Friday, August 29, 2014

Doing Business in the Middle East – Free Trade Zones

The Middle East, specifically the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to attract U.S. companies. In an effort to attract foreign, the U.A.E has established 21 Free Trade Zones (FTZ’s). These 21 Free Trade Zones house approximately 20,000 companies. Establishing a business entity in one of the numerous UAE Free Trade Zones  can be an attractive option for foreign investors and businesses as it moves away from the traditional requirement of mandating that all foreign companies have a local sponsor that is the majority shareholder of the company. All seven Emirates already have, established such economic zones.

The key benefits of establishing and operating in a free trade zone are:    
  • 100 per cent foreign ownership of the enterprise
  • 100 per cent import and export tax exemptions
  • 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits
  • No corporate taxes for 15 years, renewable for an additional 15 years
  • No personal income taxes
  • Less documentation, mostly in English
  • Assistance with labor recruitment, and additional support services such as sponsorship and housing
Shahzad Qadri

Wong Fleming | Washington 

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