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Unlimited Opportunities




Unlimited Opportunities

Investing in the future Borouge has an annual manufacturing capacity of 2 million tonnes of polyolefins in Abu Dhabi, three logistics hubs in Asia, compounding facilities in China, and sales offices throughout the 速 Middle East and Asia Pacific. Supported by the unique Borstar technology and a culture of innovation, Borouge continues to invest in the future and deliver value added solutions to its customers. Borouge, a joint venture between ADNOC and Borealis, is making a difference to everyday life.



@ 2012 All Rights Reserved by: Ministry of Foreign Trade P.O. Box 110555 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Tel.: +971 2 495 6000 Fax: +971 2 449 9164 E mail: Website:


It is because of the rapid and dynamic changes in the global economic scene that our economy today needs quality investments that bring modern technology and high levels of technical and managerial expertise that will enable our economy and products to compete globaly.


Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the United Arab Emirates


Thanks God, we turned the dream into reality and great achievements that put the UAE on the spotlight and attracted the largest multinational companies that seek profitability, security and future growth


Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of The United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai

I welcome you to the UAE, a country with an ever-renewed spirit and an ever-widening base of opportunities that is today celebrating 40 years of a continuous and united race towards excellence. “Being amongst the best nations in the world” is a promise that was made by our leaders not only to the citizens of the UAE, but to the investors, businessmen, employees and families who chose to work and live in it. Around fulfilling this promise revolve our visions, aspirations, initiatives and mandates. After 40 years of hard and diligent work, I stand proud of our achievements. I am also proud and confident of the unique and well-structured value proposition that we today present to the international business community. Our unrivaled infrastructure, accommodating internationally-benchmarked laws and regulations, cutting-edge technological environment and, above all, a determination to aim higher continue to make us the location of choice for the most renowned multinational companies, international investors and wellqualified professionals. No longer is the UAE only associated with the high production of oil and natural gas or with the world’s tallest buildings or the world’s only seven star hotels. Those vital sectors are only some of the unlimited opportunities that can be exploited in choosing the UAE. Today, the UAE is the de facto financial centre between Singapore and London and the host of the world’s largest man-made port and some of the world’s busiest airports. It also hosts the world’s first free zone dedicated to biotechnology and research and has the world’s only capital connected with a fiber network, just to name a few of what our drive for innovation has fruited. In this challenging and fiercely competitive global economic environment, having a partner of trust and a base from which operations can be conducted securely becomes more crucial than ever. That’s what the UAE can offer you all. No matter what field your business operates in, the UAE is committed to provide a tailor-made solution and business environment that will enable it to focus on its core business and overcome its difficulties. In these 40 years, we built, from the ground up, cities, seaports, skyscrapers, airports and international companies, attracted most of the top Fortune 500 companies to setup in the UAE, became among the top 25 nations globally in competitiveness and among the leading nations in the quality of lifestyle. It is to share this ambition and to take part in this success story that I invite you all. In this book, titled “Why UAE?”, you can explore some of the reasons why this nation lying on the shores of the Arabian Gulf is the location of choice to start a successful business. Through a comprehensive overview of our resilient economy, diverse and ever growing base of opportunities, friendly and businessoriented legal environment and smooth procedures to register a business, you can construct a full picture of the country’s promise and potential. Not to forget the openness embedded in our culture and the amazing lifestyle that you and your family can enjoy. That’s what I can label as “The Emirati dream”. I thank you all for taking the time and showing the interest to explore the country. Regards Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi Minister of Foreign Trade

Contents Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals The UAE: Histories of Openness and Achievements The UAE: Strategic Location and Diversified Terrains The UAE: A Unique Demographic Structure The UAE: A Unique Model of Integration Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Ajman Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) Umm Al Quwain Fujairah

Chapter 2

Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness A Gateway to Growth An Inspiring Society and Spirit A “Plug and Play” Solution A Climate of Trust A True Knowledge Economy A Recognized Global Brand

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Chapter 6

The United Arab Emirates Accommodating Legal Environment

16 18 22 26 30 34 36 38 40 42 44 46

52 58 64 68 72 78

Chapter 3

The UAE: A Strong Economic Heritage The UAE Economy: A Unique Orchestration The UAE Economy: The Pillars of Success The UAE: A Story of Growth The UAE: A Sound Macroeconomic Environment A Bright Economic Outlook The UAE: A Progressive Economic Policy The UAE: an Open and Flexible Trade Policy The UAE: A Visionary Approach

86 87 88 90 94 100 102 106 126

Chapter 4

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities


Real Estate and Construction



[Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Hospitals and Clinical Treatment, Medical Tourism, Medical Equipment and Technology]

Telecommunications, Media and Information Technology [Telecommunications, Satellite Communications, Business Process Outsourcing, Information Technology, Media]

Electronic Transactions & Commerce


Understanding the UAE Market Establishing a Business in the UAE Business Licensing Authorities in the UAE Selecting a Trade Name Selecting a Local Partner Sponsor or Service Agent Selecting the Form of the Business Entity Types of Business Licenses in the UAE Third Party Approvals Commercial Registration Establishing a Free Zone Business Entity: Employment in the UAE: Easy Regulations and Spirited Workforce

The Emirati Identity

Down to Business

[Petrochemical Industries, High Tech and Heavy Industries, Light and Mechanical Industries, Consumer Industries, Food Processing Industries]

Health Care and Pharmaceuticals



322 328 334 340 342

349 352 353 354 356 358 359 370 374 378 380 384

387 389

[Modern Identity Burj Al Arab, Dubai Burj Khalifa, Dubai The Palm Trilogy and The World, Dubai International Sports, Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi, Yas Island Abu Dhabi]


[The Emirati Perspectives, Interaction, Conversations, What to Wear]



317 318

Intellectual Property Exchange of Securities & Commodities Insurance Telecom

The United Arab Emirates A Rooted Business Culture


[Spas and Recreation Facilities, Tourism and Travel Services, Museums and Historical Tourism, Events and Incentives Tourism]



Chapter 8

[Real Estate Development and Investment, Construction, Infrastructure Development, Property and Facility Management ]

Tourism and Hospitality

235 245 289 295 299 303 309

Commercial Transaction Commercial Companies Employment

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

[Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production, Petrochemicals, Utilities Infrastructure Development, Renewable Energy, Mining and Quarrying]


[The Constitution, Legislative Authorities, Judicial Authorities, Characteristics of the Legal System, Civil Litigation Process, Arbitration]

Chapter 7



Abu Dhabi - Free Zones Dubai - Free Zones Sharjah - Free Zones Ajman - Free Zones Umm Al Quwain - Free Zones Ras Al Khaimah - Free Zones Fujairah - Free Zones

Legal environment in Free zones Vs. Inland Legal Topics Relevant to doing Business in the UAE


The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy


Chapter 5

Chapter 9

Relocating to the United Arab Emirates Things to do Prior to Arrival Housing and Accommodation Banking Processes and Procedures Essential Do’s and Don’ts Education Driving and Etiquette Health Services on Offer Lifestyle and Entertainment Getting Around

401 403 408 410 412 414 415 417 418 421

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Rooted in its unique fundamentals of unlimited ambition, flexibility and openness, the United Arab Emirates succeeded to evolve to be the energetic modern civilization as perceived today. The same cultural foundations that have built the blocks of the nation along with the foresighted strategic planning by visionary leadership have been driving the country’s economy to a higher level.


Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

international commercial interests.


nlimitedness is the characteristic that defines the fundememntals upon which the United Arab Emirates are based. It was not a coincidence that a country, born in the second day of December 1971 is now a top global investment and trading hotspot. Evidences from different historical periods show that the United Arab Emirates, through the boundless opportunities it always presented, has been an important location in the global economic map, thus attracting significant

This unlimitedness, deeply rooted in its culture, has also produced an embedded openness that resulted in a very unique demography throughout the history. Its portcities, from Jelfar to Dubai, have always been points of attraction for those who seek growth and for those with ambition. Recognizing these unique fundamentals, the leaders of the country’s most recent renaissance have chosen the most flexible model to establish the basis of the nation’s governance that will assure the preservation of its fundamental values and capitalize upon them to build a vibrant society that will always reach the top.

1900 Population 25,000 Nationalities Local Arabs Business Activities Pearl Diving Herding


UAE - Basic Information

Population 50,000

Country The United Arab Emirates

Nationalities Local Arabs and Western Asians

National Day December 2,1971 The date the UAE was founded

Business Activities Trading Fishing Sea Faring

Capital Abu Dhabi 1980

President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Population 1.04 million

Vice-President H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Nationalities Arabs, Asians, and a few Westerners

Emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah

Business Activities Trading, Services, Manufacturing, and Oil Production

Languages Arabic - Official Language English - Widely Spoken Working Days Sunday-Thursday Time Zone GMT+4 Religion Islam Currency United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), USD = AED 3.6725 Why UAE ?

Because it is located in the centre of the Gulf countries, Indian Sub-Continent, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Africa, the UAE enjoys a strategic position that allows it to present unlimited opportunities across a wide range of sectors. The diverse and geographically-proximate terrains that range from plains to mountains and from deserts to beaches give the UAE a distinguished competitive advantage. This set of ever-present factors will continue to be primary drivers and logical reasons to answer the question: “Why UAE?”

2011 Population 8.6 million Nationalities A True Multicultural Society with morethan 200 Nationalities Business Activities A Diversified Economy

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The UAE: Histories of Openness and Achievements As indicated by excavations and archeological discoveries in different areas of the country, the United Arab Emirates has an ancient history that goes back to the pre-historic times. Throughout the different historical eras, the land has been the home of active and rich civilizations that interacted positively and effectively with other civilizations in the neighboring Mesopotamia and small Asian communities. It had been the home of rich and important strategic resources from diverse civilizations that inhabited the ancient western Asia. This part of the world has always been considered the main transit point between the east and the west. Thus, interaction with the outside world in the form of foreign trade has been a recurring motif in the history of the UAE. The first known human existence on the UAE can be traced as far back as 5500 B.C . However, its initial recorded contact with the outside world, particularly with the

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

civilizations in the north of Persia and Mesopotamia, was during the end of the third millennium B.C. During that time, two prominent civilizations flourished in the country and were in contact with neighboring civilizations. The first was Majan civilization located in the area today shaping parts of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The port of Umm al Nar, now near the city of Abu Dhabi, was a major trading port for this civilization. The second was Milokha located in the central part of the Emirate of Sharjah today. Foreign trade, motivated by copper export, increased with many parts of the world including Persia, Iraq, the Indian sub-continent and even China.

get traded with merchants from all over the region.

The domestication of camels, around the year 2000 B.C., further contributed to the rise of the area’s trading activity with its neighboring regions.

In the early 16th century, the Portuguese succeeded in controlling the Indian Ocean by invading and ruling the key port cities of India, Oman and East Africa. This was preceded by the historical event of exploring the spice

During the 1st century A.D., the port of Omana – known today as Umm al-Quwain – started its fundamental role as an alternative sea-route to the Red Sea that was used for centuries. During this stage, pearl diving and trading flourished as a main source of income for the region. Seafaring was also a common business activity for the region. Dibba, a port in the eastern coast of the UAE, was known as a host of one of the major trade fairs where goods coming from India, China and Africa

In 630, Islam reached the region; people converted without a battle. Moreover, Jelfar – today Ras al-Khaimah – became a staging base for Muslims to travel throughout the Indian Ocean, spreading Islam to vast areas over many centuries. As a result of the growing political and commercial importance, city turned into a very wealthy port. Throughout the middle Ages, the regional sailors and merchants dominated the most important trade routes between the east and the west running through the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, the Gulf and the Red Sea.

and the people. Due to the stabilized political situation, the pearling industry flourished during the 19th and early 20th centuries, creating more income and business opportunities to the people of the Gulf region. Unfortunately, this industry was smashed by the economic depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s coupled with the Japanese cultural pearl invention as well as the new taxes imposed by the government of India. Pearl diving and trade completely disappeared in the region by the start of the Second World War.

route to India by Vasco de Gama who was helped by Ahmed bin Majid, a local navigator from Jelfar. In 1650, local Arabs managed to liberate the area from the Portuguese influence. However, it became a target for several competing European colonizing powers. As a move to protect its Indian trade, the British government invited the Sheikhs of the region to sign a maritime treaty. In 1820, the treaty was signed and the area was named as the “Trucial States”. In 1892, the relations between the United Kingdom and the Trucial States became stronger in their signing of a Protection Agreement. The British agreed to defend the Trucial Coast against any foreign attack and in return the Sheikdoms agreed not to enter into relations with any foreign government without their consent. However, the sheikhs kept their control over their local jurisdictions Why UAE ?

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The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

The times were hard on people of the emirates. However, they continued, as was the case throughout the history, to create new ways of utilizing their resources and pursing their role in bridging and facilitating trade between India, Africa, the Arabian Gulf and the surrounding region. In that particular time, some visionary individuals sniffed the opportunities lying ahead for the emirates and the region. The late 1940s and 1950s witnessed the birth of what’s today some of the largest conglomerates not only in the UAE but in the region at large.

The decade of the 1960s was marked by one of the country’s historical milestones, namely the discovery and export of oil from Abu Dhabi’s desert. A massive plan of infrastructure development had been set to transform the emirate when the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the ruler in 1966. Dubai ruler, the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, also started the journey of a comprehensive building strategy as oil revenues started its inflow in 1969.

Since then, the nation and its seven Emirates started their journeys of success into building one of the region’s most modern and developed nations and a global role model for sustainable development and balanced As the United Kingdom’s protection relations with the whole world. After Sheikh agreement with the Trucial Coast was Zayed passed away in 2004, his eldest approaching its end on December 2nd 1971, early calls of unifications were son His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin The made by the new fully independent Zayed Al Nahyan was appointed as federation states’ Sheikhs. On December 2nd the president of the UAE. Under was formed; 1971, the United Arab Emirates his leadership, the United Arab Sheikh Zayed was announced as a uniquelyEmirates continues to target and president of the UAE modeled federation consisting of reach new heights of success. Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman,

Conversion to Islam

Trading and flourshing. Domestication of the camel

Interaction with outside world. Copper Trade exporting to Persia, Mesopotamia

5500 BC

First known human occupation

Why UAE ?

3000 BC

1st Century AD

Seaborne travel through port of Oman, Umm al-Qaiwain today





The Collapse of pearl industry Portugese Colonized the region.

HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed became the president of the UAE

Discovery of oil. Early calls of Unification.

Peace Treaty with British Governement

2000 BC

Umm Al-Quwain, and Fujairah. The last Emirate to join was Ras Al-Khaimah on February 1972. With the visionary leadership and hard work of the father of the new-born country, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan along with the other founding fathers, a revolutionary era had began.





Still breaking all of the world records

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The UAE: Strategic Location and Diversified Terrains The UAE: An Attractive Location Positioned in the heart of the old world, the geographic location of the Middle East is certainly very strategic. On this part of the Earth, the earliest civilizations flourished, not just because of its importance as the ideal access point to the three continents but also because of its wealthy natural resources. Being located on the eastern entry point of this strategic region,the UAE’s role as a vital transit point between the east and the west through its access to both the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean has been a competitive advantage of the country since the ancient times.

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

The country has a significant coastline on the Gulf of Oman on its east and the Arabian Gulf on its west and northwest. The UAE is also located next to the southern lines of the Strait of Hormuz, an essential passage for more than 40% of the world crude oil. This location has, in some way, shaped the country’s history. Contacts with ancient civilizations like the civilization of north of Persia and Mesopotamia during the third millennium B.C. were mainly because of this ideal location. It’s for the same reason the UAE ports and airports today are ranked among the top choices for major carriers when planning their routes from the east to the west.

The UAE’s Diverse Terrains

Area and Boundaries Location Southwest of Asia in the south of the Arabian gulf and towards the south-eastern edge of the Arabian peninsula. Very Close to the southern edge of the strait of Hormuz Total Area 83,600 km1 Boundaries Saudi Arabia 457 km Oman 410 km Geographic Co-Ordinates Between 22° - 26.5° north latitude and between 51° - 56.5° east longitude

In spite of it is small size and limited area, the UAE is characterized by diversified environment and rich landscape, adding an extra advantage to its strategic location. Thus, those two factors combined were important fundamentals that contributed to shaping the UAE’s history and its current and future economic and demographic landscape.

The UAE’s diversified terrains are comprised of flat, barren coastlines, vast deserts, and high mountains. The beautiful coasts mostly consist of clean salt pans. The five emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain are located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, whereas Fujairah and a part of Sharjah are on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. Just a few kilometers from the coast lay vast, rolling sand dunes that covers wide areas of the south and the west of the country; those dunes and vast desert areas shaped the natural eastern edge of Ar-rub’-al-khali ( the empty quarter), one of the largest desert areas in the Arabian peninsula and the region. The desert, however, is permeated by important oases like “Liwa” and “Al Ain” that provide the area with a great source of underground water used for sustainable settlements and permanent cultivation.

In the north, east and the southeast of the UAE, bordering the Sultanate of Oman, lay Al Hajar al Gharbi (Western Al Hajar) Mountains. They rise in some places to almost 2,000 meters and extend southeastward for about 150 kilometers to the southernmost UAE-Oman border on the Gulf of Oman. The sharp mountain slopes run directly to the shore in many places. However, in Fujairah the mountains do not approach the coast, only sandy beaches. On the other hand, there are small harbors at Dibba Al-Hisn, Kalba, and Khor Fakkan on the Gulf of Oman. This diverse yet proximate terrains base that the UAE possesses provides not only for an ecological richness, but shapes a solid ground for the creating of a flourishing tourism industry that provides visitors and business travelers with a unique experience and variety of choices for different interests.

Elevation Extremes Sea level – 0.0m (lowest) Jabal Jais in Ras Al-Khaimah 1737m (highest) Islands More than 200 Coastline Over 800 km on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman Why UAE ?

1-The UAE Government Official Portal

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Chapter 1

Climate The UAE climate is an arid subtropical climate because of its location within the northern desert belt and as the tropic of cancer passes through its lands. Its temperatures slightly differ from a place to another as well as from time to another due to diversified geographical altitudes. In the mainly-desert inlands of the western legions, for instance, the daily temperature range is significantly wider than the coastline cities and areas. During summer, the UAE’s inland temperatures

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

are extremely high with dryness while it gets a bit cooler in mountains. In contrast, the climate on the coastal areas is known of its high humidity. However, the UAE is considered as one of the world’s best winter destinations since its average temperature is 15 C - 26 C. Humid southeastern winds, known as Al Kaws, may also blow throughout the summer as rain may fall in the coastal area, sometimes causing floods in usually dry valley beds (Wadies). The region overall is exposed to occasional dust storms just like the rest of the GCC countries.

Flora and Fauna The UAE is a home to a wide range of native flora. Estimates show that the deserts, mountains and islands of the UAE contain more than 6,500 indigenous floras. A variety of trees such as date palms, acacia and eucalyptus grow in the oases, grasses, thorn bushes, and many plants like peganum harmal, heliotropium bacciferum and citrullus are spread all over the desert. Many of these plants are used conventionally and traditionally to develop different pharmaceutical products.

Climate General Weather Hot and Humid (summer) Moderate cool (winter)

The UAE also has an indigenous fauna and a rich wildlife. The famous Arabian Oryx and leopards are just two examples of the species that have their habitats in the UAE’s rich ecological system. In addition, the UAE is also rich in marine life and fisheries resources. Some of the coastal fish that can be found off the UAE coastlines are mackerel, perch and tuna, as well as sharks and whales.

Highest Temperature 48 °C Lowest Temperature 14 °C Hottest Months July and August Coldest Months January and February Islands More than 200 The Average Annual Rainfall 120-350 mm Why UAE ?

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from 680,000 in 1975 to reach 8.26 million as of 2010 estimates. Despite the consequences of recent economic downturn, the UAE sustained a strong annual population growth trend. With an annual growth rate of 3.69%, the UAE today is ranked the 1st internationally in this category in 2009 5 . Among the GCC countries, the UAE has the second largest population

The UAE: A Unique Demographic Structure Population Since the declaration of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, the strong economic growth along with the embedded openness of the society and the business-friendly policies and regulations implemented by the government have been attracting opportunities and success seekers from around the globe to join the development renaissance in the country. This attractiveness has resulted in an exponential growth in the size of the country’s population

Demographic Indicators UAE Population 8,264,0702 Population Growth Rate 3.28% Population in Urban 3,489,9883 Male / Female Ratio 6.16 million males 2.10 million females1 Age Structures4 0-14 years - 16.8% 15-64 years - 81.9% 64+ years - 1.3% Literacy Rate 91% Labor Force 2,559,000 Language Arabic (official), English, Persian, Hindi, Urdu Religions5 Islam - 96%, Others - 4% Why UAE ?

UAE Population Growth 8,000,000 6,000,000 4,000,000


2,000,000 0 1970









in the region of which the majority is urban residents. The largest portion of the population lives in the three largest emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. This high urbanization rate has driven the country to focus on building and providing efficient public services, strong transportation system, and reliable communication networks. Additionally, this urbanization has led the drive to improve the business environment and to create service sectors that are today globally competitive. The UAE’s population is predominantly young. According to the National Bureau of Statistics estimates based on a total population of 8.20 million in the year of 2009, around 81.9 percent of the population is 15 to 59 years of age, around 16.8 percent is less than 14 years of age, and 1.3 percent is 60 years old and older4 . The population is male dominant, with males numbering 6 millions and females, 2 millions 6 . Studies have shown that there is a correlation relationship between GDP growth and the percentage of “15-64 years old age group”. The UAE was among the first nations to understand the strong relationship between the young population and the economic growth and in accordance it made policies to maximize the benefits by providing them with high knowledge, skills and comprehensive education systems.

1-The UAE Government Official Portal 2-Estimates 2010, National Bureau of Statistics

3-Census Data 2005, National Bureau of Statistics 4-Analytical Report on Economic and Social Dimensions UAE

The rapid rise in population has demanded a significant investment in education. As a response to the society’s call and derived from the government’s strong belief on the importance of good education as a major pillar of the society’s overall continuing development and progress, approximately 25 percent of the total federal government spending has been dedicated to education. New policies and modern high advanced educational techniques and programs have been enforced by the Ministry of Education in order to prepare

Population by Emirates 33% 33% 20%

5% 1% 5% 3%

men and women to actively participate in the society and to provide a reliable competitive workforce. Good education has been providing the country great advantages to be at the head of the nations by building more competitive and comparative strengths. The fast economic growth is greatly attributed to the greater portion of the population (91%) that attends or graduates from schools. Business education in particular has been a field of emphasis as stated by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Population by Educational Status Illiterate Read & Write 15.63 Primary 17.90 Preparotary 25.93 Secondary 9.32

Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah


Ajman Umm Al Quwain Ras Al Khaimah Fujairah

National Bureau of Statistics, Census Data 2005 5-CIA The World Factbook 6-Population Estimate 2006-2010, National Bureau of Statistics

Below University University 1.50 Above University 0.10 Not Stated



National Bureau of Statistics, Census Data 2005

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Women in Workforce A lack of formal education had prevented the majority of women from participating in the development of the country’s economy before the creation of the union. However, under the leadership of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, rapid actions were taken to promote women’s education. Since then, women in the UAE have been taking their roles in all political and economic life. The Government, through its policies and incentives, supports the engagement of females to actively participate in both the government sector and the private sector and strongly believes on the importance of empowering them through good education. According to latest figures from Statistics Center Abu Dhabi (SCAD), Emirati women workforce grew by 24.6% between 2005 and 2008. They make about 26 percent of the national labor force. Women’s participation in the workforce will continue to grow. Even though more women prefer working in the public sector, major indications show women’s share in the private sector has been gradually increasing due to the supportive strategies of the federal

Why UAE ?

and local governments. In order to encourage the engagement of women in the private sector, the policies implemented in work environments are designed to be suitable to their nature such as the maternity law. Successful and hardworking women reached greater heights in the UAE. Today, women in the UAE are teachers, engineers, lawyers, businesswomen, and even ministers. The equal opportunities given to both genders by the religion and implemented by the government along with the women’s ambitions were the main drivers of the obvious females’ successes as perceived over all sectors and positions.

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responsibilities of both the federal government and the local emirates’ governments.

The UAE: A Unique Model of Integration The evident success of the unity model of the UAE has not only been a result of shortterm interests or wealth-related factors. On the contrary, it has been a result of deeply rooted historical ties between the different parts of the region, the great economic similarities and correlations as well as the close relations between the different tribes living in the area. In fact, many of the ruling families and key tribes in then seven emirates are close relatives, such as the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, (the comma used here is called a serial comma and its use is essential to avoid misunderstanding) and the ruling families of Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah. However, the most important factor that made the UAE one of the most successful unification examples of the region is the flexible, pragmatic and well-integrated nature of governance and distribution of authorities between the federal government of the country and the local governments of the individual member emirates. Since the inception of the country in 1971, the founding fathers have understood how a carefullyengineered decentralized union can offer a great deal of efficiency in using the country’s resources and can create a highly effective and far-reaching nation. Therefore, the constitution of the UAE clearly laid out the authorities and

Why UAE ?

In accordance to the constitution, the federal government issues the policies and legislations and retains executive control in areas that impact the internal and external sustainability of the country, including defense, internal security, foreign relations, healthcare and environmental planning and control, labor market regulation and management, telecommunications and inter-emirates transportation, (the comma used here is called a serial comma and its use is essential to avoid misunderstanding) and utilities infrastructure. By this, it assures the achievement of the vision and objectives set by the constitution. In order to maintain a unified rhythm to the development process of the country, the federal government also maintains legislative control over major areas of activity, such as civil and commercial transactions, banking and monetary system control, protection of agriculture and animal wealth, criminal law, procedures of litigation, and intellectual and industrial property protection.

The UAE’s Federal Government: A Formula of Efficiency and Effectiveness Looking closely at the structure of the federal government of the United Arab Emirates, the model appears to allow for both fast and effective decision making and sets the ground for the development of well-planned people participation. Thanks to the visionary leadership of the founding fathers and the wisdom of the current leaders of the country under the guidance of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, that have always managed to strike a balanced between the preservation of the culture and traditions and the adapting of the most internationally-recognized standards for effective governance and excellence in all governmental services. The UAE’s Federal Government is structured into four different branches that work effectively

yet independently. Those branches are the Supreme Council, the Cabinet, the Federal National Council and the Federal Supreme Court. The UAE is a presidential, elected system that has a president, vice president, prime minister and a cabinet. The president is elected by the members of the Federal Supreme Council, which includes the rulers of the seven emirates constituting the federation. The election of the president takes place every five years. Currently, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, is the President of the Federation. The Federal Supreme Council is the forum in which general policy for the UAE is formulated and by which all legislations, being Federal Laws or other key federal decisions, are finally ratified before being issued by the president. It meets periodically to set the stage for the future milestones of the federation and agree on critical matters related to policies and strategies. The council is also responsible for the appointment of the Supreme Court judges.

Apart from the above, the constitution gave the local governments the right of controlling the natural resources in its lands, such as oil and other mines. In addition, they are responsible for municipal affairs as well as licensing economic activities in their territories. By this formula, each local government will have the flexibility to effectively plan its economic strategy that goes in conjunction with that of the overall federal level vision and plan, and yet to have its unique, distinctive brand that enriches the offerings of the whole nation.

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of action on that regard. Membership of the council is distributed fairly and evenly between representatives of the seven member emirates.

All laws and decrees are issued by the president. The cabinet is the main executive authority of the federation. It is headed by a prime minister appointed by the president. Currently, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Along with his 22-members cabinet, the prime minister overlooks the implementation of the leadership vision for the country and supervises the performance of the different federal government bodies. The cabinet’s responsibilities include budget proposal, of legislations, driving and implementing federal level strategies.

In accordance with the enablement strategy embraced and announced by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the UAE, half of the members of the Federal National Council (FNC) are to be elected by 129,274 UAE nationals in the seven emirates in the next elections to be held in the 24th of September 2011. This will mark another step towards greater people participation in shaping the bright future of the country. The other half of the FNC is appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates based on experience and capability.

The legislative part of the UAE’s Federal Government is represented by the Federal National Council, a 40-members parliamentary body that serves as an advisor to the executive government. The council’s role is critical to the effective functioning of the government system as it examines and suggests any amendments to proposed federal legislations. In addition, it has the right to question ministers on performance of their ministries and gives alternative course

The Federal Supreme Court is the fourth pillar of the Federal Government system. The UAE’s constitution assures the independence of the judiciary system. The system consists of the Federal Supreme Court as well as courts of first incidence. The president and the five judges of the Supreme Court are appointed directly by the federal supreme council of the UAE. (For more details on the judiciary and legal system refer to chapter 6 of the book)

President of the United Arab Emirates

The Federal Supreme Council Consists of the Rulers of the Seven Member of Emirates


Why UAE ?

Federal National Council Consists of the Consists of Forty Members, Twenty Members are Elected

Federal Supreme Court President and Four Judges

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Abu Dhabi Archeological evidences have demonstrated that Abu Dhabi has a rich history that has been built-up since the third millennium B. C. During that time, Majan Civilization inhabited the area between Baynounah, a town located in the west of Abu Dhabi, and Qatar

Basic Information Translation Father of Gazelle Area 67,340 km (Largest in the UAE) Population 1,826,673 (Largest in the UAE) Ruler H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan

borders. Through Majan’s capital and main port, Umm Al Nar, foreign trade with other nations emerged. The economy of the region flourished due to the increased export of the main product (copper) that was extracted from Al Hajar Mountains. By the late 16th century, a very influential Bedouin tribe known as Bani Yas had moved to the area and made a settlement off the Arabian Gulf’s coast after finding great sources of underground fresh water. More than 20 subsections came out of Bani Yas tribe one of which is Al Bu Falah that decided to migrate to the modern area of Abu Dhabi. A section of Al Bu Falah subsection known as Al Nahyan Family has been ruling Abu Dhabi since 1761.

Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

its unprecedented growth era, driven by the vision of the new ruler, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan. Abu Dhabi started exporting oil on 1962 and the Sheikh used the revenues to fund the infrastructure projects.

Geographic Location South Central and Southwest of UAE Main Towns Al Ain, Madinat Zayed, Liwa, Al Marfa, Dalma Island, Al Salaa, and Ghaithy

Even though Abu Dhabi city is technically an island, located less than 250 meters from the mainland, it is connected to the mainland by Maqta and Mussafah bridges and to other islands by motorways-bridges as shown in the illustration.

Main Tourist Attractions Emirates Palace, Al Ain Museum, Sir Bani Yas Island, Hafeet Mountain, Western Zone Sand Dunes, Dalma Islands, Marina Mall Ports Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain International Airport, Zayed Port, Al Bateen Executive Airport, Khalifa Port GDP Contribution USD 162.39 billion (60%) (At current prices, 2009 estimates) Average Monthly Household Income USD 12,839 (Nationals) USD 4,133 (Expatriates) Average Monthly Household Expenditure USD 7,013 (Nationals) USD 2,447 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

Being the capital of the country, Abu Dhabi today is the home of the main offices of the federal government as well as the During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Emirate had been successfully developing its economy by depending on pearling industry, camels herding, fishing, and dates production. However, the situation started to harden when cultured pearls invaded the globe in the late 1890s. Throughout the following years, the residents of the emirate had faced a lot of difficulties finding alternative sources of cash earnings. By the British’s withdrawal and the discovery of oil, the emirate began

Remarkable Achievements

headquarters of many financial institutions and leading organizations. Due to its ongoing development and uprising urbanization, the emirate has grown to be a multicultural city and transformed to become the country’s centre of political and economical activities. Currently, Abu Dhabi produces 2.7 million barrels of oil per day, positioning itself internationally as one of the world’s largest producers. Despite this fact, it has been putting forward steps in the global non-oil sector through strategic investments in financial services, tourism, telecommunication, and real estate sectors. According to Fortune magazine and CNN news press, Abu Dhabi was the richest and 50th most expensive city in the world in 2010.

The first Arab capital to host the headquarters of a United Nations specialized agency – IRENA One of the world’s richest cities The world’s top-most in per capita GDP The first capital in the world to be fully connected with fiber network The location of the world’s first zero-carbon city – Masdar The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Dubai Although little known about the ancient history of Dubai, archeological traces that were found on Al Qusais area, a suburb in Dubai, show that the history of the city could go back as far as 3000 years ago, linking it to

Basic Information Translation Baby Locusts Area 4,114 km (2nd Largest in the UAE) Population 1,770,978 (2nd Largest in the UAE) Ruler H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum

the mysterious Bronze Age Majan civilization. During that time, the main trading exchange depended on the export of copper extracted from Al Hajar Mountains and pearls obtained from Dubai Creek. Other excavations found on Jumeirah, another suburb of Dubai, revealed a 6th-century A.D. caravan station, proving that people kept trade routes well maintained. In 1833, a dynasty of Bani Yas tribe known as “Al-Maktoum” migrated from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and settled down around Dubai’s creek. Since then, Al Maktoum family has been ruling Dubai. It has been a great gear toward establishing Dubai as an important business and leisure hub in the world. With foresighted vision and supporting policies, the founding father of modern Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, efficiently

Geographic Location North Eastern of the UAE Southwest of the Arabian Gulf

numbers and its economy was booming. The emirate depended mainly like other emirates on pearling industry that had collapsed in 1929 because of introduction of the artificial pearls. The discovery of oil in 1966, however, had saved the emirate from the depression and Sheikh Rashid worked immediately into developing infrastructures of schools, hospitals, roads, ports, communications and transportations networks, preparing Dubai to have one of the most modern business environments in the world.

Main Towns Bur Dubai, Deira, Al Awir, Al Hebab, Al Madam, Hatta Main Tourist Attractions The Dubai Creek, Dubai Museum, The Historical Bastakiya, Hajar Mountains, Sheikh Saeed’s House, Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach, Burj Khalifa, Bait Al Wakeel, The Souks, and Burj Nahar Ports Dubai International Airport Al Maktoum International Airport Port Rashid, Jebel Ali Port

Dubai is known of its cultural diversity and welcoming people. Its shinning sun during the

Remarkable Achievements

GDP Contribution USD 80.09 billion (29.6%)

(At current prices, 2009 estimates)

Average Monthly Household Income USD 15,071 (Nationals) USD 5,474 (Expatriates) Average Monthly Household Expenditure USD 9,081 (Nationals) USD 3,694 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

whole year, mysterious desert, and wonderful clean beaches, coupled with its luxurious hotels and malls, historical architectures, and prosperous businesses welcome millions of tourists and business seekers from all over the world each year. Even though Dubai is distinguished by its desert surface in the south, wonderful vast sands dunes provide astonishing views for visitors. The flat sandy desert gives way to the Western Hajar Mountains, which run alongside Dubai’s border with Oman at Hatta. Characterized by its shallow waters and many coral reefs, Dubai’s territorial water has been a rich source of pearls and fish.

Where the world’s tallest building is located – Burj Khalifa drove the development wheel and took Dubai to the next level. In 1971, His Highness along with Sheikh Zayed began the initial steps of forming the federation. By the 20th century, due to its strategically located port, Deira, a major town in Dubai, became the most important commercial city on the coat of the Arabian Gulf. Merchants from around the globe began coming in large

Among the top ten destinations cities in the world for business tourism with 7.9 million visitors in 2010 The builder of the world’s largest man-made island – Palm Jumeirah The emirate that has the world’s largest man-made harbor – Jebel Ali Port The host of the world’s largest shopping mall – The Dubai Mall The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Sharjah Sharjah is a distinguished oasis off the Arabian Coast that combines between the nobility of the past and the pride of the present by refined blending between the old and the new in a unique contemporary style. It is rich in many historical monuments that

are considered as a witness, demonstrating the ancient city’s deep-rooted heritage. As a reward for maintaining its unique genuine traditions, the emirate was awarded as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO in 1998.

Basic Information Translation The Shinning State Area 2,590 km (3rd largest in the UAE) Population 882,000 (3rd largest in the UAE) Ruler H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sulthan Al Qasimi Geographic Location North of the UAE , between Ajman and Dubai Main Towns Sharjah City, Al Dhaid, Khor Fakkan, Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn, Islands of Abu Mousa & Sir Abu Nuair Main Tourist Attractions Al Qasbaa, Arabian Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Art Museum, Expo Centre, The Planetarium, & Sharjah Aquarium Ports Sharjah International Airport, Port Khalid, & Hamriya Port GDP Contribution USD 16.59 billion (6.1%)

(At current prices, 2009 estimates)

Average Monthly Household Income USD 9,665 (Nationals) USD 3,225 (Expatriates) Average Monthly Household Expenditure USD 4,715 (Nationals) USD 1,947 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

As a result of being an important transportation point that connects Asia to Africa and Europe for over 5000 years and as the only emirate to have both exits on the Arabian Gulf and Oman Gulf, Sharjah developed to be one of the most prosperous towns in the region for thousands years. In order to control

the most essential trading route in the history, several dominating powers attempted to conquer the area. The Portuguese during the 17th century, and British during the 18th century succeeded somehow to control a part of the region but the Dutch failed. With the coming of the ruling family “Al Qasimi” tribe in 1727 that established the emirate as an independent Sheikhdom, succeeded to liberate the emirate. Since then, the emirate made moves ahead toward modernization by establishing the first school in the UAE in 1903 and the first journal in 1927. It also built the first airport in the region in 1932. Following the steps of its neighboring emirates, Sharjah was the third to join the united federation since its establishment on December 2, 1971.

The production of oil in 1972 with the previously developed infrastructures was behind the early business success of the emirate. Even though the desert environment dominates most of the countries in the region, Sharjah features vegetarian seasonal cover in addition to the many types of trees that are considered safe haven for a large number of animals. Sharjah has important oasis areas, the most famous of which is Dhaid where a wide range of vegetables and fruits is cultivated on its rich and fertile soil. In addition, Sharjah has several unique islands: Abu Mousa and Sir Abu Nu’ayr located on the Arabian Gulf. Coastal and marine environment also provide a great variety of fish and marine animals that are endemic in this environment.

Remarkable Achievements A significant regional cultural hub, was chosen as the Arab cultural capital for 1998 The host of one of the most notable art exhibitions in the region - Sharjah biennial The host of one of the top universities of the region - The American University of Sharjah A manufacturing hub of the UAE, represents 48% of the UAE’s industrial production The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Ajman Ajman has an ancient history that goes back to thousands years ago and a bright future that is looking to pursuit to achieve more progress toward modernization. Due to its strategic location between the emirates of Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain and to its closeness to Dubai, Ajman has been witnessing an unprecedented

Basic Information Translation The Name is Related to an Ancient Tribe Inhibited the Area Area 259 km (7th largest in the UAE) Population 224,000 (4th largest in the UAE) Ruler H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi Geographic Location Northwest of the UAE Main Towns Ajman city, Masfut, Al Manama Main Tourist Attractions Ajman Museum, Dhow Yard, Mowaihat, and the Souks Ports Ajman Port GDP Contribution USD 3.78 billion(1.4%)

(at current prices, 2009 estimates)

Average Income USD 9,719 (Nationals) USD 2,959 (Expatriates) Average Expenditure USD 4,624 (Nationals) USD 2,138 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

industrial, commercial, and architectural growth. Major infrastructure projects have been developed. With increasing ship movements and trading activity through Ajman port, that contains the largest ships maintenance site in the world, the emirate is defiantly heading to a growth over all sectors. For these reasons and for the increasing population of the neighboring emirates, Ajman port, that contains the largest ships maintenance site in the world, the emirate is

defiantly heading to a growth over all sectors. For these reasons and for the increasing population of the neighboring emirates, Ajman’s population has been largely growing for the last five years, demanding more construction projects.

UAE was formed, of which Ajman was a founder. Since then, the emirate’s leadership has been putting forward steps toward developing people’s life standards by implementing major infrastructure plans and developing commercial and touristic mega projects.

As the whole region’s history, Ajman’s history goes back to the civilization of Majan times, 5000 years ago. Throughout the ages, people who lived in the region depended mainly on fishing, herding, and cultivation. The capital city, Ajman, preserves much of its ancient history, and traces of the old town are still visible. In 1803, the current ruling family settled down in the area and established Ajman as an autonomous state.

Ajman is the smallest emirate in the UAE in terms of area. It is geographically located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf; its coast extends for 16 km. The emirate is comprised of Ajman city and the towns of Masfut and Al Manamah. Most of the population resides in Ajman city, between the land protruding between the Gulf and the creek. As for Masfut and Al Manama, they are located on the east side of the country and a small portion of the emirate’s population lives there. These towns are environmentally-distinguished. Their mountains are rich in magnesium, chrome and lime stones and their fertile valleys produce a variety of crops each year.

Ajman was among the four emirates that signed the General Treaty of Peace with the British on January 8th, 1820. On 2 December 1971 after the withdrawal of the British, the

Remarkable Achievements The host of globally recognized players in the ship and boat manufacturing industry The host of one of the first and biggest private universities networks in the GCC region The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has been an incubation of several civilizations and a settlement for human inhabitation for more than 5000 years, as the archeological evidences in the national museum of the emirate demonstrate. Remnants of a major

Basic Information Translation The Top of the Tent Area 2,478 km (4th largest in the UAE) Population 222,000 (5th largest in the UAE) Ruler H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi Geographic Location North of UAE Main Towns Old Ras Al Khaimah, Nakheel, and Jazirat Al Hamra Main Tourist Attractions The National Museum of Ras AlKhaimah, Sheeba’s Palace, Dhaya Fort, Al Falaya, Jazirat Al Hamra, the Old City, & Souqs Ports Ras Al Khaimah International Airport GDP Contribution USD 4.30 billion (1.59%)

civilization that inhabited the region, which was the Umm Al Nar civilization that emerged in the third millennium, were found on different parts of RAK. The civilization had a great impact on toward the development of the emirate since there are strong evidences proving the foreign trade with Mesopotamia and Persia. During this period, RAK became a very wealthy town that depended on the export of high quality pottery. The emirate then was known as Julfar and had played a very important and patriotic role as a defense stage of the country through its castles and forts. Thus, today it is famous of its historical ancient monuments that are linked to many events in the region. The emirate has also taken a strategic part for being a commercial and economic role point during the Islamic period on 630 A.D.. Through its extensive trade network, RAK traders participated

greatly on the spread of Islam. In the early 18th century, the Emirate’s ruling family tribe, Al Qawasim, had settled in Ras Al Khaimah and established it as an independent Sheikhdom. On 11 February 1972, Ras Al Khaimah was the last emirate to join the United Arab Emirates federation. RAK is located at the end of the northern territory of the UAE. It has a strategic geographical location, being the entry gate of the Arabian Gulf, neighboring three emirates Sharjah, Fujairah, and Um Al Qaiwain, and bordering the Sultanate of Oman. The emirate has also a variety of terrains from low sand plains that are connected to the Gulf from

the west, and a chain of mountains that go along the Gulf from the northern part to the southern. It has also a number of valleys and Sulphuric water sources like Ain Khat. When RAK decided to join the federation, it sat its vision into becoming a major industrial producer. Toward implementing its economic pillars, RAK built the first cement company in the UAE in the early 1970s and today after a long consistent hardworking coupled with Sheikhs’ support and intelligence, it became the largest cement producer regionally. It has as well established the world’s largest ceramics producer and became a leader in pharmaceutical industries.

(at current prices, 2009 estimates)

Average Income USD 7,763 (Nationals) USD 1,983 (Expatriates) Average Expenditure USD 4,304 (Nationals) USD 1,764 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

Remarkable Achievements The First and Largest Cement Producer in the UAE The World’s Largest Ceramics Producer The Region’s First Pharmaceuticals Producer The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Umm Al Quwain Umm Al Quwain is the most ancient emirate in the country. Archeological traces show strong evidences of the emirate’s relations with Mesopotamia that existed during the 3rd millennium B.C. Seminomadic tribes settled down in the region

Basic Information Translation Mother of Two Powers Area 777 km (6th largest in the UAE) Population 52,000 (7th largest in the UAE)

and began copper trade during, 3000 B.C. The metal was sent to all prominent ports on the Gulf, Umm Al Nar was one of them, and exported mainly to Mesopotamia. Not only had the copper trade flourished during the Bronze Age but also agriculture and pottery. AlDour, the largest pre-Islamic site in the region that was located in Umm Al Quwain, was an important port used by several civilizations. In order to defend itself against any foreign attacks, the emirate started building its forts and castles. The emirate was also known as the haven for Arab ships that escaped the foreign attacks.

Ruler H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Saud Al Mu’alla to provide a decent life for the people of Umm Al Quwain. By focusing on industrializing the emirate by attracting foreign capital to provide all possible facilities, the emirate has been witnessing a comprehensive revival resembled by the impressive achievements culturally, socially, and economically.

Geographic Location North of UAE, between Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah Main Towns Umm Al Quwain, and Falaj Al Mu’alla Main Tourist Attractions Umm Al Quwain Fort, Islands of Umm Al Quwain, Al-Dour, Old Harbor Dreamland Aqua Park Ports Umm Al Quwain Port Umm Al Quwain Airport GDP Contribution USD 0.63 billion (0.23%) (at current prices, 2009 estimates) Average Income USD 8,946 (Nationals) USD 2,817 (Expatriates) Average Expenditure USD 4,813 (Nationals) USD 1,734 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

However, the modern history of the emirate began when Al Ali tribe moved due to limited water sources from Al-Sinniya Island and established an independent Sheikhdom in Umm Al Quwain. The current ruling family is a dynasty of Al Ali tribe. Similar to other emirates, Umm Al Quwain signed the General Maritime Treaty with the British in 1820. Because of its distinguished location on the route to India, the United Kingdom’s province at that time, the emirate’s import and export trade thrived. On December 2nd, 1971, the emirate joined the United Arab Emirates union. Since then, the emirate made effective efforts

Umm Al Quwain enjoys great touristic elements which include the availability of different facilities, beautiful beaches, various archeological sites, and distinguished islands. The emirate is technically positioned between two creeks: Khor Al-Baida and Khor Umm Al Quwain and is divided into two parts the first

part is salty which is adjacent to the coast, while the other part is sandy. Despite its small size, its islands: Al Sinniya, Jazirat Al Ghalla, Al Keabe, Al Sow, Al Qaram, Al Humaidi, Al Chewria and Al Harmala make a great portion of its area. Al Sinniya is about 90 km2 and blessed by several environmental privileges. It contains the third largest colony of Socotra Cormorant in the world, ubiquitous green turtles, remarkable black tip reef sharks, and archeological sites that date back to the beginning of Islam in 630 A.D. Between the island and the mainland runs Khor Al-Beida, an extensive area of sand and mud.

Remarkable Achievements The host of the world’s largest Aqua park – Dreamland The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 1

The United Arab Emirates The Fundamentals

Fujairah Fujairah’s historical importance goes back to 3000 B.C. when the area was inhibited by herders and fishermen. It was then named as the Land of Titans “Ard Al Jababerah”. It was the home for people who were migrating from the southeastern part of the Arabian

Basic Information Translation The Name Derived from a Spring of Water that comes Underneath a Mountain Area 1,450 km (5th largest in the UAE) Population 137,000 (6th largest in the UAE) Ruler H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi

Peninsula, which was later known as Phoenicians. Throughout the ages, the area had been a matter of dispute among several local dominating powers because of its strategic location. The ruling family descended from tribes which migrated from Yemen after the collapse of the Marib Dam. It settled down in the region on 1808, and established Fujairah as an independent state. During that time, the settlement and development evolved around Fujairah’s fort which was built on 1500 and used as a defense stage against any attack. Since then, the emirate has been enjoying a state of peace and began to focus on its development. It was the last state to join the Trucial States after the singing the General Maritime Treaty with the British in 1902. On 2 December 1971, Fujairah joined the United Arab Emirates. The ruling family has been the driving force behind the commercialization of the emirate’s economy.

Geographic Location East of UAE Main Towns Fujairah City, Dibba Fujairah, Masafi, Al Bedieh, Gidffa, and Al Bathna Main Tourist Attractions Fujairah Fort, Fujairah Museum The Heritage Village Ports Fujairah International Airport Fujairah Port

70 km2 Fujairah does not have a desert like Dubai and Abu Dhabi and it is mostly mountainous, covered by Al Hajar Mountains that separate the emirate from the rest of the country. The high percentage of rainfall comparing to other emirate allows the farmers to grow more crops each year. Due to its sunny beaches, and pleasant weather, the emirate is one of the most convenient places in the world for water sports like swimming, sailing, water skiing, and fishing; thus, it was given the name “the Jewel of the Middle East”. The business-friendly procedures and the excellent infrastructures had played key-roles

to support investors in order to build, develop and diversify business activities. The emirate’s economy depends on cement, stone crushing, and mining industries. The establishment of the newly free zone has moved the economy and created a vibrant business environment in Fujairah. Its outstanding geographic location gave an ease of communication with the major shipping ports in the world. More than 40 giant oilvessels pass the port. The port is also one of the most important livestock shipping ports in the world, where the largest cattle station in the Arabian Peninsula was created.

GDP Contribution USD 2.54 billion (0.94%)

(At current prices, 2009 estimates)

Average Income USD 7,826 (Nationals) USD 2,241 (Expatriates) Average Expenditure USD 4,258 (Nationals) USD 1,662 (Expatriates) Official Website Why UAE ?

Fujairah is distinguished from the other emirates in several aspects. It is the only emirate located entirely on the Gulf of Oman while others are on the Arabian Gulf. Its astonishing beach extends for about

Remarkable Achievements One of the world’s top three Bunkering Destinations The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness

Chapter 2

Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness

Its appeal does not only come from its strategic location at the heart of the emerging world nor from its unrivaled business-readiness. It’s an effect of a wellblended, hard-to-resist combination of unique layer that makes the UAE the ultimate base for businesses and ventures that are ‘built to last’

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


Chapter 2

Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness


he late years of the first decade and the first two years of the second decade of the 21st century has brought about a new realm that changed the way business is done around the world. Subsequent to a global economic downturn that has not been witnessed for just under a century, a larger number of nations are competing to attract capital that has become more risk averse and selective. Drastic changes have taken place in the way international investors think and make investment choices and decisions. Investors, whether individual or institutional, are now highly cautious when selecting a country or a market to invest in. In addition, the level of awareness in the global investor circle is highly increasing due to easy access to information and the accumulation of experience during boom time, raising the level of cautiousness among those investors. Along with those significant changes in investors’ behavior, there has been an increasing level of competition among the world’s developed and emerging nations to attract a greater share of the global flow of foreign direct investments and to increase their nations’ competitiveness in international trade. To achieve those objectives, countries come up with various polices to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow including investment incentives, investment-friendly legislations and different forms of investment promotion activities. This competition has led to a further level of complexity in the process of making the right investment decision due to the increased choices for investors and traders wishing to enter a specific geographic region or to seize certain economic benefits and to the perceived similarity in the offerings and benefits presented by each nation or region.

Why UAE ?

At the center of all trade and investment promotion efforts of any country is coming up with a unique “value proposition” that translates the specific features and elements offered by the nation into tangible benefits for potential investors and trade partners. This differentiated value proposition is what helps to answer the question “Why invest in this specific country or region?” For the UAE, the answer for the question “Why UAE?” would be summed up in two words: “uniqueness” and “partnership”. The nation continues to promise investors a fruitful partnership that will help them realize potential and growth through the different economic cycles using all the innovation, resources and capabilities required to do so. What is good for business is always the best for the UAE and the trust and growth for investors and businessmen is an integral objective in the nation’s strategy.

th w o r to G

ay w irit e t p a S G A an d y t e i Soc g n i r i An Insp tion u l o S ” d Play n a g u l A “P Trust f o e t a m i l AC A True Knowledge Economy

A Recognized Global Brand

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 2

Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness

ground and back office services due to the volume of cargo.

way e t a AG owth to Gr

Policy Open Door

These investments will ensure that sufficient capacity exists in order to continue the high growth trajectory.

A Gateway to Growth A Gateway to a Thriving Region Throughout its ancient and modern history, The UAE has been able to successfully and effectively exploit its ideal geo-strategic location at the crossroads of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe to connect buyers with merchants and suppliers across the different sectors and then to quickly and conveniently deliver goods to the vast and expanding consumer markets. As such, the country’s location allowed it to become the de-facto and most important business hub not only for Gulf region, but also for Europe, Middle East, South West Asia, Africa, and Russia and even the Caucasus and Central Asian States. It is important to note that a potential market of more than two billion people live within four hours traveling time from the UAE, which makes it the ultimate base for export and re-export activities as well as service providing for companies that seek to exploit this favorable demographics advantage. The good news is that the population growth trend that this region is witnessing is expected to continue for years to come. This will mean an increase not only to the number of young consumers of products and services, but to the pool of talents that companies, based on the UAE, can access as employees and knowledge workers. In the last decade, the region surrounding Why UAE ?

