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Offshore Opportunities in UAE .pdf

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A local perspective

Offshore Opportunities
The growth of international businesses in the UAE has made it a major commercial
hub for global institutions and companies. Hassan Mohsen Elhais provides an
insight into the offshore type of business organisations in the UAE.


here are three authorities in the UAE
in which an offshore or International
Company can be registered, i.e. Jabel Ali
Free Zone (JAFZA) in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah
Investment Authority (RAKIA) and Ras Al Khaimah
Free Trade Zone (RAKFTZ) in Ras Al Khaimah.
Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is one of the world’s
most customer-centric and well-integrated business
areas where a company can flourish and achieve
unhindered growth.
Whether you need to restructure your business,
protect your assets or simply develop an international
presence, JAFZA offers you to open an offshore
The advantages of setting up a company in an
offshore jurisdiction are plentiful:
» 100 per cent tax exemption
» 100 per cent foreign ownership (no local sponsor
is required)
» Limited liability Company (option to have Inc.
or Ltd.)
» Protection against lawsuit judgments
» Extreme discretion and confidentiality of the
International Company Registry
» Ability to maintain corporate bank accounts
(multiple current accounts) in UAE
» Ability to own e.g. real estate property in UAE
» Ability to tailor the company, Memorandum of
Association and Articles of Association to suit
your needs
» Absolute privacy, confidentiality and protection of
assets and information
» No annual audit report needs to be submitted to
the authorities
» Minimum of one director is required (Jebel Ali
Offshore Company requires 2 directors)
» No tax haven stigma as UAE is on the white list of
» Own an international company and take advantage
of more than 50 UAE double tax treaties
» A certificate of residence can be issued for foreign
tax authorities
» Unlimited market opportunities
The above mentioned important factors make it all
the more valuable in opening an offshore company,
especially when you have no need to trade within the
local jurisdiction. As you are not limited to a certain
license or activity, you can find a lot more flexibility
and creativity through the offshore company as a

the Oath • DECEMBER 2013

Meanwhile, an offshore company may be
incorporated to conduct any lawful business, except of:
» Carry on business with persons resident in the
United Arab Emirates;
» Own an interest in real property situate in the
United Arab Emirates, other than a lease referred to
in JAFZA Offshore Regulation 15(2) or as approved
by the Authority,
» Carry on banking business,
» Carry on business as an insurance or re-insurance
company, insurance agent or insurance broker, or
» Carry on any other business which may, by
regulations made by the Authority, be prohibited
by the Authority.
With no minimum share capital requirements
as well as no additional obligations to employ staff
or rent offices (which you have to do for Free Zone
companies), your opportunities are endless as your
investment levels are controlled. Also, the ability to
book international profits without paying tax provides
significant savings opportunities. Furthermore, the
ability to open a bank account as well as hold property
in the name of the offshore company is extremely
enticing, and will enable you to protect your assets in
the long run, and secure them for you, your family or
your business.
Text by: Hassan Mohsen Elhais, senior partner & solicitor
Sponsored by:

tel: +971 4 325 4000, email: awf@awfuae.com
Abu Dhabi:
tel: +971 2 650 1211, email: abudhabi@awfuae.com

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