors by investing AED 2 million into the country’s property market. This has prompted many Dubai residents to invest or merge their properties in order to meet the AED 2 million threshold required for long-term residency.
The new revisions also allow investors to obtain the Golden Residence when buying a property with a loan from a certain local bank. Furthermore, the residence can be obtained when investors purchase one or more off-plan properties from approved local real estate companies for no less than AED 2 million.
Startup investors can now receive a Golden Visa if their company is registered in the UAE and falls into the category of small and medium enterprises (SME) with annual revenues of AED 1 million or more.
Furthermore, the Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs can be earned if the following conditions are met:
- The individual is the founder or one of the founders of a previous entrepreneurial initiative that was sold for at least AED 7 million.
- The approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is required for initiatives or ideas
Individuals with outstanding talent in the fields of art, culture, digital technology, sports, innovation, medicine, law, and others are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa scheme.
Furthermore, the 10-year Visa will be granted exclusively on the basis of the individual’s talent. It will not be influenced by educational background, employment status, a monthly wage, or professional status. However, a federal or local government entity’s recommendation or approval will be necessary.
Scientists and researchers who meet the following criteria will now be eligible for the Golden Visa:
- Have a PhD or Master’s degree from one of the world’s top universities in engineering, technology, life sciences, or natural sciences
- A recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council
Skilled workers may be eligible for the Golden Visa scheme if the following conditions are met:
- They have a valid contract of employment in the UAE
- The job must be classified as occupational level one or two by the Ministry of Human Resources Emiratisation
- The monthly salary must be at least AED 30,000
- A bachelor’s degree
Students who have achieved remarkable academic success in either UAE secondary schools or universities are also eligible to apply for the 10-year Visa or the Golden Visa scheme.
Furthermore, talented individuals who have attended one of the world’s top 100 universities are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa programme. Academic performance/cumulative average, year of graduation, and university categorization are all considered.
The Golden visa is available to humanitarian pioneers such as the following:
- Distinguished members of prestigious international and regional organisations
- Prominent members of public benefit organisations and recipients of humanitarian recognition awards
- Renowned humanitarian volunteers and supporters
Doctors and nurses
The UAE is providing long-term residency to doctors and nurses, the first line of defence, in “recognition of their efforts and sacrifices”. Between July 2021 and September 2022, all doctors licensed by the UAE’s health regulatory bodies can apply for the Golden Visa through the ICA’s golden residency services for doctors.
Nurses and medical personnel, the unsung heroes of the UAE’s COVID-19 struggle, are now also eligible for the prestigious Golden Visa.
For doctors and nurses who want to apply for visas in person, seven centres associated with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship have been established around the Emirates.
Golden Visa UAE application
Applicants can express their interest on the website of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). To request a nomination, candidates must provide the appropriate paperwork and be willing to relocate to the UAE in accordance with their business venture.
How much does the UAE Golden Visa cost?
The 10-year visa will cost between AED 2,800 and AED 3,800 for candidates currently in the UAE. However, applicants from outside the UAE will have to pay between AED 3,800 and AED 4,800 for the Golden Visa. This is a government processing fee, which explains the extra charge for applications from outside the country. The precise amount is also determined by the category for which the applicant is applying.
The immigration authority in the UAE will assess the application with relevant government departments, and if it is refused, the applicant will receive a partial refund.
In addition, the applicant must pay roughly AED 1,000 for a medical examination and an Emirates ID processing fee. They will also be required to get UAE health insurance, which varies in price but starts at AED 800.
Why Choose Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is a vibrant, strategically positioned economic district with one of the region’s most prestigious business addresses. We provide our clients with a variety of innovative investing and lifestyle benefits in a safe, regulated environment that promotes productivity. And we can assist you in joining them as well.
From registering your company name to maintaining your license and visa applications, our skilled team can help you every step of the way.