With its welcoming nature and easy access from around the globe, the UAE has also developed a proven ability to bring together buyers and sellers from different parts of the world. Combined with the country’s enrollment in a wide range of bilateral trade agreements and economic blocs, the UAE has become a favorite choice for traders looking to penetrate certain regional markets or to launch regional distribution operations.

ion Reg g n i v Thri to a y a my ew cono A Gat E e h nt ence i Confid bility is of Sta An Oas

the UAE, including the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, have been witnessing an unprecedented economic renaissance. Aided by a growing hydrocarbons price, a booming demographic growth trend and huge investments in infrastructure, the economy of the region is soaring compared to many other developed economic blocks. Even at the peak of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-2009, the region maintained a positive growth trend of 1.9% according to the World Bank. Soon, the region rebounded and recovered quickly from the effects of the global downturn to have a combined growth rate of 4.4% in 2010. Countries across the region are opening up its economies and creating real opportunities for investors, service providers, financial institutions and goods exporters from around the world to tap into their rapid expansions and growing demand potential. The strategic location was actually complimented with a matrix of infrastructure developments, logistics facilities and flexible exporting regulations. Billions of dollars have been invested, in recent years, to develop the warehousing and transportation infrastructure in major cities with the construction of new projects such as Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone, Dubai Logistics City and Al Maktoum International Airport as well as the expansion to current developments such as Jebel Ali Port, Dubai Cargo Village and Zayed Port.

Most of these projects were actually designed to provide a close proximity between a company’s warehouse and the transportation port. The Al Maktoum International Airport, for example, is at the skirts of Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jebel Ali Industrial Area, Dubai Investment Park and Dubai Industrial City to name a few. In addition, it’s been a national norm to provide mega projects with connectivity between sea and air transport allowing for goods to be transferred from the former to the latter in less than one hour. Operation wise, the country has a strong base of regional and international logistics companies that can transport all types of goods in a cost effective manner, complimented with dedicated warehousing areas for all types of products as well as consolidated

The UAE’s neutral and balanced regional and international relations have been one of the most enabler for the country to attain this distinguished regional economic status. The UAE is an active member in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), enabling companies registered within its jurisdiction to benefit from the customs union and the gulf common market that allow export of goods and opening of branches of companies in different GCC states with no restrictions or customs duties. The UAE have also signed a significant number of treaties to avoid double taxation and to protect investments within a number of countries around the world. In simple terms, this means enabling companies and investors who choose the UAE to explore the opportunities around them with an advantageous position. One of the reasons why companies decide on the UAE for regional distribution of both locally produced and imported good is in fact the absence of direct taxes on corporate profits or personal income along with the minimal customs duties on imports of 5%. Full repatriation of capital and profits is also permitted, with no controls on foreign exchange. Consultants, service providers, contractors and expert houses have been also taking the advance of the UAE’s flexible and internationally-benchmarked regulatory environment, lavish business amenities, facilities and ultra-modern lifestyle to use it as their base for their operations across the region. The ability to fly to the destination of interest, get business done and come back most of the time in the same day is one of the pros that set the country aside from the rest of the region. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Confidence in the Economy Because the UAE economy was structured in a healthy manner, it boosts further confidence from various stakeholders both inside and outside the country. In addition, the country’s economy was able to quickly emerge stronger from the aftermaths of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-2009 due to its solid pillars and strong foundation. The head of Middle East and North Africa Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declared in August 2011 that the UAE economy has been steadily performing positively and has continued to attract foreign direct investments. According to IMF, this is only a reflection of the international confidence in the Emirati economy. Moreover, the embedded nature of diversity is another factor that increases the levels of confidence in the country’s economy. The government’s policy has been to widen the diverse base of the economy and push to increase the contribution of the non-oil sectors to the national GDP. In fact, there are two boosting players here. The high oilbased income provides a guarantee against market turbulences in many aspects, while the diversification builds up the trust of foreign and local investors in the national economy as it provides them with lucrative and stable opportunities to thrive in. The continuous influx of foreign direct investment is another sign of the level of trust in the UAE’s national economy. In August 2011, First Capital Bank of Switzerland announced the launch of a fund with a capital of USD 500 million for health services covering hospitals and labs in the United Arab Emirates. Another fund with a capital of USD 500 million was to be established in the precious metals trade.

Why UAE ?

The two funds were scheduled to begin operations in the final quarter of 2011 and are just two examples reflecting the interest of international financial institutions in taking part in the success story of the UAE economy. It is not strange here to recall the fact that in 2008, the UAE, represented by the emirate of Dubai, was the top global destination for foreign direct investments, attracting more than USD 21 billion of investment capitals to its rich base of projects and opportunities.

It is also important to notice here the significance of the UAE government’s move towards stimulating small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). These projects serve the national economy and create jobs for young citizens. Representing around 60% of the total number of enterprises in the economy, the growth and healthiness of this sector will revive the market and solve any potential liquidity issues. It will also help in diversifying the sources of national income and stimulating entrepreneurship that’s the guarantor for the continuous pulse of change in the UAE. Of particular interest here is the real estate sector, which is currently witnessing a renewed interest by foreign investors. Despite all the negative hype, the UAE’s real estate sector did not experience the same extent of downturn seen in other countries. Real estate regulations in Dubai and the other emirates

have given investors confidence to return as the government took speedy measures to save the sector from the adverse effects of the global credit crunch. Local and foreign banks were encouraged to lend and were given the right guarantees. In additions, new development and investment opportunities are emerging in different parts of the country with end user demand and vast potential for growth, including the western region of Abu Dhabi, Umm Al Quwain and other parts of the country. This promises a new dawn for this sector that has for long shaped a main pillar of confidence in the national economy. Consumer confidence is also gearing up. A recent report by the The Nielsen Company shows the UAE as one of the countries on the world’s top-10 consumer confidence list in the first half of 2011 moving up 12 ranks from the year before.

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An Oasis of Stability The UAE has successfully maintained a stable political scene even in the middle of a turbulent region. Thanks to its modest policy and wise leadership, the country managed to stay away from the various cases of political turmoil in the region surrounding it. Instead, the UAE’s positive politics and neutral position have always enabled its business sector to play a savior role in the peace building process in each of the war-torn countries. The UAE is now one of the largest donors to developing countries across the world and is also a big contributor to UN peace keeping operations in various areas.

Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness

The Federal National Council, which represents the country parliament, is now half elected by an electoral college and is playing an increasingly important role in the assisting the executive branch to further boost the national aspirations. This is happening in parallel lines with what is called ‘popular majlis democracy’ or open-door policy, which enables national citizens to communicate directly and openly with both the rulers and government executives and which has been in effect for decades in this part of the world. To a certain extent, the majlis democracy has been also functional for expats who can meet with senior sheikhs and government executives without prolonged bureaucratic procedures when they wish to make suggestions or

At the federal level, the country’s clear political system coupled with a systematic decision making process and the right diversified economic model have allowed the federal government to function efficiently to serve the society while building a sustainable growth model that is self dependant and less affected by regional turbulences. Local governments in each of the seven emirates have also applied a similar model that keeps the local scene least affected by foreign factors, while maintaining a stable relationship with the public. The tribal system has positively played an essential role in building and enhancing the mutual trust between national citizens and the ruling families. Modernization of the political life has been steadily taking place since the formation of the UAE as an independent state in 1971. Calculated and well-planned steps are being put in action to avoid sudden and unbalanced jumps that may lead to unwanted results.

Why UAE ?

discuss government decisions affecting their businesses. As a result of political stability, the UAE is one of the safest countries in the world with powerful security systems and a very low crime rate. Mugging and street crimes are reportedly of the lowest rates in the world. In addition, the cultural and religious tolerance that is widely applied, encouraged and promoted across the country has effectively minimized any possibility of ethnic or religious tension between the various components of the UAE expat community. Many enterprises in the UAE have successfully utilized this peaceful harmony to build multicultural teams and harness its benefits in exclusive sales to various demographics.

Open Door Policy If one country in the Middle East is to be described as the sole free trade nation in the region, that would be the United Arab Emirates and that’s for valid reasons. This is evidenced by the country’s tax-free status, world-class infrastructure, low tariffs and 100 per cent ownership for foreign investors in free zones, making it the ideal location for setting up new businesses. UAE is also appealing to investors thanks to its world-class free zones, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, and being in close geographic proximity to the top European and Asian markets. In fact, while the UAE follows global best practices and creates a conducive environment for businesses to operate, and presents ample opportunities for both investors from the region and around the world, the government encourages the private sector in a free trade regime with low tariff barriers and minimum legal hurdles. At the political level, the UAE, a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1996, supports open trade and has stable trade relations with countries throughout the world. Thanks to its open economy, attractive business environment and continued economic growth, the UAE has emerged as a key international trading hub between East and West. The WTO has named it the leading Arab economy in terms of global trade and one of the top 30 nations in the world. The UAE Government’s free-market policy and flexible economic and commercial laws are the prime factors in the country’s rise as a regional and global leader. In terms of imports and exports, the country applies a liberal trade regime with tariffs based on the GCC tariff structure. Customs procedures are largely computerized to facilitate trade, which in the case of several emirates includes a large re-export industry. No federal income tax legislation is imposed for general business. Each emirate has enacted income tax decrees, but in practice, the enforcement is restricted to foreign banks and oil companies. Personal incomes, including

all forms of salary and capital gains, are not subject to taxation in any emirates. Expats and foreign travelers are free to move money legally with only a few limitations concerning travelling with large amounts of cash money. While the law guarantees free exchange of good, it also maintains minimal lists of prohibited and restricted imports. UAE’s trading with the USA would be a good example of how functional this liberal economy is. According to US official numbers, the UAE is currently America’s 41st largest goods trading partner with US12.8 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2010. Goods exports totaled USD 11.6 billion; Goods imports totaled USD 1.1 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with United Arab Emirates was $10.5 billion in 2010. The five largest import categories in 2009 were: Special Aluminum (USD 195 million), and Iron and Steel Products (USD 148 million), Mineral Fuel and Oil (crude) (USD 79 million), and Precious Stones (diamonds) (USD 68 million) and others (returns) (USD 314 million). U.S. imports of agricultural products from the United Arab Emirates were USD 22 million in 2010.

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ance Toler l a r u t Cul ess & Openn ture ness Na e v i t i t e Comp n Business Creativity i

An Inspiring Society and Spirit Entrepreneurship If the modern UAE could be described in one word, no doubt it would be “entrepreneurship�. Ever since the country was formed in 1971, entrepreneurship has been at the core of almost every government initiative to further empower the economy and the society. Started with a federal policy in the 1970s that encouraged citizens to establish their own business entities even if they work for the government to provide the basis for a modern economy, the rhythm continued with country-wide initiatives that ease up on regulatory affairs and business doing requirements.

Over centuries, Abu Dhabi and the rest of coastal cities developed a rich tradition of pearl business and entrepreneurship as the major source of income that kept this part of the world alive. The history of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah tells us of a strong kingdom that controlled both banks of the Straight of Hermes and regulated trade

While this trend sounds a bit modern, it is in fact rooted in the history of what is now known as the UAE. The people of the federation have inherited from their descendants the spirit of entrepreneurship that saw them diving for pearl as far as African shores and changing their small towns to a regional center for merchants across the region.

movement through this strategic marine passage.

A story in the National Geographic magazine in 1954 described how Dubai with its 15,000 residents was the centre of trade exchange for the whole Arabia and beyond. Merchants and traders from across the region used to travel to Dubai for business.

In effect, a country with such a rich history of trading, exploring opportunities and developing stories of success had emerged 40 years ago to embark on a new journey towards regional leadership and business entrepreneurship.

Why UAE ?

The country is now widely looked at as an example of an entrepreneurship-promoting economy with an active social policy that harnesses entrepreneurship and encourages both nationals and expats to utilize the business friendly environment to thrive for further success.

of Emirati women entering higher education institutes has outnumbered local men pursuing higher education degrees. Both government and private sector organizations employ national women at various vertical roles reflect the advanced level played by women in the UAE’s business scene.

One interesting aspect here is the support shown to women. The UAE has been at the forefront of regional efforts to enable women entry to the entrepreneurship market with various active initiatives that both empower women and create opportunities. Number

While most countries limit their initiatives to local entrepreneurs, the UAE has developed many initiatives to provide lucrative opportunities for expat and foreign entrepreneurs to start their own success stories in the land of hard work and good rewards.


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Competitiveness Nature Openness and Cultural Tolerance Although the people of the UAE are not that big, their combined expertise and the human interaction they got over ages is realistically rich and is reflected in the way their modern society has evolved to a tolerant and culturally open society. With around 200 nationalities living and working in the country; an average UAE national would have met people from all cultures; faiths and backgrounds before he reaches the employment age. This has enabled national Emiratis over years to develop their own model of understanding and tolerance. Their unique ability to accept the other has been deeply reflected in many legislations and regulatory procedures that allow for the expats to feel at home while doing business and living in the UAE. Combined with the authentic Bedouin traditions to welcome and respect strangers and guests; the country’s national populations has been known of being expat-friendly; which allowed for expats to integrate easily within the multi cultural mix of the UAE without having to dissolve or dismiss their original character. Even while doing business; it has been much easier to start certain exclusive or ethnic businesses than in other places because people simply don’t have to give up who they are in order to integrate here. The good point is; even though you may start an ethnic business; it is not necessarily targeted at that particular ethnic audience. Yuga centers; ethnic restaurants and spice shops are just examples. In addition, the presence of businesses from around the globe; including many multinational corporations, has helped develop an internationally oriented corporate citizen identity for most of the people in this

Why UAE ?

country; whether nationals or expats. By that, we refer to the ability to communicate fluently in business matters with everybody else; regardless of geographic boundaries. It is also characterized by maintaining the same level of business traditions and corporate culture as Western countries and other industrial nations. However, the only effect local traditions may have here is that, if time is available, meetings will generally commence with some polite and friendly conversation, before the host turns to the topic at hand. This is to be expected mainly when dealing with Emirati businessmen, and in certain settings it could be considered impolite to dismiss this small talk by going straight to the formal agenda. Showing appropriate respect for all participants in a meeting is also considered important, and UAE Nationals may prefer to listen to all possible options before making a final decision. A good thing to remember here is that this cultural mix has developed its own rules of etiquette that shows respect to various cultural; religious and personal factors. Most UAE government portals and business directories provide hands on tips on what is polite and what is more polite in dealing with locals; various expat groups; but the general role of thump is mutual respect and friendly language.

The UAE business practice is actually built around a unique blend of competitive values that spreads the culture of excellence and distinction not only among citizens but also among businesses and business people of all nationalities. The culture of excellence was embedded in government practices, both at local and federal government levels in a manner that made it an essential part of the day to day practice. Government and private sector initiatives were also complimented with a parallel drive to inject higher standards of excellence in education and supporting services such as health care; municipal and public works. Due to the adoption of the free market economy, competition has become an essential component of business cycle in the country. Therefore, excellence in production and services has become one of the major requirements of survival in such a highly competitive market. Whether operating locally or exporting outside the country, UAE businesses have always relied on excellence and good business practice as a major competitive edge in their market entry and survival. Encouraged by strict standardization policies, the manufacturing community as well has been at the forefront of the excellence and distinction face of the country making sure that whatever carries the ‘Made in the UAE’ label is always linked to quality. In order to orchestrate all the national efforts for excellence, the Emirates Competitiveness Council was formed comprising of representatives of the federal government: the private sector and each of the seven emirates’ own excellence bodies. Working together in partnership with the public and private entities the council enacts policies and undertakes actions to drive the UAE’s competitiveness agenda and unite the country towards achieving the nation’s vision for sustainable growth and prosperity.

One of the results of these efforts was certified by a global partner. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2011/2012 ranked the UAE 27th globally for competitiveness. The UAE was classified as an innovation-driven economy. This is the highest stage of economic development that a country can achieve. The classification is based on factors that promote innovation in economic development. According to the report, the UAE has ranked among the top ten countries in more than 20 global competitiveness indicators. A significant part of the UAE’s approach of excellence and competitiveness is injected in the business community and the public administration alike through a series of excellence awards at both the national and

local levels. Government offices, business entities and free zone companies across the country have the opportunity every year to apply their credentials to one or more royal sponsored awards that measure each segment’s excellence criteria and reward the best achievers. In addition,; quality promotion programs have been launched country-wide, to educate the wider business about embedded quality and good business practice and their significance to business continuity. Dubai Quality Group, which was established by the Dubai Chamber of Industry and Commerce, is a leading provider of such services. In parallel, the Dubai Quality Award focus on best quality practices in management and production in Dubai private sector entities. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Creativity in Business Business innovation and creativity in operation are two essential pillars of sustainable growth and international success. Both government officials and business leaders agree that the UAE’s march of development and progress has always been based on economic creativity, constructive initiatives and determination. From a strategic point of view, the country has effectively utilized the opportunities in this rapidly changing regional and global environment to achieve the national aspirations of its people in building a modern state that promotes the best ideas from all over the world while preserving its heritage, values and principles. Current federal and local strategic plans focus on the importance of innovation, planning and economic, human and technological development as the foundation of prosperity, progress and sustainability. Such strategic plans form the framework ofgovernment work and regulations over the new couple of decades.

Middle East to launch a series of creative rights protection as early as 1992, when a set of federal laws were enforced to protect intellectual property rights, computer software, industrial designs and patents as well as copyrights and trademarks. With intellectual protection spanning such a wide array of industries, the country was able to provide both local businesses and foreign investors with suitable means to protect their respective rights and encourage creativity to become a widely practiced business behavior.

Government tenders are increasingly playing an additional role in promoting creativity and excellence in the private sectors. It is becoming increasingly requested that business entities applying or registering with certain government departments for procurement purposes should meet particular administrative and accounting procedures and certification. Tender and service procurement in many local government departments is now widely based on creative thinking and new ideas rather than lower price basis.

While encouraging local businesses to embed innovation into their business models, the UAE has also provided legal and regulatory protection for foreign companies, which allows them to harvest the fruits of their creative minds and inventive solutions. The UAE has been the first country in the

In addition, several initiatives were launched to recognize creativity-based excellence and quality practices. Both the President and the Vice President sponsor annual events to celebrate winners of all business segments who compete on a bundle business excellence and performance quality awards. In the vast majority of the cases, creativity is the winning factor. The private sector is also moving in the same direction with more and more training schemes being introduced on embedded quality and the benefits of creativity to various business models.

Why UAE ?

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Play & g Plu es s Busin ment ron Envi

p -Sho p o t S Onetives Initia e t a r e to Op Ready tion ed Loca d d A e Valu ide Marketing Region-W

Plug and Play Business Environment One-Stop-Shop The One-Stop-Shop concept, while it applies at the national level, is actually a synonym of how combined government efforts are working together to facilitate business needs from registration to exportation. Not only does the UAE provide all the practical requirements handy for a successful entrepreneurship, it also guarantees that the investor has the freedom to harness the results of his success back to his homeland. This is reflected in the ease of procedures across the country and the absence of complications even when making inter-emirate applications and exchanges. Moreover, because business registration and the majority of the related procedures are mostly done at the emirate level, things get extremely easier. The One-Stop-Shop or the unified application processing window, is present in all of the economic departments in each emirate which sometimes have more than one site in the concerned city. That means investors, regardless of being local or foreign, will deal with only one contact point for all issues related to their company formation and incorporation. With the introduction of e-government services in the country, that’s supposed to be the last time they visit the concerned economic department.

Why UAE ?

The rest, especially annual renewals, is done electronically. Free zone companies can enjoy a step ahead of such ease of service. Since free zones operate as self-contained ‘offshore’ areas, each free zone authority maintains its own system of providing services to its member businesses. Instead of going to and from separate government departments, businesses working within a free zone deal almost exclusively with the free zone authority. For example, when hiring a new employee, a free zone company will obtain that employee’s visa through the free zone authority, not through the Department of Naturalization and Residency. Some free zones may go a step further providing services like customs clearance, municipal services & building certification as well as third country visa applications. Because most of the free zones also act as landlords to rent or sell their offices and business spaces/factories, investors end up dealing with the very same people for all their official paperwork. In fact, even telecom issues are usually handled by the same office. This could be time-saving especially for a startup who wants to start as soon as possible and focus on the business potential one is looking for.

Ready to Operate Initiatives An essential part of the UAE business readiness drive is to be able to shorten the period between company formation and the actual start of business. Thanks to its advanced and versatile infrastructure, this is not an issue anymore for the UAE. In fact, various components of the country’s infrastructure work together to facilitate immediate runtime for new businesses and minimal time to production in case of fabrication or manufacturing included. Whether you are in a free zone or the rest of the country, the amount of available office space makes it a matter of a couple of days before you are completely set up and running. In free zones, it can even get better. While waiting for the big space or for an interim period, you can always choose to start operation from a desk or a single executive office. For free zones where manufacturing and storage facilities may be needed, one would only need to ask. If what you need is not available immediately, in most of the cases it can be arranged for as soon as possible.

To save more time, you can even start the leasing or buying process at the same time your license and visa are being processed, although formal signing may need to wait until you get the official going. All of the free zones can offer you furnished offices to start from, but you can always rely on the quick timely delivery of ready or custom made furniture available all over the country from international brands to local labels. In addition, the wide spread high speed internet and telecom connectivity makes it possible to get fully connected in less than 24 hours maximum all around the country. Residential solutions, whether for individuals or groups, are just a matter of hours away. You can even shop for available flats online before you are actually in the country. The country enjoys a wide range of residential solutions that caters for all tastes and capabilities. However, there are certain areas known to match particular demographics so you may like to check out these if you are interested in living in a familiar environment. While language was never a barrier in the UAE, you may need certain linguistic support if you are working at the regional level. Cultural communication is one of the fastest growing segments across the UAE and in many language pairs. One of the most useful ways to start your business and life right away in the UAE is to check the wealth of online resources abut the country. Looking for leads? Check the many online directories covering thousands of business across the country. Local chambers of commerce even provide you with studies and reports on lucrative opportunities inside and outside the country.

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Region-Wide Marketing If you are coming to the Middle East to work on a regional level, you cannot afford not to be in the UAE for a very practical reason. This is the only place where you can market to the whole region from the warmth of your office without any boundaries.

Value Added Location The UAE has proven it is the ideal location for businesses that require rapid access to markets for high value, low volume cargoes. But businesses are now discovering new ways to capitalize on the country’s value added location and make big money out of it. Geographically speaking, the UAE is a time zone bridge between the Far East and Europe on the East-West axis and the CIS and Africa on the north-south axis which makes the country a gateway to a large market that can be characterized with the UAE’s well established trading links with the greater than 1.5 billion people in the neighboring region covering the Arabian Gulf, Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean, CIS, Central Asia, Africa and the Asian sub-continent. This has in effect made the country in whole and Dubai in particular the distribution, logistics and re-export hub of the whole region. So whatever region of these you want to reach from a central location, that location for you is the UAE. Thanks to its developed air and marine transportation lines complimented with a series of ground transportation solutions, the UAE has been able to utilize this central location to serve the whole region in a smart way. Every UAE free zone is actually located near a transportation hub that reduces the times needed for cargo and shipping. Jebel Ali free zone, for example, is coupled with its famous port, the largest artificially made port in the world, and is very close to Dubai’s premium cargo airport, Al Maktoum International.

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates has been for at least the last two decades the ultimate centre of the Middle East in everything regional, whether it is marketing, sales, business development, or trade shows. Everywhere else it is a local effort, targeting only that particular local market. But in the UAE, and to be specific in Dubai, it’s regional even when you target the local UAE market.

This is complimented by the fact that Dubai is also the regional headquarters of all major air couriers and freight forwarders who use the city as their regional assembly and classification point for inbound and outbound shipments. In result, if you ship anything with them from Dubai to outside the region, it gets everywhere at least one day earlier, and your shipment is only 24 hours away from any country in the region. Dubai is also a regional hub for air traffic and passenger transportation. The emirate’s airport has become a focal point between the East and the West. That’s besides the obvious fact that is a regional center for shopping, which means that if your product makes a penetration in the emirate’s shopping malls, it will definitely prevail everywhere else in the target region. Starting a business in the UAE enables you to utilize and harness many unique advantages related to the country’s location that no other country in the whole region can offer.

In terms of advertisement, you cannot place a single in two or more different countries without passing through an agency in Dubai. Public relation agencies who work in other countries usually hire a Dubai based firm when they want to do a regional job. Dubai has dominated the regional marketing and business development scene since early 1990s for both practical and logistical reasons. Since most of the multinational and regional companies are headquartered in the city, it would be easier to have their marketing agencies including advertisement buying agents and public relations firms in the same proximity.

the region. Outdoor advertisement is a good example, which became popular first in Dubai before the industry found it would be more profitable to apply the same model in other countries. In addition, almost every week there is at least one major regional trade show taking place in the UAE. In some weeks the number may exceed 10 regional happening either concurrently in Dubai alone, or simultaneously in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Regional integrated marketing campaigns, including those adopting new and social media, are mostly drafted and approved by regional headquarters in Dubai. With the huge number of outlets and agencies in the city, they are most likely to be executed here as well giving the concerned marketing team an accessible way to monitor and measure the return on their marketing investment. Many multinational companies have recently started to base their international marketing or business development teams in Dubai, both for cost and accessibility reasons, even if they’re covering the rest of the world outside North America and Western Europe. With direct flights connecting Dubai on daily basis to major US, UK, Japan and Australia cities, multinational teams can travel the world at ease while conducting their daily business in such a beautiful and relaxed environment.

In the same period of time, Dubai was gradually becoming the centre of the regional media scene. This was further consolidated with the formation of Dubai Media City and then Dubai Media Production Zone and Dubai Studio City. Currently, Dubai is home to over 500 publications and some 300 TV channels covering the region between Pakistan and India in the east and Morocco in the west. There is a valuable marketing potential one can generate from being just a call away from all of these media outlets. The Dubai regional advertisement hub has been instrumental in the development of individual advertisement markets across

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A Climate of Trust Partners in Success Facilitation is one of the basics that govern the relationship between the UAE government and the private sector. The principle was once summarized by His Highness Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. He said that the government’s role is to create opportunities for the private sector. Whether it is for the federal government or the seven local governments, private sector initiatives have always been a continuous part of each government’s strategy for the future. It is not only about regulations but also about the spirit. Simply put, the main difference is hidden in the mentality behind the decision making process. The UAE looks on the private sector not just as a tax payer but as partners. It has developed the vision to deal with the private sector as a strategic partner therefore counting on successful continuum of partnerships to boost the economy, create new jobs and help the country advance further. This is widely reflected when drafting new laws and regulations that affect the private sector and various businesses. The norm is that the government works hand in hand with the concerned business representatives to come up with policies and regulations that benefit both sides.

Why UAE ?

In addition, the growing involvement of the private sector in economic activities has created cost efficiency in most new enterprises. The public-private partnership is working perfectly well in places like Abu Dhabi and Dubai and gone are the days of inefficient public undertakings gobbling up resources. Abu Dhabi has made its partnership with the private sector a part of its strategic plan of development. The strategy is based on both the enhancement of the economic structure and the diversification of income sources through nurturing the non-oil sectors, strengthening the public-private partnership (PPP), encouraging the direct foreign investment (DFI), as well as entering into joint ventures hinged upon comparative advantages. The essence for Government is to become the regulator of services delivered to its people, and for the private sector to become the provider of those services. On the other hand, the Dubai Economic Council was established in 2003 comprising of representatives of both the government and established private sector organizations. Its objective is to serve as a think-tank and policy advisory forum for the Dubai Government.

Principled Approach Business integrity and corporate governance are essential not only for a corporation’s image but also for a healthy business environment and to insure foreign investors all doors are open the right way. The UAE’s business integrity drive deals with three components equally, with more education combined with strict legal handling in the same time. Corporate governance, transparency and anti-corruption culture are three pillars the UAE is promoting as the new frontier of business integrity and the one of basics of legitimate commercial practice in the country. While these pillars are essential to maintain the investor’s confidence in the country, they are also instrumental in developing healthier business practices and promoting fair competition in this free trade country. Of the UAE’s first efforts to boost transparency and disclosure took place in April 2007 when the Securities and Commodities Authority issued the Regulation for Corporate Governance and Institutional Discipline Standards for public joint stock companies. The authority allowed for a transitional period of three years before making the implementation of these standards obligatory for all concerned companies. The decision is aimed at boosting investor confidence in the UAE’s capital markets. It also provides for increased transparency and accountability. Hence the listed entities were given a strict notice period to adopt the new protocols.

As part of this commitment, the country’s Ministry of Economy is in the process of preparing a set of new laws that include a unified foreign investment law, an auditor’s law and a new company law with a sophisticated corporate governance framework to protect shareholders, achieve transparency and disclosure of financial results and reports. Anti corruption efforts are making progress across the country as well. Starting in 2008, Dubai launched a major anti-corruption campaign against officials in big realty and financial companies. The campaign was aimed to prevent officials from abusing the economic capabilities of the country, and to execute international standards to protect and guarantee the rights of investors. The campaign was considered to be a “correction movement.” At the same level, the emirate launched a similar campaign that included strict and prompt action against any acts of bribery within the emirate, whether in private or public sectors. Nonetheless, the country is still positively applauded by the international community. In late 2010, Transparency International, a Berlinbased monitoring organization, said the UAE remains one of the most investment-friendly countries in the region. The annual study from Transparency International awarded the Emirates a score of 6.3 out of a possible 10. The survey aggregates perceptions of publicsector corruption among business people and experts.

Recently, the UAE Ministry of Economy announced that they were in the process of developing a whole series of new laws which seek to promote efficiency and impose greater transparency in order to improve investor confidence. The new laws are part of a bid to enhance the business environment in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021; which aims to promote the UAE, particularly as a global business centre and investment destination.

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Inherent Rule of Law Since the UAE is a federation, each emirate is authorized by the UAE Constitution, to have its own laws and judicial authority when not conflicting with the federal laws. Hence, the UAE has federal and local laws and courts. Local and federal courts apply UAE federal laws and the laws, regulations and decisions passed by the local rulers of each emirate. In general, the UAE follows a civil law system with is the primary source of law heavily influenced by French, Roman, and Egyptian law. However, there is no reason to worry of any conflicting procedures or legislations. Laws are clear, stable and publicized, the government does not expropriate without adequate compensation and government regulations are effectively enforced. All commercial disputes are heard by the civil, criminal and labour courts. The practice in both federal and local courts is the referral of matters to court-appointed experts for findings of facts involving various issues such as financial, accounting and technical matters. While expert’s reports are not binding and may be challenged by the parties before courts, nevertheless, they are given persuasive weight by the courts. Although civil courts are the main forum for recourse in commercial disputes, arbitration is becoming progressively more popular. The Dubai International Arbitration Center (DIAC) and the Abu Dhabi Commercial Conciliation and Arbitration Center provide world-class arbitration for local business and commercial disputes serving both local and foreign parties. The state of law in the country was even certified by some of the world most authentic references on the rule of law and the flexibility and transparency of the judicial system. The UAE garnered the first slot in the Middle East

Why UAE ?

Why UAE? The Layers of Uniqueness

and North Africa (MENA) and the 13th rank globally in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index which covers 66 countries. According to the index, which is based on eight key factors, the UAE came ahead of the US, which ranked 20th. The WJP’s Rule of Law Index is a new tool developed and administered by the WJP to measure countries’ adherence to the rule of law in practice and provides new data regarding a variety of dimensions of the rule of law. This is the first index to cover the rule of law comprehensively. The Index is designed to provide governments, businesses, NGO’s, and civil society, with a tool to plan targeted, effective reforms, and will show incremental change over time.

In order and security, the UAE scored 90, absence of corruption 82 and effective criminal justice 84. The UAE also earned top score in access to justice as people can access to legal counsel, and afford civil courts under due process of law. The report described the government as accountable and its powers are limited by the judiciary. It also mentioned the absence of corruption in the judicial and executives branches as well as in police and military. In the security and fundamental rights, the index said people do not resort to violence to redress grievances and noted the fundamental labor rights, freedom of belief and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, equal treatment and absence of discrimination and right to life and security of the person.

A Magnet for Skills Due to its close proximity to various countries that provides skilled yet efficient labor, the UAE has managed to provide its industrial and business base with suitable workforce without limitations. The added value of being in the UAE besides the fact that you’re in the heart of the region’s shopping centre, comfortable living environment and travel destination, is that one gets a unique work experience that only few other countries in the whole world can offer. The UAE is now a compulsory resume component for many professionals looking to pursue an advanced career in an increasingly globalized job market. Surrounded by countries each with a rich pool of workforce and limited employment the UAE becomes a natural choice for investors looking for a healthier investment environment with easy access to such a large human capital. Furthermore, as the country emerges as a regional hub for top-tier universities, more well-equipped Emiratis are also entering the job market as a significant option to tap in. About 330,000 nationals are already part of the labor force, and the number is expected to grow to about 450,000 by 2020. By 2050, that figure is expected to be about 600,000, according to data from Towers Watson, a human resources consultancy. Nearly 60 percent of businesses in the UAE are looking to hire at managerial and professional levels, up from 46 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to a survey from Antal, an international recruitment company with an office in Dubai. This further indicates the healthiness and recovery of the economy from the adverse effects of the global financial downturn. At the government level, the UAE assures to meet the international standards in terms of labor related legislations. Striking a fair balance between the protection of the basic

rights of workers and the smooth and flexible business operations for employers is at the center of the UAE’s labor law and the procedures implemented by the country’s Ministry of Labor. With the rapid growth of the country’s manufacturing and construction sector, introduction of modern labor accommodation facilities has been pivotal. The concept of residential cities has been introduced by Abu Dhabi’s ZonesCorp in 2006 to provide a safe and stable environment which in turn helps workers in maintaining a positive work attitude and motivating them to provide their best efforts. The Ministry of Labor is at the service of businesses and workers to address any issues and hurdles they may face to maintain a healthy employeremployee relation through friendly disputeresolution channels. Workers from Indian Sub-continent, South East Asia and the Middle East countries are still pouring in to the UAE mostly for professional and middle-class jobs. In addition, the high unemployment and stagnant wages in Europe and North America have made it much easier to hire Western nationals. Newer trends are also emerging with many companies now exploring the Chinese talent pool, as shown by a recent report from GulfTalent. The growing presence of major Chinese corporations in the UAE has increased the representation of Chinese workers in the region. As the UAE aims to facilitate the operations of businesses and to remove obstacles on their path to growth, the country is committed to continuously fuel its attractiveness for talents and creativity, sustain its flexible approach to regulating the labor market, and addressing the ever-changing human requirements of businesses. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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e A Tru dge le Know y om Econ

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unications IT & Comm

A True Knowledge Economy Economic Incentives and Institutional Regime As part of its drive to consolidate its knowledge economy, the UAE government has, over the past few years, been working to strengthen its already strong businessenabling environment and institutional framework towards improving the country’s competitiveness and promoting innovation. In 2010, the UAE was ranked as one of the world’s top five business reformers by the widely referenced World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report. It was also ranked 33rd out of 183 countries for overall ease of doing business in the 2012 report. By institutionalizing the country’s competition laws, economic frameworks and regulatory policies, the country‘s economic and institutional regime is increasingly injecting further incentives for the efficient use of existing and new knowledge and the flourishing of entrepreneurship. While many existing initiatives have already made the UAE conducive to entrepreneurship, the new policy adopted at both federal and local levels aims at raising the bar when it comes to new investments and what they bring in. Therefore, a new thinking is now governing the economic planning and regulating process towards knowledge-oriented investors. Why UAE ?

For example, the federal government has made it a strategic goal to extend and enhance the ease of doing business nationwide through various measures such as supporting SME development by creating the proper legislative environment that stimulates and promotes SMEs, and developing and promoting entrepreneurial mindsets. The government is also implementing new policies to attract and retain talent by facilitating the attraction and retention of highly qualified workers.

sectors and encourage emerging sectors by strengthening the regulatory framework of key existing sectors, and supporting high value-added economic sectors. Moreover, the government of Abu Dhabi is starting a new policy as part of its strategic plan to encourage mobility of talents and the open circulation of ideas through meritocratic incentives, both monetary and in kind. The emirate is putting in place a comprehensive innovation policy that will bring practical changes to many aspects of the economic regulations.

Dubai, with its pioneering knowledge economy, is leading the way in terms of both regulations and incentives. Under the general umbrella of “What’s good for business is good for Dubai”, the emirate’s series of clusterbased free zones have made it much easier to capitalize on knowledge at various levels of profitability. The ease of doing business in Dubai has been remarkably linked to its dynamic regulations and government openness as well as the first hand incentives provided at several investment locations to both local and foreign investors alike.

Of particular interest here is the federal government’s new model of international trade which prioritizes high value-added industrial sectors and encourages their exports through modern and effective policies. In terms of institutional regime, the federal government’s aim is to enhance the regulation of key existing

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Higher and Technical Education In order to truly develop its human capacity and create a workforce with the skills and talent that will drive a knowledge economy, the UAE realizes the need to ensure quality education at every level from pre-school to post graduate studies. Currently there are nationwide reforms underway to improve the quality of teachers, curriculum, and assessment at primary and secondary education levels to enhance the country’s educational outcomes. In higher education, curricula are being upgraded to improve competencies that ensure creativity and innovation. Both federal and local governments realize that education is the cornerstone of the knowledge economy as it supplies the necessary skills and talent. The objective of UAE current educational policy is to create a society of skilled and creative people, with opportunities for quality education, employment or self-employment, and the chance to participate fully in the country’s development. In addition, the UAE is partnering with some of the world’s leading educational institutions to fortify the country’s education sector. This substantial investment to bring world-class education and strong research capabilities into the country is an important step in developing a workforce with the right skills to generate growth and in increasing the country’s research output. In order to keep pace with global developments, there is still a need to develop a critical mass of specialized research institutions and highly-skilled knowledge professionals, including scientists and engineers. By strengthening its capacity as a centre for education in the region, the UAE can leverage its position as a knowledge hub and serve as a talent pool, while competing globally.

Why UAE ?

medium of instruction, with faculty recruited from around the world. To cater for the need to upgrading the country’s innovation system, the UAE has launched a series of initiatives to strengthen the nation’s innovation drive. Key to fostering innovation will be the establishment of stronger ties between education, industry, trade, services, enterprises and entrepreneurs. Strengthening the motivation for innovation among individuals and firms is also critical to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. While the UAE currently boasts of several state universities and double the number in private sector, it is important to highlight the example of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) which is evidently the largest institution of higher education in the UAE. In the academic year 2009-2010, this MIT-like institute had 11,700 female and 6,500 male students enrolled at 17 campuses and 92 programs throughout the country. What is noteworthy is the type of education offered here which includes post-secondary degrees in business, education, engineering technology, information technology, applied communications and health sciences. In particular, the HCT places a strong emphasis on an innovative, project-driven and studentcentered curriculum. English is used as the

Of particular importance here is CERT (the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training), which is the commercial arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology, developing and providing education, training and applied technology for public and private sector clients. The Wharton Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship Research for the Middle East is based at CERT. The University of Waterloo, Canada, offers dual degrees in collaboration with HCT through CERT. But most significant is the role CERT played in bridging the gap between the academy and the various industries present in the country. CERT’s success has also encouraged the University of the UAE, in Al Ain, to establish a similar center which is now widely applauded for the essential role it plays. Similar initiatives are under way by the Khalifah University for Science & technology, the American University in Dubai, Zayed University and the American University of Sharjah.

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Innovation Being the only Arab country to have an innovation-driven economy, the UAE has been developing and upgrading its system of innovation as part of its drive for a knowledgebased economy. The country has been recently named by INSEAD, the leading business school in Europe, as the most innovative country in the Middle East, citing its robust technology infrastructure and high-quality education system. According to INSEAD’s annual Global Innovation Index (GII) report, the UAE rose by two spots in 2011 to rank as the 24th most innovative country in the world. For many observers in the country, that was not a surprise. There’s a lot of creativity and innovation happening in different ways than what’s commonly thought of. Although the country might not be ready yet to produce patentable technology innovations, what is being done at Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island and Dubai’s various knowledge clusters is actually creating value-adding changes in society at large. The Global Innovation Index uses a broader definition of innovation, other than just looking at investments in research and development (R&D) or the amount of patents published. The UAE scored high marks in the index’s technology infrastructure, investment in education, and knowledge application rankings, finishing eighth, 15th and third worldwide respectively. In effect, that means the country is moving into more knowledgebased sectors. The UAE has made a similar progress on the Innovation Efficiency Index, which examines how economies leverage their enabling environments to stimulate innovation results. Meanwhile, the UAE has put a lot of effort to create enabling conditions for innovation, such as regulations or scientific institutions,

Information & Communication Infrastructure

and make them pretty strong nationwide, which guarantees that the production of innovative output is going to continue. There are efforts underway to strengthen the UAE’s innovation drive. Strengthening the motivation for innovation among individuals and firms is also critical to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently, in the Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) sector, there are business support program including efforts by the Sheikh Khalifa Fund, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment and Ruaad to encourage entrepreneurship by smaller-sized businesses. Going forward, a challenge will be to provide incentives to large multinational companies to anchor their Research & Development (R&D) functions in the UAE to encourage valuable knowledge transfer. Other schemes to change the regulatory structure of how to start a business, as well as new bankruptcy legislation, are being introduced gradually. The latest initiative in this regard is the “Majid Bin Mohammed Innovation Center in5” which was launched in October 2011 to promote entrepreneurship and technology innovation in the UAE. Located at Dubai Internet City (DIC), the center will focus on the five key objectives of accelerating the development of new start-ups and SMEs, fostering entrepreneurship, driving technology innovation, contributing to shaping an ICT ecosystem and, most importantly, promoting Dubai as an ideal location for tech start-ups.

The importance of a dynamic information and telecommunication infrastructure in enabling a knowledge economy is undeniable. With a clear view to use ICT to facilitate effective communication, dissemination and processing of knowledge, and have a particularly important role in the dissemination of scientific and technical information, the UAE has already developed an impressive ICT sector with a demonstrated commitment to providing its people and businesses with access to the latest technologies. The UAE is rated as the leader in the MENA region for ICT and a solid performer internationally. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2009-10, the UAE ranked 23rd globally making it among the world’s most networked economies. Out of 138 countries, UAE is ranked 24th in the report’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) in a continuation of its impressive performance throughout the previous editions of the NRI. The UAE is also keen to use ICTs as a vehicle for the promotion of culture and national identity. There are several initiatives for the development of Arabic content such as applications for learning, development of Arabic media and digitization of scientific content. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation has an initiative to translate and digitize masterpieces in science and culture at the rate of one book per day, and make them available online thereafter.

Both federal and local governments are widely using e-government to offer more and more services to the public which in return have raised the percentage of Internet penetration both vertically and horizontally. In addition, the federal government and the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah are available through mobile gateways for easy access on the move. In terms of national infrastructure, the UAE places building a national fiber networks as part of the national agenda. For UAE, the aim of having a fiber network is to “improve the country’s image, making it appear quicker to adopt new technologies than competing nations and so more attractive to foreign investors”. This is confirmed by Fiber To The Home (FTTH) Council which ranks the UAE “fourth among all economies in FTTH market penetration, positioned ahead of all European and Americas economies and behind South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong”. First of its kind in the Arab world, an ICT Fund was initiated in 2005 with a key objective to drive the strategic development of the country’s ICT sector in order to strengthen the innovation and knowledge capital level of the market by providing research, education and entrepreneurial opportunities. To cater for ICT security needs, The UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) was established in 2008 to facilitate the detection, prevention and response of cyber security incidents on the Internet, hence, supporting a safe cyber environment for the residents of the UAE. Police departments also have specialized units to fight cyber crimes.

The UAE is also known for its zero-tolerance policy in intellectual property violations while in the same time applying effective regulations for proper patenting, copyrighting and trademarking. Why UAE ?

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AE: The U gnized co A Re Brand l a b o Gl

The UAE: A Recognized Global Brand A business entity established in a country does not only mean it carries its own trade name, but it also means it agrees to bear the country’s brand. Today, thousands of business entities are operating from the UAE, indicating the strong willingness of global entities to associate their businesses with the UAE Brand. However, what does the UAE brand stand for? Making the UAE a globally-recognized business brand can’t only be attributed to a single factor. The main drivers that positioned the UAE brand in the active worldwide business arena may include the government, the UAE-based companies with their individual brands, products and services, regional and international agreements and treaties, and innovative business concepts.

tion s Na s e n Busi ned w o n A Re iness c Bus i l o b Sym adors Ambass

ioned Brands Well-Posit

A Renowned Business Nation Since its establishment on December 2nd 1971, the founding fathers of the UAE have pictured the young country as one of the wellknown nations in all fields. They have started setting up the physical and mental bases by building the infrastructure of roads networks, seaports, airports and business hubs, and by propelling all kinds of positive signals attracting not only the local people but also the world to join the development cycle in the UAE. The late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the founding father of Dubai, was the first one to introduce the concept of free zones when he launched Jebel Ali Free Zone in 1985, one of the most recognized free zones in the globe today. By creating a positive stir

the third fastest growing city in the world, behind Dublin and Las Vegas, due to these simple reasons.

among international entrepreneurs, he succeeded in spreading the UAE as one of the most-welcoming investment destinations. By then, businessmen and investors realized the sincerity and commitment of the UAE into becoming a truly investment home. The UAE is currently housing more than thirty five free zones of which some are purposelybuilt and dedicated to serve a specific sector such as Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City. These zones along with specialized business zones played a very important role in establishing the UAE brand since they offer great incentives for international investors.

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The government considered a stable monetary policy, a resilient fiscal policy and strategic trade policies. It has also realized the importance of concluding regional and global agreements. In order to strengthen its position as an open economy and establish a global presence in all assemblies, the UAE signed the GATT treaty in 1994 and became a member of the World Trade Organization in 1996. The UAE also holds various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with different countries. Throughout the history, the UAE has been taking the lead in supporting the needy nations. It has an active presence in the development of housing, education and infrastructure worldwide, thus enabling the

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The steps of the founding fathers were followed by their visionary sons, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, showing their commitment to continue the path of success. They legislated free, open and encouraging business environment where international investors can own 100% of their businesses, face easy procedures, costeffective setting up setting up fees and transparent market data in a highly demanded emerging market. In the 1990s, Dubai became

recipient countries to steadily grow their economy. Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Dubai Cares, the Al Maktoum Foundation and Sharjah Charity Association are a few examples of the actively involved charities in the world. With a wise ambitious leadership, the UAE managed to obtain high rankings in most of the global-recognized indices. To name a few, it is the first Arab Country in the Global Enabling Trade Index, Human Development Index, Networked Readiness Index, Global Financial Development Index, Prosperity Index and Corporate Social Responsibility Index. Moreover, the government believes of hard work and commitment to provide the most competitive and being recognized globally in order to maintain its prestigious position.

Why UAE ?

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Symbolic Business Ambassadors The trust with the world that has been built by the local and UAE-based international businessmen since the early days of pearl industry is significantly contributing to the structure of the UAE brand today. Foreign banks agreed to trade gold with local businessmen with no need for guarantees and business transactions with Indians traders were also carried with no guarantees needed. Reaping the advantages of the UAE regulatory business environment and basing on the characteristics and reputation of the UAE brand that has been built up for decades, the existing UAE-based companies did not only flourish in the region but also in the wider world. Today, the UAE has a foot in all countries across all sectors. Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) established a manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China to serve the Asian growing market. Rakeen, a real estate developer, developed a mixed-use luxurious development in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, offering stateof-the-art residential and commercial facilities. Arabtec, a UAE-based global construction company, successfully completed the iconic Russian project “Okhta Centre”. Al Hilal Bank started operating in the UAE in 2008 and swung its wings over the Kazakhstani market in 2010. UAE Exchange, a global leader in remittance and exchange services, today, is benefiting the whole globe from its services . The examples of the UAE-based companies’ success are unlimited.

Why UAE ?

These companies did not halt operating in the international arena but they are also keen to place the UAE name visibly on different assemblies. In 2009, Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates, signed a three-year deal to be the official shirt sponsor and partner of Premier League side, Manchester City FC to have the Etihad Airways brand logo appear on Manchester City shirts from the summer to promote the company. Etihad means “Union”, representing the name of the country. DP World, one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world today with 49 terminals and 12 new developments across 31 countries and serving customers in some of the most dynamic economies in the world, has chosen the UAE flag as its official logo.

In line with the international standards, the UAE-based companies and organizations always seek to obtain international recognitions such as ISO. Dubai Cable Company “Ducab”, was among the first organizations to achieve the ISO 9001 certification and the first in the region to achieve the ISO 14001 environmental certification. Furthermore, they compete to obtain international awards and prizes. For example, in 2009 the Etisalat

y rth o st-W Tru

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Competitive Social Responsible

group received seventeen industry awards, including three for innovation and three for customer service. It has been named ‘Best Overall Operator’ in the Middle East six times since 2006 and was named ‘Best International Carrier’ at the World Communications Awards in 2008. As the UAE-based companies seek for greater heights in terms of enlarging their business operations and jurisdictions, they also seek to socially contribute to the societies where they operate.

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Well-Positioned Brands Operating from the UAE means that the business entity, through its operations, products and services, carries the UAE brand on its shoulders. Characterized as high quality, competent, reliable and cost effective, the UAE products and services have been vital marketing tools, raising the UAE name globally and actively contributing to the development of the UAE brand. The UAE government issued the regulations that assure the quality of its products and services in order to match international standards and measurements. The UAE Federal Law No. 28 of 2001 specifies the standards of a material, product or service in order to ensure its safety, quality, reliability and compatibility with international recognized codes. Al Islami Luncheon Meat from Al Islami Foods, a pioneer food producer in the region, successfully passed the European Union regulated tests while all other brands tested positive for traces of pork. Thus, it was recognized with an award for the best luncheon meat. Emirates Airline, the largest airline in the Middle East and the sixth-largest airline in the world in terms of international passengers carried and largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometers flown, operating over 2,400 passenger flights per week, from its hub at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 to 111 cities in 62 countries across six continents, has successfully represented the UAE brand through its superior services and defiantly deserved to be the UAE’s top brand. Emirates has received

Why UAE ?

numerous awards over the years for the quality of its in-flight cuisine, the breadth of it in-flight entertainment, and the excellence of its overall service. In Addition, the UAE products are environment-friendly, supported by government policies to be environmentallyresponsible. Dubal, a major aluminum manufacturer in the region, has won a number of international awards for its environmental performance. Products of Arabian Packaging Company follow environmental standards for its sourced raw material to guarantee complete compliance with the safety of the environment. Due to the UAE’s prestigious brand that has been built by various factors as mentioned, many international companies have chosen the UAE as their main headquarter. Renowned media providers like CNN international, Bloomberg and BBC World have chosen the UAE as a main headquarter to cover the Middle East and North Africa region. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) chose Abu Dhabi as its main headquarters. According to Business Intelligence – Middle East Unit, 90% of French Companies choose the UAE for setting up regional headquarters. Today, the UAE has defiantly become the location of choice by international investors and businessmen due to its globally-recognized brand.

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

Chapter 3

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

No matter what was the size or structure of a nation’s economy, its ability to withstand the years of drought and ride the economic downturn cycles successfully is the real test of its resilience. In the UAE, the storms and turbulences were seen as challenges, like finding water in the vast desert. As usual, the country was up to it.

