Over the past decade, the UAE’s appeal for business and travel has continued to grow. This rapidly growing economy is described by many as a business haven. The region has experienced significant growth, with the implementation of business-friendly free zones and the promise of a growing, stable economy. In 2020, there were approximately 665,246 business licenses issued within the UAE.
Independent private equity and advisory group Matar decided to relocate their business and most of their senior management to the UAE back in 2016. They were looking for a stable, central business location to conduct their business on a global scale with ease. The UAE proved to be the prime location from which to establish a strategic hub for international trade.
Managing Director of Matar, Pawel Gardas, explained, “Back in 2016, our business opportunities started growing outside of Europe to different regions of the world. We quickly realised we needed a central business location in a stable economy to conduct business globally. Since we actively source potential high growth investments worldwide, UAE was a desirable location for Matar Group to establish our head office due to its diverse and skilled workforce and the central location with proximity to major regions of the world, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. UAE is also a major travel, commercial and trading hub, and regulations are very business-friendly and attractive, with efficient immigration and Free Zones allowing tax exemptions.”
Matar is not alone in choosing the UAE and Dubai as the hub for their global businesses; many other companies are relocating to the region for the same reasons.
Business advantages of operating in the UAE
The UAE offers businesses many advantages compared with other regions such as Asia.
The UAE is an excellent choice for businesses across a diverse range of sectors. The region provides opportunities in many industries and is focused on diversification in trade, real estate, banking, tourism, manufacturing, and logistics.
Infrastructure is well-established in the UAE. The region is attractive to businesses because it has a skilled workforce and a robust banking system. It has one of the most liberal trade regimes of the entire Gulf region, and there is a window of free trade zones, offering an attractive taxation regime and allowing 100% foreign company ownership.
The free trade zones are economic areas where the trade of goods and services can be conducted at preferential customs and tax rates. The region’s government introduced them to boost international business, and there are currently 45 free zones across the UAE.
These free zones have continued to evolve over the years, offering ever-increasing business advantages. Some zones cater to specific industries and business sectors, and they benefit from zero personal tax in these areas, allowing you to attract top global talent to your business.
Businesses relocating to the UAE’s free zones benefit from an unrivalled level of support from local authorities. Free zone authorities offer assistance during the initial company set up and beyond. Business owners can benefit from assistance applying for visas, including for shareholders and any dependents.
In many free zone areas, authorities also provide advice and assistance in opening corporate bank accounts. Ongoing business advice and networking services are standard in these areas, as well as start-up hubs. New businesses benefit from growth initiatives to help them get up and running.
The UAE provides a favourable tax environment for businesses operating across most industries. With expatriates accounting for over 80% of the workforce, companies benefit from a vast talent pool.
The UAE benefits from solid capital flow from across the region and excellent global travel links. Repatriation of income and capital is unrestricted, and there are no exchange control restrictions and with the AED being linked to the USD, you are able to mitigate significantly your exchange rate risks.
Also, the UAE is strategically located between Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia, which makes it a gateway between the East and West. This advantageous location is appealing to businesses because it places them near economic giants like China and India and emerging markets.
The way of life and culture is also appealing to many seeking to relocate. Expatriates are welcomed and able to practice their own cultures. The area offers a safe and secure environment for individuals and families, boasting one of the world’s lowest crime rates.
In addition to all of this, the climate is a significant pull for many, especially when considered in relation to other economically attractive regions.
The UAE offers a wealth of benefits to businesses looking to relocate and maintain global connections with their customers like it has for the Matar group. From simple perks like the glorious weather to sound business benefits such as free zones and a favourable tax environment, more businesses will continue to set up their head operations in the UAE as the country is well on its way to becoming the number one international business hub of the world.
About the Matar Group
The Matar group is an independent investment and consultancy group specialising in direct investments within the technology (FinTech and MedTech), property, manufacturing and consumer sectors. The Matar group’s direct investment arm includes several British Virgin Islands (BVI) companies. One of the group companies, Orion Investment Holdings, was established as a conduit to source business opportunities and funnel these to the group. The group is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with satellite offices in Hong Kong.