The United Arab Emirates are an astonishing economic phenomenon. In the span of a few decades the country has transformed itself from a desolate desert and into a thriving oasis of trade, business and commerce. No tax is charged on personal income of under $270,000, with a gradual increase in contribution thereafter. It is one of the reasons how the Emirates managed to build an expansive vibrant expat community over the years.

The biggest reason to establish a business in the UAE is the presence of numerous free trade zones. These are pockets of the economy where no income tax or corporate tax is applied, 100% foreign ownership is allowed and substantial trade incentives are provided. According to World Bank, the Emirates also enjoy the easiest process of company formation compared to the neighbouring Arabic and North African countries. One of the most “connected” nations in the world, the UAE are a particularly attractive destination for tech-based businesses thanks to the high rate of broadband penetration and advanced technological infrastructure.

Third of GDP comes from oil reserves but the country leaders are pushing hard for diversification of the economy with promising opportunities emerging in construction, technology, tourism, and other industries. Import and export of commodities undeniably is still a strong reason to commit capital to the UAE. With such powerful ongoing emphasis on the business activity, the financial system has adapted well to reliably and securely serve the needs of international investors.

Key Facts

Location

Arabian Peninsula

Population

9.54 million

Neighboring countries

Oman, Saudi Arabia

Average temperature (summer)

96°F (36°C)

Average temperature (winter)

64°F (18°C)

Languages

Arabic

Form of government

Federal Monarchy

Corporate tax rate

0%-55%

Currency

United Arab Emirates dirham

GDP

$348.7 billion

GDP growth

3.90%

Inflation

2.70%

Unemployment rate

3.69%

Average salary

$39,800

Key industries

Petroleum, Natural Gas, Tourism, Technology

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