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The UAE: A Strong Economic Heritage The Trucial States, as the seven emirates used to be called until 1971, were famous for their business culture and embedded multicultural values throughout the history. Commencing from the third millennium B.C., Umm Al Nar, the capital of Majan Civilization that flourished in the lands of the UAE, was a major hub that exported copper to the neighboring nations. In the modern history of the country (19th century), Dubai began its essential role as a regional hub for goods going to the upper Gulf, Iraq, Persia, eastern Africa and even beyond. Other cities like Sharjah, Ajman and Dalma island also played a major role as markets, each in its own specialized field. Historians demonstrate that by the end of the 19th century, the ruler of Dubai made a radical decision by exempting foreign traders

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

from paying taxes. Ever since then, the city became a destination for merchants, investors, and businessmen from all around the world looking to make a breakthrough in this part of the world. Since its establishment in 1932, Sharjah Airport Station rapidly grew up to become Arabia’s first specialized cargo airport and a centre for regional logistics; a role that was later complimented and enhanced by the establishment of Dubai International Airport in late 1950s. Abu Dhabi’s early discovery of the nation’s largest oil reserve in the early 1960s marked a turning point in the history of the Trucial States and transformed the whole nation to a new era in almost every aspect of life. Although the oil fortune was mainly used to upgrade the public infrastructure nationwide, boost education and health services and empower the new federation, it also played an essential role to energize the economy and fuel its multi-faceted growth in the years after the federation was formed. Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah followed the same policy with their oil revenues.

The UAE Economy: A Unique Orchestration As a key international player and a responsible energy provider, the United Arab Emirates has designed its economy in a way that integrates productively in the regional economic scene while providing residents with the essential requirements for a prosperous, generous life. Even though the federation was formed merely 40 years ago, tahe pillars of its current socio-economic stability were deeply rooted in the country’s historic trade traditions over centuries. Entrepreneurs from the UAE, with their embedded high cultural values, were behind the good reputation that the economy is known of today. In 1960s, international business transactions between foreign companies and local merchants were mainly based on trust, no papers signed and no bank guarantees. From gold

manufacturers in Europe and auto parts manufacturers in the United States of America to spice suppliers in India, trust was accepted as the main guarantee to deal with the UAE merchants. That trust was also reflected on the domestic market when banks gave loans and construction companies built houses based on trust. For the present generation, the pearl-diving grandfathers with their friendly personalities, left both rich business traditions and fruitful partnerships across the region that were successfully utilized to build a unique blend for the UAE’s emerging economy back in the 1970s and beyond. The image, today, sounds even more promising. With the success each and every Emirate had over the past four decades, the United Arab Emirates has emerged as an important, responsible contributor to the world’s economy, backed by a strong national economy with solid macroeconomic components. In 2010, the UAE ranks 3rd regionally and 27th globally in terms of the quality and attractiveness of its business environment.

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region relies on one country; the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE Economy: The Pillars of Success The farsighted vision of the founding fathers of the UAE was essential to the success of the local economy and its expansion abroad. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Said Al Maktoum had a clear view of the role the UAE federal and local governments should play to motivate the newly formed national economy. The view from the top was pretty sharp and clear; instead of building a controlled state-run economy, they provided the healthy grounds for it to grow. The new government’s task was to act as a facilitator for business and free trade. Both government bodies and business entities started a de facto partnership that successfully built what we know today as the UAE leading economy. With such a healthy economic environment, it was natural for the private sector to flourish. The strategic decision not to rely completely on hydrocarbons opened the door to many economic sectors to grow and compete. Local businessmen and women were encouraged to start new types of businesses, bring in new international brands; they were even offered government finance as startups. With this winning formula, the UAE has successfully maintained its position as the region’s hub of international trade in almost all products and services. From financial institutions to information technology and from shipping and logistics to primary re-exports, the whole

Diversification has been and will continue to be the main pillar of the UAE economy. Today, 40 years ahead, the non-oil economy of the UAE contributes over 68% of the nation’s GDP. Both the federal and the local governments are still making effective plans to increase the nonoil contribution even more. In line with its vision 2021 and its federal strategy 2011-2013, the UAE is taking strategic initiatives in order to establish a knowledgeled economy. Strengthening small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to efficiently provide advanced, creative and innovative technologies is the prime contributor to the evolution of the transition. In addition, to the initiatives offered at the federal level, the UAE has several economic initiatives working in integral, parallel harmony. The federal government runs the overall operations, especially in terms of external trade and nationwide monetary and fiscal policies. Meanwhile, the local government in each emirate thrives to inject as much incentives and competitiveness into their offerings to further motivate the local economy and businesses. The healthy levels of inter-emirate competition have been instrumental in attracting a lot of foreign direct investment while helping local businesses grow from small shops to multibillion-dollar conglomerates. Local initiatives vary from one emirate to another, but they all adopt open market and healthy competition policies. Free trade is protected by law and each emirate has several free zones to facilitate specialized business parks that serve the UAE and beyond.

The United Arab Emirates

Why UAE ?


Adapting and Resilient



GDP IInd Largest in the GCC

Balanced Focus

At the Cutting Edge


A Sound and Resilient Economy

Free, Robust and Open


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Chapter 3

The UAE: A Story of Growth Throughout the last four decades, the UAE managed to leap the hypothetical development ‘stages’ that most developed countries seem to have experienced. It has successfully reached the stage of modernity and became one of the most successful emerging economies in the world. Not only the high mass of oil revenues enabled the UAE to short-cut the usually difficult and lengthy process of saving and capital accumulation necessary for economic development but also the creativity in devising innovative policies and visions to cope with the resources scarcity’s challenges, either human or nature, and mitigate the sever hardships, has played an important role in shrinking the long process. These policies have contributed in building a creative – spirit economy with a vast pool of historical experiences and practices. In conjunction with the rapid growth of the UAE’s population and domestic needs, the economy size has exponentially grown from a GDP of USD 21.10 billion in 1972 to USD 297.5

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

billion in 2010 at current prices. However, such a huge growth couldn’t have been possible without the fundamental components of the UAE’s economic policy that kept providing the market with motivational strengths and enough liquidity. The stable macroeconomic components, increasing domestic and foreign investments, liberal financial and trade policies, the availability of the skilled labor and the access to the MENA and Africa region have been and will always be the strong drivers of the UAE economy. Since the early days of independence, the UAE adopted a dual track approach to grow up its economy; both federal and local (emirate level) factors have been instrumental to this growth. Figure 1 below shows clearly that while the overall performance of the economy was growing steadily, its non-oil components were also being enriched in order to reach a situation where the whole country can live prosperously without any oil contribution to the GDP and the state funding. However, the oil fortune was rightfully used to boost the infrastructure across the country. Oil revenues made %58 of the national GDP in 1975; which was the year that witnessed the first federal budget. The government of Abu Dhabi, which produces over 90% of the country’s oil, contributed some

The UAE GDP Growth by Sectors at Current Price (Millions Per USD) Sector


Agriculture , Live Stock and Fishing Mining and Quarrying

Crude Oil and Natural Gas










Manufacturing Industries



Electricity , Gas and Water






Wholesale Retail Trade & Repairing Services





Restaurants and Hotels Transports , Storage and Communication



Real Estate and Business Services













Social and Personal Services

The Financial Corporations Sector Government Services Sector Domestic Services of Households

Imputed Bank Services (Less)



Gross Domestic Product total

Included in the above item.

Non Oil sector



% Non Oil GDP



share went down by 30% in 2009, while Abu 80% of that budget. Keeping in mind that Dhabi’s share became 60% (from 48% in Abu Dhabi is actually the largest emirate and 2002). The other emirates maintained a stable occupies over 85% of the country’s map, the contribution in the remaining 10%. significance and magnitude of its contribution to the federal budget and GDP/Non Oil GDP (Millions per USD) economy can be easily understood, while building and maintaining its pre- 300,000 federation economy. Dubai, the second largest emirate in the country, built its own unique business model in terms of re-exports and services, therefore its share in the GDP went from 25% in 1975 to over 40% in 2002. Later on, because of the surge in oil prices and the consequent credit crunch, Dubai’s GDP Why UAE ?

250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0









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Chapter 3

A closer look at the GDP contributing activities in the UAE shows that the country’s economy is highly dependent on the external sector as reflected by the trade ratio (exports and imports). Consequently the external sector plays a major role in the performance and evolution of the UAE economy. The UAE’s trade balance in 2009 decreased by 33.1 per cent from USD 62.9 billion in 2008 to USD 42.1 billion. This decrease was largely due to a 19.8 per cent decline in the value of exports and reexports. The country’s free zones also decline in 1.3 per cent in exports, which reached USD 26.2 billion in 2009. Meanwhile, re-exports reached USD 79.9 billion in 2009. Although the private sector expenditure plays an essential role in the UAE’s economy with over three quarters of the GDP, the government sector is still an important player. The UAE maintains a successful partnership between the government and the private sector. But with a clear path to the future, optimism is a daily practice in the UAE. The Ministry of Foreign Trade forecasts that the country’s external trade will reach USD 200.14 billion in the year of 2011, increasing by 11% compared to 2010. Foreign direct investment FDI in 2010 grew up 13% to USD 15.03 billion.

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

1970-1980 saw high growth performance when the government used the surplus of its oil to develop its infrastructure.

Important Stages of the UAE Economy 1900-1930: Pearl Industry Era The UAE became a commercial centre linking Indian with Arabian waters by supplying pearls resources to the world. This economic activity provided employment and income to the majority of the population, transformed the traditional economy of the tribal population and made the UAE’s ports as major trading ports in the region. The worldwide economic depression that erupted in 1930s and the Japanese discovery of the cultured pearl spelt disaster for the Gulf’s pearling industry. The UAE, because of its creativity economic spirit, was able to recover fast by using its ports on trading other goods across the region.

1958-1980: Discovery and Production of Oil An economic significant era began in the early 1970s with the establishment of the UAE and the production of oil. The rapid transformation from a desert region to one with a booming economy was possible by gaining massive revenues from oil exports. The UAE was the only GCC oil producer country to keep foreign partners on a productionsharing basis at that time. This policy proved its viability in giving the country a technological edge over fellow producers in the Gulf. The period

1980’s: Diversification Strategy The government committed itself from the beginning to allow and accept diversification of its economy by allowing foreign investment and issuing open and encouraging policies for companies to flourish. The UAE positioned itself as a main international trading hub and a major regional financial centre.

1985’s: Inventing Free Zone Concept A totally new business concept was introduced in Dubai by establishing Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA). Little attention and great criticism were received at the beginning. Day after day, the free zone concept has proved its success when hundreds of domestic and international companies joined that attracting zone that grants them with exceptional privileges like 100 percent foreign company ownership and exceptions from taxes and customs. Today, free zones have become integral parts of the UAE economy and contributes more than 15% of the national GD.

1990’s: Advancing the Diversification Scheme The uninterrupted growth over the previous ten years allowed the country to focus on developing its non-oil sectors like tourism sector, real estate and re-exports sectors. The contribution of the non-oil sector increased. The economy transformed from an oil dependent economy to a more diversified economy.

1998’s: Surviving the Oil Price Crunch The GCC countries were faced with the challenges imposed by the oil downturn cycle in the late nineties. As a response the UAE government increased its spending, deepened its non-oil initiatives and maximize the private sector’s participation in the strategic sectors like energy and heavy industries. The UAE through its diversified initiatives and with each emirate focusing in a specialized economic portion were able to absorb the downturn and as a result the diversification scheme was fortified.

2007-2009: Global Financial Crisis The challenges that the UAE has gone through because of the recent economic cycle were faced by expansionary monetary and fiscal policies by Why UAE ?

the government. The interest rate was lowered and banks were given about USD 19 billion facility to enhance economic growth and consumer expenditure (see … to read about how the UAE dealt with the crisis in details)

2009 end’s: Regaining Growth Mode National GDP increased by 1.3% in 2009, driven by consumer demand. The astonishing increase of this indicator by 72% since 2005 proves the successful transformation of the UAE economy from an oil-driven economy to a consumer- driven economy.

1998’s: Aggressive Diversification Strategy The oil sector is still a major contributor to the total GDP. The UAE is also still supporting the nonoil initiatives and developing encouraging policies in that regard.

1999-2007: The Second Boom Furthering the diversification and growth strategy, the UAE and its seven Emirates started to seek for competitive positions in the new fronts of the world economy, in the period between 1999-2008, the country maintained a remarkable economic growth rate of 9%, being among the top league of the fastest gorwing world economies. with the launch of initiatives in the scale of Dubai internet city, Dubai Media City, DIFC, Dubai Health care city and twofour54 Abu Dhabi, the country have established itself as a major global destination for ICT, Media, Financial services, healthcare and other major knowledge-based economic sectors. this period also witnessed great development of iconic projects in the areas of real estate and tourism that put the country in the world’s record book, starting with the launch of Burj Al Arab, the world’s only seven-star’s hotel to the creation of Yas Island, one of the world’s most luxorious tourist destinations. Real Estate developments peaked during he early years of the 2000’s, resulting in 30% of the world’s crains to reside in the UAE and in more than 750 skyscrapers decorating the UAE’s landscapes With all the developments taking place in the country and with the hard and deligent efforts of the government and the private sector, the UaE turned into a brand synonymous with development, ambition, luxury and prospertity. This resulted in a great interest and influx of people to the land of the UAE to ripe the fruit of what people called “The Second Boom” The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 3

The UAE: A Sound Macroeconomic Environment The global economy was affected by the recent economic distress. The UAE, an important economic player in the region, had faced these not-avoided challenges, a fact that can’t be ignored. However, the sound macroeconomic fundamentals of the UAE driven by high oil revenues and government spending were able to gain back the confidence of the local and international businessmen and investors and therefore achieve a steady and sustainable growth when most economies stumbled in the

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

darkness of the turmoil. The prudent policies by the government were mainly behind the remarkable restored macroeconomic figures as shown in the tables.

GDP at Current Price Per Sectore (Millions Per USD) Sector

The Non Financial Corporations Sector

The ongoing efforts by the federal government to diversify its economy and reduce the dependency on the hydrocarbons sector are achieving good results each year. In 2010, thirty percent of the national GDP came from mining and quarrying sectors, a relatively low share compared to other GCC countries. As for the non-oil sectors, the services sector was the major contributor with more than 35% as the below table demonstrates. Data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics show that the total GDP at current prices grew by 10.1% in 2010, whereas the non-oil sectors grew by 6.2%. Abu Dhabi, the producer of 90 percent of crude oil and natural gas in the UAE, remains as the strategic contributor to the national GDP. Currently, the emirate is the major contributor in the mining, agriculture, utilities, government and social services sectors. In 2010, Abu Dhabi contributed 60% of the federal GDP. Its share is expected to increase because of the diversification plans that were set by Abu Dhabi vision 2030. Dubai, the second largest emirate, contributes 30% of the federal GDP and 41% of the non-oil GDP. In fact, the role Dubai plays in the national economy has gradually increased since the federation. When theemirate started its flagship Jebel Ali Port (and consequently












Manufacturing Industries



Electricity , Gas and Water






Wholesale Retail Trade & Repairing Services





Transports , Storage and Communication



Real Estate and Business Services



Agriculture , Live Stock and Fishing

Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the UAE


Mining and Quarrying

Crude Oil and Natural Gas Quarrying

Restaurants and Hotels



The Financial Corporations Sector



Government Services Sector










Total of Non Oil Sectors



Social and Personal Services

Domestic Services of Households

Imputed Bank Services (Less)

the free zone and industrial city around it), it was consolidating its centuries-old tradition of serving as a regional hub of re-exports.

In 2009, Dubai alone contributed 64% of the country’s wholesale & retail trade and repairing services sector.

Key Economic Indicators Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Current Prices (2010)

USD 297.54 billion

GDP per Capita (2010)

USD 36,000

GDP (at Current Prices): Average Annual Growth Rate (from 2002 – 2010)


Balance of Payment (2009)

USD 7.85 Billion

Government Spending (2010)

USD 24.54 Billion

Inflation Rate

1.6% (2009)

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

11.4% (2009)

Why UAE ?

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

GDP by Economic Activities and Emirates (2009) The Figure below is important to understand how each emirate contributes to the national GDP per economic activity. Because of the liberal policies and the free market competition model, each emirate was able to build its own competitive edge and use it to promote its own micro-economy.

1 2 3 4 5

The cited income differences between the emirates are generated mainly by the variations in their natural resource endowments. The most important resource the UAE possesses is hydrocarbons (oil and gas). The UAE’s proven oil reserves stood at 97.8 billion barrels at the end of 2008, and its proven gas reserves at 227.1 trillion cubic feet.

6 7 8 9 10

Abu Dhabi

Distribution of Gross Domestic Product by Economic Activities 2010 At Current Prices


13 14


Social and Personal Services

Umm Al-Quwain

The Financial Corporations Sector

Ras Al Khaimah


Government Service Sector


Domestic Service of Households


Less: Input Bank Services


Agriculture, Live Stock & Fishing


In spite of the challenges posed by the recent economic turmoil, the UAE also maintained a positive balance of payment with a surplus of USD 7.85 billion according to data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics. A main driver behind sustaining the positive growth trend in the UAE is the government’s continuous investment to improve the countrya’s infrastructure. In 2010, its spending reached USD 24.54 billion. Ranking 7th on government spending efficiency by World Economic Forum (WEF) in the 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Report for the second consecutive time proves the strong commitment of the government to continue the outstanding performance of diversifying the economy by pumping cash into the different sectors.


Manufacturing Industries


Electricity, Gas & Water




31.59 Mining and Quarying Sector



1 - Agriculture, Live Stock and Fishing 2 - Crude Oil, Gas and Mining 3 - Manufacturing Industries 4 - Electricity, Gas and Water 5 - Construction 6 - Wholesale, Retail & Repairing Services 7 - Restaurants and Hotels 8 - Transports, Storage and Communications 9 - Real Estate and Business Services 10 - Social and Personal Services 11 - The Financial Sector 12 - Government Sevice Sector 13 - Domestic Services of Households 14 - Less imputed Bank Services

11.65 Construction 12.80 Wholesale, Retail & Repairing

Why UAE ?


Restaurants & Hotels


Transport, Storage & Communication


Real Estate & Business Services The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 3

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

table “Main Expenditure Groups of the CPI”. The data also show that the “communications group” slowed down the rise of the index when the prices of its items dropped down by 5.79% in 2010 compared to the end of 2009.

GDP per Capita The growth of the UAE economy over the last forty years has allowed it to achieve one of the world’s highest GDPs per capita that stood at USD 53,400 by 2008, ranking 35th out of 179 countries in terms of the UNDP Human Development Indicators. This performance was not only a result of the sectors expansions but also of the open and encouraging policies that allowed investors and businessmen from all around the globe to flourish growing markets.

Emirates GDPs Growth (Millions per USD) 200,000

2007 2008 2009

150,000 100,000 50,000 0

Abu Dhabi Dubai





in the UAE’s

Consumer Price Index (CPI) The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households shows that the average rise in consumer prices in the UAE at the end of 2010 increased by 0.88% compared to its value at the end of July 2009. The relative change shows how much change occurred in 2010 as compared to 2009. For example, the prices of the items in the Food and Soft Drinks group have increased by 4.46 %, as shown in the

Why UAE ?


Inflation Rental costs and goods and services prices are still the main driving causes of the inflationary pressures in the UAE. The official inflation rate is calculated by measuring the percentage change in prices of a representative basket of goods and services consumed by the average household throughout the UAE. As of the end of August 2011, the rate was calculated at -0.14% per cent: a figure that is considered low in global economies.

Consumer Price Indices (2010) Main Expenditure Groups of the CPI

2009 (CPIs)

2010 (CPIs)

Relative Change %

Food and Soft Drinks




Alcohol Beverages and Tobacco




Textile, Clothing and footwear








Furniture and other items




Medical Care












Recreation and culture








Restaurants and hotels




Miscellaneous goods and services








Abu Dhabi also made a progress from its previous ranking as the fiftieth in 2010 to become the sixty-seventh in 2011. The survey of all the world’s major cities by Mercer Consulting takes into consideration monetary value, consumer confidence, investment, interest

rates, exchange rates of the country’s currency, and housing costs. Mercer also issued a report in 2010 stating that Dubai became the city with the best quality of living in the Middle East and Africa, followed by Abu Dhabi in the third place in the region, after Mauritius as second.

Dubai is the eighty-first most expensive city in the world in 2011, an important improvement on its previous ranking of fifty-fifth in 2010.

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

adoption of sound policies and legislations that stimulated the developments across all sectors.

A Bright Economic Outlook Since the beginning of 2010, the UAE economy has been gaining its growth momentum and showing strong recovery signs. The above mentioned indications demonstrate the country’s resistant potentialities in overcoming the worst situations that had severely impacted the development’s progress at all levels. This success was not a coincidence or a result of a temporary effort, it was the fruit of the sound visionary and thoughtful planning, supported by the attentive followup of the UAE leadership to release the hidden potential in the economy and stress the openness to foreign investment through the

Packages of incentives, favorable procedures and sound economic legislations were introduced to stimulate the investment environment. New and modified laws on foreign investment and competition protection in addition to amendments to laws on intellectual property, patents and industrial designs protection were passed. These adapting measures did not only mitigate the crisis’s challenges but also have become essential factors for the future growth. The strong economic performance has been embodied in various estimations and projections which have wildly shared the conviction that the positive economic growth has become a fact on the ground, rather than an expression of wishful thinking. The table below shows a variety of projections by different sources.


Economic Forecasts The UAE Ministry of Economy The National GDP is expected to grow 3% to 3.5% in 2011. Inflation will be balanced between 1 to 1.5 per cent.

The UAE Central Bank Driven by the rigorous diversification strategy of economy, rapid industrialization, small and medium enterprises increasing contributory role, and expansionary shares of infrastructure, trade, service sector and tourism, economy is forecast to grow by 4-5 per cent in 2011. Inflation will be lower than 3 per cent.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) The UAE’s overall economic growth will remain steady in 2011 at 3.25%. A closer breakdown suggests a pickup in the UAE’s non-oil GDP growth of 3.25 % in 2011, compared to 2% in 2010, driven by strong tourism, logistics, and trade in Dubai and large public investment spending in Abu Dhabi.

Standard Chartered Bank The UAE economy is gaining the growth momentum and will grow at 4 percent in 2011. The main contributors to GDP will be hydrocarbons (29.2%), ‘other services’ (13%), manufacturing (16%), construction (11%), trade (9%) and financial services (6%). Dubai’s services and trade sectors to drive growth in 2011, while infrastructure plans in Abu Dhabi will boost the construction and services sector.

Reuters The UAE economy is expected to expand by 3.4 per cent in 2011 and annual inflation to be 2.5 per cent in 2011.

Institute of International Finance (IIF) The turmoil in the Arab world could indirectly boost the UAE’s economy through channels such as higher production of crude oil; larger revenues due to a spike in oil prices; and a diversion the regional trade, transportation, tourism and finance. Dubai’s economy is expected to recover significantly, growing by 3.5 per cent in 2011 compared to 1.7 per cent in 2010. The UAE’s current account was in a surplus of USD 22 billion or 8.6 per cent of GDP in 2010 due to an increase in oil exports resulting from higher oil prices and a modest increase in production. Why UAE ?

The UAE’s recovery is building momentum and it’s clear the new growth cycle is underway. The UAE’s Purchasing Managers Index rose by 2.8% m/m reaching an unprecedented 57.5 in April 2011, its highest level ever. The m/m increase was driven by a sharp rise in current output and new orders, while employment grew at the sharpest rate for 16 months.

Roubini Global Economics (RGE) Growth is gradually picking up in the UAE as credit growth unlocks and global growth supports Abu Dhabi’s oil and Dubai’s re-export trade. Thus, a modest further expansion from the 3.2% preliminary growth in 2010. Regardless, recent macro indicators, including the PMI, export data and retail proxies point to a gradual improvement in output. The pace remains well below that needed to spark a robust recovery. The UAE growth is expected to remain below potential (about 4.5%) through 2012.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) The UAE real GDP is expected to record a growth at 3 % in 2010, getting up to 4 % in 2012, and 6% in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Various sectors include travel and tourism, financial services, professional services, transport and logistics, trade and storage and construction are identified as vertical building block sectors. Efforts to boost trade using for example Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone are keys mechanism to achieve this objective.

Major macroeconomic indicators and meriting certificates by global financial and economic organizations show that the UAE enjoys a stable and sustainable economy. Its society is articulated and well-educated; it enjoys world-in-class facilities of education, health, housing and law and order. Its culture is dynamic with full of life that combines traditions with modernity. It has become a global hub of foreign direct investments, trade, services and tourism. The successful implementation of Government Strategy 20112013 and the UAE Vision 2021 will bring all the desired results in the coming days. The resilient macro-economy of the United Arab Emirates endorses the wise policy initiatives of its leadership. Throughout the years, the UAE economy proves to be dynamic, vibrant, diversified and based on strong and solid foundations. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

have already being sending the positive signals of the UAE’s economic growth, proving that the country is placing itself on the right path to achieve all the MDGs prior 2015.

The UAE: A Progressive Economic Policy The formation of the fundamental economic policies has always been a unique feature of the UAE economic model. They are formulated in a way that can be described as a road map that takes into account the changing economic, political and social circumstances. This efficient methodology has and will always be a main pillar of the UAE economy. The global financial crisis has not only laid some challenges in the domestic economy but also stimulated the UAE policy makers to reshape and modify the long–adapting diversification strategy to be more focused on well-defined and selected economic sectors which would serve as engines for a sustained growth on the long run. Diversified but integrated policy measures were initiated to achieve the UAE’s Millennium Development Goals (2015). As a result, local and global indicators, rankings and forecasts

The Policy of No Tax In general the UAE has been following a non-tax policy. All free zones therefore benefit from zero income tax. Individuals and organizations are also exempted from paying taxes to the government except the foreign banks that operate in the country. The income tax exemptions policy, as one of the major economic policies in the UAE, remains and will always be a preferential policy by the government. Its role as a part of the UAE’s supportive fiscal policy is very significant in terms of increasing foreign direct investments (FDI) and consumer spending and developing a more vibrant private sector.

Fiscal Policy and the Global Financial Crisis The stabilization of the macroeconomic environment mainly depends on the fiscal policy of the country. The global economic distress did not only affect the growth of the developments but also influenced the government’s strategy. As an immediate response, the UAE aimed its current fiscal policy at restoring confidence in the economy, in addition to the continuing diversification strategy and increasing private sector employment.

and operating in the UAE for 3 years. At the emirate level, the government of Dubai established Financial Support Fund in 2009 to provide financial support and liquidity to Government and GovernmentRelated Entities (‘GREs’) that are undertaking projects of strategic importance within Dubai that contribute towards the overall economic development of the Emirate. A USD 20 billion bond program was initiated to provide GREs with loans on a commercial basis. Even though, the constitution grants the right for each emirate to exercise power in all matters that are not assigned to the jurisdiction of the federal government which among them are the fiscal policies of the emirates, they have to go in conjunction with the consolidated federal fiscal policy. To serve this purpose, the Ministry of Finance launched the Department of Co-ordination of Fiscal Policies. Some of its responsibilities are collection and preparation of consolidated financial statements on revenue and annual federal and local expenditures for the State of the United Arab Emirates, study the consolidation of fiscal policy in the macroeconomic framework medium-term at the State level and Follow up the implementation of the

decisions of the Co-ordinating Council of the financial policies.

How the UAE Controlled Inflation The fiscal policy has played a very critical role in achieving the delicate and complicated objective of a balanced growth to be neither hyper nor cooled one, yet to be more sustained and de-inflated. At the time of the crisis, the UAE has accomplished a unique profile of moderate growth in parallel with low inflation rate. This profile enhances the attractiveness of the investment climate in terms of maximizing the profits and minimizing the costs. The results can be easily perceived by comparing the estimates of growth and inflation rates before and during/after the crisis. The last two years, they ranged between 2.5% and 4% for growth rates, and 1.5% and 3% for inflation rates. Prior the crisis figures went beyond 8% for economic growth and 11% for inflation rate. The fulfilment of such a profile has been a natural outcome of the various measures that were employed to curb the global financial crisis pressures.

As a response to the challenges imposed by the crisis, the government issued a set of measures to anchor its fiscal policy management and to improve coordination between the various levels of government. As a regulatory response to the crisis, the UAE Central Bank offered a set of financial packages to help the banking sector to stand in the face of the crisis. An overdraft facility of USD 13.6 billion, a CD swap facility, and discounting of government bonds were offered. In addition, USD 19 billion was injected by the Ministry of Finance into the Local Banks. The government has also guaranteed all deposits at banks that are licensed Why UAE ?

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Chapter 3

Steady Spending in Infrastructure Projects The government’s investments in the infrastructure projects have protected the sector from the adverse effects of the global credit crunch. Thus, it has continued its growth with normal rate, heading and driving the growth of the entire economy.

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

infrastructures in the city. Dubai’s planned investment of USD 2.04 billion in 2011, which constitutes a 23% of its total budget share, will definitely stimulate the economic growth and create a financial stability.

Government Expenditure and Revenue

The private investment in the project activity went down in 2009. The reason drove the public sector to increase its share in order to preserve the growth pace. According to a report issued by MEED, an economic media house, in the first half of 2011 that the project portfolio in the UAE remained large, estimated at USD 1.9 trillion.

The above mentioned trend has been embodied in the consolidated expenditure of the UAE government which increased from USD 69.2 billion in 2008 to USD 78.8 billion in 2009 or by 14%. This increase in government expenditure occurred at a time when government revenue dropped by 35% from USD 122.7 billion in 2008 to USD 78 billion in 2009, mainly due to the fall in the oil prices. These large expenditures and the concurrent drop in government revenue completely wiped out the budget surplus in 2009.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are continuing the developments of their infrastructure at all fronts with generous budgets; USD 15 billion has been planned by Abu Dhabi to be invested to enhance and established new

The figure on Public Revenues Stream Growth show the growth of the public revenues streams from 2001-2009 and the latest available breakdown of the revenues streams (2007).

Why UAE ?

Public Revenues Streams Growth (Millions per USD)

70,000 60,000 50,000



Other Tax Revenue 30,000

Oil and Gas Enterprises Profits


Other Non-Tax Revenue

10,000 0






Public Revenues (2007)



Public Expenditure (2007)


Other Tax Revenues


Oil and Gas








Wages & Salaries


Enterprise Profit Other Non Tax Revenues



Goods & Services


Subsides & Transfers





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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

The Exchange Rate

Currency and Monetary Policy: A Strong Dirham for a Healthy Economy The monetary policy is a powerful economic tool, especially when used in coordination with a solid fiscal policy. The UAE provides a good example. Ever since the federation was formed in 1971, the UAE considered a stable monetary policy essential for a strong, sustainable economy. A well designed approach was put in place to replace the previous multicurrency system and come up with a new national currency. A national currency was introduced in 1973, when the UAE dirham (AED) began circulating. The dirham replaced the Qatari Riyal, Dubai Riyal and Bahraini Dinar, which were variously used as legal tender in the several emirates until that date. In 1980, the UAE Central Bank was founded and tasked with the “organization of the monetary, credit and banking policy and the country.” the bank was in fact established to replace the UAE Currency Board; which served a need as a currency issuer for the new state.

The UAE Central Bank (CBUAE) has maintained a stable, conservative monetary policy that, at all stages, helped both the government and the private sector plan for the future in a healthy manner. By adopting the dollar peg in as early as 1981; a fixed exchange rate for the dirham against the US dollar (at AED3.6725 equal to one US dollar), which consequently provided a stable environment for all dollar-based external transactions. Three decades later, the decision is still proving to be right, especially that it has stabilized the value of the UAE dirham. Between 1972 and 1980, the exchange rate has declined from AED4.386 to the US dollar to AED3.707 to the US dollar. The business community comprising of traders, industrialists and entrepreneurs has widely harvested the benefit of strategic financial planning in the context of a stable currency exchange rate. With the fact that the majority of UAE’s foreign trade is being paid in US dollar, it becomes clear why the dollar peg is crucial for a country such as the UAE. In fact, given the features of the UAE economy, three factors - small economy, openness and nominal domestic shocks

resulting from large monetary expansion - call for a fixed exchange rate regime for dirham. While this is only a primary element of the monetary policy, it reflects the way this policy is being implemented nationwide and how helpful it becomes across all industrial and commercial sectors. It simply complies with the UAE’s fundamental principle of the facilitating government.

Currently, UAE has adjusted itself to shifts in international financial turmoil, and it keeps its currency steady against the dollar. This state of affairs should continue for a few more years, even though increasing diversification of its economy, especially towards financial business, will increasingly warrant a switch to flexible exchange rates. It is also important that as the bulk of UAE`s export income is so typically concentrated in a single area, managing a floating-currency regime would be pretty awkward.

What Does CBUAE Do? Federal Law No. (10) of 1980 has given the Central Bank wide authorities, among which are: organization of the monetary, credit and banking policy and the supervision of its implementation. This has lent support to national economy and led to stability of currency. See Table 1 for further details. In addition, the Central Bank is responsible for implementing other monetary tools that help stabilize the economy and provide businesses with subtle measurements of the global trends and how they affect the local business community.

Why UAE ?

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Chapter 3

Other Monetary Tools The Central bank also observes a selection of monetary indicators and tools to guarantee the health of the monetary and banking system in the UAE. For example, the CBUAE requires all banks operating in the country to reserve at the Central Bank without interest; 14% of their current, savings and call accounts, and 1% only on time deposits. Controlling the level of such reserves is traditionally one f the tools used to manage the country’s monetary, which in turn will impact the amount banks provide in loans to the economy. In addition, banks are required to keep at the Central Bank 30% of their Dirham deposits abroad with non-resident banks (including their Head Office and branches in the case of foreign banks). The ratios on local customer deposits apply uniformly to Dirham and other foreign currencies. Also, the capital adequacy ratio has been closely managed and UAE banks are

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

now well capitalized with respect to Basel I requirement. The capital adequacy ratio in the UAE should not be less than 10% according to CBUAE’s requirement, compared to 8% Basel requirement, which was increased to 11% starting September 2009 and 12% starting June 2010. The CBUAE also manages a plethora of tools necessary to maintain a healthy monetary market. These include an active Dollar/Dirham swap unit to provide banks with Dirham liquidity when needed, an advances & overdraft facility for banks, a prudential regulation and CBUAE issuance of Certificates of Deposits and Repo facilities on Certificates of Deposit (CDs) held. However, and because central banks are usually looked at as the friend when needed, the CBUAE started a new division back in 2008. The Liquidity Support Facility was set up in September 2008, when banks were facing a shortfall in liquidity due to the global financial crisis. Under this facility, a bank can submit its portfolio of securities to the Central Bank of the UAE for evaluation. The Central Bank will accept those securities as eligible which satisfy its guidelines and assign a line to the bank

based on the value of the eligible securities after adjusting for haircut applied to each such accepted security. The bank can then access Central Bank funds on a weekly rollover basis for as long as they need the facility.

The Healthy Results The UAE’s sound monetary strategies has led to the establishment of a strong and sound banking system which is among the best banking systems in the world. The fast growth of the country’s economy was reflected in the great expansion in the activities of the banks operating in the country, which provided an added challenge to the monetary bodies. As a result, cash in circulation increased from US$ 572 million in December 1980 to US$13 billion in December 2010. Similarly, Money Supply (M1) increased from US$1.99 billion to US$63.4billion and private domestic liquidity (M2) from US$6.4 billion to US$214 billion during the same dates. Credit facilities granted to the private sector by banks operating in the country increased from US$6.8 billion at the end of December,

The UAE Central Bank is Authorized to:

1980, to US$265 billion at the end of December 2010. Similarly, foreign assets increased from US$5.3 billion to US$63.6, monetary deposits from US$1.42 billion to US$53 billion, capital and reserves from US$1.5 billion to US$74.3 billion during the said dates. By the end of 2010, total assets/liabilities of the balance sheet exceeded US$438 billion.

Issue currency per the provisions of the federal law no 10 of 1980; Ensure support for currency and its stability inside and outside the country as well as its free convertibility into foreign currencies; Ensure a credit policy that helps in achieving balanced growth of national economy; Organize and develop banking as well as monitor the efficiency of the banking system; Function as the Bank of the Government; Offer monetary and financial advice to the Government; Maintain government reserves in gold and other currencies; Act as bank for banks operating in the country; Act as financial agent of the government to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as well as other Arab or international monetary institutions and funds; Handle all state transactions with such parties. Why UAE ?

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Chapter 3

The UAE: an Open and Flexible Trade Policy The UAE has adopted several trade policies that tone with the international standards and guarantee the rights for both consumers and traders. They are in line with the strategy of the UAE government to create an enabling, fair and balanced trade environment that is conducive to economic growth. The policies are not intended to control traders but to generate an atmosphere of transparency in the market, end monopoly policies and prevent practices aimed at jeopardizing the country’s economy. With a clear objective to promote a progressive economic model, the UAE always aim at harmonizing its standards and simplifying its trade procedures. To complement its investor-friendly fiscal and monetary offerings, the UAE has early adopted a trade policy that facilitates business activities at various levels and helps corporations expand and profit.

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

Although an effective trade policy has been in place since the federation back in 1971, the Ministry of Foreign Trade was formed in 2008 to play the role of a national hub for all trade activities and be the contact point for international parties looking to do business with the UAE. The Ministry’s mandate also includes negotiating, approval and signing of trade agreements with international partners. (See next chapter). In 1994, the UAE became a contracting party to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and subsequently became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in April of 1996. This engagement with international organizations stems from the UAE’s commitment to international trade and its obligations under the multilateral trade policy regime. Today, the UAE has various regulations in place at both the local and the federal levels that aim to strengthen the country’s position as an open economy, one that welcomes international trade and competition. In order to establish a free market environment, the UAE has adopted a series of trade regulatory initiatives to facilitate business exchange and growth, both locally and beyond borders. As briefed below, various frameworks of the trade policy are actually

designed in a way that removes the hassles of bureaucracy while enforcing business friendlyregulatory practice.

Competition and Consumer Protection Law Anti-competitive practices are dealt with by the Ministry of Economy, in accordance with the Consumer Protection Law of 2006 and its Implementing Regulations of 2007. The law No: 6 of 2006 covers and tackles issues relating to the rights of consumer, responsibilities and liabilities and specifying penalties to be imposed on people for selling substandard goods. The Regulations deal in greater detail with anti-competitive and monopolistic conduct, with the focus so far being on abnormal movements in prices resulting from certain prohibited practices. The Consumer Protection Department is empowered to take the necessary actions and measures against prohibited monopoly practices and dealings that cause damage to the national economy or the consumer interest. In order to protect consumers from unjustified price increases, the government has just introduced new tough measures against market manipulation. The new federal law for consumer protection, enforced on July 1, 2011, contains fundamental changes

Why UAE ?

to the previous law. The new changes are intended to restrain market offences and boost confidence between consumers and traders. Up to USD 272 thousand as a plenty can be charged in case of monopoly of certain products occur or trading in counterfeit items in the country. In principle, the UAE market should be highly competitive given the low import duties and the absence of non-tariff barriers. However, rather than encouraging vigorous competition, the UAE has historically adopted, and to a large extent still does adopt, a cautious and conservative attitude as evidenced the protections afforded to local registered agents under the UAE Commercial Agencies Law. Although intra-competition is not completely covered here, a bundle of various laws serve this need. The Labour Law for example prohibits companies from acquiring staff from competitive entities. The Ministry of Economy monitors the prices of 15 goods, mainly food products, in order to contain the negative effects of cartels and other anti-competitive practices. The federal and emirate governments have a role in the price determination or approval of a number of services, including telecommunications, postal, and medical services. Electricity, water, and gas prices are set by state-owned companies at the emirate level. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

such as the Dubai Financial Center, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre and the Media Production Zone.

Smooth Licensing and Foreign Ownership To be able to do business in the UAE, a valid trade license is mandatory, and is usually carried out at emirate-level economic departments. It’s a norm now to perform all registration and renewal procedures electronically across the country. The UAE Commercial Companies’ Law provides flexible regulations regarding the type of business entities and the formulation, with added flexibility varying from one emirate to another. Under the law, the trading license can be obtained by either majority-owned UAE companies or by 100% foreign-owned branches of foreign companies. However, a large percentage of imports take place under the Trade Agencies Law, whereby the trading license is held by exclusive commercial “agents”. Usually, a local agent is required to distribute imported products in each emirate. However, a large percentage of business and trading activities, including exports and re-exports, is done in free trade zones; which offer 100% foreign ownership among other benefits. Practically, each emirate has at least one free trade zone for general trading purposes. Dubai, in addition, has a plethora of special-purpose free zones,

Standardization Law The UAE Federal Law No. 28 of 2001 specifies the standards of a material, product or service in order to ensure its safety, quality, reliability and compatibility with international recognized codes. In this regard, all imported and domestically produced goods that are to be sold in or imported to the UAE have to comply with the official standards as approved by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA). Manufacturing units also have to obtain quality accreditation. ESMA was established 2001 as the sole standardization body in the UAE. It focuses on developing and promoting the application of standards and compliance in industry and products in the UAE. In addition, ESMA has a clear mandate to conformity assessment as well as catering for health, safety and environmental protection through the strict implementation of these regulations. The priority is to align national standards on international norms. ESMA has over 2000 standards in place, of which 95% are based on GCC standards that are generally based on international standards, and 5% are UAE standards. About 30% of the 2000+ standards in force in the UAE are compulsory

(technical regulations). In national standards on any suppliers may declare internationally accepted declaration is accepted.

the absence of type of products, compliance to standards; self-

While ESMA oversees the whole country, the organization has recently authorized Dubai Central Laboratory to be the designated national “laboratory” for calibration and to serve as a reference point for national measurement of quantities of mass, length, pressure and temperature. Established in 1997, DCL acts as the Government of Dubai’s watchdog over all goods and products imported to the emirate. To gain information on standards and specifications in details please go to the regulator website: (

Rules of Origin The UAE applies a mixed approach in terms of Rules of Origin that works to the best of its diversified trading and manufacturing activities. By combining both non-preferential and preferential rules of origin, the country is able to sufficiently serve the diverse needs of its growing exports and re-exports sector to both regional and international markets. As part of its obligations under the GCC customs union, the UAE applies the same nonpreferential rules of origin as the other five GCC members with respect to imports from Why UAE ?

other countries. Under the non-preferential scheme, products are generally considered as originating from the country where they are wholly obtained or where they underwent substantial transformation, with at least 40% of local value added. The UAE’s preferential rules of origin are also generally based on a value-added content criterion. In 2009, the Ministry of Economy (in cooperation with the concerned chambers of commerce) issued over 139,000 certificates of origin, and a growth rate of over 12% in 2010; the momentum is actually consolidating the strong position of the country’s trade and industry sector. According to Ministryof Economy, there are 10 types of these certificates associated with various industries and standards. The Ministry’s figures also reflect active distribution of exporting activities over the seven emirates spanning the various types of certificates. The Abu Dhabi office issued 19,916 certificates including 2,598 certificates for Arab nations, 15,390 for Gulf countries, and 1,958 certificates for foreign countries. Dubai issued 8123 certificates of Arab origin and 51,464 for Gulf, with a total of 59,587 certificates. Ras Al Khaimah issued 3232 certificates issued for Arab countries, 24,714 for Gulf, and 5,197 globally, marking a total of 33,143. Sharjah, Ajman, Um Al Quwain and Fujairah contributed a total of 13,259, 10,285, 2,541 and 362 certificates respectively. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 3

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

Import Control Tariffs

Customs Procedures

As part of the UAE’s commitment to promote fruitful economic cooperation with its trading partners, the country grants at least most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment to all its trading partners. In addition, it has implemented all of its commitments as a full member of the WTO in terms of customs valuation.

As a member of the GCC, the UAE has been applying the “single port of entry” principle, therefore items imported in the UAE (or any other GCC State), and destined for another GCC market, are subject to customs duty only at the first point of entry into the GCC. Customs procedures and the required documentation are the same for all GCC members.

Practically speaking, The UAE has a low and simple MFN tariff; all rates are ad valorem (except on tobacco), and there are no tariff quotas, no nuisance rates, and no other duties and taxes on imports. Its tariff is based on the GCC’s Common External Tariff (CET), which consists of an across-the-board rate of 5% together with a list of 421 tariff lines that are duty free amongst GCC countries, mainly agricultural raw materials and basic food products, pharmaceutical products, and other products including certain papers, books and magazines, unwrought precious metals, vessels and airplanes; in the case of the UAE, alcoholic beverages are subject to a 50% tariff; and the alternate tariff on tobacco products is 100% or AEd100 (~$30) per 100 sticks of cigarettes or AED800 (~$218) per kilogram of raw tobacco, whichever is higher.

Nationwide, although each emirate has its own customs authority, customs procedures are the same throughout the UAE, and customs requirements are kept to a minimum so as not to impair the UAE’s active transshipment and re-export business. Recent figures show that over 80% of UAE imports are cleared by Dubai Customs and approximately 10% by Abu Dhabi Customs. At both Dubai and Abu Dhabi Customs, the entire customs declaration can be made electronically.

It is essential to realize that although the UAE is a liberal country with a free trade economy, it still shows respects to certain legal and moral boundaries when it comes to imports. Absolute import prohibitions are maintained for various reasons, including international conventions, environmental protection, health and safety, as well as religious and moral considerations. They cover all kind of drugs; asbestos; used pneumatic tires; industrial waste; forged and duplicate currency; “Habara” falcons; ivory and rhinoceros horn; live camels; any printed material that does not adhere to religion or morals that is aimed at causing corruption and disorder; or materials prohibited under any law in force in the country. In addition, all imports from Israel are prohibited.

Intellectual Property Since 1992, the UAE applies a strict zero tolerance policy against copy rights piracy and

intellectual property rights violations. Aset of federal laws were enforced in the year of 1992 to protect intellectual property rights, computer software, industrial designs and patents as well as copyrights and trademarks. With intellectual protection spanning such a wide array of industries, the country was able to provide both local businesses and foreign investors with suitable means to protect their respective rights. In fact, the intellectual properties laws provide for measures aimed at preventing violation of intellectual property rights, including preventive seizure, confiscation, removal or destruction of products and equipment, as well as elimination of the effects of the illegal acts, and compensation. In addition, Punitive Law No. 3 of 1987 specifies imprisonment of up to three years for IPR violation. Customs is entitled to take measures at the border to prevent any violation of intellectual property rights, in accordance with the above-mentioned laws as well as under Customs regulations. These measures can be taken upon demand of the right holder based on a judicial order.

To maintain the UAE’s supportive attitude towards various businesses, the UAE’s tariff displays positive escalation, from first-stage processed products, with an average tariff of 4%, to semi-finished goods, with an average rate of 4.9%, and fully processed products, on which tariffs average 5.4%. Even with such a small-margin tariff, the purpose is to further empower UAE-based industries and processing operations. Furthermore, industrial inputs such as equipment, spare parts, raw and semimanufactured materials, and packing materials necessary for industrial production are exempted from duty under a federal law relating to industry assistance. Duty and tax concessions are also granted under the “import for re-export”, “temporary admission”, or “transit” regimes. Why UAE ?

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

projects to preserve its global stand in the global trade market. Foreign trade’s value includes the values of non-oil export, re-export and import of the goods between the UAE and the world’s countries.

Foreign Trade

The growth rate of the Foreign Trade (Billions per USD) UAE’s Foreign Trade has been steady for the last ten years except in the year of 2009 when the global foreign trade dropped by 13% due to the economic turmoil. The year of 2010, however, saw a strong coming-back up-trend when the UAE’s total foreign trade increased by 14 percent, a value of USD 25.6 billion, to reach to USD 205.42 billion. 2001 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 2010 The continuing growth in foreign trade reflects the strong commitment of the country through its The UAE reported a balance of trade surplus free trade policies and encouraging innovative equivalent to USD 50.9 billion in 2010. The main

Foreign Trade (Billions per USD) 250,00 200,00



Re-export Import


Total Foreign Trade Value

50,00 0













Other’s 40% UK 3% KSA 3% Iraq 3% Japan










Germany 4% Switzerland 4%

trade deficit countries were China, the U.S.A. and Germany while the main trade surplus countries were Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Understanding the most important trade partners and markets for the UAE is very essential to the decision makers of the foreign trade policies. The foreign trade structure shows that there are controlling commodities that affect the overall goods movement of the UAE. These goods are gold, diamond and precious stones. The largest trade partner of the UAE is India, with a share of 21.7 percent of the total foreign trade with the UAE. However, India ranks sixth if gold is excluded and China becomes the first, the rest remains the same.

Major Trade Partners Export to

Import From

Re-export to


















United Kingdom








Hong Kong


South Korea



Saudi Arabia


2000 01

Why UAE ?

Top Ten Trade Partners (2010)








09 2010

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

a 27% increase from 2009. It is important to mention that the average annual growth rate since 2001 is 30.67%.

Export As a major component of the UAE foreign trade, export’s share has been increasing from 5% in 2000 to 11% in 2010. This increase is not only attributed to the growth of the export’s value but also to the changes that occur to the other components, import and re-export. In 2010, the value of the UAE’s export reached USD 22.63 billion,

50 percent of the goods exported from the country are gold and precious stones which are mainly exported to India and Switzerland. Other main export commodities are crude oil, natural gas, dried fish and dates. The UAE export penetrated 198 markets around the globe in 2010. However, more than 77% (USD 17.32 billion) of it was concentrated in 12 major markets, as shown in the figure. These twelve markets have been

Main Export Commodities (2010) Jewellery Precious Metals 51.70% Total of Remaining 17.66% Articles of Iron / Steel 1.80% Salt, Sulphur & Cement 1.80% Copper & Articles 2.20% Mineral Fuels / Oils 2.20% Iron & Steel 2.69% Aluminium Articles 2.69% Sugar & Confectionary 3.09%

playing a significant role in the development of the UAE export. 92% of the growth in the UAE export in 2010 is attributed to the growth of export in these markets. India and Switzerland remain as the largest two markets of the UAE export.

Ship, Boats & Floating 7.09% Plastic & Articles 7.09%


Main Re-export Commodities (2010) 1.37

Optical Instruments


Articles of Iron / Steel




Total of Remaining Jewellery Precious Metals


The re-export sector, the second most important component in the UAE’s foreign trade with a constant share of 25%, reached a value of USD 50.54 billion in 2010. This steady growth is a result of the government’s ongoing support to this vital sector through a variety of different initiatives. Major indicators such as Customs Procedures, Import and Export Cost and the infrastructure of the seaport and airports, have shown the high competitiveness that the UAE enjoys. Today, it is a major global player in this industry, ranking first among Arab countries and sixth globally. The growth rate of this sector has been fluctuating especially in the last five years. It grew 26% in 2010 while in 2006 it was -6% and in 2009 -9%. This irregular movement is driven by the irregular demand of the international market. The main re-export commodities are diamond, vehicles, gold, platinum, jewelry and telephones. Why UAE ?


Vehicles / Parts


Neuclear / Machinary


Electrical Appliances


Aircraft / Parts


Rubber & Articles


Man-made Articles

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

increased to USD 251.22 billion in 2008. As a result, the import in 2008 year grew by 46%.

Import It is clearly noticeable that the UAE’s import makes up to 64 percent of the UAE’s total foreign trade in 2010. The high percentage is mainly due to the high demand by the increasing population and to the important role of the UAE as a major re-exporter in the region. In 2010, import value had an increase of 8% reaching to USD 131.87 billion comparing to USD 121.53 billion in 2009. The UAE has experienced some sudden growth periods in its import as shown in the diagram (). These sudden jumps are mainly attributed to the growth of the national GDP, credit facilities’ volume and money supply. In 2007, the national GDP grew by 23%, credit facilities’ grew by 47% whereas money supply

Main Import Goods

Why UAE ?


Articles of Iron / Steel


Plastic & Articles


Mineral Fuels / Oils


Total of Remaining


Jewellery Precious Metals

The 2008 economic crisis had negative effects on the variables that correlate with the import activity. However, the federal government immediately acted smartly to preserve the growth trend of the national economy by increasing the money supply through its different entities. The 8% increase of the import’s value, therefore, was a result of these strategic decisions. In terms of goods imported, gold and precious stones make 29% percent. Other main import goods are machinery, transport equipment, chemicals and food.

Trade in Services The UAE’s foreign trade strategy is focused on the development of the trade in services sector. The value of commercial services that

were trade in 2010 reached USD 53 billion, (USD 42 billion for imports and USD 10 billon for exports) according to the World Trade Organization report.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) The National Bureau of Statistics, the federal centre responsible to issue socioeconomic and economic data, issued a report in April 2011 stating that the total FDI reached USD 120,717.5 million in 2008, an increase 6% from 2007. The total FDI, according to that report, is divided to three groups: FDI, other Foreign Investments and Foreign Investments in Portfolios. The table below shows the contribution of each group to the total FDI in the years of 2007 and 2008 (USD, million).

