India and the UAE in focus

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India and the UAE have strong historic ties, and Indians make up a large percentage of the expatriate population in the country, estimated at 27.5% in 2018. Trade between the two countries is expected to surpass $100 billion in the next few years. For Indian businesses looking to expand their presence internationally the UAE is the perfect stepping stone, opening the door to wider markets through its excellent geographical location, logistics infrastructure and favorable tax laws.

The UAE recently ranked 21st globally and 1st in the region in the 2018 World Bank Ease Of Doing Business report. The UAE Cabinet remains committed to its goal of becoming the best country in the world as part of its vision for UAE Centennial 2071. Key areas of focus are education, economy, government development, and community cohesion. The Dubai Future Foundation was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to shape the future in cooperation with government and private sector entities.

In addition to the favourable tax laws and full repatriation of profits which have made the UAE an attractive business destination for decades, the government recently announced further initiatives to attract and retain businesses and talent in the UAE. These include the possibility of 100% foreign ownership and 10-year residence visas for investors and individuals in select professions. Further steps have recently been taken to reduce the cost of employment, replacing the previously required bank guarantee with an insurance mechanism.

For Indians looking to relocate to the UAE, the country offers an unprecedented level of safety and security combined with a high standard of living. Excellent schools are available with a choice of all major curriculums, and the standard of higher education continues to improve with more international institutions opening in the country. Real estate remains relatively affordable, with options to buy properties within numerous gated and beachfront communities.

There are multiple daily flights to Dubai and the other emirates from numerous cities in India, making travel between the two countries extremely convenient. Obtaining a visa to enter the UAE is a simple process, and short-term visas are easily arranged by airlines, hotels, and tour operators. Indians who are resident in the UK, Europe, or the USA are eligible for visas on arrival in the UAE. Residence visa holders can sponsor their relatives for long-term visit visas if they meet the specified criteria.

Indians have many options when it comes to setting up a business in the UAE. The various free zones ofter different options tailored to different industry sectors allowing 100% foreign ownership. Professional service providers also benefit from 100% ownership in mainland Dubai although they will require a Local Service Agent. Other mainland companies are currently still subject to 51% participation of a UAE national, although mechanisms that allow for 100% beneficial ownership of Limited Liability Companies are commonplace.

If you would like professional advice on setting up your business in Dubai, the team at Sentinel Business Centres offers free impartial advice on all matters relating to business setup. They also look after the entire setup process on your behalf, and provide serviced offices and co-working space suitable for mainland Dubai licensing requirements as well as ongoing support to your business.

Contact Sentinel Business Centres for more information.