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Investing In Dubai As a Foreigner

According to the investment portal of the UAE there are several advantages to investing in the region, including Dubai.

These are its strategic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, a variety of business premises, political and economic stability, social stability, ease of doing business, protection of intellectual property rights, favourable business regulations and open economy, no corporate tax and a strategic location.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce announced in October 2018 that a new partnership will give investors overseas access to a network of 650 business centres spread across 85 cities in 45 countries.

“The move is part of Dubai FDI’s ongoing efforts to attract sustainable foreign investment in line with the goals of the Dubai Plan 2021 while promoting the city as a competitive place to do business,” the announcement reads.

The emirate also allows 100% foreign investment and issue 10-year visas for foreign investors.

“The Dubai Executive Council plays a crucial role in facilitating trade and commerce and promoting Dubai as an attractive business destination. Dubai Chamber’s strategic partnership with the Dubai Executive Council has enhanced our efforts to support the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021 which aim to position the emirate as a preferred investment hub and world leader in ease of doing business,” the chairman of the board, H.E. Al Ghurair, said according to the announcement.

New rules allow 100% foreign investment

Reuters reported in July 2019 that the UAE will allow up to 100% foreign ownership of some companies operating in 13 sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, and renewable energy. This move meant that 122 economic activities across 13 sectors are now eligible for 100% foreign ownership, representing a large number of areas where foreign investors can get involved without needing a local partner. These sectors include space, transportation, hospitality, and professional, scientific and technical activities.

Free zones

Dubai free zones or FZE in Dubai are government initiated economic zones that offer tax concessions, custom duty benefits and other incentives for foreign investors and a host of other advantages to investors. Dubai free zones allow foreign investors to have complete ownership of the companies.

“A city of optimism”

In Dubai and the UAE in general, broad economic indicators are signalling a rebound for investment in the area. The main advantage of the emirate as that it has excellent, positive fundamentals in place including vast natural resources, strategic geographic location, young and growing populations, increasing levels of wealth and first-class infrastructure. This combination creates an environment which is very attractive for investment, which is only being strengthened by recent moves of the UAE government which show a trend for accelerating economic reform.

According to this article published in Arabian Business, Dubai expects foreign direct investment (FDI) in the emirate to exceed 2018’s figure of AED 38.5 billion ($10.48bn). The article quotes the CEO of the Dubai Investment Development Agency, Fahad Al Gergawi. He added that they are expecting to exceed 2018’s numbers. “We’re in a city of optimism always, and His Highess [Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum] has shown us this is the way.” In 2018, the emirate recorded 41 percent year-on-year growth.

See Also

According to Dubai FDI statistics, 23 percent of total FDI projects were from the United States, compared to 13 percent for the UK, 9 percent for France, 7 percent for India and 5 percent for China. The article quotes Gergawi as saying the emirate ranks along with London, Singapore and Hong Kong as an investment destination and first globally in renewable energy.

Expo 2020 Dubai

World Expos are mass international events where government and organisation participate offer insights and solutions to a specific global challenge. These events can last for up to 6 months. Expo 2020 Dubai will “fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving the planet.” Given the tourism potential of the expo, it might be a good time to think of setting up your own business catering for those who will be working and visiting at the mega-event.

Also Dubai has been on your bucket list, this would be a great time to visit. Described by the organisers as “our once-in-a-lifetime celebration – the largest event ever staged in the Arab world” the expo is expected to be attended by representatives of 190 participating countries, and millions of visitors from across the globe.

Expo 2020, that will be held in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021, will bring an expected 25 million visitors to the region with an estimated $23.4 billion to be added to the UAE’s GDP. Not only this, but it will also undoubtedly solidify Dubai as a major global destination for tourism and events, leading to more growth in the tourism, hospitality, transport, and food and beverage industries. Following from Expo 2020 we can expect to see Dubai hosting more and more high-profile international event, perhaps even the Olympics.


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