2010), the UAE has become ideal and attracted more than USD 73 billion as foreign direct investment (FDI) since it was created nearly four decades ago to emerge as the second top capital recipient in the region. Cumulative FDI flow into the UAE was totaled around USD 73.4 billion. Investment, business and people’s friendly policies are contributing positively to seek greater inflows of the FDIs in the country each year. Due to its popularity as a foreign direct investment destination, Dubai has been named as “Middle East City of the Future 2010-11” by fDi Magazine. Abu Dhabi and Dubai were also ranked as the most favorable destinations of choice for FDI by the AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index Report. These rankings prove the strong economic fundamentals that the country enjoys from the right infrastructure for all sectors to flourish to the flexible businessfriendly policies that adapt with the current state of the economy.

Banks and financial institutions sector was the leading attracting sector in 2008, a share of 57%, followed by electricity, gas and water production and distribution sector Type of Investment (10%) and construction FDI sector (8%). The table below shows the FDI Other Foreign Investments per sector. Foreign Investments in Portfolios According to UN statistics (December, Total

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) per Sector (2008)












Financial and Insurance Institution


Electricity, Gas and Waters


Hotels and Restaurants


Real Estate and Professional Services


Manufacturing Indusries


Exctraction Industries


Social and Personal Services




Real Trading




Transport, Storage and Communications


Vehicles / Parts


Agriculture and Hunting


Electrical Appliances Aircraft / Parts





Articles Iron / Steel



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Chapter 3

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy Indicator

UAE: A Distinguished Global and Regional Position Indicator






A significant improvement in the assessment of its cultural resources

Friendly doing-business policies Doing Business 2012

The World Bank

33rd (Globally)

Government Supported Initiatives

2nd (Arab Countries)

Simple property registration procedures Different options of acquiring credit

Global Competitiveness Index (2010

World Economic Forum

27th/139 (Globally) 3rd(Arab Countries)

A strong affinity for Travel & Tourism Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (2011)

World Economic Forum

30 th (Globally) 1st (Arab Countries)

Quality infrastructure

16th (Globally) 1st (Arab Countries)

The government’s prioritizing the sector and carrying out very effective destination-marketing campaigns

Stable macroeconomic environment

Efficiency of customs, export and import procedures

World Economic Forum

Quality tourism business and Infrastructure (airports)

Rules and regulations adjusted to better support the sector’s development

Innovation and efficiency driven economy

Financial stability driven by banking stability

Ability to finance

Global Enabling Trade Index (2010)


Availability and quality of transport infrastructure and services

Global Financial Development Index (2010

World Economic Forum

21st (Globally)

Manifestation in credit default swap spreads

1st (Arab Countries)

Supporting institutional, legal and business environment Favorable tax regime

Availability and use of ICTs

Corporate, retail and end-users financial access

Attractive and encouraging business environment Domestic and foreign market access Good Physical Security

Human Development Index 2010

32nd (Globally) UNPD

1 (Arab Countries) st

World Competitiveness Yearbook (2011)

28th (Globally) IMD

Better GDP per capita

2nd (Arab Countries)

Steadily-growing economic performance Government and business efficiency Competitive overall infrastructure

Good health and education systems Continuing economic growth Quality Information Technology infrastructure ICT friendly-market environment Political and regulatory framework

Networked Readiness Index (2010-2011)

24 (Globally)

High government and business readiness

1st (Arab Countries)

High individual readiness and usage


World Economic Forum

Prosperity Index

Legatum Institute

30 th/110 (Globally) 1 (MENA Region) st

Quick market to adapt new technologies Why UAE ?

Innovative activity is substantial in the UAE, and the environment for entrepreneurship is excellent Satisfaction of education and health systems High levels of safety and security

High ICT penetration rate One of government prioritized sectors

Good citizens’ quality of life and satisfaction of economy’s state and political landscape

Per Capita GDP Ranking (2010)

International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Steadily growing economy due to the diversification scheme A major oil producer The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 3 Indicator

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy Organization






Encouraging government’s trade regulations and business environment Global Trade Confidence Index (2010)


6th (Globally)

High private sector’s optimistic outlook

2nd (Arab Countries)

Secured trade products’


Excellent business climate and investment policies Economic Freedom Index (2011)

The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal

47th (Globally)

Liberal trade regime

5 (Arab Countries)

High government spending


High level of intra-regional trade

Low level of corruption Attracting property rights

Great connectivity with the emerging markets

The strategic initiatives introduced by the government across all sectors Resident Satisfaction (2010)

Foreign Direct Investments Recipient (2010)

Gallup’s Global Survey Data


16th (Globally) 1 (Arab Countries) st

2nd (Arab Countries)

Residents are the most satisfied with their lives due to economic and social stability

Government Spending Efficiency (2010)

Investor Attitudes Index (Investment Confidence) (2011)

World Economic Forum

4 (Middle East) th

7th (Globally) 1st (Arab Countries)

Economist Intelligence Unit

High average income level

Attracting investment promotion policies that reduce investing obstacles and grant incentives to investors Setting-up Business-friendly policies Sustainable economic growth

MasterCard Worldwide Index MasterCard of Consumer Confidence

Quality of Life Index (2010)

TI Corruption Perceptions Index (2010)

Transparency International

Consumers are optimistic about the economy and regular income Consumers are satisfied of the quality of life in the UAE

The strong commitment by the government to continue supporting the different initiatives across all sectors

Global Peace Index (2011)

Quality of Living Index (2010)

Vision of Humanity

World Trade Organization

15th/160 (Globally) 1st (MENA Region)

28th/178 (Globally) 2nd (MENA Region)

Why UAE ?

Outstanding GDP growth Quality healthcare, safety and security services

Highly integrated anti-corruption measures Laws that eradicate poverty Transparency and accountability’s strict measures to restore trust

44th/149 (Globally)

Political and social stability

3rd (MENA Region)

Safe and secure society

19th (Globally) 2ND (MENA Region)

Less crimes

Tax exemptions International trade agreements signed The strategic location of the country

Attracting investment market conditions and strategies Friends Provident International (FPI)

1st (MENA Region)

A variety of investment instruments Increasing willingness to invest in gold and bonds

Best-in-class infrastructure Dubai 1st FDI Confidence Index (2010)

AT Kearney

Abu Dhabi 2nd (Middle East)

Corporate Social Responsibility

Impressive civic development and administration

1st (Arab Countries)

Business-friendly policies Access to qualified human resources High standard of quality of life Advanced logistics facilities Safe environment

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The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

The UAE: A Visionary Approach Since the establishment of the UAE, its founding leadership realized the defining points upon which the nation shall grow and provide a prosperous life for its people. Thus, they introduced effective policies and initiated numerous mega projects. At present, the leadership has continued the march of growth by following the steps of their fathers and preserving the identity’s principles of the UAE. A visionary approach was applied to strategy and planning in order to provide its residents with every possible basic needs of life. The UAE Government Strategy 2011-2013 and the UAE Vision 2021 are the main two policies that draw the steps and moves toward the development of the macroeconomic environment. They are very comprehensive and take into account the social, cultural, health, schooling, infrastructure, communications, and rural development; they also deal with the enhancement of the integration between federal and local governments and entities. With the aim of building a modern and progressive nation, the UAE Vision 2021 sets the guidelines for preserving and developing the pillars of success to be among the best countries in the world by 2021. Empowering people, actively integrating the federal and local governments, creating a diversified economy, and developing world-class health and education systems are the key goals of the Vision. The UAE Government Strategy 2011-2013 lays the foundations to achieve the UAE Vision 2021. It forms the basis upon which the Federal Entities develop their strategic and operational plans, and consists of seven general principles, seven strategic priorities, and seven strategic enablers. The strategic priorities and enablers are not fully comprehensive but comprise the major focus areas for the government. Why UAE ?

As we look to the future and embark on a journey of empowerment at all levels, we must steer a course among challenges on many fronts with confidence, optimism and determination. There will be challenges to the family ties that bind together the strong fabric of our cohesive society; challenges to our economic competitiveness, challenges to our national identity, challenges to our health, education, environment and wellbeing. An ambitious nation like ours can’t achieve its goals by relying on its past achievements. We must work harder, be more innovative, more organized, and more vigilant in examining the trend and challenges will face us.


H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

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providing financial and human resources and infrastructures are the essential requirements of arriving to the desired position and vision of the emirate and the country overall, as set by the Plan.

Abu Dhabi In line with the UAE strategic road map, Abu Dhabi’s Economic Strategic Plan (2008-2012) has focused on the motivating sectors that will achieve the ambitious economic growth and maintainable diversification, as stipulated in its long-run strategic thinking “Economic Vision 2030”. It sets the implementation stages of the diversification process by supporting initiatives in sectors like renewable energy, basic industries, tourism, media, IT, communications and others. Identifying the needs of these sectors to grow, creating attractive legislative environment,

The five-year plan has also addressed several issues; the foremost of them is maximizing the capital inflows to the targeted sectors either in form of local or foreign capitals, or through local and foreign loans to meet its financial needs. In addition, it has indicated that the emirate’s economy will witness a rapid and substantial growth throughout the upcoming years. Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 aims to significantly expand the non-oil sector by 2030 to reach a balance between oil and nonoil trade by 2028. The government intends to foster the non-oil GDP growth at a higher rate than that of the oil sector.

The UAE Vision 2021

esive society and pre Coh ser ve



ed u

em yst

t and infrastructure men n o r i env ble a in iary ta dic u j ir class healthcar fa rlde Wo

F i r s t-ra te

Safe Su pu s b l ic a nd

Why UAE ?

Knowledge-based and highly-productive economy


Confident and socially responsible Emiratis Cohesive and prosperous families Strong and active communities Vibrant culture

om y

Harness the full potential of national human capital Sustainable and diversified economy

knowledge eco n

Long and healthy lives First-rate education Well-rounded lifestyles Well-preserved natural environment

The UAE Governement Strategy (2011-2013) Strategic Priorities

ti v e e ti

Upholding the legacy of the nation’s founding fathers Safe and secure nation Enhanced international standing



mp Co



nt i

nd ta ls


glo ba




t io




Stro ng



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Dubai The sector-driven economic development approach is also a cornerstone of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015. The diagram below shows the principles of the plan. It is expected to occupy this prominent status in its coming version which will take into account the impact

The United Arab Emirates A Sound and Resilient Economy

of the global economic downturn. For the future DSP 2015 has identified certain sectors as important for a strategic thrust as building block which include travel and tourism, financial services, professional services, transport and logistics, trade, storage and construction. These sectors have witnessed rapid growth from 2000 onwards. In terms of magnitude, this growth has been led by trade, construction and real estate sectors.

Other Emirates All emirates have paved their path toward developing selected sectors based on the existing resources and the emirates’ ambitious visions. The overall strategy shows a picture of an economic diversification. Ajman, in its Strategy 2030, aims to boost its developmental projects. It strongly encourages local and international investments in order to achieve social and economic prosperity. The emirate is looking forward into developing tourism, health and education sectors, meeting the demands of its growing population.

Why UAE ?

Umm Al Quwain Strategy 2011-2013 focuses on reaping the fruitful benefits of its natural resources to boost important sectors like tourism. The emirate will also use its strategic location to facilitate establishing businesses and attracting local and foreign investments. Umm Al Quwain enjoys a unique historical and natural heritage, islands and natural habitats. Thus, it will work on developing the concept of nature tourism in the country. These plans are accompanied with the developmental plans of the government’s efficiency and the emirate’s infrastructure.

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Because its ambition is continuous and increasing, and with the word impossible being ruled out, the UAE is determined to be a top global and regional choice across a wide range of industries, believing that one success is always the gateway to another.


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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities



It was easy for the UAE to rely on its dominant global position as a producer of oil and natural gas. But its firm belief in sustainable technology and future energy is leading it to explore new horizons of energy investments.


Why UAE ?

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to position itself as a global leader in the adaptation of renewable and environmentallyfriendly resources and technologies.


hroughout its history, the UAE has been recognized for its rich natural resources. Since the times of Majan Civilization that was flourished in the area between Abu Dhabi and Qatar, people of the UAE mined copper and exported it to the flourishing surrounding nations, Mesopotamia and North of Persia. Since then, various minerals have been also explored and utilized such as phosphate, sulfur, and salt. In the 1930s, the initial signs of the existence of crude oil under the soil and water of the emirates began to attract international attentions. Rights for exploration of oil were granted by the rulers of the emirates to reputable international companies. In 1958, oil was discovered in commercial quantities in Umm Al Shaif field off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Four years later, the first oil shipment left Das Island, marking a historical milestone and a new era for the entire country. The discoveries and export of oil from Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah also followed in 1960s and 1970s. Today, the UAE’s stunning energy and mining sector comprises of strong oil and natural gas industry, a growing petrochemicals sector, a demand-driven utilities production sector, and attractive mining opportunities. Approximately, USD 94.0 billion (31.6% of total GDP in 2010) is attributed to the revenue of this sector. The UAE also aims

Why UAE ?

The entire oil and gas sector remains state controlled. However, the constitution of the UAE guarantees the right of ownership of natural resources for each emirate. Thus, there is no federal energy policy on exploration and development of energy and other mineral products. The Ministry of Energy represents the country in the international petroleum community and specialized inter-national and regional organizations to which the UAE belongs. The UAE has been a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since 1974 and of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) since 1970. Since the formation of the country in 1971, building a reliable electricity and water infrastructure that satisfies the growing demand dictated by rapid development has always been a priority for the federal government.

Energy Sector - Major Indicators Indicator

Global Ranking

Actual Figure

Contribution to GDP

USD 94.0 billion (2010)

Proven Oil Reserves

97.8 billion barrels (2009)


Crude Oil Production

2.2 million barrels daily (2009)


Oil Consumption

682 thousand barrels daily (2011)

Proven Natural Gas Reserves

6.0 trillion cubic meters

Natural Gas Production

51 billion cubic meters daily


Natural Gas Consumption

60.5 billion cubic meters daily


Electricity Capacity

20,696 megawatts


Electricity Production

88,184 gigwatts per hour


Electricity Consumption

84,404 gigawatts per hour


Installed Desalinated & Ground Water Capacity

1,235.51 million gallon daily

Water Production

372,369 million gallon annually

Water Consumption

344,082 million gallon annually

Federal Regulator

Ministry of Energy

The UAE has achieved remarkable milestones in that regards, building a current electricity production capacity of 20,696 megawatt and a water production capacity of 1.2 billion gallons. While the federal government sets the strategy for this sector and supplies the northern emirates with the needed utilities, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah have their own state-controlled electricity and water suppliers. Projects of expansion and improvement of the utilities supply are well underway to meet the future demand.

35th 6th

The UAE is also leading the regional countries in adapting newer and cleaner energy sources to meet the growing demand. It was the first country in the GCC and the Arab region to establish a nuclear program in 2009 that aims to generate a significant part of the country’s energy needs. The country is also engaging in other mega renewable energy projects to utilize its rich natural resources and solar exposure. Masdar initiative provides a clear example of how the UAE is determined to pursue its renewable energy goals.

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Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

average of USD 80.1 per barrel. As of January 1, 2010, oil and natural gas revenues accounted for 31.3% of the country’s total GDP based on real terms.

Since the discovery of oil in 1958, this sector has been witnessing an extraordinary growth, spurring the national economy to reach greater heights. Will its contribution continue to shape a significant part in the national economy and in what way? The UAE is a very important global producer of oil and natural gas. As of mid-2011, it ranks the 6th in terms of oil production and 14th in terms of natural gas production. Data issued by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows that the UAE has 97.8 billion barrels of proven oil reserves (the seventh largest reserve in the world) and 6.2 trillion cubic standard meters of proven natural gas reserves (the fourth largest reserve). The majority of oil and natural gas reserves are in the emirate of Abu Dhabi (92.2 billion barrels, 198.5 trillion cubic feet), followed by Dubai (4 billion barrels and 4 trillion cubic feet), Sharjah (1.5 billion barrels and 10.7 trillion cubic feet), and Ras Al Khaimah (100 million barrels and 1.2 trillion cubic feet). The country is currently producing 2.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d), 4.6% of world crude oil produced daily, and 5.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, 4.4% of the world natural gas production. According to data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, oil and natural gas contribution to the country’s GDP has dropped from USD 116.4 billion in 2008 to USD 78.3 billion in 2009, and USD 93.6 billion in 2010 mainly due to the unprecedented increase of oil prices during 2008 and the country’s attempts to enlarge its non-oil sector contribution to the national economy. The average price during 2008 was USD 96.55 a barrel, while it dropped down to USD 62.5 a barrel during the economic crisis in 2009. However, international demand for oil, supported by the partial recovery of the global economy, increased by 1.3 million barrels per day in 2010. The demand has triggered oil prices to bounce back to an Why UAE ?

The country’s policy is mainly carried out by the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) which was established to lay down Abu Dhabi’s petroleum policy and objectives in all sectors of the petroleum industry through Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and to issue resolutions and follow up their implementation until all aspired goals and results are achieved. Dubai also launched its energy regulator “the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy” to oversee the development of oil and gas sector. Sharjah has set up its state-owned oil entity, Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC), in November 2010 to carry out operations in the upstream and downstream markets, as well as investing in other firms engaging in similar activities The remaining emirates also established their own petroleum departments to issue policies and regulate activities in this vital sector as well as to invest in all parts of the oil and gas industry. ADNOC is the main local player in the oil and gas sector since it is granted more than 60% of the petroleum and gas projects in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Its portfolio includes 14 wholly owned companies that operate in a well-defined field of specialty. The most noteworthy is Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO). Other local

players in the market are Dana Gas, a natural gas producing company based in Sharjah, RAK petroleum, a growing oil and gas exploration and production company. The UAE gives the opportunity for international oil and gas companies to operate on both downstream and upstream operations. The main international companies working in the country are British Petroleum, Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, REX oil, schlumberger and Partex. In 2008, Occidental Petroleum was given the right to explore and develop two oil and gas fields Jarn Yaphur and Rahman in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The company operates and holds a 100% interest in hydrocarbons output from the fields. Furthermore, ADNOC partnered with Shell, Total and Partex to form Abu Dhabi Industries Limited (GASCO) to be responsible for the processing of associated and nonassociated onshore natural gas production. In June, 2011, REX Oil was given the right by the Government of Sharjah to explore and produce oil for the offshore territories of Sharjah on the Gulf of Oman.

Thailand, and South Korea. Abu Dhabi National Tanker Co. (ADNATCO) is the sole company responsible for the transporting the UAE’s oil to the world. National Gas Shipping Company Ltd. (NGSC) was also established to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) on behalf of Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (ADGAS).

The country’s crude oil is mainly shipped by a fleet of oil tankers and exported mainly to Japan, The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Even though the economic, environmental, and safety considerations have necessitated the increasing need for diversifying the energy sources, oil remains as the most cost-effective demanded source for energy for most countries. The UAE is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and as a result it is bound to the regulations, policies, and limits of the organization. Presently, it is allowed to export 2.2 million (bpd) as crude oil. However, the government has asked the organization to further increase its quota. Oil production is expected to reach four million barrels per day by 2015. It has also set its vision to increase its oil tankers and carriers as well as building more pipelines, and refineries’ capacity. Natural gas, on the other hand, is the main source for electricity in the UAE. The domestic consumption has outstripped production for the first time in 2007. Demand has been rising gradually due to the increased population, and economic expansion, driving the government to produce more volumes or find alternative routes. The country’s current capacity, which is supported by natural gas

Oil Reserves by Emirates

and few coal-fired power plants, can only meet around half of the estimated 40,000MW domestic demand for power by 2020. Natural gas production is expected to increase to 6.5 billion cubic feet daily.

Key - UAE Oil Field Emirate

Entry Points

Gas Reserves by Emirates

Japanese Oil Development Co. (JODCO)


Bu Hasa Abu Dhabi

Murban Bab Sahil

Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO)


Asab Shah Umm Shaif Lower Zakum

Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO)


Dubai Petroleum Establishment


Fateh Dubai

The UAE’s main oil transporter, ADNATCO, is in the process of expanding its shipping fleet. Strategic contracts for the construction of 6 oil tankers and 7 bulk carriers are in place. Its current fleet includes 7 bulk carriers,

Company (ZADCO) (60%) ExxonMobil (40%)

The UAE Ministry of Economy

Oil Tankers

Capacity (bpd)

Zakum Developement Upper Zakum

The planned USD 3 billion refinery at Fujairah is a priority in the UAE investment strategy. The new refinery will be integrated with Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline to secure the feedstock delivery. The refinery will have a capacity to process 150,000 to 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil. Great opportunities for suppliers and technical expertise providers are present in all phases of the project. In April 2011, Shaw Stone & Webster, an American engineering services company, was awarded the project management consultancy. Foreign engagements are in the form of partnerships with local companies.

Producing Company

Oil Field

Southwest Fateh Falah Rashid



Crescent Petroleum

3 chemical tankers, 2 crude tankers, and 2 Ro/ Ro vessels. ADNATCO is certified by Lloyd’s to the ISM Code (International Safety Management), the ISO 9001 (Quality Standards) and the ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Standards).


of the EOR advanced technologies since additional millions of barrels can be generated using this technique.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) The UAE’s current oil and gas strategy focuses on preserving its reserves by depending on modern technologies such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies that could also be used to explore more fields and by rationalizing the current consumption. The federal and local regulators are recommending the utilization

Why UAE ?


Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi










Ras Al Khaimah


Ras Al Khaimah

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Petrochemicals The petrochemicals products spectrum has been witnessing an unprecedented growth in the MENA region. How does the UAE form its petrochemicals strategy in order to meet domestic needs and mark its fingerprint in the global arena? The giant oil and natural gas producer aims to boost its downstream activities by enlarging its current capacities in the petrochemicals industries and stepping into new fields of specialties. Therefore, huge investments have being pumped in strategic initiatives to increase the sector’s portion in the total GDP, then decreasing the dependency on the export of the raw materials. The country’s current two classes of petrochemicals, olefins and aromatics, products’ range includes but not limited to ammonia, polyethylene, polypropylene, and urea. Figure () shows the current production capacity of each component. The growth rate of 4.4% achieved in the petrochemicals sector in the year of 2010, according to data revealed by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, reveals the success of the sector and proves the continuous demand. The average growth rate of international demand is 6% annually. During 2005, the UAE contributed 6% to the total GCC petrochemical

Why UAE ?

production. The government has made massive plans to boost the performance of this sector. Within the five coming years, the total UAE investment expected to reach USD 10.3 billion in order to develop and diversify the outputs of petrochemicals. In 1998, ADNOC established, in a jointventure with Borealis, one of Europe’s largest polyolefin (plastics) producers, to be a leading provider of polyethylene and polypropylene. The current manufacturing capacity of Borouge is 2 million tons per year. In mid-2011, the second phase of its massive petrochemicals complex at Ruwais industrial zone has enabled it to reach full operational capacity. The company is also planning to increase its capacity to reach 2.5 m tons per annum by 2013 to meet the increasing local and international demand. ADNOC has also established Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (FERTIL) with a capacity of 1,000 tons of ammonia and 1,500 tons of urea per day. It signed a USD 1.2 billion contract with Samsung Engineering to construct a new fertilizer complex, increasing its urea capacity to 3,500 tons per day. Both companies are located in Al Ruwais Industrial Zone and are looking forward to expand their production capacity by installing more plants, increasing utilization, and depending on new advanced technologies. Borouge and FERTIL’s expansion plans have been attracting local and international investors who are been actively participating in the construction of chemical plants, storages, processing and treating units, and other related projects like cooling systems.

Abu Dhabi’s petrochemicals’ strategy has been shifting from the basic products to enduser products. It has been establishing itself as one of the major petrochemicals producers in the world. Strategic International and local investors have been invited to join the development convoy in petrochemicals. According to BMI’s latest petrochemicals report, the profusion of feedstock in the UAE gives it a great potential for growth in this subsector. “Development of a domestic petrochemicals industry is now gathering pace, which could significantly enhance the growth of small and medium enterprises

(SMEs) sector.” Thus, international petrochemicals companies have been headquartering in the UAE. The strategic location as in the heart of the Middle East and the business-friendly policies and regulations have made the country the ideal place to start a petrochemical business. In 2010, Global “Cabot Corporation”, a US-based petrochemicals production company, inaugurated the first-of-its kind factory at Jebel Ali Free Zone by investing USD 20 million. The plant has an initial production capacity of 25,000 metric tons of masterbatch per year with provision to expand to 75,000 metric tons in the future.

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Entry Points The Giant to Come: Chemaweyaat In November 2008, Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company “Chemaweyaat” was established to enhance the involvement of Abu Dhabi’s chemicals industry production’s holdings. Its plants are planned to be operating by 2015 with a total capacity of 1.5 million tons per year. The company has called international contractors to submit their bids to build the central ethane cracking unit for the petrochemicals complex ‘Takamul’ that will turn naphtha to other chemical products.

A Global Petrochemicals Hub As Abu Dhabi enters its second phase of modernization guided by vision 2030, developing a globally-competitive petrochemicals industry based is one of the main economic pillars to achieve the desired position. Not only dose Abu Dhabi invests heavily in creating petrochemicals conglomerate but also it opens its door and provides the necessary business infrastructure and environment for international investors to establish ventures at all levels of the industry value chain. Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Company’s (ADBIC) polymer’s park project is a clear example of the emirate’s strong commitment to attract international players. Abu Dhabi Polymer Park will span 4.1 million m2 with

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities Petrochemical

Production Capacity





Ethylene Glycol Propylene Urea


Key - UAE Petrochemical Refineries Emirate


Capacity (bpd)


145,000-Crude oil 280,00-Condensate

Kerosene, Light gas oil, Heavy gas oil, Straight run residue

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi


LPG, Naphtha, Gas oil Abu Dhabi Oil Gasoline, Kerosene Refining Company Straight run residue (Takreer) & Liquid Sulphur


ENOC Jebel Ali


LPG, Naphtha, Jet fuel, Diesel & Fuel oil

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC)


Sharjah Oil Refinery


LPG, Naphtha, Jet fuel, Diesel & Fuel oil

Sharjah Oil Refining Company


Metro Oil



Sajaa Gas Private Limited Company To efficiently utilize its production of natural gas resources, the Government of Sharjah, Crescent Petroleum, a Sharjah-UAE based oil and gas company, and six prominent investors from the G.C.C. region have invested in Sajaa Gas Private Limited Company (SajGas), a company established to build, own and operate a gas sweetening plant at Sajaa in Sharjah. The project is will be one of the most significant petrochemical plants in the country. Opportunities are obtainable in all levels of development and supply of equipments and know-how.

Refineries The UAE’s significant capacity of crude oil and natural gas production validates the feasibility of refining the raw materials in-house. Since

Operating Company

Abu Dhabi


up to 1 million tons/yr conversion capacity of a wide range of resins.

Refined Products

1976, it has been building its set of refineries to serve the domestic and the global market. Today, its five refineries, with a combined capacity of 0.64 million barrels per day (Table ), made the country a sizable net exporter of refined

Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer)

products. By building its sixth refinery in Fujairah, the added capacity of 150,000-400,000 barrels per day as well as the expansion plans of the current refineries will increase the production by at least 30%.

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Utilities Infrastructure Development

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

and water production sector, ADEWA accounts for half of the total capacity. While ADEWA, DEWA, and SEWA function on their designated emirate, FEWA is headquartered in Ras Al Khamiah and supplies the Northern Emirates (Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah) with power and water.

Due to its ever-increasing population, and in order to meet its economic ambitions, the UAE is demanding more electricity and water but will its current infrastructure be able to meet this demand? The Annual Electricity and Water Report (2009), issued by the Ministry of Energy, shows that the UAE has an electricity generation capacity of 20,696 megawatts and an installed desalinated and ground water capacity of 1,235.51 million gallon per day as of 2009. However, the current total generated energy is 88,184 gigwatts per hour (GWH) and the current total water production is 372,369 million gallon per year (MIG/Y) (1,034 million gallon per day). The UAE’s annual energy consumption has reached 84,404 GWH and its total water consumption has arrived at 344,082 MIG/Y. More than 85% of the generated electricity is obtained from gas turbines that use natural gas as a main feedstock. The remaining is produced by diesel engines and steam turbines. While desalinated water makes up 93% of the total produced water, limited ground water resources produces the remaining 7%. Comparing to 2005, the total energy consumption has increased by 56% and the total water consumption has increased by 35%. According to all estimates, this will continue to rise for the near future. In the GCC region, the UAE records the highest projected increase in demand, which is expected to continue growing at a minimum rate of 10 per cent per annum. Currently, Utilities contribution to the country’s GDP has reached USD 6.11 billion in 2009 (2.32% of the real GDP), according to data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics. Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), and Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) are the major players in the electricity Why UAE ?

Abu Dhabi became a regional benchmark in 1997 when it launched its privatization program that allowed private companies to take over the construction, operation, and maintenance of power and water plants. For instance, all Independent Water & Power Plants (IWPP) are engaged in this program on the basis of the BOO “build, operate and own” formula, designed according to partnership agreements made between ADWEA and a number of international companies. The high dependency on gas coupled with increased population and economic expansion forms the government strategy that is aiming now to source greater volumes of natural gas and use alternative sources to power on its country. In 2000, a major project to connect and share power among all emirates was launched. ADWEA and DEWA’s power grids were connected in 2006. Infrastructure developments are also taking place in order to connect other emirates. The national electrical network is also being connected to its neighboring country, Oman, in a step toward connecting the GCC’s grids. In order to provide the UAE with sufficient volumes of

natural gas, a strategic energy initiative, the Dolphin Project, is being developed to ship gas from Qatar’s North Field, Al Tawailah. The UAE is not only focusing on increasing the import of natural gas and preserving the consumption of electricity energy by connecting to regional grids, it is also constructing its strategy of diversifying the energy resources. In 2009, Korea Electric Power (KEPCO) was given the green light to begin the construction of four nuclear reactors in Abu Dhabi. The plant will have a production capacity of 5,600 megawatts; the first reactor is expected to start generating in 2017. As a result, the country will be able to export its natural gas or use it as a feedstock to maximize its water gas-fired desalination plants’ production. The country will also be able to supply the region with enough electricity power through its already developed network. Major opportunities were being given to international energy companies so the country participates in all energy frontiers. Total and Spain’s Abengoa Solar will run the Shams-1 geothermal plant in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi plans to generate 7% of electric power from renewable sources by 2020. In 2007, Fisia Italimpianti, a subsidiary of the Italian construction and civil engineering Impregilo Group, won an order worth USD 256 million to build a desalination plant in Dubai for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Electricity Production Consumption

Entry Points GCC Power Grid The increasing demand of power due to population growth and economy expansion has driven the GCC countries to look for alternative solutions. The GCC Power Grid is one of those strategic projects. GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) was found to build, run, and maintain the connecting grids. Investments opportunities in the mega project are unlimited and can be in the form of tendering contracts, public, private, partnerships, and technical, and consultancies. The GCC grid is also planned to be connected to the European, Pan-Arabian, and Mediterranean grids.

Investing in Power Capacity Building new power plants is a critical need for the future growth of the UAE. Federal government and local emirates governments are determined to put in place all the necessary resources to increase their power capacity. Massive projects are planned or undergoing in all parts of the country. Shuweihat project in Abu Dhabi, with a capacity of 1,500 mega watts for its second phase, and Hassyan project, with a combined capacity of 9,000 mega watts are some of the key projects in this sector. Expanding power capacity in the Northern emirates is also in the drawing board. The Federal Electricity and Water Authority already commenced building new power plants in that region such as the Fujairah F2 power with 2,000 mega watts.

Water Production Consumption 500,000



80,000 60,000










Total Electricity Generated (GWH) Total Electricity Consumed (GWH)







Total Water Production (MIG/Y) Total Water Consumption (MIG/Y)

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Renewable Energy A country that falls within the northern desert belt, enjoys one of the highest sun exposure in the world, and experiences frequent storms and winds, is able to mainly depend on renewable energy. However, have the oil and gas great reserves blocked the ways of renewable energies from flourishing in the region? The current energy capacity can only meet half of the demanded energy by 2030. For this reason, tapping into new sources of energy has become an absolute economic necessity in order to cope with the increasing population and economic expansion. The UAE today is focusing on renewable energy due to several reasons: the long duration of sun exposure and the frequent winds and storms, the high percentage of greenhouse gases produced from oil and gas extractions, the high quantity of oil and natural gas used to produce electricity. The UAE’s energy strategy aims to diversify the sources of energy generation and secures the UAE’s prestigious position in the future energy realm. To initially declare its committed intention of diversifying its energy sources, the UAE government published the policy of the country on the evaluation and potential development of peaceful nuclear energy, which outlines the government’s fundamental principles for its work in this area. In 2009, the UAE joined International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Another significant milestone of the UAE in the renewable energy was marked in 2009 when the Preparatory Commission of the International Renewable Agency (IRENA) designated Abu Dhabi as the headquarters of the agency. Since then, strategic projects to achieve its goal have been initiated. Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) was launched to deliver safe, clean, efficient nuclear energy to the United Arab Emirates, with a target of delivering electricity to the UAE grid in 2017. By 2020, it is projected that nuclear energy will produce nearly a quarter of the nation’s electricity needs. Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

ENEC partnered with international reputable energy companies to construct its nuclear plants with the highest international standards. In December 2009, the UAE government awarded a USD 20 billion contract to Korea Electric Power (KEPCO) to build four nuclear reactors. A partnership with Areva, Total and Suez to build a 1600 MW EPR unit in the UAE was also signed. The output is to be partly used for the desalination of water.

Masdar In April 2006, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) was established to reach the broad boundaries of the renewable energy and sustainable technologies industry. Masdar integrates the full renewable and clean technology lifecycle - from research to commercial deployment – with the aim of creating scalable clean energy solutions. To achieve that it works with global partners and institutions to integrate new research with proven technologies to produce efficient systems and processes that can be replicated globally. Masdar operates through five integrated units: Masdar Power, Masdar Capital, Masdar Carbon, Masdar City, and Masdar Institute. Masdar Power is a developer and operator of renewable power generation projects. In building a portfolio of strategic utilityscale projects, Masdar Power makes direct investments in individual projects in all areas

of renewable energy, with a focus on Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), photovoltaic solar energy and on- and offshore wind energy. In a joint venture with Abengoa Solar and Total, Masdar Power is developing the 100MW Shams 1 CSP plant in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, set to be the largest CSP plant in the world. It is also developing a 30MW wind farm and a PV array on Sir Bani Yas Island. Through these and future projects, the unit will contribute to Abu Dhabi’s goal of generating 7% of its energy needs from renewable sources.

Entry Points Renewable Energy Projects in Dubai

Turning Excessive Heat into Power International renewable energy experts classified the UAE as one of the most favorable locations to generate solar power because of the high level of sun exposure. Encouraged by the wise environmental policy of the government, demand for solar panels and other means of obtaining solar power has significantly increased over the past few years. Properties developers and building owners are increasingly using the solar panels to decrease energy consumption. In addition, streets lights and telecom towers use solar panels to get the sufficient energy supply. Great opportunities lay for investors and traders who supply the solar equipments and invest in developing new solar power plants across the UAE.

Prospects exist for investing in Dubai’s solar power and renewable energy sector. As controlling emissions becomes an increasingly important issue worldwide, these technologies and projects could experience increased demand in Dubai. Strategic projects in this sector are to be executed. Dubai Solar and Wind Power was contracted to the Greek Portland Group, a marine and financial solutions company, for USD 130 million. The company will develop solar plants in the UAE, aiming to turn Dubai as a leading renewable energy provider. Dubai Thermal solar power plant is also been planned and negotiated with contractors. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Mining and Quarrying Following the discovery of oil and the creation of the union, Mining and Quarrying sector emerged as a new domestic production field. Realizing the short period of discovery, are the mineral resources well discovered in the UAE? Are the potential opportunities in this sector well realized ? Since its formation in 1971, the UAE has been identifying its economic pillars that structure the overall economic picture. Mining and quarrying sector in fact began when the country decided to diversify its economy. To attract the global investors’ minds, the government declared its avoidance of using the traditional methods of research and exploration that have been used for a long time and decided to use the latest scientific technologies methods instead. Detailed geographic academic studies, aerial photographs, and geological maps have proved the richness and the diversity of the UAE’s mineral resources. Today, the UAE produces a wide range of minerals that include but not limited to copper, gypsum, natural and cultured pearls, silver, gold, and precious stones. The figure below shows the latest minerals discoveries found on the UAE and the location of each mineral. The land of the UAE is very rich in terms of the diversity of minerals. However, the commercially-viable minerals range is comprised of gypsum, salt, copper, and marble. The capacity of gypsum found in the UAE is enough for self-sufficiency for the GCC countries. The total export of precious metals has reached USD 11.72 billion in 2010, achieving a growth rate of 30% comparing to 2009. The most exported precious metal was crude gold that makes up about 89.2% of the total export, jewelry, pearls, and silver share the remaining 2%. More than 41 countries imported the UAE’s precious metals last year. Quarrying subsector’s GDP contribution has been steadily increasing. In 2009, its revenue Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

has reached USD 456.39 million (0.17% of the total real GDP), a 56% growth increase since 2005. Fujairah has 74% of the quarries, followed by Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah; other emirates do not have quarries. Quarrying is expected to experience a growing trend within the coming years driven by the UAE’s policies, one of the main factors behind the sector’s growth by attracting FDIs. Developments in mining are gathering pace in the UAE. In 2009, the UAE formed a joint venture with GSL limited, an Indian steel manufacturer, to explore for chrome ore. ASCOM, an Egyptian mining company specializing in the management of quarry operations for the cement industry as well as the exploration of precious minerals, has been operating in the UAE since 2004. Ras Al Khaimah Minerals and Metal Investment (RMMI), a global mining company in precious metals such as copper, cobalt, silver, and gold has multi-activities in the UAE. Local and international recognized operators in the sector of quarrying are Turkish Gulf Quarry, Global Crusher, Gulf Rocks Co. Shawkah Crusher, Lootah Crushers, and Fujairah Building Industries.

Key - UAE Mineral Source Mineral



Northern Emirates particularly between Masafi and Fujairah

Chromites Ore

Northern Emirates particularly in Manama, Masfut, and Alsijy

Radioactive Minerals (Uranium, Radium, and Crude Bitumen)

Ornamental Stones

Al Ain particularly in Al Fyadhah Spring Water

(Marble, Granite, Serpentine, Schist Tablets and Limestone)

Northern Emirates particularly in Al Faya Mountains Masfut, Masafi, and Hafeet Mountain

Rock wool

Masfut and Fujairah


Sir Bani Yas


Al Ain particularly in Hafeet Mountains, Dubai and Western Region


Dhanna Mountain, Sir Bani Yas, Hafeet Mountain, and Hormuz series

Saltpeter and Barite Opportunities in Sir Bani Yas Island Huge amounts of salt with a purity reaches 91.6% of sodium chloride lays in the forms of amorphous pink rocks tinged with a small quantity of sulfur and iron impurities. The commercially-viable quantities of salt and the cost-effective and simplicity of extraction methods provide attracting investment opportunities for both local and international investors. The mineral can be used to manufacture different types of chemical compounds such as Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) and chlorine. It can be used also in the manufacture of soap, laboratories’ and chemical plants solutions, and petrochemicals industries. Salt can also be used to conserve fish and other foods. Throughout history, Sir Bani Yas has been a source of salt. An old mine was found in the northern part of the island where

salt deposits were found on the land surface. These are just a small fraction of the large deposits that lay underneath. Other sources of salt in the emirate of Abu Dhabi are marshes, buried blocks, and sea salts that contain various other salts such as calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, sodium sulfate, and potassium chloride, and calcium carbonate. Around 4% of the island is also covered with the mineral of barite. Its deposits are located on “Fars Al Adna” area and on the series of Hormuz. The sparse barites are found in the form of crystals that result from the rocks interaction with the natural forces. The mineral is mainly used in the drilling processes of oil wells as well as in the manufacture of dyes. The barite is also found on the mountain of Dhanna, Dilma Island, Arzanha, Zakorah, and the eastern side of Haffeet Mountain but with small quantities.

GDP Contribution (Millions per AED)

1,750 1,500 1,250 1,000 750 500






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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Real Estate and Construction

With the world’s tallest building, the largest man-made island, the world’s largest man-made marina and many other icons, innovation appears as the most unique character of the UAE’s real estate sector, giving it an edge that will assure its long-term attractiveness to investors and developers.

Why UAE ?

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he human settlement in the area called today the UAE was first recognized in 5000 B.C., as archeological evidences have demonstrated. Throughout that time, each tribe was living in a designated area and it might have moved to another place searching for water and food resources. Recording or registering property ownerships did not exist then. However, verbal agreements and understandings between the Sheikhs of the tribes solved every possible conflict in that regard. In the early 1960s, laws of registering and owning lands and properties started to take a place in the UAE. In addition, the building materials that made up people’s dwellings at that time were very simple and came straight from the nature like palm leaves, animal skins, and stones. The situation started to

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

change after the discovery of oil which triggered peoples’ migration from rural areas to more developed cities like Sharjah and Dubai in the late sixties. The Realization of the importance of a property or a land and initial signs of the growth of the economy drove many to start accumulating lands, which created the beginning of the real estate sector. The following years, prices of properties had been gradually increasing, forced by demand and supply. Because lands and natural resources are owned by the local governments, as granted by the UAE constitution, each emirate created its real estate authorizing and regulating entity to manage and organize this activity. The years 1970-2000 witnessed a historical renaissance in the construction sector in the UAE. Large cities came out of the desert and a state-of-the-art infrastructure was built across the country. Buildings from skyscrapers, lavish villas, large shopping malls and luxurious hotels began to decorate the landscape of the emirates.

Real Estate and Construction Major Indicators Contribution to GDP (2010 Estimates)

USD 64,183 million (21.57%)

Contribution to Gross Fixed Capital Formation (2010)

23.81% Ministry of Public Works Abu Dhabi Real Estate Regulatory Authority

Federal and Local Regulators

Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority Sharjah Real State Regulatory Agency Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Authority Ras Al Khaimah Real Estate Regulatory Authority

Total Number of Buildings (2005)


Total Number of Housing Units (2005)


Total Worth of Projects Under Construction (2011)

USD 930 billion (45% of projects in GCC region)

An important transformational change occurred in the real estate sector during the following years. Freehold property ownership in designated areas was introduced to international investors by Dubai in 2002, followed by Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, and Umm Al Quwain. The capital and Sharjah have also passed their laws, allowing a 99-year leasehold for non-GCC nationals (expatriates, foreign individuals, and foreign owned corporations).

The result was significant in the coming years. Another remarkable step was the issuance of Dubai’s property law.7 2006, being one of the most comprehensive regulations of the real estate sector not only in the UAE but also in the whole GCC region. This freeing law and the following regulations by other emirates have helped to establish a base of trust that will continue to attract international investments into this vital sector.

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the Ministry of Foreign Trade in the annual trade policy report.

Today, a well-established real estate development and investment, a solid construction sector, a growing property and facilities management sector, a demanddriven infrastructure development sector, (this coma is called a serial comma used to omit readers’ misunderstanding) and a real estate consultancy and urban planning make the UAE’s superb real estate and construction cluster. The UAE’s aim in the realm of real estate is determined and clear which is to position itself as an attractive global place for investment. According to the Ministry of Economy, the real estate, business services and construction sector contributed around 22% per cent (USD 64,183 million) to the country’s GDP in 2010. The bulk of foreign direct investment has been mainly directed into real estate projects, as demonstrated by

Why UAE ?

The real estate development and investment sector is the first stage and the most important one in the real estate industry. Projects initiated by developers and investors pull the rest of the sectors. A massive expansion of developments was witnessed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as the decade of the new millennium was approaching. The number of buildings in Dubai alone rose to 97,953 upon the end of 2009. More than USD 163.4 billion is also planned to be pumped in the real estate development line by Abu Dhabi to effectively reach its urbanization ambitions plan by 2030. Other Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah are also investing heavily in the sector to supply reliable real estate outputs for its residents. The UAE, today, is the largest construction market in the GCC with a value of $930 billion of projects under construction. It has also announced the development of a great

number of residential housing communities, commercial units, and industrial districts across all emirates. Rapid actions were taken to implement the priorities of the UAE’s strategy since its creation. All emirates have been effectively working to construct strong infrastructure of roads, ports, airports, and sewage systems. A high quality highway network comprised of about 4,000 Km asphalt paved roads, 15 large commercial ports, 6 international airports, and a state-of-the-art sewage public system marked the notable milestones achieved in this regard. The emirates continue expanding their infrastructure by upgrading and remodeling

their roads networks, airports and seaports as well as establishing new facilities, meeting the demands of the growing population and economy. Facilities management started to emerge as a new market in this industry due to the increasing number of buildings and housing units that require continuous care and maintenance. The demand for mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers, cleaners, security guards and landscapers are growing as the construction projects in the UAE are growing. International FM companies are viewing the country as one of the most favorable locations in this industry in the world.

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Real Estate Development and Investment The rally that was witnessed in Dubai’s real estate development gave a unique example of success to follow not just for other emirates but also for the whole world. What are the real estate strategies of the emirates and how they are implementing them?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

then. The massive commercial and residential developments such as Jumeirah Palm, Burj Khalifah, Burj Al Arab, and Dubai Marina are only some of the accomplished projects by region’s real estate developers. Emaar, the leading properties developer, has launched more than 50 projects in 2010. The major constructions have placed Dubai as one of the most attractive and growing real estate hub in the world map. Dubai is also developing of a number of outrageous construction projects and villas complexes.

The demographics fundamentals of the UAE, the mass available lands planned for urbanization and the encouraging properties’ ownership regulations are forming the new picture of the real estate sector. Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah designated specific lands to be developed where the expatriates can have freehold ownership over their properties, while Abu Dhabi and Sharjah gave the green light for 99-year leasehold law. More attracting regulations are expected to be passed during the next coming years. Real estate development and investment contribution to the country’s GDP has reached USD 29,514 million in 2010, an increase of 52.3% since 2005. The astonishing real estate development projects that are planned or underway are capable of increasing the sector’s share in the GDP. All the emirates are putting their hands together on the development’s wheel to take the real estate sector to a higher niche. The emirate of Abu Dhabi is witnessing a historical growing period in its real estate sector. An estimated of USD 562 billion worth of projects are under construction or underway. Its current high hotels occupancy rate of over than 72% is giving a positive and secure feeling to local and international investors to continue investing in this vital industry. Greater heights of real estate development were reached in Dubai, encouraging the emirate to issue more attracting regulations. In 2006, Dubai Freehold Law 7 was passed in March 2006 which legalized foreign ownership of property in designated areas. Foreign capital has been flooding in since Why UAE ?

development of its real estate atmosphere. Developing mixed-use, residential, commercial and industrial construction projects as well as infrastructure development are a priority of Ajman’s real estate strategy in order to transform the emirate to a modern urbanized city. Some examples of these mega projects include Al Hilal Tower, Al Ameera Village and Ajman One.

Sharjah is also developing its residential and industrial areas. Building approximately 5,000 homes for nationals in Rahmania and Seouh, tow suburbs of the emirate, and a new town in al Juwaiza that houses around 2,000 plots for villas and low-rise residential and commercial buildings are a few of the notable residential projects that are aimed to meet the increasing number of residents of the emirate. The industrial real estate has also been under the emirate’s focus. The plan is to reconstruct some of the existing industrial areas and building new industrial complexes. Emirates Industrial City is the major industrial initiative in the emirate. After liberalizing its real estate sector by granting expatriates the right of leasehold, Ajman is heading forward with the

The Government of Umm Al-Qaiwain is committed to the development of real estate projects and has linked up with Emaar to create a new development surrounding a purposebuilt marina. Umm Al-Qaiwain Marina will be a vast, master-planned waterfront community located on the shore of Khor al-Beidah. Resort and hotel rooms as well as parks and recreational areas, retail facilities, schools and community centers are planned. Ras Al Khaimah is also undergoing an ambitious phase of development including investments in infrastructure improvement, tourism, property, shopping, and efforts to attract industrial and commercial enterprises. USD 27 billion worth of residential and commercial projects are currently in various stages of development across the emirate. Emaar, a leading real estate developer, has been developing a number of real estate projects that will surround the new purpose-built marina, Umm Al Quwain Marina, located on the sore of Khor Al Beidah.

Hotels, parks, recreational areas, retail facilities, schools, and community centers are planned. The eastern emirate, Fujairah, has also launched several strategic real estate developments that are concentrated on the shore of the Gulf of Oman coastline. The Fujairah Dana, a combination of villas and hotels, Fujairah Paradise, a multifaceted project, are being planned. Furthermore, the emirate is planning to build a large number of residential units as well as commercial buildings. All emirates have their own authorizing entities. Abu Dhabi Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Sharjah Real Estate Regulatory Agency, Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency, RAKIA Real Estate Regulatory Authority, Fujairah Real Estate Regulatory Agency, and Umm Al Quwain Real Estate Regulatory Agency have the responsibility to oversee and regulate the real estate activity in their designated jurisdiction. EMAAR Properties PJSC is one of the largest property developers and one of the leading premier lifestyles providers. The company has accomplished recognized properties and master-planned communities in both markets domestically and globally. It is the prime mover of Dubai’s real estate and construction sector. Burj Khalifah, the tallest free-standing structure in the world, is the most noteworthy project accomplished by Emaar. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Real Estate Developement in Emirates Nakheel properties, a Dubai-based land reclamation and residential projects creator, is also a main player in the real estate development. By establishing imaginary projects like the World, the Universe Islands, and Palm Islands, it has driven the real estate market. Sorouh Real Estate, Al Qudrah Real Estate and Al Dar Properties are the largest real estate developers in Abu Dhabi. Other regional’s important players are Deyaar Development PJSC, Rakeen Development PJSC, RAK Properties, Aqaar and Burooj Properties. International companies have been attracted by the great potential lay within all emirates. International Trident Holdings succeeded to develop number of projects such as its signature project “Waterfront”, Marinascape, and Bayside Residence. Best Homes, a Canadian-based international real estate developer, has also managed to develop number of excellent projects like the Global Residencia, Rescom Tower, and others. International leading real estate developers are working together with local companies to develop properties in all emirates to meet the growing demands by the increasing population and economic expansion.

Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah Developing Industrial Areas To become the ideal industrial hub in the UAE, Sharjah is developing one of its largest industrial projects in the Saja’a district. The mega industrial initiative, Emirates Industrial City, is designed to accommodate the dramatic influx of industrial enterprises into Sharjah providing world class infrastructure and support in an easily accessible location. The master plan of the industrial area is built over a total of 8.3 million square feet divided into 8 sectors to support different projects in the areas of industrial plots, warehouse projects, commercial/industrial, and residential/ commercial. Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, the emirate’s investment arm, is also developing a mega industrial area “Al Ghail Industrial Park”. With a zone of 23 square km, several manufacturing units will be housed in the park. Incentives such as low registration fees and long licensing period are to be granted for local and international companies that will operate this park.


Main Developments

Abu Dhabi

Khalifa City, Saadiyat Island, Al Raha Beach Development, Masdar City, Ghantoot Green City, Najmat Abu Dhabi, Al Reem Island, Lulu Island, Abu Dhabi Airport Expansion, Mohammed bin Zayed City, Between the Bridges, Gate Project, Yas Island, A large number of mixed-use communities and residential units


Villas Complexes (the Villa in Dubailand, Veneto in Dubai Waterfront, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Gulf Estates, Al Barari, Al Badrah, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Victory Heights), Hydropolis (an underwater hotel, Dubai Sports City, Dubailand, Burj Al Alam, Falcon city of Wonders, Mall of Arabia, Business Bay, Hotel for Emirates Airline,


Emirates Industrial City, Villas Complexes in Seouh and Rahmanih, Nujoom Islands , Al Juwaizh Project


Emirates City, Al Hamra Village , Al Ferdus District, Falcon Towers, Meeza Villas, Ajman One, and Emirates Modern Industrial Area

Ras Al Khaimah

Mina Al Arab , Julphar Towers, RAK Tower, Julphar Residence

Umm Al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain Marina


The Fujairah Dana (Pearl), Fujairah Paradise

properties developers like Sorouh were signed to develop a number of communities for Emirati families. Similar projects are expected in all emirates. Government-backed properties are being preferred by many developers since they provide excellent liquidity especially during real estate crisis. Through public-private partnerships, international companies can engage on the development of the planned house communities.

and local government offices and embassies. The city is expected to be completed by 2030. Another gigantic construction project is the Yas Island Development which a touristic development that will house hotels, marinas, resorts, and others. Abu Dhabi is on the top of the most demanded construction destinations in the world.

