Dubai has emerged as a leading regional commercial hub with state-of-the art infrastructure and a world class business environment. It has now become the logical place to do business in the Middle East, providing investors with a unique and comprehensive value added platform.
Dubai is at the centre of a region that is emerging as a major force in the global economy. Stretching from North Africa to South Asia and the Caspian to South Africa, this region comprises of 42 countries, some of which are the world’s fastest growing emerging markets.
Since the formation of the UAE in 1971, Dubai has transformed itself from an oil and gas dependent state to a broadly diversified economy based on international trade, banking, tourism, real estate and manufacturing. Oil has played a progressively diminishing role in the Emirate’s economic profile. In 1985, the oil sector contributed to just under half of Dubai’s GDP. By 1993 that figure had fallen to 24 percent, and by 2006, to 5 percent.
Dubai’s open economic policy, minimal government control and private sector regulation have played an instrumental role in attracting vast foreign direct investment (FDI).
Businesses in Dubai do not pay direct taxes on corporate profits or personal income (except for oil companies that pay a flat rate of 55% and branches of foreign banks that pay a flat rate of 20% on net profit generated within Dubai). Customs duties are low at 4% with many exemptions. Businesses can avail of 100% repatriation of capital and profits. There are no foreign exchange controls, trade quotas or barriers. A stable exchange rate exists between the US Dollar and the UAE Dirham (US$1.00=AED 3.678). Liberal visa policies permit easy import of expatriate labour of various skill levels from almost anywhere in the world.