A vital center of international trade and finance
Investors see Dubai as a vital center of international trade and finance. It is counted among the world's top five cities for finance, logistics, tourism and commerce. Interpol rates Dubai as one of the safest cities in the world; it offers a politically stable, crime-free environment.
Dubai has an enviable business infrastructure with the latest digital technologies, communications, logistics, travel. It is home to the world's largest man-made port and the world's busiest airline passenger terminal.
Oil constitutes only six per cent of Dubai's revenues. The economy is diversified into many different sectors: wholesale and retail trade, transport, communications, manufacturing, real estate, construction, and tourism.
In recent years, the emirate has experienced the highest growth in the region in - up to four per cent. There are over 20 Free Zones offering foreign investors full ownership rights, tax incentives and full repatriation rights for capital and profit. All sections of modern industry and innovations are represented in these zones - IT and health care, pharmaceutical research, semiconductors and industry, media and finance.There is no personal income tax.
Economic freedom combined with vision and strategy make Dubai an attractive destination for business investment.
Investing in Dubai
Dubai offers several avenues for investment. It has a vibrant stock market and a real estate industry that has attracted investments from all over the world.
It can also be very rewarding in Dubai to set up in business. The World Bank rates it as the easiest place to do business in the entire MENA region.
Any business requires a licence to operate in Dubai. Licenses are of three types: commercial licenses, which enable a business to operate in the trading space; professional licenses, used by professionals such as accountants, lawyers or doctors; and industrial licences, which are required for manufacturing and other industrial activities.
Normally a business would require a local partner (who will be a majority shareholder) or in some cases an agent who would liaise with Government departments such as the Labour Ministry or the Immigration Department.
If a company is based in one of the 20 free zones, it does not require a local sponsor or partner. Promoters of the business should decide on which free zone is the best for their purposes since many of the free zones specialise in specific areas of industry.
While some risk is unavoidable in business, many companies started in Dubai have gone on to great success and profitability. With the strong support of Dubai's visionary government for commercial activity, enterprise and investment in Dubai have a bright future.
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