Abu Dhabi Promising Market

Building Local House Communities Due to the increased rate of marriage in the UAE, the government is reforming its strategy of granting lands to the UAE nationals and planning to build residential communities and sell the community houses instead. The new way will play a great role into organizing the communities. Contracts between the government of Abu Dhabi and several Why UAE ?

In 2008, the construction of major real estate projects in Abu Dhabi worth USD 208 billion namely Khalifa City, Yas Island Development, Saadiyat Island, Masdar City, Al-Raha Beach Complex, Ghantoot Green City, Al-Reem Island development, Abu Dhabi Light Rail project and MGM Grand Hotel was announced. Khalifah City, The massive amount of investment by the government and private investors as well as the great works needed from construction companies grabbed opportunities-seekers’ attention to engage in this UAE’s vital industry. Khalifa City, one of the largest planned projects, will comprise all federal ministries The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Construction During the construction boom witnessed in the emirate of Dubai in 2004, its share of the UAE’s construction sector GDP flew to over 50%. In 2009 Abu Dhabi occupied the top in the construction sector by 65.1%. What are the under construction projects that were behind this dramatic shift and how will the under planned ones shape this figure? The global economic distress had, in fact, slowed down the growth of the construction sector in the UAE in the late 2008. However, signs of the economic recovery are now very visible to the UAE visitors and residents. The sharply-decreased prices of lands and construction materials began to shape new obtainable opportunities to properties developers in order to get back to the development track. The UAE government has also announced its strong willingness of investing in the infrastructure development sector by initiating strategic projects such as the building of the union rail system, the roads’ networks connecting Fujairah to Dubai, and Jebel Al Jais of Ras Al Khaimah to Emirates road, and other multiple massive projects. The government’s announcement along with an overall economic stimulus plan has caused a positive stir among the construction companies and has also being playing an important role toward lifting up the real estate and construction sector. . In addition, the resulted low prices of sales and rents achieved demand for long terms. Committed to its vision of making the UAE as one of the most desirable investment locations in the world, approximately USD 930 billion worth of projects are currently under construction in the UAE. Real estate developers and construction companies are shifting their premier focus from private to public sector schemes due to increase number of the governmental projects. This trend is expected to continue due to the massive infrastructure projects as stated by all emirates. Abu Dhabi had announced its Why UAE ?

ambitious plan of boosting its infrastructure, residential, and commercial properties. The largest construction and infrastructure projects by value in the GCC show that five of the region’s 10 biggest schemes planned or under way are in Abu Dhabi. The UAE was ranked as the most buoyant property market in the world. The construction sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP has reached USD 34,664 million in 2010 (11.6% to the UAE GDP in 2010 at Current Prices). It has been gradually growing, with an average annual rate of 15.5% at interval 2001 - 2010. The mega projects that are underway or under the planning phase will significantly increase its share in the next coming years. Across all sectors and over all emirates, opportunities in the construction sector are countless. The rapid economic diversification strategy is guiding the new directions of the construction sector. The ranges and types of projects planned include but not limited to infrastructure, residential, commercial, and governmental. In order to achieve social stability for both the national and expatriate population, the UAE has announced a number of residential housing communities. The expansion of Arabian Ranches, Porto Dubai Al Furjan, Al Warsan, Emirates Hills and give a clear indication of how the residential construction subsector is boosting not only in

Abu Dhabi and Dubai but also in all emirates that are committed to develop state-of-the-art residential and communities. The estimated value of residential projects in the UAE was more than double in 2010 due to many projects in pipeline after a delay in projects during 2009. The Emirates is also developing its commercial and touristic units to cope with the rapid growth incurred in this sector. High rise developments are being either planned or under construction. Establishing power plants, water desalination plants, road and rail network systems are been under the development’s microscope of the government. The massive expansion plan of the UAE’s rail system is one the largest infrastructure projects in the country. The plan is to develop three rail schemes across all emirates from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Many local construction companies existed before the real estate boom in 2004. However, some of them have managed to take a full advantage of it to become leaders in this sector. Arabtec Construction LLC, a regional and global leader in the construction sector, accomplished a range of notable diversified projects such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Jet Fuel Farm in Dubai International Airport, Mubarraz oil and gas island, and other luxurious residential and commercial developments. In order to perfectly complete its projects, Arabtec engages with other international specialized companies through partnerships and subcontracts. BelHasa Engineering and Contracting,

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Khansaheb Civil Engineering, Lootah Group of Companies, Overseas AST, Al Naboodah Group and Bukhatir Group are some of the leading conglomerates in construction sector in the UAE. Foreign construction companies have also placed their prints across the different fields of the sector. Monolith Constructions, an international engineering and contract services provider, successfully constructed a number of residential housings in Fujairah and currently working on a commercial project in Al Jerf, Ajman. ACTO General Contracting Company, a multinational company, successfully completed various set of projects in all emirates and from power stations to basic villas. ACTO is considered as one of the leading companies in this sector.

Entry Points Abu Dhabi Rail System Great efforts have been spent by the government of Abu Dhabi to successfully reach its desired heights that were set by its 2030 vision. Establishing a reliable rail system is one of the emirate’s main goals toward creating a sustainable transportation system. The metro rail system will run approximately 131 kilometers. The system is also planned to connect the mainland with its islands Yas, Reem, Sowwah, and Saadiyat. The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Charter on Sustainable Development was signed by Abu Dhabi, raising the bar higher in public transportation with Mott MacDonald was appointed as the main project consultant. UITP acts as the point of reference and a centre of Why UAE ?

best practices for the public transport sector. The project is expected to be completed by 2016.

A More Promising 2011 to Come The UAE is experiencing one of the highest unprecedented growths in the number of construction projects in the world. Abu Dhabi and Dubai share the majority of these projects. Other emirates are also going through a development move in terms of types and quantity of projects. International construction companies are viewing the UAE market as one of the most attracting markets in the world due to the strong commitment of the government to level up its infrastructure over all sectors and to the strong attendance by international investors who seek opportunities in the real estate sector. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Infrastructure Development During the harsh times of the economic downturn, the government’s spending on infrastructure succeeded to give an enough confidence to investors in the UAE market. What are the undergoing infrastructure projects that will showcase the government’s commitment into building one of the most advanced and modern infrastructures in the world? The UAE is one of the fastest growing infrastructure markets in the world. The planned infrastructure projects are aimed to meet all the essential needs in all aspects and parts of the country. The country is not only planning to develop new infrastructures but also to maintain, advance, and reconstruct the old utilities that are unable to support the growing economy and the population. The highly modern and sophisticated infrastructure of the UAE includes ports, airports, a network of roads and rail system, and multiple business parks. The government’s spending on the development of its infrastructure is planned to reach USD 2.04 billion in the year 2011, 23% of the total government spending. The existing modern and sophisticated network of ports and airports did not only advance the economy of the country but they have also become central to the entire region, driving the government of the UAE to invest more in this subsector. Currently, the UAE has eleven operating ports. Mina Zayed, the main gateway for container and general cargo vessels, Musaffah Port, located in the heart of the industrial city, and Freeport are the operating ports in Abu Dhabi. Dubai’s ports include Jebel Ali Port, a large and rapidly expanding deep seawater port infrastructure, and Port Rashid that is 13 meters deep and has a capacity of 1,500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. Sharjah also has two ports, Sharjah Port and Khorfakan Port, while other emirates have one port each. Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

All emirates are planning to increase the capacity of their ports. Fujairah Port has been increasing its terminals’ capacity due to the increased demand by petroleum companies such as Gulf Petroleum, Oil Marketing & Trading group, and the Singaporean oil company Chemoil. The UAE has six international airports. Dubai Airport, one of the busiest in the region with over 112 airlines Dubai, has become the main aviation hub in the Middle East. Dubai has also been developing its second airport “Jebel Ali Airport” since 2005, with an area covering 140 km2 . The new airport will be the largest air-sea transportation centre in the Middle East. While the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority controls and operates Dubai airports, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Bateen, and Al Ain airports are operated by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). Also,a Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have emergent airports due to the increasing activities by RAK Air and Air Arabia. In addition to advancing the seaports and airports network, strategic initiative have been also taken to enhance and develop the roads inter- and intra- networks. In 2006, the UAE established the National Transport Authority (NTA) with the task of developing a licensing system pertaining to land transport and granting licenses to relevant transport bodies covering all modes of Land Transport for federal inter emirates transport and international transport in accordance with UAE relevant Laws and Regulations. Since then, the land transport sector has been witnessing a growth transition period. The UAE, currently, has a high quality highway network comprised of about 4,000 Km asphalt paved roads that connect the all emirates as well as the country to the Sultanate of Oman and Saudi Arabia. Abu Dhabi Transport Department itself has announced its willingness of investing USD 68.1 billion in the transport sector (roads and Rails) in the emirate. In order to reduce the dependency on emissions-producing vehicles, Dubai started building its Metro in 2005. 10 stations were launched in 2009 and 29 stations are expected to be operating by 2011. Abu Dhabi also has set up its plans to develop its metro, covering 130 km and connecting major areas of the emirate. Another railway system is under

planning to link all the northern emirates with Dubai and Abu Dhabi Railway. Major construction companies are seeking the great opportunities. Wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal sectors in the UAE are as well growing with the increased production of desalinated water and the solid waste generated by the increased numbers of UAE residents. The UAE is one of the three highest per capita producers of solid waste in the world. Most urban and industrial areas and all new development projects are connected to the public sewage system. Solid waste disposal is run by the municipalities and is well developed in the UAE. Plans of developing a sewage system in the emirates of Ajman, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah have been announced. Through tenders, and partnering with the public sector or local companies, international companies can participate to seize the benefits of these great opportunities. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Major Infrastructure Projects in UAE Emirate

The UAE was among the first nations that established specialized free zones with unique infrastructure designed to suite a specialized sector. The UAE has 47 free zones, with some dedicated for specific services subsector such as Dubai Media city and Dubai Healthcare. Recently, a number of free zones have been established to encourage trade and investment in all emirates like Himriyah Free Zone, Fujairah Free Zone, and Ajman Free Zone. In May 2004, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has established the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones in order to provide an integrated infrastructure, a suitable business environment, and professional services through the establishment and management of special zones in Abu Dhabi. The planned 4 million square meters free trade zone in Abu Dhabi Airport, and other 12 free zones are planned to be developed.

Abu Dhabi


Khaleefa Port


Abu Dhabi International Airport Al Bateen Airport Al Ain Airport Al Ain International Airport

Dubai Airport Al Maktoum International Airport

Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones Industrial City of Abu Dhabi Khalifah Port and Industrial Zon Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) Dubai Car and Automotive City Free Zone (DUCAMZ) Dubai Flower Center Free Zone at Dubai International Airport. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) Dubai Industrial City (DIC) Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Dubai Internet City (DIC) Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) Dubai Media City Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) - part of DMCC Dubai Silicon Oasis Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone (TECOM) Economic Zones World (EZW) Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ)


Jebel Ali Port


Khalid Port


Ajman Port

Umm Al Quwain

Ahmed bin Rashid Port

Umm Al Quwain International Airport

Ahmed bin Rashid Free Zone

Ras Al Khaimah

Saqr Port

RAK Airport

RAK Free Trade Zone RAK Investment Authority Free Zone Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone


Fujairah Port

Fujairah International Airport

Fujairah Free Zone Fujairah Creative City

Entry Points Northern Emirates The Federal Government put the plan of improving the infrastructure of Northern Emirate in the top of its priority list. It is initiating massive projects in order to improve the quality of life of its residents. USD 1.6 billion worth of projects are expected to be pumped to upgrade the water and electricity networks by building mega power stations and water desalination plants in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and Fujairah. Major roads and networks are planned to be connecting the whole area.


Sharjah Airport

Hamriyah Free zone Sharjah Airport International Free Zone

An Integrated High-Speed Rail System In order to reduce emissions produced by conventional transport infrastructure, reduce the traffic jams in the heart of the cities, and meet the demand by the growing population, the UAE is taking strategic initiative to build an integrated high-speed rail system. With a capital of USD 272 million, the UAE’s national railway will cover 1,500 km, connecting the vital populated cities in the UAE as well as being a part of the proposed larger GCC railway network. Great investment opportunities lay for international investors to partner with local companies or establish a specialized company in this field. Why UAE ?

Ajman Free Zone

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Chapter 4

Property and Facility Management Property Management The demand for property and facilities management will continue to increase as the economy of the UAE is growing. The companies and residents are demanding better serviced and managed buildings. How does the UAE plan to boost this new sector to meet the desired expectations? The historical witnessed growth in the number of existing properties in the UAE demanded real estate developers and buildings’ owners to hand over the leasing and sales operations to specialized agencies called property managers. The volume of these existing residential, commercial, and industrial properties and the undergoing projects necessitate the property management sector to be sufficient in term of quantity and quality. Between 2000 and 2005, the UAE experienced an unprecedented properties growth. The total number of buildings reached 335,487. In the late 2005, USD 35.42 billion worth of projects were under construction, dominating the construction sector in the GCC. The high demand drove the prices to a suddenly-uptrend move. However, the prices declined as all the global market suffered due to the economic downturn in 2008 and late 2009. Early signs of recovery began to appear in the early 2010 and prices of properties started to take a new correction move. The liberalizing real estate regulations encouraged the emergence of property managers. Since then, the market has been experiencing a historical transformational move from “driving effect of pure investors market towards greater emphasis on owner-occupier and enduser demand market.” National and international property management companies are greatly benefiting from the unique pulling attracting opportunities in the UAE. Union Properties, a subsidiary of Emirates Bank, manages a great Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

number of existing and under construction landmark residential and commercial developments in Dubai such as Al Wasl Villas, Creekside Residence, and the Control Tower TM, Burooj Properties, Deyar Properties, RAK Properties, and Northern Emirates Properties are also regional leaders in this sector as well. The attracting opportunities in the property management subsector have pulled the attentions of the global companies. After realizing the great potential in the UAE market, Asteco Property Management LLC and Better Homes, international property management companies, established offices in the UAE.

Facilities Management (FM) Property managers, household owners, landowners, and real estate developers in the UAE began to realize the importance of investing on the maintenance of the facilities of their buildings in order maximize their life’s expectancy and to attract tenants and buyers in a competitive market. The demand

for facilities management is gradually growing due to the realization progress of its importance, the existing growth in the construction, and most importantly the harsh environmental conditions of the UAE that could reduce the capacity of the facilities. The new facilities management laws have also been contributing to the increasing demand for FM services. They require buildings under construction as well as existing buildings to follow the guidelines set by the government that coincide with the globally-recognized green buildings regulations. In addition, these new enforced regulations are playing a great role into enlightening both developers and owners of existing properties of the benefits that can be reaped of a sustainable facility such as energy consumption, water use, and waste management. The huge ever-increasing demand in the UAE in particular and in the GCC region overall has called international FM organizations attention to join the attracting market. Today, FM companies do not only operate after the completion of the project, they also cooperate with the developers from the drawing phase. By implementing FM guidelines, the developers are ensured that their buildings will match the intended purpose which will certainly reduce the cost of maintenance and maximize the buildings efficiency. Some of the leading providers of integrated facilities management solutions in the UAE, are Imdaad, Edama, Al Shirawi FM . The latest signed agreements between Imdaad and the Dubai Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Abu Dhabi General Services Company lined some of the company’s achievements in 2010. One of the leading international companies in the UAE’s facilities management field is Drake & Scull International PJSC. The originally British company has successfully completed a great number of projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai across all sectors such as providing mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services for Abu Dhabi National Exhibition, Rashid Hospital, and International Airport Terminal. The company has over than 30 ongoing projects in the UAE itself. Other recognized names in the realm of FM are Hitches & Glitches, a subsidiary of the Pakistani conglomerate Dreshak Group.

Entry Points Property and Facilities Management Software The uprising number of existing buildings requires a sophisticated methodology that is able and reliable to keep track of building owners, property locations, commercial and residential units, and tenant’s information. Suppliers of such technologies are as much needed as the existence of the highly advanced facilities management companies.

Northern Emirates Require Sophisticated Property Managers In order to reduce emissions produced by conventional transport infrastructure, reduce the traffic jams in the heart of the cities, and meet the demand by the growing population, the UAE is taking strategic initiative to build an integrated high-speed rail system. With a capital of USD 272 million, the UAE’s national railway will cover 1,500 km, connecting the vital populated cities in the UAE as well as being a part of the proposed larger GCC railway network. Great investment opportunities lay for international investors to partner with local companies or establish a specialized company in this field. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


Chapter 4

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Tourism and Hospitality

Already an established location in the world’s top visited destinations map for leisure, business and alternative tourism, the UAE is continuing to enrich its offerings to tourists and open new avenues for innovative tourism concepts.

Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

respond to wealthy consumer’s preferences, such as the shopping festival, prestigious horse races, tennis tournaments, car rallies, and other highly-prized sports events.

Hotels and Hospitality Travel and tourism is one of the fastest growing industries across the world and the UAE government is increasingly embracing the sector as a core part of its growth strategies. Global travel and tourism is projected to grow from USD 6.0 trillion in 2011 to USD 7.2 trillion by 2015. The share contribution of tourism to gross domestic product (GDP) is set to strengthen in the next five years, especially in the Middle East with the UAE largely behind the rapid growth of the sector in the region. The UAE travel and tourism sector contribution to Gross Domestic Product is set to significantly outperform the global and the Middle East percentage. This growth could be attributed to large public investment in airports, airlines, and other transport infrastructure, making it possible to travel to the UAE easily, large investments in hotels, and large and varied sports and leisure projects that

In the past ten years the UAE has committed substantial resources into the development of tourism and that effort is already paying off. According to Dubai Property Group, in 2008, 8.5% of the total jobs in the UAE were travel & tourism related and the proportion of tourism related jobs was projected to grow to 9.1% of total jobs by 2016. Travel and tourism has also become a notable contributor of the country’s exports – with 10.4% of the UAE exports being tourism driven . In 2008, the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) recognized UAE’s spectacular achievements in tourism and ranked the country 18th on international tourism competitiveness . The World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) uses the following criteria in benchmarking a country on international tourism competitiveness: safety and security, health and hygiene, infrastructure, information and communication, technology, price competitiveness, human capital, cultural and natural resources, air and

Travel & Tourism Total Contribution to GDP Comparison


Contribution (USD Billion)

Real Growth (%)












































Middle East






















ground transport policy rules and regulations. The tourism and hospitality industry sector is an integral part of the UAE business strategy. While oil and gas still dominated the UAE economy as evidenced by the 2008 GDP results, other sectors are increasingly becoming prominent and the hotel and restaurants sector is amongst them. In 2008, hotels and restaurant posted a 15.1% growth, 7.7% ahead of the overall UAE GDP growth.

Why UAE ?

Share (%)

The investment the UAE is projected to plough into the development of travel and tourism in the next five years demonstrates the country’s commitment towards making itself a leading tourist destination. World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) predicts the UAE’s investment to be proportionally five times higher than the global average and three times higher than that of the overall Middle East region.

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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

in terms of the number of inbound tourists expected to arrive in 2010. Dubai expects to draw 7.9 million international visitors in 2011, representing a notable growth rate of 17.3 per cent when compared to 2010. MasterCard, a global financial institution, has indicated that, Dubai’s international visitor spending is expected to surge 24% to USD 7.8 billion in 2011 from USD 6.3 billion in 2010 and USD 5.2 billion in 2009 MasterCard .

According to the UAE Yearbook 2010, the UAE is determined to attract foreign direct investment into commerce and tourism and is therefore offering an unrivaled business base across the region. The country has an open market system which is supported by a world-class infrastructure and service culture where the UAE government acts as a facilitator for business and free trade. International companies setting up in the UAE can avail business advantages that are generally unmatched across the world. For instance, the highly successful UAE business free zones allow companies full ownership and control of their businesses, flexible investment options and non-payment of customs excise duty among others.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority expects to see an increase of 15.5 per cent in international visitors with the total tourist spending growing 21.8 percent to USD 2 billion this year. Abu Dhabi’s hotel guest figures also hit record highs recently with occupancy levels up from nine per cent to 65 per cent. Abu Dhabi is one destination that has highest number of hotel rooms under active pipeline in the GCC.

Dubai has made impressive accomplishment in travel and tourism. CB Richard Ellis, a leading commercial real estate company, ranks Dubai as the world’s ninth global tourist destination. The emirate was set to outperform New York, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai

The Northern Emirates have also made notable progress in tourism development. In 1998, The World Tourism Organization crowned Sharjah, the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” due to its remarkable museums that advance the Arab culture and heritage.

Fujairah has made important initiatives in the protection of the environment –advancing the ideals of ecotourism particularly in the protection of the mountain reserve that spans nearly 220 square kilometers . Ras Al Khaimah has a landscape and the golden beaches that offer unique scenery in the region and therefore its potential to grow into a notable tourist destination is boundless.

The growth potential of luxury and budget hotels, and student accommodation in the UAE, can be assessed by looking at developments in each emirate, particularly, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The three emirates are the largest and account for more than three quarters of the country’s GDP. Ras Al Khaimah has also made significant strides in this regard.

Capital Investment in Travel and Tourism

25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%






United Arab Emirates Share (%) Middle East (%) World (%) Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 4

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

like F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which attract high-end visitors and therefore its continued focus on high –end hotels.

In 2009, Abu Dhabi was ranked the second most expensive city for hotel rooms in the world after Moscow. Abu Dhabi has since added more hotel rooms and the rates have since dropped by 15% (from an average of USD 301 to USD 256). The city is now ranked 24th on being expensive and has in a way become a more competitive tourist destination. The latest data shows that Abu Dhabi would have more hotels added on the high-end market and this should add further pressure on the rates. Most of the hotels in the pipeline in next coming months are high-end. Recently, a few of them have opened their doors to tourists like the Monte-Carlo Beach Club in Saadiyat, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and The Jumeirah Al Etihad Towers. Abu Dhabi’s main source of guest has traditionally been the UK and Germany. However, visitors from Russia and Saudi Arabia are on the increase. The later have significantly boosted the 10% jump in guests over 2011. The Emirate holds some of the Global premium sports events

Another segment that could be given attentions is the budget rooms as India is also becoming an important source for visitors and the majority could be low to mid-segment. Abu Dhabi therefore needs to ensure that it has the right balance of low to high- end hotels . Abu Dhabi expects to see an increase of 15.5 per cent in international visitors with the total tourist spending surging 21.8 percent to USD 2 billion in 2011 . Dubai has made remarkable achievements in the hospitality industry. CB Richard Ellis ranked Dubai within the top-ten most popular business cities. Dubai’s success can be attributed to the emirate’s ability to promptly adjust to the needs of the market and provide a balanced portfolio of accommodation that caters for all categories of customers –from low-end to high-end. The introduction of low cost airlines has seen a jump in demand for budget rooms-which the emirate should continually address. According to MasterCard Dubai’s international visitor spending is expected to surge by twenty four per cent to USD 7.8 billion in 2011 up from USD 6.3 billion

in 2010 and USD 5.2 billion in 2009 . Sharjah, the third largest Emirate of the UAE, has made huge milestones in developing culture related ecotourism. The emirate’s hotel network is biased towards low to mid end segment and, with the introduction of budget carriers like Flydubai, demand continues to grow in the budget traveler segment. There are a number of initiatives to address the growing low to mid segment market. Rotana Hotels, a popular hotel group, has partnered with Air Arabia, a budget air carrier, to launch a low- cost hotel brand called Centro, mainly targeted towards budget travelers. The number of guests at Sharjah’s hotels and hotel apartments in April 2011 stood at 143,341 — 80,459 hotel guests and 62,882 hotel apartment guests — compared to 129,046 guests in April 2010, recording a steep eleven per cent growth .

Why UAE ?

Entry Points Providing Budget Hotel Rooms across all Emirates The introduction of the budget carriers has led to the growth of the low-mid segment arrivals which has in turn increased the demand for budget rooms across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Rotana Hotel Group has partnered with Air Arabia to provide budget hotels in Sharjah. Such partnerships can be replicated across all the emirates. Investment into Hotels on Saadiyat Island to Support Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision The Abu Dhabi 2030 vision seeks to establish the emirate as a regional centre of culture with a global capital city as its hub. A massive infrastructure has to be put in place for this vision to be realized. Hotels are part of this infrastructure development. A number of hotels are planned for Saadiyat Island and this offers opportunities for investment into Government backed programs. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 4

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Spas and Recreation Facilities The word spa has become a familiar global term. According to Susie Ellis, the president of SpaFinder Inc., a global resource group that publishes yearly reports on Spas Worldwide, the word “spa” has captured people’s imagination and is now a term that people can relate to positively. The Middle East has registered a substantial 34% yearly growth in spa facilities in the past few years . The region’s wellness and Spa industry is estimated at USD680million of which about 40% comes from the United Arab Emirates.

the growing regional market which registered nearly 10 per cent growth in the number of exhibitors and visitors from last year.

In a report by the Gulf News in 2008, the UAE shows to be well ahead of its Middle East and North Africa counterparts in terms of the number of spa facilities in the country and in revenue.

For the majority of people in the UAE personal wellness is at the center of visiting a spa. The days have become busier and crowded and hence stressful for most people and a spa treatment brings some welcome relief. Spa facilities have become an integral part of the service offered by malls. Obesity is observed to be a growing occurrence in the region. Many spa facilities now offer specialty treatments to help people get into shape.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce attributes the growth of the wellness and spa industry in the UAE to two annual festivals; the Dubai Shopping Festival and the Dubai Summer Surprises which are said to be directly raising the annual sales trends. In May 2011, Dubai hosted yet another successful Beauty world Middle East Specialist Exhibition which hosted over 700 exhibitors from 44 countries . The strong participation in the exhibition is a testament to

The UAE is also a home for some of the world’s most innovative theme parks and have attracted a number of leading international brands to bring about recreational facilities that have drawn a large influx of tourists who enjoy such activities.

Details of Spas in Middle Eastern Region Country

Estimated Number of Spas

United Arab Emirates



Saudi Arabia
























Why UAE ?

Total Revenue (USD Million)

Entry Points Specialized Wellness and Spa Treatments In the larger Middle East and North Africa regions, obesity has been observed to be an increasing problem among the population. Wellness and Spa is a business that can help people look good through engaging in regular exercising and specialized treatments to address this weight problem. Because UAE is the de facto tourism hub, establishing specialized wellness spas that provide these treatments can be a lucrative business opportunity. The country’s diverse natural scenery, developed health care sector and ability to attract international brands in this field are strong competitive advantages that will serve this niche to flourish.

Partnerships with Hotels to Provide Spas to Meet Increased Demand People across the UAE now have larger than ever disposable income. For many tourists investment in their health is a natural way to enjoy their leisure time. The UAE also has the longest pipeline of hotels under construction across the GCC. Hotels have to have a spa for them to be seen as offering a full service.

Spa Academies Offering Formal Training and Qualifications A number of people working in Spas do not have formal training and qualifications. Spas have become an integral part of community health and should be manned by qualified personnel. Need for academies to provide formal training and qualifications would further increase as more of these facilities open each year. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 4

Tourism and Travel Services With the variety of touristic offering that the UAE presents and the ambitious tourism sector development plans embraces by the country, the establishment of capable tour operators and travel service providers is vital to complete and complement the tourism industry value chain. Continuously, new innovative ways can be developed to utilize the country’s offerings and news concepts can be pioneered to further attract tourists from around the world to enjoy the UAE experience. Currently, tour companies offer tailormade services to help visitors discover the UAE. Organized tours range from a half-day city tour to one- or two-night desert and mountain safaris plus daily programs for desert driving, shopping tours, camel riding, canoe trips, sand

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

boarding, sand skiing, dune buggy driving, theme park tours and water park adventures. Special interest packages can also be arranged to suit the visitor’s specialized hobby or sport such as diving, deep-sea fishing, cultural tours or bird watching. Tour operators are licensed via the different tourism development authorities across the seven emirates (refer to chapter 7 for more details). In general, tour operators wishing to organize in-bound tours are required to have qualified and licensed tour guides. Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority offer comprehensive trainings programs in this field. Tour guides should have at least a recognized college degree and should have decent knowledge about the UAE history, geography and culture. As the global economy is regaining momentum, the inflow of tourists will receive a positive boost. The United Nations World Tourism Organization forecasts tourism related revenues to hit a high of USD 2 trillion by year 2020. Global tourism expected grow from 1.06 billion travelers in 2010 to 1.56 billion in 2020 .Meanwhile the number of tourists travelling to the Middle East is expected to reach 136 million by 2020 . Today, the biggest tour operators in the UAE are Emirates Holidays and Dnata, both owned by Emirates Airlines. Both of the Emirates Airlines tour operators serve the high–end segment of the market given the airline’s position as a leading global carrier. In addition, Etihad Airway and Air Arabia formed their own tour operators and are servicing their own respective markets. In the UAE market, major tour operators are either owned by airlines or linked to major operators outside of UAE. However, one should not underestimate the role of the locally-owned tour operating companies, such as Net Tours, Arabian Adventures among many other small and medium-sized operators. With budget carriers like Flydubai and Air Arabia recording phenomenal success in the budget traveler segment, a number of tour operators are eyeing opportunities in this sector. Flydubai plans to add a holiday division and bring in new routes as it targets a 140

Why UAE ?

per cent rise in passengers in 2011 compared with 2010 . Holiday Factory, a Germany owned company, launched in the budget traveler segment early 2011 in Dubai promising affordable and competitive package deals for the mass market.

of outbound operator services provides several opportunities given UAE’s long coastline and large number of ports.

Tour operators come in three categories: overseas operators, inbound and outbound tour operators. A number of operators provide both inbound and outbound services. Inbound tour Operators offer a number of possibilities like Shopping tours in Dubai hailed as the shopping centre of the world with around twenty shopping malls, water sports like water surfing, skiing, kayaking, helicopter and hotair balloon tours give the tourist a bird–eye’s view of the of the cities and the desert, and Mosque tour for non-Muslims to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Capitalizing on the Sports Niche

The UAE market of outbound tourist is very diverse and therefore offers huge niche marketing opportunities for tour operators. A number of services offered in UAE can also be offered in other GCC countries as the countries have geographic features and cultures similarities to the UAE. Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and MSC Cruises signed a landmark co-operation agreement that will see the world’s fastest growing cruise operators deploy one of its its top vessels to the UAE capital on a homeport basis from October 2011. This form

Entry Points The UAE is renowned for having some of the best sporting facilities across the world therefore the country attracts major sports events. The Yas Marina Circuit annually hosts the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. The event will attract upper-end travelers with diverse needs from across the world creating opportunities for niche tour operators. The circuit can accommodate 50,000 spectators. The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the Capitala World Tennis Championship are other major sporting events expected to attract thousands of high income travelers who can be targeted with customized tours suiting their interests.

Targeting Budget Travelers UAE airlines are consistently adding new destinations. Flydubai, one of the budget carriers, wants to add a holiday division and open more as it targets a 140% rise in passengers. The carrier is expected to link up with tour operators and hotels to create budget-themed holiday packages for UAE residents seeking short breaks throughout the region, as well as international tourists looking to stay in the Emirates. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 4

Museums and Historical Tourism The UAE founding father, the late Sheik Zayed once commented that ‘He who does not know the past cannot make the best of his present and future for it is from the past that we learn .’ The present UAE government has continued to uphold this philosophy. The best places to witness the initiatives the UAE is taking to preserve and understand its past are the museums and the historical sites around the seven emirates. Each emirate manages its own set of museums and heritage sites. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have a more established network of heritage sites and museums when compared to their counterparts. Abu Dhabi has developed 15 sites to serve as historical tourism destinations. For instance Delma Island showcases the nation’s pearling history while Al Ain is popular for its forts and castles. There are major museum and art pavilion developments underway at Saadiyat Island meant to turn the Island into one of the major global cultural centers. The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), as part of this humongous cultural development, has undertaken the project to develop Louvre

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Abu Dhabi in partnership with the world renown Louvre Museum in Paris. The Museum is intended to be completed in 2014. Two other museums, namely the Zayed Museum in partnership with the British Museum, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in cooperation with the Guggenheim Museum in New York are also underway. Sharjah has 17 museums and cultural centers. The museums are dedicated towards showcasing the different aspects of the country’s past, such as literature, archaeology, natural history and the pearl trade tradition. Dubai’s main archeological sites are located in Jumeirah and Al Sufooh. The Dubai Museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort, built around 1787. There are also other specialized museums and historical areas that have been established and refurbished traditional houses such as the Sheik Saeed’s house, the main house of Sheik Saeed Al Moktoum who ruled Dubai from 1912 to 1958, Traditional Architectural Museum, Bastakiya Historical Area, and the Hatta Heritage Village. The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has an interesting heritage. The emirate also has its own national museum and has a number of ancient buildings and archaeological sites including the Queen of Sheba Palace and the “Tal Al Sanam” ancient sun-worshippers temple. Although these sites are not yet tourist-ready, the government of Ras Al Khaimah is seeking serious partnerships to restore these sites are turn them into tourist destination.

Entry Points Saadiyat Island: Contributing to a Future Cultural Hu Saadiyat Island Development is at the core of the Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic and Cultural Vision. The Island will be the host for seven mega projects including the three major museums: the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sayed Museum and the Guggenheim Museum. All of these projects With diligent efforts and sound value proposition, the government of Abu Dhabi succeeded in securing key international partnerships with topnotch museums that will provide some of its top-tier collections and will transfer technical know-how and expertise in this field to the young generation of talent. The first of these museums is to be completed in 2014. While Abu Dhabi is undertaking the investments of these strategic projects, qualified local and international suppliers, and expert houses are invited to contribute to different aspects of the projects and infrastructure developments including facilities construction, technical consultancy, curation, international marketing, and interior design among other

areas. The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) has been given the mandate to oversee these major development projects and is the point of contact for interested suppliers.

Restoring Historical Jewels All over the world, viable commercial opportunities have been realized out of the restoration and effective marketing of sites with historical significance. Throughout the forty years of the nation’s federation, efforts have been made by the federal and local governments to renovate a number of historical sites including forts, mosques, old souks and old houses, and to turn them into attractive tourist destinations. However, there are still several sites that required joint efforts by both the government and private sector for rehabilitation and commercial development such as the Queen Sheba’s Palace in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Bidya Mosque in Fujairah. Opportunities are also available across the seven emirates to develop innovative concepts centered on the facilities and historical sites that have been renovated. For instance, the old houses in Al Bastakiya Historical Area in Dubai are available to be used as a venue for projects that can attract tourists and shoppers visiting or living in the country. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 4

Events and Incentives Tourism The Events and Incentives Tourism Sector is a significant driver not only of the UAE economy but also of the global recognition of the brand UAE. The country has become known as a host some of the leading international events and conferences, exhibitions, and trade fairs spanning different industries and attracting both retail and corporate visitors and delegates thanks to the state-of-the-art conference and exhibition facilities across the seven emirates, and the country’s position as a global airline hub that connects to the world’s different continents. Recent estimates indicate that 65% of the current exhibition space available in the GCC is situated in UAE indicates that the country has been able to capitalize on its strategic crossroads location between Europe, Africa and Asia. The UAE is today one of the leaders in the international exhibition industry hosting some of the largest and most significant exhibitions across different sectors globally. Some of the notable annual exhibitions held in the country include International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), one of the biggest shows for defense equipment and services, Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), one of the world’s largest information technology related exhibition, and Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food stuff related exhibition. Furthermore, the biennial Dubai Airshow is today one of the must-attend events for the global industry leaders being the third largest aviation exhibition in the world. It is noteworthy that number of visitors to the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) and Dubai Airport Expo Centre has increased by 10% in 2008 reaching a total of 1.2 million business visitors. With its ability to conceptualize and attract such caliber of exhibitions, the UAE now has 50% market share in the total Middle East exhibitions industry. Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Moreover, the country has also become a destination of choice for conventions, conferences and international organizations’ meetings. Today, With 31 international association meetings held in Dubai 2010, it is ranked by International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) as the 51st destination globally in this category . Annually, the major cities of the UAE host hundreds of regional and international conventions, conferences, forums and summits that draw professionals from different industries and with a wide variety of domain expertise. In 2003, Dubai orchestrated the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. Held on the custom-built Dubai International Convention Center, the event was remarkably successful, strongly re-enforcing the brand of the city and the country in the international business tourism arena. The annually held Abu Dhabi Future Energy Summit, pioneered in 2010 by MASDAR and attended by presidents and royalties, is another signal of the foresightedness of the UAE in bringing together thought-leadership from around the world to strategize the road ahead in one of the most critical issues for humanity.

The Arab Strategy Forum, Arab Health Congress, Leaders in Dubai and Middle East Communications Exhibition and Conference (MECOM) in Abu Dhabi are some of many other leading events organized that take place regularly in the country. More of these accomplishments in this domain have been attained in keeping the UAE as one of the most preferred destinations for top-tier international convention organizers. Each Emirate manages its own exhibitions and conference facilities. Abu Dhabi launched the Advantage Abu Dhabi in 2009 in view of promoting conference and exhibition initiatives. The Emirate has a number of projects underway, one of which is an AED 8 billion (about USD 2.2 billion) capital centre development, fully integrated community project which is part of the Emirate’s vision for 2030. This huge development will include provisions for large exhibition halls and a number of state-of-the-art conference facilities. Currently, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, with a total area of 73,000 square meters, serves as the main venue for major international exhibitions and conventions held on the capital. Over the past three decades, Dubai has continued to upgrade its exhibition and conference facilities to be at the top-most of the global standards. The Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Center has evolved to be one of the largest and most advanced conference and exhibition facility in the MENA region providing a total area of 93,900 square meters. Some other notable conference and exhibition facilities in Dubai include Dubai Airport Expo, Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre, DIFC Conference Center and Knowledge Village Conference Centre among a wide choice of venues in Dubai’s well-known luxurious hotels and spacious buildings.

Entry Points Capital Centre Development in Abu Dhabi The Capital Centre Development surrounds the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). It is considered to be a fully integrated project that will house a business and a residential micro city of 23 towers, including 7 hotels, a shopping mall and restaurants. The project is government backed, while the project development and management is undertaken by ADNEC. Consultants, concept developments, interior design experts and specialized firms in the planning and development of exhibition and conference facilities can find interesting opportunities to participate in this strategic project.

Placing Fujairah in the International Incentives Tourism Map The emirate of Fujairah is on the path of becoming a significant hub in the international logistics among other emerging industries. The government is determined to increase the significance of the emirate in the business tourism arena through hosting international trade fairs and notable industry events. Currently, Fujairah has one exhibition facility with three halls, however, the emirates is in need for new concepts and ideas of exhibition and conference facilities that can host larger events and position the emirate higher in this growing branch of tourism.

The other emirates of the UAE have also joined the caravan, developing their own state-of-the-art exhibition and conference facilities to aid the realization of their economic vision. The Expo Centre Sharjah and the Ras Al Khaimah Exhibition Centre are some examples of some of these well-established facilities. Projects are underway in the other emirates to upgrade and develop new venues that would enable them to increase their share in the incentives tourism arena. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities



With the ideal climate for export and one of the most flexible employement regimes, the UAE is at the verge of promising industrialized future.


Why UAE ?

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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

water and electricity is handled by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. Three more phases are either under construction or at the planning stage.


ver since the coastal line of the UAE was inhibited by pearl divers and tribal fighters, the roots of basic manufacturing started to flourish with traditional weaponry and diving dhows. With the establishment of the modern state, the UAE’s manufacturing sector grew to become the 2nd strongest economic growth driver among non-oil sectors. In terms of its GDP contribution, it has made 10.11% share in 2009 and 9.7 % in 2010. Motivated by the nation’s desire to diversify the economy and the sharp increase of the population, manufacturing at various levels of industries has been at the core of heavy government investment spanning the seven federated emirates. Most emirates have also gone a step further by launching innovative policy initiatives that supported the growth of free zones and dedicated industrial cities to cope up both with the demand and the vision of being the world’s most dynamic manufacturing hub. By the third quarter of 2008, an official report placed the total cumulative industrial capital value of all nonoil and gas industrial projects in the UAE to be exceeding US$20 billion, accounting for about 290,000 jobs. This new wave of manufacturers are catering for the ‘new economy’ providing machinery and tools for industries related to construction, shipbuilding, infrastructure, power generation and even retail and consumer related industries. Abu Dhabi has been successful with its Industrial City of Abu Dhabi operations. The first Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD 1) includes economic zones for base metals, building and construction products, electronics, plastics manufacturing and automotive industries and has already attracted US$2.99 billion in investment. ICAD 2 has already attracted nearly US$1.63 billion with new projects including air conditioning water chillers, architectural hardware and aluminum windows and doors manufacturing. The ICAD zones have been built in a public-private partnership model that includes the cost of roads and sewerage and irrigation systems. Separately, Why UAE ?

A USUS$2.17bn industrial zone in the Abu Dhabi desert for construction and building materials firms is one of a host of projects the Government is planning to industrialise the emirate. The 34-square-kilometre Al Fayah Industrial Zone, being constructed by the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones (ZonesCorp), reflects the Government’s latest efforts to create industrial clusters to boost economic growth and diversify away from oil revenues. The location, 75km east of the capital, is also a sign of efforts to relocate industries away from residential areas and relieve congestion. In Dubai, pulling its weight alongside the burgeoning number of free zones that support manufacturing in Dubai is the Dubai Industrial City. DIC is targeting US$2 billion in investment over the next five years. So far DIC has invested US$177 million and will build more than 500 factories for light and medium industries by 2015. Still, this doesn’t replace the six hyper active industrial zones that operate inside the city under regular licensing procedures.

Factories per Emirates in the UAE 326

Abu Dhabi



Energy Sector - Major Manufacturing Major Indicators Indicators Contribution to GDP (2010)

USD 28,935 million (14.18% of non-oil GDP)

Federal and Local Regulators

Ministry of Economy (Federal) Local Dept of Economic Development (Each Emirate) Respective Free Zone Authority (Each Free Zone)

Total Number of Factories (2010)


Volume of Investment (2010)

USD 27.553 Billion

Most significant in the last year was the rapid progress of the manufacturing sector in the emirate of Sharjah. Sharjah’s Economic Development Department reported that its industrial GDP amounts to 48 percent of the UAE’s total industrial GDP. In addition, the whole country is moving forward to ease up on regulatory affairs, and primarily raising the foreign ownership stake in industrial projects registered outside the free zones.

much lower than in the services sector, and equally productivity is much higher – reasons for which labor import policy is likely to remain liberal for the manufacturing sector, allowing the sector to grow further. Rental and operational costs are also still competitive compared to Europe and the US; which adds another advantage; when combined to location and entry markets.

Employment is one of the key advantages of the UAE over other spots. In fact, the UAE is still better positioned in terms of cost of employment compared to Western countries. Though U.A.E. has high income and wage levels as in the West, the U.A.E. economy can still rely upon a reservoir of low cost labor from Asia (unlike Western countries which follow a strict policy against importing labor).

Of particular interest here is the empowerment of new ideas and innovative industries. Both local and federal governments have launched a series of parallel initiatives that recognize industry distinction and business excellence. The Dubai Quality Group, for example, is a voluntary corporate body that helps companies embed quality in their overall production process and then consolidate it in terms of revenues and ROI.

This actually enables domestic manufacturing to grow further, unlike the West where manufacturing is now stagnating in face of competition from China and other low labor cost countries. Labor demand by U.A.E. manufacturing is

Intellectual Property is a serious issue here and the government has a zero-tolerance policy regarding any violation of patent piracy and fake branding. the same regulations are applied regardless of whether the concerned company is a free zone company or not.

Development of the Manufacturing Sector (2004-2010) Year

No. of Factories

Volume of Investment (USD)

No. of Workers






















Ras Al Khaimah






Um Al Quwain Fujairah









382296 The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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to transport the product to end users too. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC); the main and largest oil operations company in the country; has its own fleet of carriers and container ships that cater for the needs of its investment partners. Ports of Abu Dhabi and Dubai; although the busiest in the region; are far from any bottlenecks. Additional setup is also being built in Fujairah; at the Indian Ocean; to provide an alternative route to the global markets.

Petrochemical Industries The UAE is slowly graduating into the next phase of petrochemical product development – branching into specialized products instead of ‘just the commodities.’ And with this transformation, there seems a growing emphasis on generating local consumption of these specialized plastics too. The driving logic behind the momentum is to pump out crude form beneath the surface, add value by converting it into plastics and then export it a few days later. Despite emerging as major plastic raw material producer, for a host of reasons, the contribution of the downstream plastic industry to the nation’s GDP is yet to prevail. However, the government wants this to move faster; which is why there are some major initiatives to attract investment in the downstream plastic industry. Abu Dhabi embarked upon the Polymer Park concept; while other emirates; especially Dubai, are alsoopening up for downstream petrochemicals for both production and marketing operations.

While the Abu Dhabi Polymers Park is focusing on providing value-added services specifically to the plastics converters the overall offering; country wide, is opening the door for five major industries to leverage the country’s downstream resources; including automotive, consumer appliances, plastic packaging, construction and metals processing.

Of particular interest here is the new government sponsored initiative to develop, as a first phase, one of the world’s largest grassroot integrated Chemical Complexes in the newly planned Chemicals Industrial City at Khalifa Industrial Zone at Taweelah (Abu Dhabi). The project will be one of a number of complexes globally to combine aromatics, olefins and fertilizer production. The Chemicals Industrial City (or Chemaweyaat) is investor-oriented with a clear goal to help international business opt in to develop the emirate’s industrial and downstream industries, create a sustainable petrochemical and chemical hub and deliver joint benefits for both the industrial zone and port.

While the direct objective is to speed up Abu Dhabi’s plans to develop a plastics-based industry for domestic and export purposes, the indirect objective to utilize crude-derived naphtha as feedstock rather than ethane. This will free up ethane supplies which are in high demand from the power sector and utilize Abu Dhabi’s more abundant supply of naphtha, thus guaranteeing future feedstock supply. The underlying success factor behind all of these initiatives is in fact the outcome of Borouge; which since its inception back in 1998 as the Abu Dhabi sole operator in petrochemicals, has been actively expanding its portfolio in order to attract further investments to fully unleash the petrochemical potential as outlined in its 3 project phases so far. Even with some global slow down, Borouge has solid reasons for investment optimism. The Abu Dhabi-based petrochemicals converter and plastics solutions provider reported a strong second quarter of 2011, overcoming the slowdown in market growth that was set to continue through second half. Its net profit reached US$229.3 million, bringing its total for the first half to US$465.5 million, up 133.6% year-on-year.

From an investor’s point of view, feedstock and logistics are the top two cost components of petrochemicals products; the UAE enjoys an advantage over Asia and Europe on both accounts. First, feedstock cost is lower in this part of the world, owing to its rich oil and gas reserves. The UAE procures ethane at US$1.5 per million BTU (mmbtu), compared with a minimum US$3.20/mmbtu in Europe and the US. As ethane is expensive and scarce, Asian and European firms use naphtha as a major feedstock. Secondly, the GCC’s closeness to demand clusters – specifically India and China – offers a significant logistic cost advantage (second largest cost component after feedstock). Logistics wise; the UAE is in fact the only GCC country that doesn’t face the bottleneck problem known to hinder petrochemical exports the region. The country has early realized that supply chain in the petrochemicals industry is a very important factor for success, as maintaining a feedstock advantage requires a reliable and cheap way

Why UAE ?

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The estimated cost of the Borouge III expansion, currently under construction, is US$4.5 billion. The project is seen fully operational by the middle of 2014 with the project completion due by end 2013. Upon completion of phase III, the production capacity at Borouge would increase to 4.5 million metric tons a year. Currently, the combined capacity of Borouge I and Borouge II, located in Ruwais, is two million tons a year. There are two crackers, one olefins conversion unit, five polyolefin plants — which include two polypropylene and three polyethylene units. Borouge II, which started operations last in 2010, was built at a cost of about US$5 billion. With the introduction of 2.5 million tons by mid 2014, the annual capacity of the plant will be further expanded to 4.5 tons.

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

companies have been opting to JAIA since mid 1980s as a regional manufacturing base for polymer-based chemicals and hydrocarbon derivatives. Thanks to its positions, just off Jebel Ali Port and next to Al Maktoum Cargo Airport; this industrial area is well-positioned for manufactures looking to reduce imports/ exports overheads. The port itself is equipped with the Middle East largest liquid chemicals storage facilities; which serve the needs of the many chemical plants operating in the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Industrial Area; such as Jotun Polymer’s 10,000 b/d unsaturated polyester resin plant or Middle East Packaging plant that produces 600 tons/month of polystyrene sheets and 300 t/m of polypropylene sheets.

Moreover, and to provide an additional push to the nation’s supply of petrochemicals; Borouge revealed it was investing in an innovation centre in Abu Dhabi scheduled to be ready by the end of 2011. The step will localize the firm’s own research and development (R&D) capabilities after decades of relying on its European partner.

petrochemical makers to start their Middle East operations from the center; a feature that can be easily utilized by UAE based companies in conjunction with a manufacturing presence in the nearby Jebel Ali zone.

For investors, Borouge can play a dual role; firstly by providing raw petrochemical polymers that can be used in further processing and manufacturing; and secondly by providing the plastics solutions themselves that can be utilized in the development of other plasticsbased solutions and products. According to the company; its unique Borstar process and catalyst technology enables a differentiated range of polyethylene and polypropylene innovative plastics solutions for infrastructure applications (including pipe systems, and power and communication cables), automotive components and advanced packaging.

The Abu Dhabi Polymer Park

Moving north in the country, Dubai sounds like another hub for petrochemical downstream production. Although it’s not as big as Abu Dhabi’s; the petrochemical industry in Dubai has been so lucrative that a manufacturing giant such as BASF of Germany has built its construction chemicals plant in Jebel Ali Industrial Area (JAIA) to cater for its market across the Middle East. Petrochemical Why UAE ?

Entry points

Meanwhile; the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) provides a unique marketing platform for petrochemical and plastics producers to operate freely and run their business development activities. In mid 2011, DMCC; which is actually a free zone, has successfully attracted three international

In an attempt to provide investors with a dedicated industrial zone for polymer and plastic conversion, the Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corporation established in 2008 a US$4 billion Abu Dhabi Polymer Park; which is located at the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD). The main purpose of the park, which hosts up to 60 plastic product manufacturers, is to provide for downstream production and integrate with the mid- and up-stream players in the UAE and the region. The project comes as part of The government of Abu Dhabi’s initiative to support and develop strategic industries such as petrochemicals through providing the basic needs capitalizing on the abundance of energy sources, the advanced infrastructure, and the strategic location. The 4.5 square kilometer park, which had 30% reservation upon launch in 2009, was expecting over US$4 billion of investments in its first phase from both local and foreign investors. The park is expected to reach full capacity by end of 2012.

Facilities include warehousing, laboratories as well as training and vocational institutes. In average, the PolymerPark will consume an annual average of one million tons of polymer to be supplied by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s Borouge.

Chemical Fertilizers The chemical fertilizer industry of the UAE plays a significant role in the country’s economy with daily production of 1,500 metric tones of urea and 1,050 metric tones of ammonia. The state-owned Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (FERTIL) is the largest of its kind in the GCC region. It actually provides a clear idea of international investment in the local fertilizer market, as it was formed in 1998 as a 36:64 joint venture between SQM of Chile and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Although this complex produces an annual capacity of 40,000 tones of granular compound and water soluble fertilizer, along with 200,000 tones of suspension and liquid fertilizers and has capacity of 200,000 tones, the market is still in demand of further production, especially for exporting business. Many investors have opted to use Jebel Ali Industrial Zone as their base for chemical fertilizer manufacturing for this purpose. Jebel Ali is well-know for its logistics and shipping center; which makes it much easier to distribute to a wide array of countries with ease. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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High Tech and Heavy Industries The UAE’s drive to focus on high tech industries was primarily motivated by the country plan to switch to high income industrial activities at the long run. Abu Dhabi was in fact the first emirate to adopt this policy when Mubadala was formulated few years back. The company currently owns and operates several high tech industrial initiatives including the manufacturing of airplanes and advanced processing chips among other disciplines. While this particular segment is yet to contribute to the local GDP, it is foreseen as one of the future power sources of income that comply with Abu Dhabi’s long term strategic development plan. Abu Dhabi has set a goal to reduce its oil-based GDP from 65% to 36% of the overall GDP. A good example of such a thriving investment approach is Mubadala Aerospace 2 ; which announced earlier in 2011 it would capitalize on its partnership with Ferrari and Tata to produce the first UAE-made medium size business jet by 2018. In fact, this is going to be one of four streamlines in the aerospace industry Abu Dhabi has defined as potential revenue generators. The other three include commercial and military airplane maintenance, manufacturing of airplane parts and high level training.

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Senior officials and market experts both agree Abu Dhabi has such a good potential to excel in the aerospace segment for three realistic reasons. Firstly, such a segment requires huge financial assets which are not a problem for the oil-rich emirate. Secondly, this type of industry requires a lot of energy, which can be provided by Abu Dhabi at competitive rates. The third factor is related to the human capital, as high tech industries usually relies heavily on expert systems and robotics rather than a huge workforce. With the active educational system applied in the emirate, Abu Dhabi will be able to provide this industry with the required skills based on its highly trained national workforce. Another high income segment is the manufacturing of advanced processing chips. Abu Dhabi has acquired the flagship processor company Advanced Micro Devices, best known as AMD. The company is now partnering with The Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic) ; the technology unit of the Abu Dhabi government’s investment fund Mubadala, and Global Foundries to build a US$6 billion semiconductor factory in Abu Dhabi. Although it is just the beginning, the step is expected to generate further financial sustainability for the shareholders as well as generating more investment opportunities for the various stakeholders. Meanwhile, Dubai Silicon Oasis provides an interesting opportunity to setup and establish high tech industries and to use the dynamic emirate as a regional launch pad. Over the first half of 2011, DSO has achieved over USD 88 million in revenues; a 4% increase compared to the same period in 2010.

Figures also show the high-tech free zone has witnessed a 32% increase in company registrations, taking the total number of entities operating at the technology park to 482 . DSO’s client portfolio currently comprises 65% of technology companies, ranging from IT and electronics to telecommunications, semiconductor and energy companies. Engineering and the retail sector represent 6% each of the total number of companies, while 25% encompasses diverse businesses. European and American companies make up 47% of the total number of companies operating at DSO. Asian and MENA companies make up 19% and 34% respectively. To further empower its partners with well-prepared employees, DSO has recently opened Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which is now located inside the free zone enabling it to accommodate the fast pace of growth in the number of students, with new applications expected to register an increase of over 50%. While high tech industries are an emerging segment in the UAE, heavy industries are not and still provide compelling opportunities for many. The growing demand for marines carriers have encouraged international partnerships to build dry docks for the built-up of large vessels that can be used for various cargo and transportation purposes. Boat and yacht industry is another promising segment comprising both full manufacturing and partial assembly. There are currently few companies involved in this segment but the market is growing, especially as the dollarmillionaire count in the UAE has now jumped over 50,000. The segment is also a promising export business. At least one of the UAE yacht makers has an active export base in the USA.

Why UAE ?

In addition, Jebel Ali Free zone has been home to several investments in the assembly and configuration of transportation buses, ambulances as well as firefighter vehicles. The ambulance and firefighter vehicle market is actually dominated by one company but the market is far from closed, for either local sales or regional exports. A newly emerging segment is the assembly of heavy vehicles and machines for various uses. A recent study by Dubai Industrial City estimates the market for heavy machinery in the GCC countries to exceed 1 million new machines every year. In particular, some investors have shown interest in assembly of vehicles used for mining, mountainous road works and construction mega projects

Entry points The Logistics Zone of Al Ain Airport A lucrative opportunity is emerging at Al Ain Airport, in central Abu Dhabi, for aerospace and logistics companies to establish their own logistics, maintenance and spare parts services and manufacturing plants. Abu Dhabi Airport Company, which owns and operates several airports in the emriate, has said it has opened the door for foreign investors and big international companies in the new Al Ain Airport. Foreign companies and investors will be, for the first time, allowed to build projects in the airport and the surrounding development area. The airport is scheduled to re-open in its new form before the end of 2011, and is expected to draw big demand by foreign investors and companies working in aviation, air cargo and logistics sectors. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Light and Mechanical Industries The rise of light and mechanical industries in the UAE was mainly affected by the diverse economic scene along with the large business infrastructure in the country. Companies that manufacture business supplies, building materials, hardware accessories, etc have found refuge in the nation’s wealth of opportunities derived from the unprecedented infrastructure boom over the past two decades. In addition, the country’s open and dynamic export-friendly economy gave these companies the added value of reaching out to the neighboring nations and even to the rest of the world. For example, Dubai is now home to the world largest producer BoPP and CPP films for packaging purposes. The same can be said about many factories based in the UAE serving both local and global demands. With the fact that most surrounding economies are oil-centric, that are in the same time having a boom in their infrastructure, UAE-based light and mechanical industries got an additional golden chance to grow and profit. The glass industry is one of the ever appealing segments in this regard and one

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

that has hugely benefited from the infrastructure and construction boom. Glass is an essential factor in the GCC construction scene due to its role in heat reflection. Solar reflective glass is highly demanded as an external covering of towers and buildings for the protection it provides from conducted heat-gain (air-to-air) when ambient temperatures are high during the summer. The local demand for glass sheets is growing at a fast pace, although it slowed down during over 2008/2009, but now it is bouncing back with the resumption of construction projects and the launch of newer ones. There are four key factories in UAE, manufacturing glass sheet products for buildings. Installed capacity is roughly 850 thousand square meters. The products include high performance solar control and thermal insulation glass, tempered glass, heat strengthened glass, single and double glass, laminated and architectural glass. Roughly 30% of the output is exported to countries such as GCC, other Arab and African countries. Virtually, all countries in the region depend on imports to meet their demand, and it is easier for them to import from U.A.E. than from far away sources like USA, Europe, Russia and China (the key global exporters). A similar success story has prevailed in the manufacturing of steel bars and rods which exceeded US$2 billion in 2006, and is in position to export to regional markets. The segment has also developed a niche market of its own; which the recycling of steel rods and bars.

The advantages that drove such success were taken in consideration at the international level as well. In 2006, a group of Korean investors teamed up to establish a Dubai based auto-technology manufacturing plants for the production of light items that do not require heavy employment. One of the factors behind their decision was the facilities provided by Dubai Airport Free Zone and the cost effective equation they found in terms of energy, transportation and premises. Dubai Airport Free Zone is actually an example of the local initiatives that cater for this level of investments in order to help them maintain a steady return on investments and reduce the operational overheads. By combining flexible regulatory affairs with centric location and lucrative markets, these initiatives became ideal for many manufacturers who want to penetrate the regional market and beyond. However, businesses outside the free zones are in good shape too. Both federal and local authorities continue to ease up on many issues to facilitate growth. Of particular interest here is the light steel industry; other than bars and rods, which actually operates from outside the free zones, and have reported huge success. The segment has an active export portfolio that even includes the United States as one of the top ten importers in this regard.

Why UAE ?

Entry points Power and Telecom Cables The current total demand for power cables is more than US$272 million1 . Approximately 2.5% of the value of a building comprises the value of cables used in these buildings. More than 60% of the demand for power cables is for installation in new buildings. Demand for power cables remains high despite recent technological changes which have seen the emergence of optical fiber cables. Domestic manufacture, three factories in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is for power cables only. Local production of power cables also caters for regional needs as the U.A.E.’s exports of all kinds of cables has reached US$3 million per annum. Cables are being exported to Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Iran, India, East Africa and the Levant Arab countries. Power cables with a 10mm cross section for 300-1000 Volts form the greater part of exports. A particular successful effort has been to supply cables to the Delhi Metro project in India. An important opportunity here is to cater for the fiber optics need of cables. Currently, the national need of optical fiber cables is entirely imported. Optical fiber cables are overwhelmingly used in telecommunications. Since it’s becoming the norm in all mega projects across the region, such an investment sounds lucratively feasible. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Consumer Industries The consumer industry sector spans a wide range of products that cater for day to day needs for both domestic and business needs. While a large portion of the country’s annual consumption is imported, the consumer industries sector has grown up at a fast speed for two main reasons; the sharp increase in population over the past two decades and the consolidation of the UAE as a regional hub for export-oriented manufacturing complimented with re-export-oriented partial manufacturing. In fact, one of the main drivers in the success of UAE as a hub for consumer manufacturing is the centric position it plays as a regional logistics and exports hubs, which enables manufacturers to reach their target markets at ease. In addition, the country has become a world destination for shopping tourism; with an estimate of 10 million passengers arriving in the emirate of Dubai alone every year. The country’s shopping malls and duty free shops are some of the busiest destination year round. With such a lucrative market, it’s no wonder that many international manufacturers have established production and fabrication units in the country to help dominate the regional market. A recent study by Jabal Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) reported that JAFZA outbound consumer and cosmetics trade has grown over the past decade to exceed US$3.6 billion by the end of 2010. Over 444 companies are operating from the zone in this segment. Market leaders such as Uniliver, Procter&Gamble and L’Orial as well as some local brands do actually have their regional production plants in JAFZA. Moreover, the wide spread of industrial zones across the country allowed for further presence of various types of consumer industries including contract manufacturing facilities that serve local and international labels alike. As a case study, the cosmetics industry provides some interesting indicators of how appealing this country can be for consumer manufacturers. In terms of the domestic Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

market, the wide demographic spread within the UAE means that the demand for cosmetics is widespread and across the price spectrum. Along with the strong demand for high-end luxury products, there is also a robust market for the everyday, reasonably-priced product lines, making the UAE an attractive market for cosmetic manufacturers and suppliers of all kinds. A recent study by Euromonitor International shows that the consumption of facial and eye make-up, lip care and nail care products will continue to grow at a healthy pace over the next few years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reach US$141 by 2014. Exports wise, although neighboring countries have developed some local cosmetics labels, the main selling factors is actually international labels which they all depend on the UAE market to cater for, thus providing an additional momentum for the industry here. Jewelry and gold design, perfume manufacturing and ethnic hair products are

just examples of the new niche markets the consumer industry is embracing in the UAE. However, the higher end of the industry is also showing positive signs of attraction. For example, the local footwear industry is worth around USD354 million, namely the demand for its products in 2010 based on net import figures. Since there is a large demand for footwear products unique to the region, namely Gulf Arab sandals for men and women, a significant footwear manufacturing industry has developed, based on a niche demand specific to regional styles. According to the UAE Industrial Bank, the demand for local style sandals is too large to be entirely manufactured in distanced factories, and this has opened room for domestic manufacture with advantages of reduced lead times, lower inventory, customized orders – even though the raw material and labor is imported. There are 7 reported footwear manufacturers in U.A.E., two are located in Dubai, three in Ajman and one in Sharjah and Al Ain each. The first factory was set up in 1988, and the others in the nineties. The estimated capacity is above 250,000 pairs per annum.

Entry points Paper Tissues The paper tissue industry belongs to the second wave of industrialization in U.A.E. which roughly dates back to the late eighties and nineties, and was more focused on consumer products. While a couple of paper converting factories had established by mid 1980s, the larger part of capacity was added in the nineties and in the 2000’s. According to the Emirates Industrial Bank, U.A.E. is now a substantial exporter of paper tissue products. However, exports have been growing steadily and are now close 28 thousand tons a year. This is roughly half of the total production which is quite impressive. Exports destinations are firstly in the neighboring region; i.e. GCC countries, Iran, Indian subcontinent and Eastern Africa, and also far away in industrial countries such as Australia, UK and Singapore. Tissue production is in jumbo rolls from mostly virgin pulp for final products such as facial, toilet, kitchen towels, napkins, C-fold and carrier tissues. The country has now over 21 paper tissues factories, and the demand is growing. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

this segment due to logistical reasons. Major companies that were based in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have moved to Jebel Ali over the past decade to utilize its strategic position and easier access to manpower. The well-known meat packaging company; Americana, is now based in Jabal Ali.

Food Processing Industries Food processing and manufacturing constitute 46% of the UAE’s non-oil industrial sector as per government records; which highlights the potential hidden as a major growth opportunity for processed food manufacturers. The sector posted annual growth of over 11% since 2005, when foodservice providers spent about $1.43bn on foods and ingredients bought at wholesale outlets. By definition, the Food Industries segment include meat processing, dairy products, vegetable oils, sugar refineries, bakeries, deserts, bottled water, etc. Until the end of 2005, total investment in this segment reached over US$8.4 billion (56% of total manufacturing investment). Although the surge in the investment (from US$0.82 billion in 2001) was mainly caused by new investments in bottled water, the hidden indicator here is the huge increase in the population; which tripled the size of main market for all food products in the country. At the socio economic level, there are various factors that make the UAE’s food market a unique investment opportunity for many reasons. With its immigrant guestworker based economy an estimated 75% of the UAE’s population is made up of single men, a fact that has shaped the food industry in the region and led to increased demand for fast, easy-to-consume, low priced meals. The sharp increase in the population has is an added opportunity by itself. The population has increased from 4.3 million in 2007 to over 11 million by the end of 2010, which was reflected in an increased demand on food supplies. These sociological changes are not only expanding the area’s food market, they are also changing consumer habits, and consequently opining the door for fresh ideas on day to day basis. While the country imports 90% of its US$4 billion food market (for both local consumption and re-exports), there are two Why UAE ?

Furthermore, the establishment of privatesector slaughterhouses inside the country’s free zones allowed for many companies to import their own livestock and consequently start fresh meat processing lines for regional distribution. The overall meat processing market across the GCC is estimated at US$18 billion with a booming growth rate year on year. An essentially emerging factor is the franchising and branding of food products. With roughly three-quarters of the population foreign born, international food products are in high demand and represent a major growth opportunity.

potential areas for foreign investment that are bound for growth; to increase the local production catering for the growing demand in the UAE and to utilize the country’s central position for regional production. A recent study by the Arab Forum for Food Industries reveals that the UAE produces only 36% of its food consumption; a gap that highlights the hidden potential in this segment. Agricultural production, meat and poultry and processed food are just examples of what this gap is awaiting for. Recent figures from the Ministry of Economy show that Food Industries account for 46% of the nation’s total non-oil manufacturing investments with 150 companies operating in the segment. The meat market is growing exponentially due to various social traditions combined with high individual purchasing power. While the prime business in this segment is livestock imports, it actually leaves the door open for a huge process and packaging business that caters for the needs of working families and individual expats. Currently the Jabal Ali free zone plays an essential regional role for

International brand owners are now using Dubai as a manufacturing base to establish their regional presence in an attempt to get a larger slice of the Gulf’s $12bn food sector and to cater for the local demand of their franchised products as well. The demand for internationally branded food items is also boosted by the UAE’s booming tourism sector.

Two years back, and on the eve of the international economic challenges, Nestlé has opened a 100,000 square-metre factory in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone to provide a regional center for its products. The rise of private label with its fast growing market is proving a tough challenge for branded food manufacturers, says Americana. More and more local businesses are gaining wider market shares both locally and regionally. Al Ghurair Foods, one of the leading investors, has recently opened a huge oats mill that caters for the oats markets in the Middle East, Sub-continent (India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc) and African countries. In addition, the rise in the number of hotels and conventions across the country has created a bigger demand for catering services; which is now becoming one of the fast moving food services segments. The UAE currently has more than 400 hotels operating across the seven emirates and at least one major convention center in each emirate. Dubai hosts at least two regional exhibitions/conferences each week, year long. Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have a relatively similar count.

Entry points Date Products The UAE is a regional for innovative manufacturing of date based products; such as coffee, chocolate, drinks etc. However, the market is still virgin and has a growing potential with many people across the region embracing date products as a healthier alternative to sugarbased products. In addition, with the large number of palm trees in the country, the potential is always strong for palm oil investments. Palm oil production is currently the fastest growing vegetable oil business in the world.

Ethnic Food Ethnic food industries provide an interesting opportunity to pay attention to. The region has a majority of expats from various parts of the world with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds; which reflects in their dietary needs. The large expatriate Asian population is driving demand for Asian products, particularly Indian and Pakistani foods, while European and American foods appeal to Western emigrants and the local populace alike. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

“ Becasue human comes first to for the UAE, investment and healthcare was made a priority by the country’s government. A productive citizen can only be a healthy citizen.

“ Why UAE ?

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infrastructure, including the privatization of publicly owned healthcare facilities and the introduction of compulsory private health insurance.


lthough healthcare as an industry is an emerging economic activity in the UAE, it has proven over the past decade to be one of the segments with high growth potential and lucrative opportunities for long term investments. This particular industry was highly stimulated with the sharp increase in the population which doubled the country’s residents in less than ten years combined with the fact that UAE has become one of the leading travel destinations globally for holiday makers and shopping enthusiasts. The modern tourism infrastructure and the touristfriendly environment have even opened doors for appealing opportunities in health and clinical tourism as well. Until recently, the UAE has been a major consumer rather than provider of healthcare services. Now, there are first indications to reverse this trend. The rising interest in the healthcare sector is largely due to the UAE Government’s initiatives to modernize the healthcare systems. Progress is being made by focusing on improving and building healthcare

Why UAE ?

Although in terms of GDP contribution, healthcare expenditure is low, the UAE is actually among the top 20 highest in the world in terms of per capita spending. The overall health expenditure is estimated at USD 5.4 billion in 2009, equal to 2.6% of GDP , per capita spending is at USD 926. The growth rate of health expenditure in the UAE is expected with 6.7% annually. Due to its very dynamic nature, the UAE healthcare market is expected to grow from USD 3.2 billion in 2005 to USD 11.9 billion in 2015 . From a structural point of view, the healthcare industry includes pharmaceutical manufacturing, hospitals and clinical treatment, wellbeing and plastic treatment, health tourism, medical supplies and medical education & MICE. While operating in the UAE, healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses may need to obtain proper licensing from both the federal Ministry of Health as well as the concerned emirate’s Health Authority in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The public healthcare services are run by different authorities: The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the Dubai Health Authority

(DHA), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Armed Forces, and Police Medical Services. While each entity has its separate autonomous operation authority and runs independent of each other, they all share the same national goal of excellence in healthcare.

opportunities in the sector are in specialized healthcare delivery and supporting services.

The establishment of health related free zones has increased the interest of global healthcare players. This has encouraged such players to set up regional centers in the UAE, so as to expand their presence in the MENA region. The Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) is one of these free zones and is looked at as part of the Government efforts to develop medical facilities that will attract patients to Dubai from other regions. Another initiative is DuBiotech which enabled many companies and universities to establish their own research facilities in the country which in effect helps pharmaceutical companies eager to penetrate the region to further understand various environmental and local issues associated with the development of region-specific medications. The government of the UAE, at both the federal and local levels, has shown commitment to expanding access to medical services and healthcare facilities including pharmaceuticals. The country boasts strong and high-quality healthcare provision, with the government planning further investment in such resources. To this end, the UAE is building multiple healthcare facilities, expecting demand for healthcare to more than double by 2025. Furthermore, the UAE has USD 2.9 billion worth of healthcare related projects currently underway and an additional 100 hospitals in the planning stage. Key drivers for growth in the coming years are growing health insurance penetration, rising per capita income, and increased health awareness, coupled with an increased incidence of lifestyle diseases and a favorable demographic profile.

In terms of foreign investment, the UAE is the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the Gulf region. The UAE received USD 66.2 billion of FDI from 1998 to 2008, representing 19% of total foreign investment in the region. According to investment experts, some of the biggest opportunities are likely to be found in healthcare projects, which have already attracted major global companies such as General Electric and Siemens, both of which have large infrastructure businesses as well as being major suppliers of healthcare IT and diagnostic imaging technologies. Initiatives such as the creation of free zones, including the two free zones mentioned earlier, are expected to increase FDI in general and investment in healthcare research in particular.

In addition, the country has become an attractive market for foreign investments in the medical technology sector given that it is only at the “grass roots stage” of its potential capacity, and many companies are willing to become early adopters of new technology. There are plentiful business opportunities for international medical equipment investors. One of the more lucrative investment

More opportunities will arise in health insurance, which until now has been a relatively underdeveloped sector in the region. In addition to the market for healthcare products, there will be a growing market for regulatory consultancy services as the region’s Governments struggle to adapt international best practices to local organizational, legislative and legal frameworks. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing The United Arab Emirates may not be the largest pharmaceutical market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), but it possesses several advantages that make it an attractive prospect to have the largest pharmaceutical industry in the region. Over the next 10 years, BMI forecasts that sales of prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications will grow from USD 1.59 billion in 2010 to USD 3.27 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%. Drivers of growth include increasing public and private wealth fuelled by the oil boom, and a strong healthcare infrastructure that ensures high-tech treatments are always available. A friendly regulatory environment and absence of significant local competitors are other factors influencing a growing number of small research firms locating to the country. The government is keen to attract foreign investment and diversify the country’s economy, which is highly reliant on oil. To

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

this end, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries have been identified as important industries to develop. Among the reasons behind such a step is the fact that local production is way behind the level that caters to local consumption. Presently, domestic producers only account for around 20 per cent of the market by volume. Some experts believe that the sector should grow at the same speed as the fast developing biotech and healthcare sectors.A wealthy population with a preference for novel therapies ensures there is a high demand for patented drugs. In addition, the regional demand is a successful factor where the country’s strategic position as a logistics hub can be utilized. Julphar, the UAE’s largest domestic player, exports over 93% of its production capacity to the neighboring countries including the GCC and beyond. Interestingly, a recent study by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry found that pharmaceutical exports outpaced imports over the last 7 years. Since 2003, imports of pharmaceutical products have risen by 275 percent from USD 218 million to USD 817 million in 2010 while exports too have risen by 300 percent from USD 27 million to USD 109 million over the same period. Meanwhile, the UAE continues to lead the region in terms of investment in its homegrown pharmaceutical sector. According to a recent report by Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting, UAE companies have invested USD 64 million in eight local production facilities. Domestic production is almost exclusively of non-patented drugs, which have been identified as a key growth area if the industry is to survive the entry of foreign generics, even if these are subject to price controls. However, the growing local demand versus limited domestic production is only one of several marketing and regulatory factors that made the pharmaceutical industry increasingly attracted to the UAE. Major international players such as GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson have also expanded their operations in the country, attracted by major developments such as the USD 400 million DuBiotech and the US$3 billion Dubai Healthcare City.

Why UAE ?

Both initiatives are part of the authorities’ plan to attract foreign investment. DuBiotech is aimed at developing the UAE’s biotech industry, while Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) should enhance the country’s healthcare system and should enhance the UAE’s reputation as a centre for premium healthcare, encouraging growth as a medical tourism destination. Some of the world biggest names have already started ghost manufacturing of some of their popular medications in the UAE to cater for the regional demand and to gain a faster time to market. Industry experts say that there is potential for further growth in the pharmaceutical products sector in the light of the changing lifestyle dynamics in the region which is based on an increasingly Westernized disease profile with non-communicable diseases such as obesity. Areas of growth for manufacturers include targeting the overweight and obese residents of the UAE.

of the UAE’s pharmaceutical production. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry expects the segment to become “one of the key sectors in the UAE” when foreign majority ownership will be granted under a liberalized ownership law, which is under preparation. Current rules specify that overseas investors can own up to 49 percent of most businesses in the country. Foreign investors can only hold full control of companies in government-run free trade zones, such as DuBiotech, which are predominantly located in Dubai. The new law was welcomed by local drug producers, who would benefit through an influx of investment and technology.

Other diseases associated with a relatively sedentary lifestyle such as increased heart disease and diabetes will likely remain the mainstay of growth for patented drug manufacturers. New areas for pharmaceutical product growth could also include tapping the rising demand for medical tourism connected to these changes in lifestyle. Other regional drivers for growth are access-related. The UAE is proving to be an efficient re-export regional hub and several regional markets are proving to be lucrative for companies that are establishing operations in Dubai. This is compounded by the fact that profitability for pharmaceutical products also remains high because they are, in comparison to other sectors, relatively light-weight in distribution and highly profitable at retail despite their regulated prices. At the regulatory level, the UAE has been widely known for its strict and zero-tolerance policy with intellectual property issues. Also, provisional data issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has revealed that, international patent filed by the UAE under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty were 29 in 2010, despite the challenging economic conditions. Another regulatory factor is believed to be a major decisive factor in foreign penetration

Entry points Venture Capital The Pharmaceutical production sector in the UAE is in fact in need of greater access to venture capital (VCs) in order to help it develop and expand and to encourage start-ups in fields such as biotechnology and R&D. Large-scale projects, such as DuBiotech and the Dubai Healthcare City, will help raise the profile of the UAE’s drug industry and should help to secure greater foreign investment. There are several VCs operating in the country now, but they mostly focus on soft businesses rather than manufacturing, leaving the door open for manufacturing oriented VCs to penetrate. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Hospitals and Clinical Treatment The demand for hospital beds across the GCC is expected to rise, with the UAE registering the highest projected growth in demand for hospital beds at 160% by 2025 . Motivated by both the surge in the population and the development of the country as a medical tourism hub, the UAE is rapidly moving toward a higher than even demand for hospital beds and relative clinical services. There are now approximately 68 hospitals in the UAE. Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) alone comprises of 9 hospitals and 1,100 beds and is due to be fully operational in 2017. By 2015, the need for hospital beds will more than double to about 165,000 and treatment demand will rise by 240%. This will push up health care costs fivefold to USD 60 billion. Well on the path to becoming a regional medical centre, DHCC added 17 hospitals with 2,325 new beds in 2010, according to Grant Thornton’s Healthcare Guide. This follows a fast-track industry expansion which saw 61 hospitals set up in the UAE to add to the 7 that existed in the 1970s.

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

In particular, Dubai Health Authority started a plan to invest around USD 999 million in healthcare projects until the end of 2012. The planned projects will see DHA’s bed capacity increase by 650 beds, while the private sector projects will also increase bed capacity by an additional 500 beds. Abu Dhabi is also gearing up. Abu Dhabi Health Authority says the emirate needs 1,0001,500 new hospital beds in the next 5 years to meet demand as the emirate’s population expands. ADHA plans to increase spending 10-15 percent annually and was looking to boost private sector investment by privatizing government assets. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are planning children’s hospitals, the Danat Al Emarat Women and Children’s Hospital and Al Jalila Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Hospital, respectively, each with about 200 beds. At the federal level, a wide range of public health facilities are run by the Ministry of Health, including hospitals, Primary Healthcare Centers, School Health and Maternity & Child Health Units. In addition, there are facilities run by other public sector bodies, including the police and the armed forces. In mid-2011, a press release by the Ministry of Health has revealed that a number of specialised hospitals will be built across the UAE over the next two years that will cost nearly USD 272 million. The largest of the hospitals will be the 200-bed, Saqr Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, which will cost USD 136 million and is scheduled for completion in 2013. In addition, a specialized psychiatric hospital for patients in Dubai and the northern emirates will also be built. The 200-bed, Amal Hospital, will cost USD 163 million, and is currently in the design phase.

a shortage of 9,000 hospital beds in the UAE’s private sector, which provides a huge investment opportunity. The standard in healthcare is one hospital bed per 250 people, while in the UAE the number is one per 555, leaving a large gap in supply. With Abu Dhabi government declaring private insurance mandatory, the demand has gone up, when previously, patients would travel out of the country for cheaper treatment.

A few of these hospitals are specialized in one field. Mafraq, for example, is known for being a cardiac center. Corniche Hospital is a maternity hospital. Tawam Hospital specializes in radiotherapy and cancer treatment being the first hospital in the UAE to install radiotherapy systems.

Private clinics across the country have shown tremendous growth and are participating well to the primary care of the population that some international players are showing interest. The market has proven lucrative even to a giant such as JP Morgan; which owns a strategic share in the Dubai-based Gulf Healthcare International (GHI). Operating at a regional level for few years now, GHI has unveiled a USD 27 million program to expand affordable healthcare facilities in the UAE. The healthcare provider plans to open six Amber Clinics in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the second half of 2011.

However, it seems the private sector is yet to jump to speed in this regard leaving an immense room for new investments. Industry resources estimate that there is currently

The first Amber clinic was opened in Dubai in September and it actually gives an idea of the target audience such an investment will be dealing with. The new 22,000 square feet

facility will offer a wide range of medical services to middle to higher income groups of all nationalities. Staffed with medical experts across fifteen specialties and primary care departments, they are as diverse as the local community with European, Indian, Arabic and Filipino doctors. The investment company says it’s looking at over 500,000 patients by early 2012.

Entry points Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases Future trends have something to say about the potential in clinical treatment in the UAE. By 2025, diabetes is expected to affect one quarter of the population. One third of Emiratis are overweight. Of those 36% are obese. 17% of UAE nationals have high blood pressure. In the UAE, there are 260 known genetic diseases ranging from blood disorders to cancers. In addition, treatment for cardiovascular disease is expected to account for 24% of the total healthcare expenditure in 2025 compared to less than 12% of the total expenditure today. This will be followed by significant spending on infectious diseases, digestive diseases, maternal and prenatal conditions, genetic disorders, cancer and other diseases. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Medical Tourism Demand for medical tourism has escalated over the years, driven by deteriorating national healthcare services in many Western countries, exorbitant medical costs and long waiting lines. This has contributed to strong demand for affordable medical treatment performed by highly trained medical specialists in stateof-the-art facilities. The UAE has been able to provide medical services at a lower cost – when compared to North America and European counterparts in the private sector – with no waiting times in modern, fully equipped facilities. These factors provide significant incentives to patients who would otherwise face extensive queues for treatment in public healthcare facilities in their home countries. In addition, the UAE is hoping to become an ideal alternative for patients from neighboring GCC countries who prefer to stay at a reasonable proximity of their families in a culturally similar environment. Easy accessibility for some elective surgical procedures is another attraction, compared to between two to three months waiting time in Canada for a knee surgery. Geographically, the

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

UAE is an ideal medical destination for those coming from the US and Canada as coming here is still affordable compared to the high cost of medical care in their countries. Some resources also mention privacy as an important factor for choosing the UAE as a health tourism destination. The UAE authorities apply a zerotolerance policy regarding privacy breaching incidents especially when it concerns celebrities and dignitaries. Government and private sector initiatives alike are actually targeting these two segments though the competition is not with low-cost Asian markets, but with the rocketing costs in the Western hemisphere.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health is at the forefront of developing the necessary infrastructure to attract medical tourists. According to the Ministry, the country is ready to receive medical tourists coming with their families, whether for plastic surgeries, knee replacements or treatment of cardiovascular diseases. For the Ministry officials, the UAE has managed to reverse the equation when people would go to London for shopping with their families and receive a check up or undergo a small operation. Now Dubai is ready for this and has so much to offer now, with certified hospitals from international agencies.

Among the significant initiatives to cater for GCC nationals is the newly announced Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. As part of Abu Dhabi’s push to expand its healthcare facilities, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi was announced as a joint venture between Mubadala Healthcare and the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD). The 364-bed hospital on Sowwah Island has a target market of residents of the Gulf.

In fact, the UAE is quickly gaining popularity as a medical tourism destination due to its low cost, English speaking medical staff, and virtually no queues for treatments.

Initiatives introduced by Dubai such as the USD 3 billion Dubai Health Care City have succeeded in attracting international health care brands including Mayo Clinic and Great Ormond Street Hospital as well as leading pharmaceutical and medical technology suppliers such as Johnson and Johnson, Novartis and Novo Nordisk. When fully operational, the Dubai Health Care City will continue to attract a large number of patients from the Middle East and particularly the GCC who would travel to the West in the past. DHCC was built to become a state-of-the-art “centre of excellence” for clinical and wellness services, medical education and research. The emirate has also teamed up with Harvard Medical School to operate at DHCC. Dubai Healthcare City, which includes 90 medical centers, and more than 2,000 specialists, received more than 400,000 patients in 2010, compared to 220,000 in 2009.

In terms of treatment, the country offers a myriad of first-class medical treatments including cochlear implants, diabetes treatments, orthopedics, cardiology, oncology, obesity surgery, neurology, plastic & cosmetic surgery, physical therapy, dermatology, rheumatology, ophthalmology, lung treatments, and urology. In addition to the healthcare level, the UAE is relying on its tourism excellence in attracting patients from different parts of the world. Being the leading shopping destination in the

Middle East, Africa, Central and Southern Asia, it is much easier for many people especially wealthy patients to bring in family members to enjoy a holiday in Dubai while being treated at one of the country’s hospitals. Private sector hospitals are active in this field as well. Dubai was for years the chosen destination for treatment of American government officials located in the GCC and neighboring regions. Plastic surgeons and cosmetic clinics in Dubai are known to be a favorite destination for many people in Europe and even Russia.

Entry points Self Venturing One of the appealing opportunities that specialty hospitals in Europe and the US should consider is to establish their own ventures in the UAE to cater for their share of medical tourism. Whether it is for driving new business or to follow up on old patients, such a move would benefit the concerned hospital of further international reputation as well as higher profitability by operating in a wealthier region. Working with the right insurance company on plans for medical tourists from US would also give such hospitals a competitive edge to be the tourists’ choice while enjoying their holidays in the UAE.

In addition, reforms such as the introduction of an international accreditation and certification organization, the Joint Commission International (JCI), is increasing confidence in the market internationally. The JCI has now accredited 16 hospitals in the UAE; the latest of which is Shaikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi. Why UAE ?

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the UAE: Diagnostic equipment, therapy and rehabilitation equipment, disposables, monitoring equipment, medical aids and surgical tools and devices.

Medical Equipment and Technology Despite the economic downturn, the UAE has retained its status as an attractive market for medical equipment in search of near-term returns with a high potential. In 2009, the UAE’s medical devices market size was USD 600 million, the second largest in the GCC after Saudi Arabia. The medical device expenditure per capita in the UAE is USD 128. The UAE imports of medical equipment account for an estimated 96.6% of the market in value terms. Due to a strong demand and the country’s limited domestic production capability, growth is expected to remain strong over the next years. UAE’s major trading partners in this segment include Italy, France, Germany, US, UK, Sweden, Japan and China. The high percentage of imports highlights the necessity of local production of either complete medical devices, components or spare parts and maintenance services in additional to specialized training. The medical equipment market is projected to grow at an average 6.4%, reaching USD 819 million in 2014. The accelerating growth is actually motivated by several factors that include increasing public and private wealth fuelled by the oil boom, strong and strengthening healthcare infrastructure, approvals of more medicines, internationally recognized medical education institutions and a friendly regulatory environment. Public spending has its share in the development of this segment as well. Approximately, 5% of the Ministry of Heath budget is spent on medical machines, tools, and supplies. The budget share allocated to the MOH in 2010 is USD 762 million, an increase of about US$38 million over year 2009 budget. While the medical equipment market is growing at a speedy rate in general, the following sub sectors have shown promising signs of accelerated growth in Why UAE ?

However, one of the emerging segments that deserves paying attention to is the prehospital care equipment such as ventilation and resuscitation equipment which keep people alive on the way to hospital, whether for use in police and ambulance vehicles or at home. These devices are gaining popularity among local citizens and expatriates alike as part of every home’s first aid kit. For a country with one of the highest diabetes patients in the world glucose monitoring devices, insulin pump, insulin pen, and insulin syringes are becoming a significant segment of the market. Another interesting growth segment is mobile medical devices (also referred to as mHealth), which allow medical professionals to manage many patients remotely. These devices can monitor their conditions in real time and pass on vital statistical information between the healthcare provider and the patient.

Mobile medical devices represent a new and booming trend in the healthcare industry, and are set to become a trillion dollar industry allowing the delivery of better healthcare while positively impacting the bottom line across the range of stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Currently, 94% of physicians are using mobile health consulting apparatus while on the job and 63% of physicians are using personal devices for mobile health solutions that aren’t connected to their practice . At least one mobile phone operator in the UAE has started a business unit to support the mHealth market and facilitate its integration into the country’s healthcare scene. At the sides of this segment lies the healthcare information and technology (IT) sub-segment which is rapidly growing since the country itself is the region’s sole IT capital. The market for IT solutions in the UAE healthcare sector has been driven by several factors including the worrying rise of several chronic diseases in the region, most notably diabetes. While the medical industry is gearing up to address this disease, particularly type one and type two diabetes, the aim is to obtain solutions for the facilities - the technical and back-end operations - to improve the overall care for the public. Both international and local firms operate in the healthcare IT market although local

companies are more involved in localization and integration of systems to match both cultural and regulatory requirements. Of particular interest here is the rise in hospital and clinic oriented Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications. There is a growing demand on Arabic-based hospital and clinic management applications especially for use with public sector entities. Hospital Technical Services is an emerging business line but it is yet to prevail to its full potential. The transformation taking place is to move from hospital cleaning services, as it was in the past, to a more technical role that helps with various technologies and devices.

Entry points Local Manufacturing The local production of medical equipment in the UAE is limited and accounts for only 7.5% of the market for medical equipment and supplies. In 2008, only 4% of imports and locally produced medical supplies were reexported. So far, most local manufacturers produce medical consumable items such as syringes for the government sector. With the expanding economy and the growth of the population it sounds a wise move to inspect industrial opportunities in this segment. The advantages are not limited to the local market, though, especially with the country’s strategic position as an exporting hub for the region. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


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The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

Telecommunications Media and Information Technology

Rooted in its unique fundamentals of unlimited ambition, flexibility and openness, the United Arab Emirates succeeded to evolve to be the energetic modern civilization asperceived today. The same cultural foundations that have built the blocks of the nation along with the foresighted strategic planning by visionary leadership have been driving the country’s economy to a higher level.

Why UAE ?

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The International Data Corporation (IDC), the global market intelligence forum for the information technology and telecommunication industries, forecasts that IT spending in the UAE to reach USD 1.8 billion by 2013.


ince the establishment of the economic foundations of this country, the UAE Government has always been focusing into diversifying its sources of income, significantly increasing the non-oil sector contribution to the national GDP. Plans of establishing knowledge-based industries across all emirates were implemented. The Information, Communication, and Media Technology industry sector which makes the higher portion of the knowledge-based industries has particularly received a significant importance from the federal and local governments. Thus, the incredible growth of it is clearly noticeable. Government spending is continuing to boost this growing industry in order to take its place that suits the UAE in the global economic map. The UAE’s information technology and communications sector is one of the most advanced industries not only in the region but also in the world. This success was mainly attributed to the strong commitment by the national government to develop an efficient advanced communications network. In 2006, USD 2.5 billion was invested to develop and maintain the telecommunications network in the UAE. Further investment was also made in 2007 by the emirate of Abu Dhabi to develop its two first satellites. The government support coupled with the strong demand for telecommunications and satellite communications by government entities, different organizations and individuals give Indicators

Global Ranking

Mobile Penetration Rate


Government Procurement of Advanced Technology Products


Government Capacity to Promote Information Systems and Communications Sector


Modern Technologies New Licenses Rate


Why UAE ?

According to Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the Federal Communication Regulator in the UAE, mobile’s subscriptions rate has exceeded 200% upon the end of 2009. The Existing Regulative and motivating environment that best reflects the country’s vision of becoming one of the best competitive communications markets along with the high demand for advance telecommunications services were the main drivers that positioned the country as a regional telecommunications provider. Telecoms sector is currently among the leading sectors attracting the Foreign Direct Investments. To best represent the continuing growth of this sector, TRA conducts studies and surveys in regular basis. The table below shows the latest figures in this sector. The media sector has also accomplished remarkable achievements, growing from a small number of broadcasters to a different variety of television and radio channels, hundreds of newspapers and magazines and a growing number of publishing houses. The media industry in the UAE is the leading market in the Middle East. Renowned media broadcasters like CNN international, Bloomberg and BBC World have chosen the UAE as a main headquarter to cover the

Sector’s Main Information Institution

Contact Informations

Communications Regulator

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) P.O. Box 26662, Abu Dhabi Tel. +971 2 6269999, Fax. +971 2 6118209 Email., Website.

Media Regulator

National Media Council (NMC) Tel. +971 2 404 4333, Fax. +971 2 404 4368 Email., Website.

Telecom Operators

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du) Professional Communication Corporation (Nedaa)

Satellite Communications Operators

Thuraya Telecommunications Company Yah Sat Al Yah Advanced Satellite Co. Star Satellite Communications Co.

Major Events and activities

GITEX ( MECOM ( Arab Media Forum ( CABSAT ( Media and Marketing Show ( Dubai International Film Festival ( Abu Dhabi Film Festival (

Mobile Active Subscribers


Number of Fixed Lines


Internet Subscribers


Middle East and North Africa region. This was a result of the strong fundamentals of the sector in the UAE. Business parks designed as media clusters like Dubai Media City, twofour54 zone and Creative City have been playing a great driver of the media sector. Government spending in the Industries of Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) gave a strong thrust to this growing sector in the year of 2011 when a total of USD 3.5 billion were invested in IT services and products. As a result of these continuing contributions by both the public and private sector, the UAE ranks the first among the Arab countries in terms of

ICT utilization. Policies that protect IT services against piracy played an important role in promoting innovative and creative contents. Free zones have also contributed to the success of the IT and BPO sectors. Great investment options lay within these industries, boosted by the government’s commitment to enlarge knowledge-based industries contribution to the national GDP. Realizing the infrastructure and supportivepolicies, existing and new coming companies understand the feasible reasons of positioning in the UAE which does not only serve the domestic market but also serve the whole MENA region. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Telecommunications During the year of 2009, the UAE has achieved the highest mobile penetration rate in the world, with 200% active subscribers. As of April 2011, there are 11,086,704 million mobile active subscribers in the country, an increase of 12.68% comparing to 2009. Accordingly, the TRA has defined an ‘active subscriber’ as having placed or received a call or SMS within a 90 day period. Mobile penetration rate has been growing modestly from 166% in 2007 to 199% in 2011. The rate is expected to grow not only due to the high level of tourism and the continual of population but also because mobiles today cover a wide range of advanced services that goes beyond voice and text services to services like data transfer and TV streaming. Fixed line subscriptions have also achieved a 10% increase at the end of 2010 comparing to the end of 2007. In addition, the number of internet users at the end of 2010 increased by 160% from the end of 2005, reaching 1.4 million subscribers. The UAE has one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the MENA region. Offering new technologies for internet access with competitive tariffs have been considered by telecom companies. The telecommunications industry as a whole has evidenced substantial total growth in recent years due to the significance growth of the population and of the number of tourists. The

UAE’s telecommunication is also rated as one of the highest GDP per capita (USD 43,859) in the world. The growth of the ICT sector reached 45.7 billion including revenues and investments, with estimated contribution to GDP touching 4.9% at the year of 2009 (up from 4.4% in 2008). The telecoms sector in the UAE is regulated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The TRA has full authority for issuing and implementing regulations for telecom services and all licensed operators. It is also responsible for the management of the frequency spectrum, for establishing and implementing standards for type approval of equipment, and for national numbering policy. TRA has not announced any intentions of giving a third license in the UAE in the near future, allowing the second operator in the country “Du” to fully establish its infrastructure and secure its market share. The sole players of the telecommunications sector are Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du). Etisalat is one of the largest telecommunications companies not just in the region but also in the world with a market value of approximately USD 25 billion and 100 million active

Why UAE ?

subscribers across 18 countries. It still controls the majority of the market share (80%) in the UAE. Etisalat is currently owned by the UAE Ministry of Finance (60%) and 40% is publicly traded on the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX). Du, in contrast, commenced commercial operations in 2007, ending Etisalat’s near 30year monopoly on the provision of telecom services in the UAE. Du has a market share of 30% and 4.5 million active users by March 2011. It is 39.5 per cent owned by the UAE Federal Government, 19.75 per cent by Mubadala Development Company, 19.5 per cent by Emirates Communications & Technology Company LLC and the remaining stake by public shareholders. It is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). International telecom companies can penetrate the telecom sector in the UAE by partnering with the main telecom providers, Etisalat and Du, or through applying for tenders and obtaining projects. In collaboration with Tata Communications and Cisco, Etisalat launched its virtual broadrooms in Dubai in 2010. The process of transforming Etisalat’s conventional infrastructure to fiberoptic next generation infrastructure has also engaged participation of international telecom companies. During 2004, Techcorp, a Pakistanbased company, won a contract with Etisalat for construction of GSM towers over two years.

Entry points Supplying Telecom Providers Telecom companies in the UAE obtain a great number of tenders offered by Etisalat and Du. Upgrading telecom exchange sites, supplying and installing Ac and Dc cables, installing and testing plant cable network, and installing and operating antennas site, towers fabrication works are a few examples of these tenders. Supplying the service provider with high and efficient technology in order to solve the recurring issues like the short coverage in some remote and indoor areas.

Fiber-Optic Next-Generation Infrastructure Realizing the benefits of fiber-optic technology, Telecom operators in the UAE are developing their networks using this efficient technology. A study conducted by Etisalat showed that the amount of carbon dioxide produced could be cut by approximately 85% and that the energy required by the network could be slashed by up to 73% when using this technology. The study also showed that by using fiber-optic networks data are transported over greater distance. Advantages are great. Thus, Etisalat established its new infrastructure using this technology. However, more stations and networks are to be built and other telecom operators are also building their new infrastructure. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Satellite Communications Driven by its ambitious aim of positioning itself as a global distinguished location in terms of offering advanced communications services of all kinds, the UAE has been actively building its satellite communications infrastructure. Currently, it has five satellites and is planning to launch another two by 2012, maximizing its capacity to not only meet the domestic’s demand but also to serve the whole MENA region by providing high advanced solutions in this realm. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the communications’ regulator in the UAE, issued new regulations and policies in order to create a balanced competitive environment, thus encouraging more satellite services providers with innovative technologies and competitive solutions to emerge in this young market. In 2009, the TRA issued four additional licenses authorizing GMPCS and PAMR services as well as mobile television and satellite communications. Governmental and local and international private companies have been established to meet the growing demand for satellite imagery and communications services. International space and satellite manufactures have been closely

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

observing the UAE’s initiatives and considering them as attractive opportunities to form partnerships, contracts and alliances for the design and building the satellites as well as the infrastructure of the launch’s bases. Driven by its vision, Abu Dhabi has made strategic initiatives to become a global satellite communications leader in 2007. Mubadala, established by Abu Dhabi to facilitate the diversification of its economy, incorporated its satellite communications company “Yahsat”. USD 1.58 billion was invested to develop two satellites.2 Partnerships with EADS Atrium and Thales Alenia Space, world-class players, were made for the design and construction of these two satellites. Yahsat 1A was launched on April 2011 by Arianespace and Intelsat New Dawn telecommunications satellites, the fifth satellite sent by the UAE into space for communication purposes. Partnerships with Arianespace and International Launch Services (ILS) were also made to launch Yahsat 2A satellite by the end of this year. Furthermore, the TRA granted tow satellite communications services licenses for a period of ten years for Al Yah Advanced Satellite Communications Company and Star Satellite Communications Company in July 2010. Both companies are subsidiaries of Yahsat. Services are mainly provided for military entities as well as for the commercial sector in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South West Asia. The satellites control is operated from Yahsat’s gateway in Abu Dhabi.

The realization of the great demand for highresolution Ariel images by the government to efficiently develop its infrastructure and urban planning as well as by the commercial sector drove Dubai to take the initiative of launching the first Earth observation satellite program in the country “DubaiSat-1”. The launch took a place in July 2009. Partnership with Satrec Initiative, a pioneer satellite manufacturing company in South Korea, was made to design and develop the satellite. Dubai is also planning to launch its second imaging satellite “DubaiSat-2” in 2012. Thuraya Telecommunications Company, the first UAE’s satellite communications company, ramped up commercial operations in 2001. Through its three geo-mobile satellites into orbit, the company continues providing a wide range of voice and data solutions via satellites. Since its inception, the company has been singing numerous Service Providers agreements with more than 40 countries across the world. The different satellite communications services like call transfers, data and video images, tracking and locating vehicles, tankers

Why UAE ?

and naval vessels are among the mostdemanded services not only in the UAE but also in the whole region. Realizing this fact, SmartSat, an alliance of Jordanian and Kuwaiti companies, was launched in Dubai as the MENA’s first company specialized in the satellite industry in 2009.

Entry points Supplying the Service Providers International companies can engage by initiating strategic relationships with the satellite communications service providers by supplying them with the equipment, electronic programs, control systems, maintenance and repairs. The demand by local and regional maritime and oil and gas companies, where telecommunications services can not function, is growing as the whole economy of the region is growing.

Providing Satellite Communications Services in the Remote Regions The lack of telecommunications infrastructure in most of the remote areas provides an excellent opportunity for satellite communications providers. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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these zones is Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ) which was established in 2004.

Business Process Outsourcing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services have been growing in the Middle East and North Africa region especially in the UAE and Egypt. According to Frost and Sullivan, a global consulting firm, the outsourcing industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately eight percent for the period 2009-2016 with market revenues touching USD 2.69 billion.

DOZ currently hosts a number of companies in diverse sectors such as banking and finance, accounting, IT, payroll processing, engineering, research and development as well as design. Current companies operating in DOZ include Nokia Siemens Networks, Emirates airline, AXA Insurance, du, Mashreq Bank, Arab Bank, First Data, Cupola, Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd, Al Futtaim Willis, and the Jumeirah Group.

Due to the competitive compensation cost, a growth in the quality of its management schools and an improvement in the literacy rate, the UAE has successfully become the second largest market for the outsourcing industry in the MENA region in 2010. Many multinational corporations have chosen the UAE as their main headquarters functions and services.

Due to the great benefits gained as a result of outsourcing noncore businesses, many companies and government entities are taking that approach. Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADEWA) is studying plans to outsource administration. ADEWA has already signed a USD 81.74 million contract with Injazat Data Systems, a leading company in outsourcing services in the region, awarding it a ten-year Information Technology (IT) outsourcing contract to manage all of ADWEA’s IT requirements. Etisalat also outsourced maintenance work in telecom to third parties in several projects as a costsavings plan.

The UAE was among the first countries in the region that felt the importance and realized the potential growth of this market in the MENA region. Accordingly, it established a number of specialized zones that are equipped with BPO infrastructure and issued a number of policies and regulations to organize and monitor the progress of this activity. Among

Understanding the demand of this industry in the MENA region, international BPO companies have been considering the potential growth. In 2009, Sundaram Business Services, the Business Process Outsourcing arm of Sundaram Finance Ltd. has formed a joint venture with ETA Group of Dubai to start a first BPO outlet in Dubai, targeting the GCC region.

Call centers which makes a great part of BPO services are becoming integral to the UAE business sector. Contact and customer services activities of many banking, insurance, telecom and consumer goods sector are outsourced.

Entry points Operating the Non Core Businesses for Government Entities The principle of outsourcing the non core operations has become the accepted industry norm in the UAE. The federal government and local private entities began to understand and realize the benefits they can reap when they outsource their noncore businesses. The UAE Federal and Local Governments are focusing on conducting their core business and at the same time assigning parts of their non core Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to a third reliable partner.

Penetrating the MENA Market Through DOZ Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ), one of the first free zones dedicated to outsourcing companies the region, has been significantly contributing to the performance of this industry not only in the UAE but also in the whole region. Why UAE ?

Dubai Outsource Zone is one of the places where activities such as Business Process Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing, IT Outsourcing and back office thrive. The facility offers an environment that allows companies and individuals to operate with collective synergy and freedom. Companies based in Dubai Outsourcing Zone enjoy Free Zone benefits including 100% business ownership and exemption from taxes as well as value added services such as networking opportunities, venue management services, industry awareness programs and government services. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Communication Technology (ICT) Fund was formed in 2011. ICT Fund is the first of its kind in the Middle East.

Information Technology IT market, which represented around 1.2% of the UAE’s GDP in 2009, is expected to grow to reach USD 4.1 billion in 2013 . This estimation was based on the planned government’s investment of USD 1.828 billion in this growing sector by the end of 2013. The UAE overall spending on IT services and products is forecasted to reach USD 3.5 billion by the end of 2011. The UAE currently ranks 24th in the world and first among the Arab countries in its utilization of ICT to enhance its competitiveness and development according to the Global Information and Technology Report 2010-2011 that was released by the World Economic Forum. However, the main driver behind the success of the information technology sector in the UAE is the strong belief of the government on the power of innovation. This was evident and reflected on the latest figures released by TRA (mentioned in the overview of this sector). In order to fuel innovative research and development projects within the UAE ICT sector by giving financial support for firms and individuals, the Information and

Software, hardware and IT services are the pillars of the UAE’s IT sector. The UAE is a key market for software companies. Applications from desktop accounting packages to ERP, CRM and HRM solutions are demanded by the UAE’s software growing market. IT Software within the GCC Government’s sector spending has reached USD 2.6 billion this year. In addition to the steady growing demand by the public and private sectors, the UAE is leading the way in terms of software piracy level in the whole region. In fact, the UAE has posted the lowest piracy rate in the region for the past ten years. The IT services market in the UAE is also growing significantly. A new study by market research and analysis firm International Data Corp (IDC) shows that IT services market may touch USD 2.3 billion by 2012. Sector like government sector along with agriculture, construction and mining sectors are the main demand drivers now. Free zones have been providing exceptional opportunities for international IT companies. Dubai provides three highly-sophisticated zones equipped with advanced ICT infrastructure. These are Dubai Internet City (DIC), Dubai Outsource Zone and E-Hosting Datafort.

DIC, one of the largest information and communications technology clusters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has been providing a strategic and cost effective platform for ICT companies targeting emerging markets in a vast region extending from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent, and from Africa to Central Asia. Today, DIC is the home for more than 1,400 companies ranging from Microsoft, Dell, Intel and IBM to Canon, General Electric and Cisco. Other Fortune 500 technology giants such as Oracle, HP, Samsung, Nokia, RIM (BlackBerry), Yahoo, Google, IBM, Symantec and AT&T have also planted roots in the DIC with new permanent regional headquarters in Dubai. Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is another technology park established in 2006 to host technology-based companies. The capital, Abu Dhabi, is also developing its 3 square kilometer technology cluster near Abu Dhabi International Airport. This development is an implementation of its 2030 comprehensive vision that plans to transform the city to an IT globally-recognized hub. The park is expected to host the first microchip factory in the Middle East that will be built by 2015. This initiative is carried out by Advance Technology Investment Company (ATIC), a regional leader in the semiconductor industry.

Why UAE ?

Entry points Enterprise software (EAS) The expansion of the enterprise software industry, also known as enterprise application software, in the UAE is mainly contributed to the increasing focus of government entities and organizations to maximize its efficiency. Healthcare, education, retail and public sectors are among the growing EAS spenders. The targets of these tailored applications as there is no single software works for all types of entities are very wide and can penetrate any industry. The UAE is currently the second largest EAS market in the GCC.

Providing Cloud Services The UAE’s General Information Authority (GIA) is leading efforts to provide cloud services to federal government entities. This new way of computing, which involves the use of Internetbased services and intelligent clients and devices, is not new only to the UAE but also to the global IT market. Cloud services are central to the Emirate’s e-Government strategy for the next three years. International Data Corporation (IDC), a premier global market intelligence firm, estimates that cloud services could add more than USD 4.2 billion in net new business revenues to UAE’s economy between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Media Specialized zones established to solely serve the media sector along with businessfriendly regulations and a strategic location in the heart of the GCC, the UAE is definitely the ideal central place to serve not only the domestic market but also to provide high quality media services including advertising and marketing, publishing, broadcasting and media consultancy to the whole MENA region. The substantial growth in the media sector since 1999 when there was a counted number of broadcasters is a result of the country’s commitment to position itself as a global media hub. The UAE today is the home of more than twenty five national television channels, ten national radio stations, morethan two hundred satelite TV broadcasters,a large number of conventional and online newspapers and magazines. Through fostering innovation and high quality in its emerging media sector, the UAE has been attracting global media companies from all over the world. As an efficient step toward developing a globally-competitive media sector, the National Media Council (NMC) was established in 2006 to oversee media development in the country and to support media initiatives. The council’s mission of providing an integrated regulatory environment for media sector has been setting up a clear vision of how the nation is really committed to build up a worldclass industry.

Why UAE ?

Establishing an efficient technical broadcasting foundation has always been a priority of the UAE. In 2006, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority acquired rights to 225 digital channels at the ITU Regional Radio Communication Conference to allow more channels to be carried across fewer airways by converting from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting. By locating in the UAE, the TV and radio broadcasters can have access to different regional markets that speak multiple languages and with various interests and needs. They can easily source the talents for this form the local and neighboring countries.

The UAE’s print industry has also achieved a growth in terms of number newspapers titles, increasing from 9 titles in 2003 to 14 in 2009. Given the various interest of the region’s population, the UAE has also fostered the creation of a regional magazines and journals industry. The number of magazines that are operating from the UAE has reached over than one hundred magazines. Although the UAE is a relatively small market with limited reach, most of the magazines look at the larger picture, making the UAE its hub to distribute its copies, digitally and via print, throughout the region. The newspaper and magazine publishing industry makes efficient use of the relatively low cost

of printing in comparison to other countries of the region to make economic gains. Recognizing the significance of the modernized, standardized and cost effective printing industry to the growth of a healthy and competitive media cluster, specialized business parks and infrastructure has been established that allows the creation of a regional printing hub. The International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) was established in 2003 to as a specialized media production zone to develop a business environment that is uniquely geared towards the needs of graphic art, printing, publishing, and packaging and media production companies.

Provided the accommodating regulatory environment and the supportive climate for innovation and given the multicultural nature of the society, the UAE is well in the position to continue its leadership role as a regional broadcasting hub. Already, the UAE is now the host of the largest number of TV and radio channels that are free to air in the Arab world; they operate out of the different media business parks that are scattered around the country. The country dose not only provide the infrastructure and attract, with its liberal culture and business-friendly policies, and the right talents to vitalize this sector, but it also creates the needed facilities that enable broadcasters to use the cutting-edge technology to enhance their reach and quality. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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It is also one of the fastest growing countries in terms of advertising in the GCC region. Revenues of this vital media segment have been increasing since 2003. According to data released by Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC), the UAE has an overall spend of USD 349 million during the first three months of 2011; accounting 12 per cent of the all overall spend of the Middle East in the first quarter of 2011. In spite of the relative downturn that was experienced in the advertising spend due to the general economic conditions caused by the global economic and financial crisis, the UAE’s advertising industry is well on the way to recover and is undergoing a major shift in the means and in the industry structure. Digital

The United Arab Emirates A World of Opportunities

media and social media are now dominant means for marketing and advertising in the region, leading to the need to use different skill sets and production resources. The UAE is today the host of the top-notch international names in the international advertising industry agencies and is truly the regional capital for the advertising and promotion industry. A range of well-established free zones and business parks was built to provide all necessities that a media company could ask for. Dubai Media City, Fujairah Creative City, twofour54 zone in Abu Dhabi and RAK Media City are only a few examples of the strategic locations for setting up a media company in the UAE. Dubai Media City, an initiative of the Dubai Technology Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority was established

in 2000 to provide an advanced high-tech infrastructure and a supportive environment for media related businesses to enable them to operate globally out of Dubai. The Dubai Media City is the place where every kind of media business, especially broadcasting, publishing, advertising, public relations, music, news media, production and post-production will thrive. Very well-known media groups like MBC media group that has the highest viewership’s rates in the region have chosen DMC as their headquarters. Media sector in the UAE is rich of world-class media companies. Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), established in June 2007 to revitalize the media industry in the UAE’s capital, has already established itself as a leading multiplatform media and entertainment provider in the MENA area. ADMC owns and operates three television channels, four radio stations, three newspapers, three magazines and a press. The company is also planning to enlarge its portfolio by investing USD 1 billion to develop and produce 40 feature films. Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), another media giant in the UAE and the region, has under its umbrella six television channels, three newspapers, a press and two radio stations. In order to diversify its portfolio, DMI plans to launch a magazine and a radio station. Why UAE ?

Entry points A Fertile Environment for Television and Radio Broadcastings Positioning in the UAE does not only mean the company is serving the domestic market. Using the advantageous location of the country as a central location to serve the MENA region as well as other regions has given major media groups the fruits they have expected. In 2009, Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), after the merger of Showtime and Orbit, chose the UAE as the main headquarter. OSN, with over 75 television and radio stations, is the major Arabic paytv player. The UAE has also given exceptional privileges to renowned media groups, proving its commitment toward positioning itself as a media hub in the globe.

English Television Channels Even though the majority of the television viewers in the Arab region prefer TV in Arabic, the UAE has the highest number of those who prefer TV in English. According to Arab Media Outlook conducted by Dubai Media Press in 2009, 22% of TV consumers in the UAE prefer watching English channels. The large number of English speakers in the country has been and will continue to be the primary factor behind this result. The demand, thus, is relatively high. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

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The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

It is not only because of the unbeatable incentives and state-of-the-art facilities offered by the UAE’s free zones and special economic parks that their success can be inferred to; the reasons of their evident achievements go beyond than that.

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Abu Dhabi I

n 1962, the first oil commercial shipment left Mina Zayed, bringing with it a new bright future not only for the emirate of Abu Dhabi but also for the UAE. For the last four decades, the oil industry has been the main engine behind the unprecedented economic growth in the capital city of the UAE. As of 2010, official data show that Abu Dhabi has 98 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, making it the sixth in the globe. Its daily oil production has reached 2.7 million barrels. More than USD 90 billion comes from the oil revenues yearly. Over the past decade, Abu Dhabi has become one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Real GDP growth reached 15.9% in 2010 and was as high as 19.4% in 2004. In 2009, it contributed around USD 162.39 billion to the national GDP which makes 60% of the total national GDP. Oil has been playing a vital role in the development of the emirate and the country economy. From day one, the huge revenues from oil were invested in the key areas of the economy in order to diversify its economic profile for a more sustainable prosperity. Abu Dhabi economic priority today is to build a sustainable economy while ensuring social and regional growth despite its huge capacity of oil and hydrocarbons. The Main economic sectors in the diversification strategy are sustainable energy, manufacturing, communications, technology, media, tourism and education. Various strategic plans have been carried out by the different bodies of the emirate in order to implement its ambitious 2030 vision that simply aims to reduce the dependence on the hydrocarbons sector and creates a diversified economy.

Why UAE ?

The current plans in the energy sector indicate the emirate’s great interest in diversifying its energy resources. In 2006, it established Masdar, seeking to leverage the emirate’s substantial resources and experience in the renewable energy sector. It also established Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in 2008, maintaining its leadership position in an evolving world energy market. The technology sector was boosted by the launch of the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC). The company was mandated to focus primarily on the global advanced technology sector. ATIC is a whollyowned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, an investment arm of Abu Dhabi government. Established and owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, Mubadala is a catalyst for the Emirate’s economic diversification, managing long-term, capital-intensive investments that deliver strong financial returns and tangible social benefits to the region. Abu Dhabi has also been creating an environment where industrial activities can flourish, as it believes that the Industrial sector must be a pioneering economic sector that adequately contributes to the diversification strategy. Three main industrial zones in Abu Dhabi are Abu Dhabi Industrial City, Khalifah Port and Industrial Zone and Industrial area in Mussafah. The plan of developing a diversified economy consisted also of building a number of economic and special zones where attracting competitive incentives are offered. Towfour 54 free zone is aiming to make Abu Dhabi the home of the media content development in the Arab region.

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Abu Dhabi Free Zones

Masdar City Year of Establishment 2007

Licensing Authority Masdar City Authority

Sectors Targeted Renewable Energy, Energy Production, Energy Storage, Cleantech and ICT, Marketing and Events and General (Service providers and Consultancy)

Legal Forms Licensed • A branch of a foreign company or UAEbased company (including companies incorporated in other UAE special economic zones) • A special economic zone limited liability company with corporate shareholders • A special economic zone limited liability company with individual shareholders

Annual License Fee AED 20,000 (USD 5,446)

Key Clients Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, General Electric, Schneider Electric, Bayer Material Science

President Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh

Senior Management C.E.O. : Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber Director : Alan Frost


Masdar City? • The first-of-its-kind global business location that places companies at the heart of the dynamic and thriving clean technologies and renewable energy clusters • Features a world-class research university specialized in renewable energy and clean technologies studies (the Masdar Institute) • An emerging international cluster with many international companies operating or have the intention to operate from Masdar city. • An established clean technologies and renewable energy community where research and development, pilot projects, technology testing, and construction of the some of the world’s most sustainable buildings are taking place. • Every aspect of operating in Masdar City has been designed to allow partner organizations to focus all their energies on their core activities. Masdar City’s One-Stop Shop can handle the rest – from government services to visas to numerous business services, such as travel arrangements. • 0% import tariffs and 0% taxes on companies and individuals • No restrictions on capital movements, profits or quotas • 100% foreign ownership • No currency restrictions • Hiring of expatriate staff to the vibrant market • Gateway opportunities of the Middle East and Asia • Outstanding logistics network incorporating air, sea, road and eventually rail • A safe, friendly working environment

Why UAE ?

Facilities and Services Offered • Registration, incorporation and licensing of new entities

• ICT connectivity and services

• Issuance and renewal of lease agreements

• Insurance Services

• Pre-registration approvals from Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

• Utility Bill Payments

• Company Name registration with the Department of Economic Development • Employee Visa Services – new, renewal and cancellation (Entry Permit, Residence Visa Stamping, Visit Visa, Dependent Visa, etc) • Post Box set up – new and renewal • Customs Administration – Assist with securing Import Code and Customs Clearance

• Translation Services

• Travel Services (Visa, Air-ticket booking, Hotel booking) • Car Rental Services

Contact Details Business Development Department Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, Khalifa City “A” opposite Presidential Flight

• Other government services (driving license, car registration, health card issuance)

Tele.: +971 2 653 3333

• Approval of fit-out / retrofit activities


• Effective facilities and asset management


Fax: +971 2 653 1006

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TwoFour54 Year of Establishment 2007

Licensing Authority Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi

Sectors Targeted A/V Production Firms (TV Programs, Children’s Animation etc.), Broadcasting Firms (TV and Radio), Publishing Houses (Books, Magazines, Newspapers etc.), New Media Firms (Mobile App Developers, Digital Content Producers etc.), Advertising or Marketing Services, Public Relations, Events, Print Publishing, Information & Data Services, Business Support Services, Film, Training, Mobile content, Gaming, Entertainment Devices, Web Publishing & services

Legal Forms Licensed • A free zone limited liability company (FZ-LLC) • A branch of an existing company • or license as a freelancer

Incorporation Fees Company Creation – AED 2,500 Initial Payment for PO Box – AED 1,250

Key Clients ADMC, Charisma, Sky News Arabia, Fox, Financial Times, CNN and Turner

Senior Management C.E.O.: Tony Orsten C.O.O.: Wayne Borg

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Towfour54 ? • Strategic location: in the heart of one of the fastest growing cities in the world and a gateway to Arabia; a vast, young and fast developing market. campus-style • A environment: Where networking and strategic alliances with other creative professionals and businesses can easily be established and are encouraged. We facilitate these partnerships by bringing the right people together at the right time for our partner companies’ projects. • A supportive and fiscally beneficial environment: Businesses are entitled to 100% ownership, cost-effective set up, currently a full exemption from corporate taxation and ongoing support from the Abu Dhabi Government. • A transparent licensing and cost structure: A world-class regulatory frameworkwhich protects IP rights, ensures compliance with laws, promotes strong governance and a clear transparent pricing structure to ensure there are no hidden set up or operational costs. • A comprehensive one-stop shop: 3 integrated business pillars, offering world-class training; project funding and support; HD production, post-production, media asset management, digital archiving, play out and broadcast facilities; enabled with on-the-ground logistical business set-up and support. • Being part of the regions’ leading content creation community. • Efficient and clear regulatory framework including an enabling company law environment for investors. • Competitive rents and business services (government related, travel services etc.)

Facilities and Services Offered • Training Services: media courses, that are both world-class and practical, and that immediately improve participants’ media working performance • Support Services: finance and support businesses and individuals targeting the Arab media and entertainment industry • Production Services: state-of-the-art facilities for production services • Government Services: a one-stop-shop, a team was established to liaise with government authorities and ministries relating to visa applications, residency procedures, government licensing and filming, event permits and more • Residential Services: a team can work with businesses to source a furnished or unfurnished home at a variety of locations across Abu Dhabi • Office Space management: the office space solution available to partners includes serviced offices, fitted-out offices and core and shell offices • Hospitality: catering services suitable for all occasions, including training courses, conferences, office parties and meetings.

Why UAE ?

• Retail: The retail facilities include a convenience store, café, digital printing, ATM and laundry services • Travel Services: From commercial and business air travel to car rental and hotel accommodation

Available Business Premises • Serviced Office 1 Desk – AED 8,950 per month 2 Desks – AED 13,250 per month 4 Desks - AED 20,700 per month • Fitted – out office – AED 4,550 per square meter per annum • Core and Shell – AED 3,450 per square meter per annum

Contact Details Business Development Department Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi Tel.: +971 (0)2 401 2454 / Fax: +971 (0)2 401 2345 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Khalifa Industrial Zone Year of Establishment 2010

Licensing Authority Khalifa Industrial Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Vertically Integrated Clusters, Aluminum, Food, Steel, Petrochemicals & Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Equipment, Paper, Printing & Packaging , Trade & Logistics, Engineered Metal Products, Mixed Use and Other Industries

Legal Forms Licensed • Branch • Free zone Establishment (FZE) • Free zone Company (FZCO)

Incorporation Fees Application fee: AED 5,000

Key Clients

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Kizad ? •Centrally located with equal distance from Jebel Ali Port and the city and the airport of Abu Dhabi, both providing easy access market and resources promising rapid growth potential •Multimodal connectivity with an integrated port (Khalifa Port), access to future rail network development and proximity to Abu Dhabi International Airport •One Stop Shop business services to deliver value and convenience by facilitating relationships with Government and Licensing Authorities as well as utility companies to ensure rapid processing and approvals aimed at helping businesses speed up the process of obtaining the necessary permits, licenses, approvals and clearances •Business efficiency, easy access to various markets, low-cost operational environment and other essential support to achieve long-term competitive advantage.

Emirates Aluminum (Emal)

Chairman Sultan Al Jaber

Senior Management Khaled Salmeen Al Kawari Executive Vice President, Industrial Zones Abu Dhabi Ports Company

Facilities and Services Offered • Advice and practical assistance for setting up a business quickly and easily • Fulfilling Human Resources and immigration requirements • Providing utilities connections, waste management, logistics and facilities management • A dedicated Relationship Manager, based in the Zone, always on hand to provide answer and assistance that a business may require and to ensure timely processing of paperwork to obtain all necessary licenses, clearances and permits in a swift and efficient manner

Why UAE ?

Available Business Premises • Built-up area Factory • Warehouse • Office • Utility Storage • Open Land

Contact Details Business Development Department, Al Taweela Island, P.O. Box 54477 Abu Dhabi Tel: 800 10 20 30 Tel: +971 800 10 20 30 Outside UAE) Fax: +971 2 695 2030 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone Year of Establishment 2009

Licensing Authority Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone Authority

Location Close to Abu Dhabi International Airport

Section Targeted Aviation & Aerospace, Logistics, Cargo & Freight, Electronics & electrical, Consultancy and business development, Computers, internet and IT solutions, Telecommunications, Express Transportation and 3PLs, Pharmaceuticals and medical equipments

Legal Forms Licensed • A Branch of a Foreign Company • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone? • Take advantage of Abu Dhabi International Airport strategic geographical position on the crossroads between the East and the West, and the large-scale economic development of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi • World-class business facilities and services • All required amenities under one cluster Facilities and Services Offered • Conferencing facilities • Business centers • Banking and insurance facilities • Hotels & restaurants • Food courts • Duty free shops • Postal services • Travel agencies • Clinics • Petrol station • 24 hours security

Key Clients In progress

Chairman Khalifa Al Mazrouei

Senior Management Executive VP – Business Development: Ramy Jallady

Facilities and Services Offered • Advice and practical assistance for setting up a business quickly and easily • Fulfilling Human Resources and immigration requirements • Providing utilities connections, waste management, logistics and facilities management • A dedicated Relationship Manager, based in the Zone, always on hand to provide answer and assistance that a business may require and to ensure timely processing of paperwork to obtain all necessary licenses, clearances and permits in a swift and efficient manner

Why UAE ?

Available Business Premises

Contact Details

• Commercial offices

Abu Dhabi Airport Company

• Light industrial units

Tel: +971 2 505 3425

• Serviced lands

Fax: +971 2 575 8300 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Dubai A

tiny fishing and trading settlement located in the coast of the Arabian Gulf managed to create a brand synonymous with luxury, multi-billion dollar real estate ventures and 10 million visitors in 2010. Dubai has undergone an impressive transformation for the last four decades. The commencement of the development cycle started in 1968 with the widening of Dubai Creek in order to contain larger ships and the creation of Jebel Ali Port in 1972. This was followed by the introduction of the free zone concept, allowing international businessmen within the jurisdiction of these zones to fully own their businesses and operate in state-of-the-art infrastructure with excellent facilities and a close proximity to the seaport. Since its establishment, Dubai realized that it had a limited supply of oil and gas reserves comparing to its neighboring states. Thus, through a thought-out development strategy, it managed to build an outstanding non-oil profile, mainly depending on trading, services, tourism and finance. Dubai strongly encourages the private sector activity. This encouragement is felt through its business-friendly regulatory environment, its entrepreneurial initiatives and purpose-built economic and free zones that are scattered over its different parts. These business hubs have been actively participating in the development of the city’s GDP generally and the export sector especially, 40% of the emirate’s total export economy in the first half of 2011. Dubai’s GDP has been significantly increasing over the past two decades, mainly driven by the non-oil sectors. Since 2000, real GDP of Dubai has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of about 15%. The growth was largely driven by nonoil sectors, a unique differentiator in a region where economies are dependent on oil incomes. Major drivers of economic growth include manufacturing, construction, real estate,

Why UAE ?

financial services and transport storage and communications. In 2009, it contributed USD 80.09 billion, 29.6% to the national GDP, less than 2% of its GDP came from oil sectors. Dubai is a unique blend of East and West; rich local culture, a bustling metropolis where 195 nationalities live side by side, and growing investment on a daily basis. Dubai offers some of the best education, healthcare, shopping, sport and leisure opportunities in the world. It is also a leader in travel, tourism conference and exhibition industries, and offers outstanding infrastructure, a stateof-the-art telecommunications network and unparalleled connectivity. Dubai is a preferred choice for international companies to establish their regional headquarters. According to Economic Intelligence Unit – Middle East, 90% of the French companies prefer to establish their regional headquarters in Dubai. Its strategic location between Europe and Asia, and close to both wealthy countries in the Gulf as well as the Indian subcontinent is providing companies based in the emirate an access to a market of over two billion people. Its speedy and costeffective incorporation procedures along with the implementation of latest technology in most government services are vital grounds for choosing Dubai. The emirate’s government is continuing its economic diversification strategy. Its current focal point though is over the subsectors of the non-oil sectors such as sports, exhibitions and shows in the tourism sector. Technology and education are among the government’s supported sectors. This support is not only limited through easy procedures but it also extends to offering funding for specific initiatives in these fields. In addition, Dubai is constantly working to introduce dynamic regulations that aid the formation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Dubai Free Zones

Jebel Ali Free Zone Year of Establishment 2007

Licensing Authority Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

Sectors Targeted Licenses companies related to industrial, Logistics, trading, services and other sectors

Legal Forms Licensed • Free zone establishments (FZE) • Free zone companies (FZCO) • Branch Companies • An Offshore Company as a non-resident company, with a corporate legal entity

Incorporation Fees Application fee: AED 3,100 Registration fee: AED 3,510 Commercial License: AED 15,010

Key Clients Unilever, P&G, GE, Sony, LG, Shell, BP, 3M, ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, ColgatePalmolive, Xerox, Pepsi, Kraft, Ford, Goodrich, and Goodyear

Chairman Hisham Abdulla Al Shirawi

Senior Management CEO: Salma Al Hareb Deputy CEO: Ibrahim Mohammed Al Janahi


• Excellent location between the region’s largest sea port and airport, both located in Dubai • The oldest and most established free zone in the MENA Region with more than 6,400 companies • A recognized global brand with more than 120 of the Global Fortune 500 companies operating in the free zone • Ability to register branches in main land Dubai to take advantage of the GCC customs union • A multi-national business environment with firms representing the six continents of the world • An investor-friendly environment, world-class infrastructure complemented by value-added services and incentives, expanding facilities convenient regulations, a customer-centric business policy

• One Stop Shop: Customers are offered all the services required to establish and operate a business in the free zone, thus saving time, effort, and cost, giving them the advantage to focus on their business rather than dealing with multiple entities whenever they need to carry out a transaction.

• Easy and efficient access to a potential market of over two billion people in the greater Middle East region

• Integrated solutions from on site residences (staff accommodation) to recreation, medical facilities and food courts.

• The free zone has developed a red-tape free, efficient and dynamic system including the ‘one-stop- shop’ concept, which allows investors to set up businesses at the free zone at an incredibly fast pace.

• Advisory and updating: Jafz assists customers in setting up a business and selecting desirable sites or locations for their ventures. The free zone also helps them to determine operational requirements and, additionally, keep them updated on various developments in their specialized business sector.

• JAFZ offers its clients many incentives to enable them to do business with greater ease and profitability. These incentives include 100 per cent foreign ownership, 0 percent corporate tax for a period of 50 years (a concession that is renewable), transfer of capital as required, 0 percent import or re- export duties, 0 per cent personal income tax, no currency restrictions, and no restriction on hiring foreign employees. • An integrated industrial and logistics community with a port, container terminal, factories, warehouses, labor and staff accommodation and recreational areas in close proximity

Why UAE ?

Facilities and Services Offered employees. Its proximity and facilities such as recreational activities, supermarkets and restaurants provide an ideal environment for company employees. • Hotels: Jafz also offers economical hotel facilities through its joint venture named Easy Hotel, A budget hotel (2 stars) with 216 rooms. The hotel offers absolutely first class “sleep and shower” experience at an affordable price for visitors to the free zone.

Available Business Premises • Core and Shell Offices • Standard Warehouse • Land • Build-to-Suit Warehouses

• Business Matching: This service helps companies leverage opportunities of joint ventures and other mutually beneficial partnerships in the local and international market.

• Business Centre Offices

• Dubai Trade: Through a single bilingual portal (, Jafz offers customers 24/7 secure access to all services. The portal consolidates all the services of complementary organizations including DP World and Dubai Customs and gives customers the added convenience of a single logon.

Contact Details

• On Site Residential facilities: Jafz offers onsite accommodation within Jafz for company

• Showrooms • Retail

JAFZA Commercial Sales Jebel Ali, Dubai Telephone: 800-Jafza (52392) Fax: +971 4 8815001 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Maritime City Year of Establishment 2007

Licensing Authority Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA)

Sectors Targeted Maritime services, maritime management, vessel and yacht registration, vessel and yacht ownership and charter, maritime and educational research, vessel and yacht design and building, maritime shipment organization, maritime exhibition, conferences, training and workshops, maritime tourism

Legal Forms Licensed • Registration Fee – AED 15,000 (FZCO), • AED 10,000 (FZE) • AED 8000 (Branch) • License Fee – AED 10,000

Incorporation Fees Application fee: AED 3,100 Registration fee: AED 3,510 Commercial License: AED 15,010

Key Clients United Arab Shipping Company Services, Emirates Shipping, APM Terminals AMI Management DMCEST, MUR Shipping DMCCO and Middle East Shipbuilding DMCCO

Chairman Khamis Juma Bhuamim

Available Business Premises Office Premises

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ)


• The world’s first purpose-built maritime centre • The first choice for maritime businesses not just because of the facilities provided, but also because of the trategic location, it unique integration of maritime players around the globe, the fame of lifestyle and infrastructure of Dubai and its renowned financial clout. • The Maritime Centre is designed to be a vibrant thriving community unique not only in terms of sea-based location but also in the enduring maritime ambience it creates. • Houses the Middle East’s first ship registry office • A superlative environment for workplaces withthe highest standards of service and excellent amenities. • A world-class maritime regulatory body



• 100% foreign ownership, exclusive maritime activities & customer friendly service and process

Year of Establishment 2000

Licensing Authority Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)

Sectors Targeted Automotive trading, sales and some services such as insurance, banking, repair and maintenance of automobiles

Legal Forms Licensed • Trading license for a branch of foreign company (including offshore company) • Free Zone Company • Free Zone Establishment

Incorporation Fees


DUCAMZ ? • An easy access to all airports and seaports in the region. The automobiles can be reloaded onto feeder vessels for easy transport via a modern network of highways linking all the neighboring countries in the Middle East and beyond • Strategic location with unique concept • Providing all services in the space of one building and the Space for all the Facilities needed by the Auto trade, Export & Import Client • No import/export duties and no restrictions on maximum import of automobiles

Facilities and Services Offered All services related to the Government entities associated with the Auto Trade, Import and Export Client are located within the same area. • Dubai Customs Inspection

• Exclusive maritime authority in the emirate of Dubai

Licensing Fee – AED 5,500

• Dubai Customs Operations

Registration Fees – AED 10,000 (EZE),

• Proximity - very close to the central business district Facilities and Services Offered

• Dubai Ports Documentation

AED 15,000 (EZCO), AED 5,000 (Branch)

• RTA Department

• Registration and licensing of maritime related companies • Dedicated ship registry • Visas

Chairman Hisham Abdulla Al Shirawi

Senior Management

• Shipping Agencies • Bank • Money Exchange • Workshops

• Residential facilities

CEO: Salma Al Hareb

• Insurance

• Health Services

Deputy CEO: Ibrahim Mohammed Al Janahi

• Restaurants

• Postal Services • Spacious car parking facility

Contact Details

Communications Department North of the main city center and creek area business district Telephone: 04345 5545, Fax: 043452234 Email: Website:

Available Business Premises Office Units Warehouse Workshops Showrooms

• Supermarket

Contact Details Marketing Department - JAFZA Ras Al Khor, Dubai Tel: +971 4 333 5000 Fax: +971 4 333 7871 Email: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai TechnoPark Year of Establishment 2003

Licensing Authority Economic Zones World

Sectors Targeted Technology, Telecommunications, Engineering, Health, Water, Logistics and Mobility, and Energy

Legal Forms Licensed • Limited Liability Company • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company • A Branch of a local or a foreign company

Incorporation Fees Application fee: AED 3,100 Registration fee: AED 3,510 Commercial License: AED 15,010

Key Clients Trox Group, 3M, Nestle, Harsco, Baker Hughes, Sika, SunEdison, Nestle Water, Culligan, Park Water Co, Metito, Torishima Pump, Pacific Control Systems, Voith, Emro Armaturen, Tencate, Proclad Group, Oil States, Geepas, Basf, Woods Hole Group

Chairman Hisham Al Shirawi

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


TechnoPark ? • The nucleus of new technology, where ideas become reality, training creates excellence and research unearths new understanding • The only research and development technology park in the region • Located in the heart of the Middle East region’s international business hub • A hub that enables research partners to access the resources of academic and research institutions, and i n t e r n a t i o n a l associations worldwide • An advanced communications network, a full range of administration services • As a special economic zone, it offers 100% foreign ownership, 0% corporate tax rate, etc. prestigious • A networking and research partners’ profile that includes International Association of Science Parks (IASP), World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO), Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft (FhG), Boston University and others • Covers 21 million square meters of land, about 30 percent of which is open space areas. • Brings the most advanced organizations in the world together, fostering shared understanding through research into and development of new technologies. • Aims to cultivate greater knowledge for the future, by promoting continuous innovation and progress.

Facilities and Services Offered • Consultancy services in evaluating selecting water technologies

Available Business Premises and

• Mega mall, retail outlets, showrooms, business class hotels and two 8-storey office buildings • Staff Accommodation Facilities • Specialist Medical Research Centers and Educational Facilities • Residential areas with sports and entertainment centers, as well as retail shops, health care and civic amenities • Government Services window: including visas, RTA services, etc.

Why UAE ?

• Commercial Offices • Light Industrial Units • Showrooms • Open land

Contact Details Commercial Sales Department Al Qouz (west Jebel Ali Free Zone), Dubai Telephone: +9714 881 4888 Fax: +9714 8811444 For Enquiries: ezwemext/ The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Jumeirah Lake Towers Free Zone Year of Establishment 2002

Licensing Authority Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority

Section Targeted Commodities, Finance, Shipping, Recruitment, IT, Advertising, Fashion among other economic activities

Legal Forms Licensed • Branch, Free Zone Establishment (FZE) • Free Zone Company (FZCO), Subsidiary • Representative Office

Key Clients Alcan Middle East DMCC, Antwerp Diamond Bank, Clarksons DMCC, Conoco Phillips International Trading PTE LTD, Continental DMCC, Dhamani, Emirates Gold, Harley Davidson, Hudson, Louis Dreyfus Commodities MEA Trading, LVMH, Lukoil, National Shipping Co Saudi Arabia, Posco Steel & Alloys DMCC, Reliance Industries (Middle East) DMCC, Rosy Blue DMCC, RWE Supply & Trading GmbH, Talent Partners, Topaz, Unilever

Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Senior Management CEO: Malcolm Wall

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


• Close proximity to the Dubai Logistics Corridor, the world’s largest multimodal logistics platform linking sea, land and air, makes JLT an ideal location for internationalcompanies seeking to establish regional headquarters in Dubai. Dubai has a considerable logistics network ensuring fast transportation of goods. Moreover, JLT is around 45 minutes away from Abu Dhabi and is adjacent to an extensive road network that links Dubai with the other Emirates and surrounding countries. • Different licenses: DMCC offers a secure regulated environment and licenses a full range of business activities. • A one-stop-shop Licensing Authority: DMCC offers its members services ranging from registration and licensing to general services that ease the process of setting up a business in JLT. • Quality commercial and residential properties with lease or buy option: With 60 completed residential, office and mixed use towers, JLT offers a variety of property types that are as distinctive as each tower design. There is a choice of shell and core space for companies who want to design their own workspace, fitted out offices, short term serviced offices, virtual offices and flexi desks. Spaces offered also include different sized land plots for development as well as office floors and units in DMCC developed and third party developers’ buildings. • Invaluable business incentives: As a free zone, JLT offers a guaranteed 50-year tax holiday on personal and corporate tax. 100% foreign ownership, JLT does not restrict foreign exchange and allows 100% capital repatriation.

Why UAE ?

Facilities and Services Offered

Available Business Premises

• Secure regulated environment with a full range of business activities

• Commercial office space - units and entire floors to lease or buy

• 100% business ownership shareholders are permissible

• Serviced offices/Flexi desks /Virtual Offices



• Quality commercial and residential properties with freehold or lease options • Guaranteed 50-year tax holiday • 100% capital repatriation

Incorporation Fees License Fee – AED 22,030 (new company) AED 20,020 (branch)

• Business Centers / Workshops / Retail space • Land plots for development

Contact Details Client Service Centre Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Telephone: Inside the UAE 800 DMCC (3622) International inquiries: +971 4 424 9600 Fax: +971 4390 3897 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Textile City Year of Establishment 2005

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Dubai Textile City ?

Trading in Textiles

• The first free zone dedicated to facilitate the storage of textile fabrics for long periods without customs duty, which is 5% currently. It was established to help traders who are mainly in re-export business. It is estimated that 85% of the goods imported to Dubai are re-exported, at one time or another.

Legal Forms Licensed

• Long lease period +15 years (30 years initially, renewable thereafter)

Licensing Authority Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Trakhees

Section Targeted

• Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company

Key Clients Royal Traders, Kabul Textiles, Maladar Textiles, Rajhans Trading, Far East Trading, Deepak, Kaysones Plaza, Neelam Khamas, Rajneesh Traders, Renoka Textiles, Sona Textiles, Kessuma Jaminal, Sataym Trading, Ratti Trading

Chairman Ashok Sawlani

Senior Management C.E.O.: Lakhi Ramchandani

• Better costing due to the absence of intermediaries • Better business turn over due to new markets being introduced as a result of global publicity • Lower administrative cost. As much as 35% savings on the cost when compared to the present working system • International media publicity • Dubai Textile City, which sits at the center of a 1.4 billion booming consumer market extending from the CIS to Africa and the Indian subcontinent, has emerged as one of the most modern and profitable trading points in this region’s commercial map. • Exemption from the payments of custom duties • Option to sublease the premises • Option to transfer goods to the city without customs duty • Stability and discipline is anticipated in DTC, a smart and integrated complex.

Available Business Premises

Facilities and Services Offered

• Warehouse: Rent-free period first 15 years, only ground leases payable AED 0.90 (90 fils) per square feet per year. From 16th to 20th year AED 3.50 and 21st – 30th year, rent as per market price less 50% with a minimum of AED 8.5 per square feet

•DTC has the full support of Dubai Ports and Customs, the Customs authority will help processing visa requirements of DTC members.

• Offices

Contact Details

• Showrooms

•Meeting and conference facilities •Maintenance and Security

Texmas Sales Department Al Awir Free Zone, Dubai Telephone: +971 4 3531551 Fax: +971 4 3530257 Email: Website:

Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dragon Mart Year of Establishment 2004

Licensing Authority Trakhees

Sectors Targeted wholesale and retail trade of a variety of Chinese products including home appliances, stationery, office appliances, communication and acoustic equipment, lamps, household items, building materials, furniture, toys, machinery, garments, textiles, footwear and general merchandise

Legal Forms Licensed Trade license for Chinese Nationalities only: • Free Zone Establishment

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Dragon Mart ? • The prime gateway for Chinese products in the Middle East • Strategically located to maximize the retail opportunities within and around the MENA region • The largest trading centre for Chinese products outside mainland China

Facilities and Services Offered 30,000 square metres of warehousing 2,500 parking spaces In house post office One-stop-shop government service

Available Business Premises

• Free Zone Company

• Warehouses

Incorporation Fees

• Retail Shops

Similar to mainland Dubai licensing fees

• Offices

(refer to Chapter 7)

Key Clients Chinamex Middle East Investment, Trade Promotion Centre, Auchan

Senior Management Acting Director: Omar Khoory Marketing Executive: Aisha Al Kindi

Contact Details Marketing Department International City Al Warsan area- Dubai Telephone: +971 4 4336 200 Fax: +971 4 4336 199 Email: Website: Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Year of Establishment 2004

Licensing Authority DIFC Authority

Section Targeted Banking Services (Investment Banking, Corporate Banking & Private Banking), Capital Markets (Equity, Debt Instruments, Derivatives and Commodity Trading), Asset Management and Fund Registration, Insurance and Reinsurance, Family Offices and Islamic Finance.

Key Clients Standard Chartered Bank, Bloomberg, Dutche Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS, HSBC, AIG, Standard Moodies, Delloitte, DME, EFG Hermes, Saxo Bank, SMBC, Kingdom Hotel Investments, ES Bankers, ICICI Group

Governor Abdullah Muhammed Saleh

Senior Management CEO: Abdullah Al Awar Head of Insurance and Business Entities: Hana Al Herz Head of Financial Services: Kevin Berkett Head of Corporate Communications: Maryam Al Falasi

Available Business Premises Leased offices Serviced offices and meeting facilities

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


• DIFC is the first world class,international centre serving the region which includes the Middle East, East and North Africa, the Caspian states and the Indian Subcontinent. It is a region of 1.8 billion people (about a third of the world population) and a combined economy worth $1.5 trillion in terms of GDP, growing at an annual rate in excess of 5 per cent a year. • DIFC is designed to span the time zones not covered by New York, London and Hong Kong. It will complete the missing quarter in the 24 hour, 7 day week, global financial system. DIFC will act as a catalyst to the region’s economic development-just as Wall Street, the City of London and Hong Kong have contributed to the growth of the US, European and Asian economies. • A regulatory framework built on the best practices found in those leading jurisdictions • Dubai satisfies all of the conditions that banks and other financial institutions look for. It is a cosmopolitan, first world city with a long history of political and social stability. It has a large highly educated, multi-lingual, multi cultural work of skilled professionals. It has excellent communication links within the region and to other financial centers. It has a proven record over 30 years of delivering ambitious business projects such as technology, trade, sport, travel and tourism. It has a very supportive government and an un-bureaucratic approach to business, with some of the best tax and other financial incentives anywhere in the world. Its sophisticated lifestyle and safe living conditions make it a popular place to locate for business executives and their families. The fact that 120 of the Fortune Global 500 companies have located in Dubai is proof of this. • A centralized client-servicing model that delivers a breadth of services that would involve numerous uncoordinated counterparties in other jurisdictions

Legal Forms Licensed 1.Retail Entities: Limited Liability Company, Company Limited by Shares, Foreign Organized Company 2.Non Retail Entities: Limited Liability Company, Company Limited by Shares, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Protected Cell Company, Investment Company, Foreign Recognized Company, Recognized Limited Liability Partnership, Recognized Partnership, Spura Company 3.Dubai Mercantile Exchange: Limited Liability Company, Company Limited by Shares, Limited Liability Partnership, Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) – Recognized LLP, DME Foreign Recognized Company, DME – General Partnership, DME – Recognized Partnership, DME – Limited Partnership

Facilities and Services Offered •One-Stop Shop government services •Fast-track fund registration services •International Arbitration Center in partnership with London Center for International Arbitration (LCIA) •Independent Laws and Courts

Incorporation Fees 1. Retail Outlets •Application for Reservation of Name – USD 340 •Application for Incorporation of a Limited Liability Company USD 3,400 •Commercial License fee (payable upon incorporation and annual renewal) USD 5,100 2. Non Retail Outlets •Application for Reservation of Name USD 800 •Application for Incorporation of a Limited Liability Company USD 8,000 •Commercial License fee (payable upon incorporation and annual renewal) USD 12,000 3. Dubai Mercantile Exchange •Application for Reservation of Name US$ 800 •Application for Incorporation of a Limited Liability Company US$ 8,000 •Commercial License fee (payable upon incorporation and annual renewal) US$ 12,000

Contact Details


Corporate Communications

•Art Gallery

Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, The Gate, Level 14


Tel: +971 4 362 2222 Fax: +971 4 362 2333 Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Airport Free Zone Year of Establishment 1996

Licensing Authority Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA)

Section Targeted Aerospace, Aviation and related services, Automobiles and Vehicles, Computers, Internet & IT Solutions, Consultancy & Business Development, Cosmetics and Perfumes, Electronics and Electrical, Engineering & Building Materials, Engines and Machines, Food, Beverages & Tobacco, Home and Office Appliances, Jewellery, Watches& Precious Stones, Logistics & Freight, Luxury items, Oil &Natural Gas Products and Services, Packaging and Printing Materials and Equipments, Pharmaceutical, Nutritional & Medical Equipments, Plastic, Chemicals & Petrochemical Products, Telecommunication

Legal Forms Licensed • Branch • Free zone Establishment (FZE)

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Dubai Airport Free Zone ? • DAFZA’s integrated infrastructure and proximity to the facilities of Dubai International Airport with 120 airlines and over 210 destinations mean, investors, their employees and clients will find travelling to and from the investor’s office simple and straightforward • Businesses can operate around the clock and offer a 24-hour customs service and rapid cargo clearance through a dedicated logistics center • State-of-the art facilities and location • Hassle-free procedures A one-stop-shop with office space • requirements, registration, licensing and visa • Worldwide certificates • Very competitive financial agreements with clients • Security of an established and well-run free zone with the zone’s emphasis on service, facilities and incentives that has attracted over 1,450 companies to the Dubai Airport Free Zone, which all enjoy the excellent tax & investment incentives packages

• Free zone Company (FZCO)

Incorporation Fees

Available Business Premises

Facilities and Services Offered •Modern facilities and superior logistics services •Employee Sponsorship (Employment residence sponsored by the free zone) •Online transactions processing for all services (Tas’heel)

Registration fee – AED 10,000 (FZE)

• Office Units

•24 hours security service

AED 15,000 (FZCO)

• Light Industrial Units (LIU )

•Housekeeping and Building Maintenance

• Business Enabled Offices

•Government Services: Immigration, Customs, Chamber of Commerce

Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoom

Key Clients Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce Engines, Bombardier, NEC, Sandisk, Sumitomo, Burns &McDonell, TNT, DHL, Heinz, Irish Dairy, Hershey, Actavis, The Himalayan Drug Company, Johnson & Johnson, Fossil, Rivoli Group, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi, Audi VW, Maserati, Ferrari, Chevron Philips, BP, Clarins, Chanel, Estee Lauder

Contact Details

•Post, Telecommunications & Banking facilities

Sales Department

Senior Management

•Food court with a wide range of restaurants and cafes

Al Twar, Next to Terminal 2

Managing Director: Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni

•Business centre, conference room, business lounge and lecture room

Telephone: +9714 2027000

Director of Sales: Mr. Mohammed bin Swailim

•Travel Agent, Car Rental




Why UAE ?

Dubai International Airport Fax:+9714 202 7766

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Silicon Oasis Year of Establishment 2004

Licensing Authority Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority

Section Targeted Mobile Technologies, Internet, Data Centre, Arabization / Localization Technologies, Software / Software-As-A-Service (SAAS), Semiconductor

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company • A Branch of Foreign Company • Entrepreneurial and Startups

Incorporation Fees License Fee – AED 15,000

Key Clients Fujitsu, Siemens, Schneider, Wacker Chemie AG, Porsche and Western Digital

Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

Senior Management CEO: Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


• The only technology park in the region that provides both a living and working integrated community • A full package of incentives and benefits includes 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital, Zero income and corporate tax, and more • State of the art IT infrastructure and facilities with tier 3 data centre • Fast-track business set-up & licensing • Dedicated business support services including integrated online E-Business system offering tenants fast and efficient services at the touch of a button • Access to regional pool of talented technical and engineering professionals • Access to consumer markets of 5 billion people (Middle East, North Africa and Indian subcontinent) • A hi-tech ecosystem that offers businesses a plethora of advantages including a stateof-the-art infrastructure, in-house business services and strong business support such as technology investment incentives for large enterprises, entrepreneurial support, an incubation centre and venture capital funding • A dedicated ICT fund to finance promising start-up companies

Facilities and Services Offered

Available Business Premises

• Conference Facilities

• Commercial offices

• Shops, restaurants and amenities

• Multiple-use warehousing and manufacturing

• In-house government services

• Land for development

• IT services • Dedicated client support • A range of Mentorship programs designed for startups and entrepreneurs • Advice on market strategy & business planning • Introduction to large DSO network facilitating business development and relationships

Contact Details Company Establishment & Affairs Dept & Sales Department Emirates Road, Dubai Tel: +971 4 501 5000

• Support and protection for IP development

Fax: +971 4 501 5030

• Incubator program and facilities

Email: Website:

Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Flower Centre (DFC) Year of Establishment 2004

Licensing Authority Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Floriculture, Horticulture, Fruits & Vegetables

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company • A Branch

Incorporation Fees

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


• Strategically located at Dubai International Airport • the Dubai Flower Centre is a new hub of growth for the floriculture industry in the 21st century • With the explosive growth in global trade of flowers and perishables, there is an increasing demand for innovative logistics and commercial solutions to enable the industry to reduce transit times, improve quality and grow profits • The latest technology to ensure maintaining the cool chain throughout the handling process

•5% service charge and 9% water and electricity charge on top of annual rent apply

• Attractive business incentives including 100% foreign ownership, a corporate tax holiday for 15 years, no personal income tax, freedom to repatriate both capital and profits and no currency restrictions.

Key Clients

Available Business Premises

•Registration fee – AED 10,000

Fujitsu, Siemens, Schneider, Wacker Chemie AG, Porsche and Western Digital


• Business Units – AED 1,278 per square meter • Office Units – AED 1,825 per square meter • Warehouse units – 75 AED per square feet

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoom

• Customs, Phytosanitary Inspection • Conference and Meeting Facilities • Handling and Logistic Services • Data and Telephone Sockets • Air conditioning, with individual thermostat control • Carpeting and Lighting • Refrigerated dollies capable of carrying an entire aircraft pallet from airside to facility • Automated handling equipment that moves pallets from airside to facility quickly and efficiently through airlocks placed at the entrance

Senior Management Director Manager: Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni Director of Sales: Mr. Mohammed bin Swailim

Contact Details Sales Department Dubai International Airport Telephone: +9714 2027000 Fax:+9714 202 7766 Email: Website: Why UAE ?

Facilities and Services Offered

• Segregated storage chambers with varying temperature zones to suit the optimum temperature requirement • Hermetically sealed bays for meat, fish and ethylene producing products • Vacuum cooling and forced air cooling facilities • Landside security systems include access control systems such as 50 CCTV Cameras, Video Over IP (VOIP) security systems, scanners and walk through metal detectors The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Internet City (DIC)

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Year of Establishment 2000

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA)

Sectors Targeted Software, Internet & multimedia, telecommunication & networks and allied services.

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit

Key Clients Microsoft, IBM, Google, Yahoo!, Oracle, Cisco, HP, Canon, Dell, Nokia, MasterCard, AT&T and Sony Ericsson

Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoom

Senior Management CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla Managing Director: Malek Sultan Al Malek

• One of the largest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) clusters in the world, hosting over 1400 companies including multinationals, growing enterprises, entrepreneurships and ventures. • Founded on solid fundamentals of stateof-the-art infrastructure and a unique technology-oriented community, DIC is firmly established as the most lucrative platform in the region for ICT companies with regional and global perspectives. • DIC is home to companies specialized in software, Internet & multimedia, telecommunication & networks and allied services. • As a Free Zone, DIC offers 100% tax-free ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, easy registration and licensing, and solid intellectual property protection. • DIC’s modern facilities, state-of-theart infrastructure and ICT value chain advantages have attracted global giants • Opportunities for business interaction and networking, opportunities for channel and market development • DIC is also the Winner of the “Best Free Zone in the Middle East” by Financial Times in 2007 and 2009.

Facilities and Services Offered • Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility

• Commercial Offices • Business Centre Offices

• communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates • Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and fitness centers • courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities • Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement (kiosks, roll ups, bus shelters, outdoor branding banners, lake branding).

Why UAE ?

Available Business Premises

Contact Details Business Development Department Dubai Internet City is about 25 kilometers south of downtown Dubai city, on Sheikh Zayed Road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is located adjacent to Dubai Marina. Tel: +971 4 391 1111 Fax: +971 4 391 3991 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ)

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Year of Establishment 2004

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services like customer contact centre support, accounting and billing, sales and business development, human resources, payroll processing to Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) like research & development, science and technology, engineering as well as Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO).

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit

• The first Free Zone in the world dedicated to the outsourcing industry • Ideally located to benefit from the growing market demands of the outsourcing industry • DOZ provides a comprehensive purpose built infrastructure to both captive and non-captive companies looking to set up in the region, control costs and gain efficiently by leveraging the talents, technology and expertise in the UAE. • DOZ offers 100% tax-free ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, easy registration and licensing, and solid intellectual property protection. • Companies set up in DOZ enjoy an environment that attracts different elements of the value chain from Banking and Finance, Insurance, IT, Legal to Airlines and Hospitality.

Key Clients Nokia Siemens Networks, Emirates Airlines, AXA Insurance, Du, Mashreq Bank, Arab Bank, First Data, Cupola, Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd, Al Futtaim, Willis, and Jumeirah Group

Facilities and Services Offered


• Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility

CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

Senior Management Managing Director: Malek Sultan Al Malek

Contact Details Business Development Department Dubai Academic City Road, Dubai Tel: +971 4 367 6666 Fax: +971 4 367 0400 Email: Website:

Why UAE ?

• DOZ retail outlets provide the business support services a business needs to cater to daily requirements of dining services, banking, courier service • DOZ provides residential units for workers in the Business Parks

Incorporation Fees Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC/ branch; not applicable for freelancer License fee: Average AED 15,000 for FZ-LLC/ branch, AED 10,500 for freelancer

Available Business Premises Commercial Offices Open Land

• Parking facility to accommodate over 1000 cars conveniently located at the zone The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Media City (DMC)

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Year of Establishment 2001

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Advertising & Communication, Media & Marketing Services, Media Support Services, Event Management, Event Support Services, Media Consultancy, New Media, Business Information, Freelancers, Association (Non Profit)

Legal Forms Licensed

• The largest regional media hub that provides advanced commercial infrastructure and supportive business environment for companies to operate globally out of Dubai • A thriving media community comprising leading international and regional companies and hundreds of freelance media professionals • In 2010, DMC was recognized for the ‘Best FDI Promotion Strategy’ in FDI’s – Global Free Zones of the Future 2010/11 (FT Business) ranking. DMC also includes a Business Centre to promote SME, talent & entrepreneurship in the region.

• Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit

Incorporation Fees Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC/branch; not applicable for freelancer

Facilities and Services Offered

License fee: Average AED 15,000 for FZ-LLC/ branch, AED 10,500 for freelancer

Key Clients CNN, BBC, MBC, Al-Arabia, Showtime, Spacetoon and CNBC Arabiya, Thomson Reuters, Lowe, Associated Press

Senior Management CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla `Managing Director: Muhammad Abdulla

• Shooting location management services • Accelerated approvals for publishing and distribution of publications

Contact Details Business Development Department Al Sufooh Road, Dubai Dubai Media City is about 25 kilometers south of downtown Dubai City, on Sheikh Zayed Road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is located adjacent to Dubai Marina. Tel: +971 4 3914555 / Fax: +971 4 391461 Email:

• Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates • Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and fitness centers

• Courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities • Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement (kiosks, roll ups, bus shelters, outdoor branding banners, lake branding).

Available Business Premises • Business Centre Offices • Loft Offices • Commercial Offices • Boutique Villas

Website: Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Studio City (DSC)

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Year of Establishment 2005

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Broadcasting TV, Broadcasting Radio, Broadcast Support Services, Broadcast Service Providers, Animation, Film Support Services, Production (Film/TV and Radio), Production Support Services, Music and Entertainment.

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit

• DSC fosters the growth of the television, film and music sectors in the MENA region. • DSC offers world-class industry infrastructure to meet the needs of companies offering services in production, sound stages - TV and film, back lots and sets, water tanks, recording studios, production offices, ancillary services like green room facilities, catering facilities, modeling and casting agencies, post production facilities, labs and telecine, printing facilities, online and offline editing suites, animation and SFX studios, specialised sound studios, set construction workshops, stunt shops and Warehouses. • Through the department of Location Approval Services (LAS), DSC also provides a single window service for obtaining filming/shooting permits in Dubai.

Incorporation Fees License fee: Average AED 25,000 for TV or

• Printing facilities • Online and offline editing suites

MBC, Endemol, NBC Universal and Spacetoo

Why UAE ?

• Recording studios

• Labs and telecine

Key Clients

`Managing Director: Jamal Al Shareef

• Water tanks

• Post production facilities

Radio Broadcasting, AED 40 for TV network or Radio Network, other activities AED 15,000

Senior Management

• Sound stages - TV and film • Back lots and sets

• Ancillary services like green room facilities, catering facilities, modeling and casting agencies

not applicable for freelancer

CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

• Services in production

• Production offices

Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC/branch;


Facilities and Services Offered

• Animation and SFX studios

Contact Details Department of Location Approval Services (LAS) Al Qudra Road, Dubai Land, Dubai Tel: +971 4 3914664

• Specialised sound studios • Set construction workshops • Stunt shops and Warehouses

Available Business Premises • Business Centre Offices

Fax: +971 4 3909905

• Loft Offices


• Commercial Offices


• Boutique Villas The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

International Media Production Zone (IMPZ)


Year of Establishment

• An unparalleled, eco-friendly and flexible production and service environment in Dubai meeting the needs of the printing and publishing industry in the world


Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Printing Machinery and Printing Consumable Manufacturing, Printing Press, Packaging Machinery and Consumable Manufacturing, Publishing, Graphic Arts Support Services, Support Services, Storage and Design.

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit


• The growth in the media production sector particularly in the printing and publishing segments • The world’s largest Media Production Zone • Diverse industrial, commercial and residential community projects with eco friendly policies • IMPZ provides a pro-business work ambient, sophisticated technology and state-of-the-art community infrastructure to support and foster the growth of media production focusing on the Graphic Art, Printing, Publishing and Packaging sectors.

Incorporation Fees • Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC/ branch; not applicable for freelancer • License fee: Average AED 15,000 for FZ-LLC/ branch, AED 10,500 for freelance

Facilities and Services Offered • Custom built warehouse facilities that can house publishing and graphic production offices

Key Clients ITP, Xerox and McGraw Hill

Chairman CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

Senior Management `Managing Director: Muhammad Abdulla

Contact Details Business Development Department Emirates Road, Dubai IMPZ is located 30 kilometres from Dubai International Airport and 25 kilometres from Jebel Ali Port Tel: +971 4 3613501 Fax: +971 4 3918067 Email: Website:

Why UAE ?

• In-house customs offices to facilitate logistics handling • Centrally located plots for building, printing and packaging facilities • Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates

• Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities • Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement (kiosks, roll ups, bus shelters, outdoor branding banners, lake branding).

Available Business Premises • Offices • Business Center Offices The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) Year of Establishment 2003

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted HR Development, Executive Search, Content Development, Assessment and Testing, Linguistics, Research & Development, Academic Service Provider, Human Resources Consultancy, Freelancers Professional Associations (non-profit)

Legal Forms of Business Entities Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


• DKV is the world’s only Free Zone area dedicated to Human Resource Management and learning excellence. • DKV is a unique hub that offers the best selection of Human Resource Management, Consultancy, Training and Personal Develoment programs on a picturesque 1km long campus in the heart of Dubai. • A trusted business partner (450 business partners) and a centre of excellence for professional development • With the aim of developing the region’s talent pool and establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy, DKV is offering competitive incorporation procedures.

• A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit • Non-profit Association

Facilities and Services Offered

Key Clients Gallup, Towers Watson, Hays, Hewitt and Innovative HR Solution

Chairman CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

Senior Management `Managing Director: Ayoub Kazim Director of Business Development: Leigh Ann Jones-Khosla

Contact Details Business Development Department . Al Sufooh Road, Dubai, Dubai Media City is about 25 kilometers south of downtown Dubai City, on Sheikh Zayed Road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is located adjacent to Dubai Marina. Tel: +971 4 3901111 Fax: +971 4 3901110 Email: Website:

Why UAE ?

• DKV offers a state-of-the-art campus with fully-equipped conference halls, classroom, computer laboratories and meeting rooms.

• Courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities

• A variety of facilities including a food court, coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets and other retail services are also available on site.

• Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement

• Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates • Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and fitness centers

Incorporation Fees • Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC / branch; not applicable for freelancer • License fee: Average AED 15,000 for FZ-LLC / branch, AED 7,500 for freelancer

Available Business Premises • Offices • Business Center Offices The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) Year of Establishment 2007

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Higher Education Providers, Academic Service Providers, Online Universities, Education Services Providers, Non-Academic Support Services, Freelancers

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit

Key Clients Michigan State University, University of Wollongong, Hult International Business School, Heriott Watt University, Murdoch University and the University of Bradford, Cambridge University, SAE Institute Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC / branch; not applicable for freelancer License fee: AED 100,000 for Higher Education Provider or Branch university, AED 50,000 for Post Graduate Providers only, AED 7,500 for freelancers

Chairman CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

Senior Management `Managing Director: Ayoub Kazim Director of Business Development: Leigh Ann Jones-Khosla

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


• DIAC is the world’s only Free Zone dedicated to Higher Education, aiming to develop the region’s talent pool and establishing the UAE as a knowledge-based economy. • An established higher education cluster with 27 Academic institutions including world-renowned universities • DIAC currently hosts over 18,000 students from more than 100 nationalities. Students have access to over 300 Higher Education programs, including Undergraduate and Post Graduate programs, from fields such as Engineering, IT, Media, Business, Fashion Design, Healthcare, Mass Communications, Media and many more. • Centralized campus management and partner relation approach: DIAC offers its partner institutions a centralized way to manage the campus facilities and provides a dedicated department for student services and programs that enables multiinstitutional activities and programs, and assists in finding the right academic programs, interships and careers. • DIAC is committed to developing a sustainable, environmentally responsible campus. Recently DIAC Phase III achieved a “Green” status and was awarded Silver LEED certification.

Facilities and Services Offered • Located on an 18 million sq ft. campus with modern facilities • Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates • Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and fitness centers • Courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities • Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement (kiosks, roll ups, bus shelters, outdoor branding banners, lake branding). • Dedicated department for student services and programs.

• Special student visa scheme built-in for universities to sponsor their students while enrolled • Shared classrooms, computer laboratories and event halls for multi-purpose use.

Available Business Premises Land for lease Offices / campus / Business Center Offices

Contact Details Business Development Department Al Ruwayyah / Ruwaya off the Dubai Al Ain Road Tel: +971 4 3602060 Fax: +971 4 3604886 Email: Website: The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech) Year of Establishment 2005

Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Therapeutics, Food, Agricultural, Forestry, Horticulture, Environment, Medical/Scientific Devices or Equipment, Specialty Supplies, Diagnostics and Analysis, Life Science Services, Life Science Associations (non-profit)

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company

Incorporation Fees Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC/branch; not applicable for freelancer License fee: Average AED 15,000 for FZ-LLC/ branch, AED 10,500 for freelancer

Key Clients Pfizer, Amgen, Maquet, National Reference Lab and Firmenich

Chairman CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


DuBiotech ? • Proximity to customers and suppliers – DuBiotech is geographically sited close to the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, the Asian Subcontinent and the Eastern Mediterranean. These regions have a population of over 2 billion people and a combined GDP of around US$ 7 trillion. • Strong regulatory frame work • Excellent networking opportunities in the cluster • Sustainable and environment



• Worldwide recognition of the cluster • One-stop shop services including licensing and visas • Commercial, residential, educational and recreational facilities • Special facilities tailored for the Life Sciences industry to support the rigorous requirements of research and development, manufacturing, distribution and high added value services • All DuBiotech buildings are classified as LEED certified ‘green’ buildings. This extends to the laboratory complexes, warehousing facilities and community services buildings. The BIO headquarter Towers, once completed, are expected to be one of the world’s largest ‘green’ buildings. • Business-friendly company laws and legal framework

Executive Director: Dr. Marco Baccanti

• One-stop–shop services that provides business partners with a variety of government services , including licensing, visa, traffic and postal services

Managing Director: Murwan Abdulazeez

• 24-hour visa service

Senior Management CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

• Quick access to Knowledge Workers due to fast-track immigration process Why UAE ?

• The park enjoys a strategic location with a world-class infrastructure and offers services for business centers, regional headquarters, Research & Development (R&D) laboratories, biotech-related educational and research institutions, light manufacturers, logistic operators and other service providers. • DuBiotech is the ultimate business park for life science companies to set up Middle East operations, offering a wide range of products ranging from office, laboratory, pre-built to land plot for sales and marketing, distribution, manufacturing, after-sales services and R&D operations. • The cluster has provisions for hotels, retail facilities, a hospital, schools, safety and security measures, and residential facilities to ensure a convenient quality lifestyle within the park.

Contact Details Business Development Department, between Al Khail and Emirates Road highways in Dubai It is just 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport and 60 minutes from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE Tel: +971 4 3902222 Fax: +971 4 3908444 Email: Website:

Facilities and Services Offered • Cluster specific infrastructure suiting the needs of the biotech industry • Ability to participate in regional and global industry and business development events along with other partners from the cluster • Business friendly environment • Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates • Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and fitness centers • Courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities • Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement (kiosks, roll ups, bus shelters, outdoor branding banners). • Shared laboratories and research area

.Available Business Premises Warehouses for light manufacturing, logistics, and showrooms Nucleotide Complex: Core and shell commercial office and laboratory space Business Centre: Fully fitted-out, plug & play commercial offices Land for lease or for sale The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

The Energy and Environment Park (ENPARK)


Year of Establishment

• ENPARK provides a comprehensive support system to ensure the success of its Business Partners.


Licensing Authority Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Renewable Energy, Energy Generation, Energy Storage, Energy Transmission and Distribution, Energy Efficiency Equipment, Air and Environment, Water and Waste Water, Recycling and Solid Waste, Transportation, Green Building, Organic Products, General Consultancy, Regional Headquarters

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Limited Liability Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company • A Freelance Permit • Association

Key Clients Veolia, Averda, PTL Solar and Etap Lighting

Chairman CEO: Abdullatif Al Mulla

Senior Management Managing Director: Murwan Abdulazeez Commercial Dept.: Mr. Ismail Al Hammadi Investor Relations: Mana Al Zarooni


• ENPARK provides an enabling platform for sustainable business operations through the integration of eco-friendly policies, standards, education programs and technologies, combining environmental, social and economic elements to reflect Dubai’s benchmark forz sustainable development. • Proximity to customers and suppliers – ENPARK is geographically sited close to the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, the Asian Subcontinent and the Eastern Mediterranean. These regions have a population of over 2 billion people and a combined GDP of around US$ 7 trillion. • Strong regulatory frame work • Excellent networking opportunities in the cluster • Sustainable and environment



• Worldwide recognition of the cluster • One-stop shop services including licensing and visas • Commercial, residential, educational and recreational facilities • Special facilities tailored for the Life Sciences industry to support the rigorous requirements of research and development, manufacturing, distribution and high added value services • Business-friendly company laws and legal framework • One-stop–shop services that provides business partners with a variety of government services , including licensing, visa, traffic and postal services • 24-hour visa service

Why UAE ?

Facilities and Services Offered • Quick access to Knowledge Workers due to fast-track immigration process • The park enjoys a strategic location with a world-class infrastructure and offers services for business centers, regional headquarters, Research & Development (R&D) laboratories, biotech-related educational and research institutions, light manufacturers, logistic operators and other service providers. • ENPARK is the ultimate business park for life science companies to set up Middle East operations, offering a wide range of products ranging from office, laboratory, pre-built to land plot for sales and marketing, distribution, manufacturing, after-sales services and R&D operations. • The cluster has provisions for hotels, retail facilities, a hospital, schools, safety and security measures, and residential facilities to ensure a convenient quality lifestyle within the park.

Contact Details Investor Relations Business Bay Area, Dubai

• Licensing, Registration, Immigration, building and fit out permits are offered as a one-stop-shop facility • Communications infrastructure based on next-generation technologies • Digital voice and high-speed data services offered at competitive rates • Conveniences such as restaurants, banks, supermarkets, travel agencies, beauty and fitness centers • Courier services, 24- hour security, prayer areas, WIFI access, Conference and meeting room facilities • Facilities management services, events venues and promotional areas for advertisement (kiosks, roll ups, bus shelters, outdoor branding banners).

Incorporation Fees Registration fee: AED 3,500 for FZ-LLC / branch; not applicable for freelancer License fee: Average AED 15,000 for FZ-LLC / branch, AED 10,500 for freelancer AED 25,000 for all manufacturing activities

.Available Business Premises

Tel: +971 4 3613512

• Warehouse

Fax: +971 4 4447205

• Neucleotide Laboratory Complex


• Business Center Offices


• Land for sale or lease The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Dubai HealthCare City (DHCC) Year of Establishment 2002

Licensing Authority Dubai Healthcare City FZ LLC

Sectors Targeted Conventional Medical Services, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Medical Education and Research, Healthcare Commercial Services, Hospitals, Diagnostic Laboratories, Support Services

Legal Forms Licensed • Branch of a Foreign Company • Branch of a UAE Company / Establishment

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


DHCC ? • The world’s first healthcare free zone that is a home of two hospitals, over 90 outpatient clinics and diagnostic laboratories with over 2,000 medical professionals • Low operating costs • State of the art facilities • Flexible real estate design to suit the industry • Integrated healthcare community providing specialized first-class medical care • Access to network of regional healthcare professionals • Attractive investment opportunity and financial return • Increased brand exposure

• Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC)

• Hassle-free company registration and legal framework

Key Clients

• Fast track immigration process

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital, The City Hospital, Dubai Bone & Joint Center, German Medical Center, London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery, Magrabi Eye Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, Nicolas and Asp University College, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi Aventis, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals – Pfizer, Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Center

• Flexible real estate to suit different business needs • Specialized health care facility management providers • In-house, facilities




• World-class quality control for health services assuring top international standards

Chairman HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein

Senior Management Managing Director: Dr. Ayesha Abdullah Executive Director: Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama

Contact Details Business Development Department Oud Metha Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai Telephone: +971 (04) 324 5555 Fax: +971 4 362 4775 Email: Website:

Why UAE ?

Facilities and Services Offered • On-site, one stop shop for government services (such as visas and permits) • Assistance with clinical services planning and design

• Strong regulatory framework to maintain Dubai Healthcare City’s reputation for quality and safety • Relationship manager to assist with any postsetup relations

• Integrated community with on-site facilities such as restaurants, banking and minimarket

Incorporation Fees

• Parking facilities

Application fee: AED 3,100

• As a professional community, Dubai Healthcare City also offers many value-added services including access to a wide network of healthcare professionals, networking and knowledge sharing events to encourage patient referrals • Special interest seminars to promote professional standards and business growth

Registration fee: AED 3,510 Commercial License: AED 15,010

Available Business Premises • Core and Shell • Average unit size: 1,500 feet2. • Average annual rent: AED 150 AED/feet2 • Land for lease and sale The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

International Humanitarian City (IHC)


• IHC enables humanitarian organizations through its global reach, infrastructure and custom designed services to facilitate aid and development efforts across the globe

Year of Establishment 2007

Licensing Authority International Humanitarian City Authority

Sectors Targeted Aid distribution and storage by international aid organizations community

the and

Legal Forms Licensed • Branches of international nonprofit organizations and commercial companies/ subsidiaries • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company

Incorporation Fees Registration Fee – AED 5,000 License Fee – AED 8,000 (service license), AED 5,500 (trading license)

Key Clients ACTED, Aga Khan Planning and Construction Management, Al Basar International Foundation, Al-Muntada Al-Islami, All As One, Automotive Management Services FZE, Bukkehave Global Spareparts (BGS) FZE, Child Foundation, Children’s Hope Foundation

Chairman HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein

Senior Management CEO: Ms. Shaima Al Zarooni

Why UAE ?

• IHC provides nonprofit organizations, companies, donors, volunteers, governments and those striving to save lives with a common ground for collaboration. • IHC offers commercial companies the opportunity to operate from a highly strategic location in a free zone environment that is adapted to their particular industry, while benefiting from attractive incentives and an array of valueadded services • Exemption from tax and custom duties from imported and re-exported aid equipment and supplies • A community of local and international humanitarian nonprofits and commercial suppliers • A fully integrated one-stop-shop, with access to procurers, suppliers and business partners and fast multi-modal logistics capabilities

Facilities and Services Offered • Customized warehousing solutions

• Increased visibility opportunities

Commercial Offices

• Facilities Management: security and leasing




• A platform for humanitarian information and knowledge exchange • A socially environment



• Facilitated access to job seekers, volunteers and CSR endeavors


Available Business Premises

• Conference and meeting facilities • Government Services • Press Office: Publication of IHC members’ latest news on the IHC website • IH Media watch: Online news monitoring services, including daily e-mail alerts • Recruitment e-Portal: Access to online CV Database and posting Job Openings

Contact Details Sales Department Oud Metha Road- Dubai- UAE

• Volunteer e-Portal: Access to online Volunteer Database and posting Volunteer Appeals

Telephone: +971 4 3680202

• Pro Bono e-Portal: Access to online Pro Bono Database


Fax: +971 4 3681099 Email:

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Sharjah T

hroughout the history, the people of Sharjah depended on fishing, pearl diving and trading as main sources of incomes. These three economic activities were supported by its busy port that has always played a vital role connecting the trading routs between the East, particularly India, and the west. As a result, it has become one of the most important ports on the lower Arabian Gulf since the nineteenth century, turning Sharjah to be one of the most important modern commercial and trading centers not only in the UAE but also in the region. The wise leadership has also boosted the emirate’s economic performance by adopting a diversified economic strategy while sustaining and maintaining its cultural heritage. Today, the key economic sectors in the emirate are tourism, manufacturing, trading, energy and real estate. The tourism sector started its official takeoff in the emirate’s economic map when the first Airport was built in Sharjah in 1932. In addition, the natural and geographical diversity has given Sharjah an additional advantage to develop its tourism sector. Sharjah City, the capital, overlooks the Arabian Gulf. The central region of the emirate combines lush green oases, gravel plains and rolling red sand dunes. To the east the emirate reaches the Gulf of Oman coast where the landscape changes to a spectacular rocky coastline backed by mountains. Furthermore, Sharjah is prominent throughout the Arab world for its commitment to art, culture and heritage. It was named the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 in recognition of its contribution to preserving and promoting Arab culture. These entire factors along with the government’s promoting campaigns that target global fairs and trade events indicate the potential growth of the tourism sector. In 2010, more than 1.55 million tourists

Why UAE ?

visited Sharjah, an 8% increase on 2009 performance, according to data issued by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA). In 2009, tourism sector contributed around 11% of the GDP which is considered relatively high. Sharjah also is a manufacturing hub, responsible for 12% of the UAE’s total industrial production. In 2009, 19.5% of its GDP came from the manufacturing industry. To further boost its position in this vital sector, the government has been executing plans to expand its industrial base by attracting FDIs, granting them more privileges and constructing purposely-built industrial zones equipped by advanced facilities and support services. Due to these factors, Sharjah-based international manufacturers have already shown a growth in their performance. Sharjah Economic Development Department recorded a 7.1% increase in the number of new and renewed business licenses in 2010 compared to the previous year. Among the overall increase in new licenses, which saw growth of 18.4% there was solid rise in the number of industrial permits issued, up from the 78 of 2009 to 97 in 2010. Sharjah is also home to 5% of the UAE’s gas reserves, which are located offshore and in the interior desert area. Moreover, it enjoys a steady real estate market. All these growing sectors make Sharjah the third largest contributor to the national GDP. In 2009, its GDP reached USD 16.59 billion, 6.1% of the country’s total GDP, recorded annual growth rate of 11% over the last seven years. In line with supporting foreign investments, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF - Zone) and Hamriyah Free Zone were established, offering a range of competitive incentives in highly sophisticated business centers.

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Sharjah Free Zones

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Year of Establishment 1995

Licensing Authority Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Trading, Manufacturing, Services and Aviation

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company • A Branch of a Foreign Company

Incorporation Fees Registration fee – AED 10,000 (FZE and FZCO), AED 5,000 (A Branch) License Fee – AED 7,500 (Trade, Industrial and Commercial), AED 15,000 (General Trading) Aviation License – AED 15,000 Freight Forwarding – AED 8,500

Key Clients Air Arabia, Sky Plan FZC, KMart Gulf, Asia Today LTD, Zee Telefilms Int’l LTD, Aramex

Chairman H.E. Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Thani Director General: Taryam Matar Taryam


SAIF Zone ? • SAIFZ is built adjacent to the Sharjah International Airport, a key hu b for logistics and air cargo in the region • Easily accessible to seaports on the Indian Ocean (Port Khor Fakkan) and the Gulf (Port Khalid) • One of the oldest and largest Free Zone in the UAE in terms of number of companies, housing more than 4,530 companies • SAIF-Zone offers its patrons extremely attractive incentives such as modern premises, equipped with the latest facilities and a secure environment that ensures maximum returns for the investor. • Flexible short and long lease options for offices and warehouses • Licenses issued within 24 hours • Sponsorship and visas for all staff • Simplified procedures and competitive structure of fee, property and management • A strategic location in the Emirate of Sharjah, an emirate that centers its economic plans around the development of the industrial sector • SAIF-Zone is the symbol of efficient operations, the better alternative for business ventures in the UAE and beyond

Facilities and Services Offered • Temporary Storage Area

Available Business Premises • Offices

• Container Parking Area

• Executive Desk: AED 15,000

• 24 hour hotline for equipment and provision of labor

• Executive Offices: AED 34.500

• Bunkers

• Warehouse

• Land on Lease

• One site Labor Accommodation • Back up services provided by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Sharjah Expo

Contact Details Market and Sales Department

• Post Office, Pharmacy, SAIF-Zone Medical Clinic (FZC), Municipality Clinic, Travel Agencies

Telephone: +9716 5570000

• Licenses issued within 24 hours

Fax: +9716 5571010 / +9716 5571131

• Sponsorship and visas for all staff


Sharjah Airport, Sharjah City

Website: Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Hamriyah Free Zone Year of Establishment


Hamriyah Free Zone ?


• The 2nd oldest and 2nd largest Free Zone in the UAE in terms of number of companies, housing more than 5000 companies from more than 150 countries

Licensing Authority Hamriyah Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Trading, Manufacturing, Logistics across wide industry sectors with special focus on seven strategic clusters comprising of oil and gas,petrochemical,steel, construction, timber, maritime, and perfume

Legal Forms Licensed

• An integrated seaport that is capable of handling petrochemical exports and cargo containers • Proximity to control labor accommodation facilities • Access to UAE and GCC markets • No red tape or bureaucracy

• Branch of a Foreign Company • Branch of a UAE Company / Establishment • Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)

Available Business Premises Office: AED 17,000 – 70,000 Executive Suite office Packages

Incorporation Fees General Trade License: AED 12,00 per year Trade License: AED 2,750 per year

Warehouse: AED 65,000 – 110,000 Open Land: AED 30 per square meter

Commercial/industrial License: AED 3,750 Registration fee: AED 9,000 General Service fee: AED 5,000

Key Clients Unger Steel, Petroleum




Senior Management Khaled Bin Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Qasimi Director General: Rashid Al Leem

Contact Details Sales and Marketing Department Hamriyah, Sharjah Tel: +97155263333 Fax: +9716 5263555 Email: Website: Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Ajman T

he economy of Ajman has mainly relied on maritime (shipbuilding and fishing) and trading sectors. The economic performance of the emirate today does not, however, rely on these two. Tourism, real estate and manufacturing sectors began to take larger portions of the emirate’s GDP. In 1977, Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry was incorporated to enhance the emirate’s economic position and exploit its capabilities within different sectors. The young visionary leadership has also given the instructions to the competent bodies of the government to remove all obstacles hindering business activities, paving the way for realization of remarkable achievements on the economic front. As a result of these efforts, Ajman’s share in the national GDP increased by 200% since 2001, reaching USD 3.78 billion in 2009 (1.4% of total national GDP). The major contributors were manufacturing (39.5%), construction (14.5%) and real estate (10%). Today ranked third among the emirates for industrial development, Ajman houses more than 550 plants and factories with investments value reaching approximately USD 407.62 million in 2010. The light industry segment makes the majority of this growing sector. The establishment of well planned industrial areas such as Ajman Industrial Area which has been provided with all the services and utilities to accommodate various industrial and business activities, the lucrative rents of real estate and land, and the freehold property laws were the main grounds that manufacturers choose to operate from Ajman. It is important to mention that Ajman has the biggest group of textile industries in the UAE.

Why UAE ?

Ajman’s vision to become a realty destination came as a result of the uprising prices of properties in the neighboring emirates and its central position to the other cities in the UAE. Thus, it passed property freehold legislations in 2004 and commenced the development of mega multi-purpose projects, calling the attentions of local residents and international investors. Since then, the real estate and construction sectors have been steadily rising, leading other sectors as well to flourish in the emirate. Ajman City now has the third largest property market in the UAE. Construction and real estate contributed more than 24% in the emirate’s GDP in 2009, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Boosted by the growth witnessed in the multi-purpose built developments such as Ajman Marina and the One, tourists were attracted to come to Ajman. In addition, Ajman Festival has a great role in flourishing the trade movement and tourism. The diversity of presentations and programs of the festival and its suitable prices for all have led to the attraction of a great number of visitors from inside and outside the Emirates. The opening of Ajman’s China Mall in 2010 attracted foreign investments as well as tourists from around the world. In addition to the growing different sectors especially manufacturing and real estate, the establishment of Ajman Free Zone in adjacent to Ajman seaport which houses the greatest ship maintenance workshop has also driven the Emirate’s economy in recent years. Since it provides many incentives and advantages, more than 3000 companies are now operating from the free zone.

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Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone Year of Establishment 1998

Licensing Authority Ajman Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Trading, Logistics, Services and Manufacturing

Legal Forms Licensed •Free Zone Establishment •Free Zone Company •A Branch of a Foreign Company

Incorporation Fees License Fee (Annual) – AED 3,900 (Trading), AED 9,100 (Industrial), AED 6500 (Professional)

Key Clients Meridian VAT Reclaim, Abdolasons Trading, Hanifa Motors, Ranco Impex, United Bottling Company

Chairman Ahmed Bin Humiad Al Nuaimi

Senior Management Director General: Mahmoud Khalil Al Hashemi Head of Investor Relations: Obaid Al Matrooshi


Ajman Free Zone ? • The only downtown Free Zone that is strategically located in the UAE i.e. close to major commercial cities providing an excellent access to the other Emirates (12 kilometers away from Dubai and 2 kilometer away from Sharjah) • The liberal economic climate in Ajman has been specifically designed to welcome foreign business and investment to encourage production, provide incentive for trade, develop international commerce, and above all promote industrial activity. • 20 years land contract is renewable for another 20 years guaranteeing 40 years tax free operations • 100% Business Ownership • Competitive pricing on premises • No hidden fees, no hidden charges and cheap energy • The most economical wage structure and easy access to vast work force • Total exemption from all import and export duties and total elimination of all service charges and hidden fees • Exceptionally low handling charges • Lowest lease prices • World class infrastructure • Single Window Immigration)



Contact Details Investor Relations Department Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, Ajman, Opposite to Ajman Port, Al Bustan, Ajman Telephone: +971 6 7011555 Fax: +971 6 7429222

Facilities and Services Offered

Available Business Premises

• Business Facilities (Conference Room and Business meeting rooms)

• Electronic Office Centre – AED 18,000 annually

• 24 hours Security Services

• Executive Offices – AED 25,000 annually

• Bank services

• Warehouses – AED 300 per square meter annually

• Postal services • Access to Ajman Port Facilities

• Open Lands – AED 20 per square meter annually • Smart Office – AED 14,800 annually

Email: Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Umm Al Quwain S

imilar to the other emirates that are located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Umm Al Quwain, one of the smallest emirates in the UAE, has always relied on agriculture, livestock and fishing as the key sources of earnings since the ancient times. This sector is still vital, contributing about 10% of its GDP yearly. However, the accumulated expansion of the national economy has significantly contributed to the rise of other sectors not only in Umm Al Quwain but also in all emirates. The real estate, construction, manufacturing and tourism sectors were the main sectors that started to appear more on the economic sphere of Umm Al Quwain. Despite its tiny area and lack of oil and gas reserves, Umm Al Qaiwain contributed USD 63 million to the national GDP in 2009, entirely depending on the non oil sectors. The main economic contributors are real estate and business services sector with 19.4%, transport, communication and storage (12.53%), trading (11.24%) manufacturing industries (8.99%) and government services sector (17.72%). In 2009, the manufacturing sector contributed USD 77.83 million to the emirate’s GDP. The cement, light petrochemicals products like rubber and plastics and aluminum industries are making the largest portions of this steadily growing sector, a 44% increase since 2001. According to the latest data released by the economic department of Umm Al Quwain, the number of business licenses increased by 84% in 2008 comparing to 2007 due to the economic and population growth the emirate has experienced. Using its strategic location and natural capacities, the emirate has been

Why UAE ?

focusing to strongly facilitate businesses through e-services and granting privileges, thus attracting local and foreign investments. Umm Al Quwain through its Strategy 2011-2013 specifies real estate and tourism as economic directions of the emirate. Future economic growth, as indicated by the Strategy, is based on the development of antiquities and heritage, infrastructure, and public sector. Developing multi-use projects like Al Salam City and Umm Al Quwain Marina are drawing more FDIs and tourists traffic. The rich historical and natural heritage of the emirate that includes plenty of monuments, natural reserves and islands are also capable of improving the tourism development. Besides preserving the natural and cultural heritage, the government of Umm Al Quwain initiated many tourism developments such as the Dreamland Aqua Park, the largest Aqua Park in the UAE, and supported touristic activities such as sky diving. These initiatives have played a role in terms of attracting tourists not only from the UAE but also from the region. Today, a UAE visitor does not leave the country without paying Umm Al Quwain a visit. Although the traditional occupations of fishing and date cultivation are still important in Umm Al Quwain, a mariculture research centre, port and economic free zone have boosted investment and business in the emirate. Umm Al Quwain was among the first emirates that established a free zone, realizing the important role of free zone on the development of the local economy. In 1989, Ahmed bin Rashid Free Zone launched in adjacent to the active port of the emirate, allowing foreign business ownership.

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Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Umm Al Quwain Free Zone

Ahmed bin Rashid Free Zone Year of Establishment 1989

Licensing Authority Ahmed Bin Rashid Port and Free Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Manufacturing and Trading

Legal Forms Licensed •A Branch of a foreign company •Free Zone Company •Free Zone Establishment

Incorporation Fees License Fee (Annual) – AED 3,900 (Trading), AED 9,100 (Industrial), AED 6500 (Professional)


Ahmed bin Rashid Free Zone ? • Easy connectivity to international markets • 845 meters of quay wall with 400 meters capable of handling ocean-going vessels, and 118,000 square meters of land reserved for light Industrial development. It also provides a comprehensive administrative and logistic support to the tenant. • A one-stop-shop for all government related and procurement related activities • State of the art communications, infrastructure and networks • Excellent logistics management and cargo handling services

Facilities and Services Offered • Standard services of water, electricity, communications and labor accommodation are all available.

Key Clients Meridian VAT Reclaim, Abdolasons Trading, Hanifa Motors, Ranco Impex, United Bottling Company

Incorporation Fees License Fee - AED 2,000 (Industrial License),AED 5,000(General Trading License), AED 5,000 (Management & Consultancy)

Available Business Premises

Contact Details

Office Units – USD 6,812 per annum

Sales Department

Open Land – USD 5.45 per square meter

Umm Al Quwain - Adjacent to Ahmed bin Rashid Port Telephone: +971 06 7655882 Fax: +971 06 7651552 Email:

Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Ras Al Khaimah L

ocated on the coast of Arabian Gulf, at the crossroad of the east and the west, the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah was among the first towns that best utilized its strategic location throughout the history. Not only the strategic location that pulled international investors to choose RAK but also its excellent infrastructure, strong government support towards the private sector, and not to mention its unmatched natural beauty. Ras Al Khaimah has become a growth-driven emirate with an increased focus on manufacturing, services, real estate, construction and tourism. An economic diversification strategy was adopted by RAK government, primarily focusing on industry, trade, tourism and real estate. International investors were attracted by the business-friendly policies and its strategic location. Recently, it was rated the best investment destination by the FDI Magazine, Financial Times, and London. Ras Al Khaimah has been witnessing an outstanding economic growth due to its diversification strategy. In 2009, USD 4.30 billion was contributed to the national GDP by Ras Al Khaimah. Despite the global crunch, the financial sector in RAK has shown strong returns, indicating the wise management of its visionary leadership. The main economic growing sectors in the emirate include trading and repair services, mining and quarrying, real estate and business services, agriculture, livestock and fishing and manufacturing. Dominated by three main industries, cement, ceramics and pharmaceuticals, the industrial sector in RAK has been one of the pioneering sectors in the UAE. RAK is the largest cement

Why UAE ?

producer in the region, the largest medicine producer in the UAE and one of the largest ceramics producers in the world. In order to best organize and support the industrial sector, Al Hamra Industrial Park was established in order to provide state-of-the-art facilities to this vital sector. RAK is planning to increase the contribution of the tourism and real estate sectors. Massive construction projects such as Mangroves Island and Mina Al Arab are taking place in order to cope with growing population. By utilizing its rich natural capabilities of beautiful beaches and mountains, RAK is aiming to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2012. To do so, it aims to increase the number of its hotels and apartments. The tourism sector was boosted by creating a dedicated Tourism Development Authority in 2011. The establishment of economic and free zones has been a target of the government. RAK Free Trade Zone and RAKIA Zone are among the most growing zones in the UAE. RAK FTZ is currently housing more than 5,000 active companies, reaping the advantages and incentives that are offered by the business hub. RAKIA free zone has also shown a good growth. It licensed about 800 new companies in the first half of 2011, a 31% increase comparing to the same period of last year. According to Oxford Business Group, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been playing a growing role in RAK’s economy, benefiting from the advantages offered by the emirate and its free zones. About 95% of the registered business entities in RAKIA up to 2010 were SMEs.

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Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Ras Al Khaimah Free Zones

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAKFTZ)


Year of Establishment

• One of the most cost effective free zones in the region that specifically targets small and medium businesses aiming to seize the opportunities in MENA, Asia and beyond


Licensing Authority RAK Free Trade Zone Authority

Sectors Targeted Services, Industry, Aviation, Technology, Media and Education

Legal Forms Licensed • Free Zone Establishment • Free Zone Company • A branch of a foreign company

Incorporation Fees License Fee (annual) – AED 3,650 (Commercial), AED 5,000 (Industrial), AED-7,500 (Professional), AED 15,000 (General Trading) Registration Fee – AED 7,000 Services Fee (annual) – AED 1,200

Key Clients Oranci Steel, Brochot, Micro Cdp, Ramjet, Rak-German, Dolphin International, Birla Institute of Technology International Centre (BITIC), Western International College– University of Bolton, Royal College of Applied Science and Technology, and Ras Al Khaimah Medical and Health Science University

Senior Management Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qasimi CEO: Oussama El Omari Deputy Director General: Maryam Al Murshedi


• A fast and flexible registration process allowing businesses to start operations with a minimal requirement • Facilities and virtual offices in different emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) allowing smooth and productive business activities for the Free Trade Zone clients • Ability to register off-shore companies for non-resident entrepreneurs • An established education, technology and media cluster environment • More than 5000 SMEs from 106 countries • RAK FTZ provides business and entrepreneurs to enter the Middle East, and with the UAE gateway between Europe, Asia and Africa, investors have direct access to emerging markets. • Open door economic development policies that gained the confidence of investors from across the globe • 100% tax free and 100% foreign ownership • Customized investment packages

Services and Facilities

Available Business Premises

• Affordable value-added services can be selected either during the initial startup phase, or at a later date which include Insurance, Creative Design, Advertising, Procurement, Event Management, Recruitment and Training • a variety of affordable courses in Training delivery, Training materials/books, Library, University placement services, ICDL, TOEFL iBT, Microsoft Prometric testing, Event/ Program organization, Venue rental, Training resource rental and Corporate needs assessments

Facilities and Services Offered • Offices spaces, warehouses and land required to setup a manufacturing unit • Issue of visas for investors and staff • Availability of accommodation




• Facilitation in obtaining services from utilities such power and water supply, gas, telephone connections

• Standard Offices – AED 31,000 per annum • Executive Offices – AED 26,00 per annum • Warehouse – AED 200 per square meter per annum • Temporary Warehouses – AED 2,000 for 15 days • Land for Development – AED 50 per square meter • Virtual offices

Contact Details Sales Department Al Nakheel Area, Ras Al Khaimah with facilities in Al Hamra Area and virtual offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tel: +971 7 2041111, Fax: + 971 7 2077120 Email: Website:

• Staff Accommodation Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

Rakia Industrial Park

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond


Rakia Industrial Park ? Year of Establishment 2005

Licensing Authority RAKIA Industrial Park RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA)

Sectors Targeted Plastics, glass and rubber products manufacturing, Fabricated metal product manufacturing, Non-metallic mineral product manufacturing, Automobile and Auto components, Chemical products, Food processing

Legal Forms Licensed • Industrial Licenses • Trading Licenses • Commercial Licenses • Consulting/ Service Licenses • Media License

Key Clients Arc International Middle East LLC, Ashok Leyland (UAE) LLC, Duscholux Emirates, Guardian Glass, JBF RAK LLC, Mahindra Armoured Vehicles FZ LLC, Mitsui Japan, Mabani Steel LLC, Middle East Specialized Cables (MESC) LLC, Becker Industrial Coatings LLC

Chairman Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi

Senior Management

• Ease of setting up a business due to availability of a single window clearance for all matters relating to establishment of the company, which includes licensing, office/ land lease and processing of investor as well as employee visas. • Low setup costs due to competitive lease rentals, with industrial land available for as low as AED 10/ sqm. • Rapid company formation, with licenses as well as office/ land lease agreements processed within 2 working days • Assured supply of electricity and water: RAKIA has installed dedicated power plants in the industrial parks at Al Hamra and Al Ghail as well as a desalinization plant. • Land, air and sea connectivity from RAK to major markets in the UAE and Middle East • Access to finance from Banks, as RAKIA has Memoranda of Understanding in place with HSBC and Bank of Baroda, the two leading banks in the emirate. • Developed networks




• Ease of recruiting manpower

Contact Details Business Development Department Opposite Al Hamra Mall, Near Exit 119 on Emirates Road, Ras Al Khaimah Telephone: +971 7 206 86 66

CEO: Dr. Khater Massaad

Fax: +971 7 243 44 64

Executive Director: Serge Guillaume


Facilities and Services Offered

Available Business Premises

• Offices spaces, warehouses and land required to setup a manufacturing unit.

• Commercial Offices

• Issue of visas for investors and staff

• Warehouses

• Availability of accommodation




• Desk Space • Land for Lease industrial Facilities

• Facilitation in obtaining services from utilities such power and water supply, gas, telephone connections

Website: Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Fujairah F

ujairah, the mountainous emirate, is the only emirate located in the Eastern Coastline of the UAE along the Gulf of Oman. Its economic performance has witnessed a remarkable growth due to its perfect utilization of its strategic location and natural and heritage capabilities. Its strategic location as a gateway to the major shipping routes of the world has made it a preferable choice over its sister emirates in the shipping industry. Major local and international companies have been benefiting from this geographic location. International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), an investment vehicle of Abu Dhabi, ordered the construction of a 360-kilometer oil export pipeline to transport up to 1.5 million barrels a day of crude to Fujairah in order to reduce oil transportation through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway through which Arabian Gulf oil producers ship their crude exports. Even though it is currently one of the top three bunkering destinations in the world, this mega project has caused a positive stir among international attentions, indicating the potential growth the emirate enjoys. The tourism sector is one of the most important targets of the government since Fujairah has historical monuments . Tourism programs including family entertainment, cultural tourism and marine tourism are the key tourism segments in the emirate. As stated by the local officials, the current number of rooms is not enough to accommodate the growing numbers of the visitors, inviting foreign and local investors to take advantage of this rising sector in the emirate. More than 50 touristic

Why UAE ?

ships visit Fujairah each year. Fujairah Tourism Bureau was established in 2009 to create a comprehensive tourism industry by stimulating different tourism activities and creating a business-friendly regulatory environment. Its soil is fertile and irrigated by rainwater from the Hajar Mountains, making it ideal for farming. As a strategic initiative to best utilize the valleys’ water in the emirate, Fujairah Municipality is giving the order to construct 16 dams and one aquatic channel in 2011. Fujairah is home to the world’s largest livestock shipping companies, which use its port as a holding station for sheep and cattle destined for the Arabian Peninsula. Other local industries include mining and stone crushing, which have benefited from the recent boom in construction in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Fujairah’s government has implemented several strategic initiatives to stimulate the economic performance of the emirate. It plays a supervisory role in issuing legislation, which organizes the functioning of the various economic sectors while causing no hindrance to the business activities. The Fujairah Free Zone, adjacent to the Port of Fujairah, was established to promote foreign investment in banking, trade, manufacturing and logistics. The commercial activity since then has seen a remarkable growth not only in the free zone but also in the emirate. In the first half of 2011, Fujairah Municipality has issued 171 economic licenses and renewed 1,173 licenses. In 2009, Fujairah’s contribution toward the national GDP has reached USD 2.54 billion in 2009. However, its share is expected to rise due to the growing sectors especially trading and tourism.

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Chapter 5

The United Arab Emirates Seven Pearls and Beyond

Fujairah Free Zones

Fujairah Free Zone


Fujairah Free Zone ? Year of Establishment 1987

Authority Fujairah Free Zone Authority

• One of a few free zones located on the Gulf of Oman providing direct access to the Indian Ocean • Strategically located on the world’s most busy routes for oil transportation with state-of-the-art bunkering facilities

Trading, export and import, logistics,

• Adjacent to Fujairah Port, one among the three most significant bunkering destinations in the world

manufacturing and warehousing

• Liberal commercial policies

Sectors Targeted

Legal Forms Licensed • Branch of a Foreign Company • Free Zone Company (FZCO) • Free Zone Establishment

Incorporation Fees Chamber of Commerce (p.a.): AED 3,020 Commercial License: Formation Fee (for FZCO): AED 5,000 Free Zone Utilities: AED 500 (one time charge)

Key Clients

• Within a maximum of 48 hours after application’s submission, the license will be granted • Exemption of customs duties on imports of all commodities and finished products for the purpose of export and re-export outside the UAE. Clients need not pay duties on factory machinery or raw material used in production • Availability of establishing an offshore business • Multi-access to neighboring and global markets by land, sea and air. • Variety of investment fields.

Enoc Bunkering, Microsol International,

• Investor-oriented policies

Eagean, Atlantic Marina

• Efficient and cost-effective investment facilitation

Chairman Saif Bin Hamed Al Sharqi

• Full investment security • Served by Fujairah Port and the Fujairah International Airport

Senior Management Director General: Sharief Habib Al Awadhi Managing Director: Muhamad Natafji

Contact Details Business Development Department Adjacent to Fujairah port, Fujairah Tel. : +9719 2228000 Fax : +9719 2228888 E-mail :

Facilities and Services Offered • Prompt assistance in obtaining service from related Federal Ministries with regard to driving license, registration of cars, notarization of legal documents, entry permits, residence visas, transit and visit visas for investors and employees

Available Business Premises Pre-built manufacturing unit: • AED 220 per square meter • Warehouse: AED 220 per square meter • Virtual office: AED 12,000 annually • Open land: AED 12 per square meter

• Recruitment services for personnel at all levels

Website : Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


The United Arab Emirates An Accommodating Legal Environment

Chapter 6

The United Arab Emirates An Accommodating Legal Environment


Toned with international recognized standards and customized to derive from the local enriched culture and tradition, the legal business framework of the UAE forms a very unique system that is compelling to accommodate and facilitate all types of business activities.



Chapter 6

The United Arab Emirates An Accommodating Legal Environment

Existing local courts (Dubai and Ras Al Khaima) apply the federal laws in addition to the local legislation that is laid down by the concerned local authority. These courts follow the same system as the federal courts; allowing three stages of litigation.

the said Provisional Constitution came into effect, introducing the current Constitution.


ne of the key pillars to the UAE being a pulling and attractive market for international trade and investment is the accommodating and business friendly legal environment. This fact supported by the policies of transparency and good governance keenly overseen by the state organs, sets the UAE aside from many of its peer countries in the surrounding region. The development of the legal framework regulating business in the UAE has gone a long way in the path to match the highest international standards in many areas. Specialized and well-drafted legislations have made the UAE a first in the region in many areas.

The Constitution The first UAE constitutional document was the Provisional Constitution which was passed in July 1971. Later, in 1996, a law amending

Just like other modern states, the UAE Constitution serves as the wide legislative umbrella that supersedes over and orchestrates the different organs of the state in terms of roles and responsibilities, at both federal and local levels.

Characteristics of the Legal System

It also sets and defines the general guidelines of governance and the constitutional relation between the seven member Emirates, as well as Freedoms, rights and public duties; the fundamental social and economic basis of the union, security and armed forces, among other typical constitutional issues.

Legislative Authorities A legislative body; ‘the Supreme Council’ was formed by the Constitution and given the authority to pass federal laws; mostly presented by the National Assembly (the Parliament) or the Federal Council of Ministers. In addition, the individual Emirates have a right under the constitution to issue decrees and regulations concerning their internal matters.

The UAE is considered to belong to the family of the states which adopt the Civil Law system (Latin) that represents, together with the common law, the main systems found in today’s modern world.

Judicial Authorities The Constitution of the UAE assigns a well defined scope of judicial authorities to the federal court system, which is divided into three levels of litigation: the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, and the Federal Supreme Court. Courts are divided into the following sections:

Civil Courts: with jurisdiction over all civil issues e.g. disputes arising from commercial transactions, property related disputes, and recovery of debts Criminal Courts: with jurisdiction over criminal matters e.g. theft, assault. Shari’a Courts: concerned with personal status and family laws matters e.g. inheritance, marriage and divorce. The flexible federal model adopted in the structure of the union of the Emirates is well reflected in the Constitution, as it allows the member Emirates to have their own legislations and judiciary. Although this license could have represented a window for a contradiction between the federal and local authorities; this was cautiously and effectively avoided throughout the walk of the legal development that the individual Emirates were undergoing. In fact, the risk factor highlighted above was turned into an advantage with the positive complementary role that the existing local courts have been playing, in support of the federal judiciary.

Why UAE ?

The Egyptian law, which has its basic source in the French law, has an obvious influence on UAE legal system. Also, the Islamic Shari’a is normally another component of the UAE’s legal system. Shari’a is not a codified law, but an Islamic jurisprudence consisting of many schools of thought. In the presence of a written code or legislation, there is no room for applying Shari’a principals. On the other hand, provisions of international treaties to which the UAE is a party are strictly applied by the courts. It is important to state here that a set of factors have contributed in creating a unique school of application of the Civil Law System. The UAE, being the attractive regional and international hub that, it is continuing to represent a desirable market for highly qualified legal professionals from various Arab countries as well as the west. The positive impact of this fact can be easily seen in the evident capability of members of the Judiciary seated in the UAE different courts, as well as the strong presence of the most prominent international law firms; especially those originated in the UK and the US. This diversified legal environment has helped in enriching the arena of legal interpretation and jurisprudence, providing a chance for continuous improvement. Within this context, it is also to be highlighted that the responsive attitude and mentality tended to be adopted by the legislative authorities and the judges has also helped to lean the restricted, sometimes hindering characteristics of the Civil Law System as applied in other jurisdictions. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Civil Litigation Process Litigation proceedings typically start by the submission of the defendant’s pleading (memorandum) explaining his case, together will documents supporting his the claim. For submissions to be processed and considered as a case, certain fees, depending on the value and nature of claim, are to be paid. Thereafter, the court serves a notice to the defendant(s) including the plaintiff’s name, and the time scheduled for the first hearing, on which (or at a later time decided by the court) defendant would respond by submitting his defense pleading. Once litigants have exchanged submissions, the court sets a date to deliver its judgment. A party who is not happy with the outcome of the proceeding may refer the case to the court of appeal, after fulfilling the procedural requirements. It is a common practice by the UAE courts to refer issues involving technical knowledge to experts, with a mandate to study the parties claims and submit a report. Hearings are conducted in Arabic language, which is the official language of litigation.

Arbitration In addition to the Judicial system, the UAE has shown a lot of respect to parties’ decision to resort to ADR methods. Currently, the legal community in the UAE awaits the issuance of the new federal arbitration law, which is expected to complete the legal infrastructure of commercial arbitration. Till the new law is fully operative, the issue of arbitration remains to be governed by the Civil Procedure Law of 1992 (“CPL”). Said law deals on different sections: about the framework of arbitration, the enforcement of foreign judgments and the relevant procedural aspects. Since 1982, The UAE has been a member of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States & Nationals of Other States (ICSID). Also, it has in November 2006 formally acceded to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958.

Legal Environment in Free Zones Vs. Inland

For most companies incorporated outside the free zones, no restrictions on the repatriation of capital and profits and freedom from currency restrictions and import duties.

The UAE accommodates a large number of free zones, which are partially exempted from the application of the UAE federal and local laws. This exemption is particularly relevant to areas of business set-up formalities, tenancy and labor relations.

The most advanced step in the direction of diversifying the legal environment in the UAE was the establishment of the Dubai International Financial Centre in Dubai (DIFC).

The rationale behind that is to allow free zones a wider span of liberty in order to attract foreign investors. One of the most appealing features that most free zones make available is the acceptance of 100% foreign ownership of businesses, compared to 49 per cent in the UAE inland.

DIFC is a world class financial centre that has its own laws which are heavily influenced by the common law system; courts and arbitration centre. The legal infrastructure available in the DIFC is considered to be matching the best international practices adopted in the major financial centres.

In line with the rapid growth in the number of arbitration cases taking place in the UAE, the presence of arbitration centers have witnessed a similar progress. Currently, the list includes: The Dubai International Arbitration Centre The DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre The Abu Dhabi Conciliation and Arbitration Centre The Sharjah International Arbitration Centre Ras Al-Khaimah Arbitration Center Why UAE ?



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Legal Topics Relevant to doing Business in the UAE Commercial Transaction In the early 1990s, when the world started to look at the UAE as a potential major player in the regional market, the legislature has positively responded to the pressing need for a separate law to govern the commercial activities. Before that, such activities were only regulated by the Civil Transactions Law (Civil Code). This development was a landmark in the advancement of legal literature and practice in the area of business laws. It actually had a considerable influence on the legal environment that accommodated the UAE boom which started in the second half of the 1990s. The Commercial Transactions Law (CTL) defines the scope of activities that are considered as commercial, and then deals with a wide array of relevant issues, such as trade name (goodwill); unfair

The United Arab Emirates An Accommodating Legal Environment

competition; mortgage and international sale of goods. Additionally, CTL places the basic concepts and definitions for commercial activities such as brokerage, commercial agency and transportation by different means. It extends also to cover areas of banking activities; commercial papers and bankruptcy.

Definition of ‘Trader’ Broadly, a trader is every person who works in his own name and for his own account in commercial activities and has the proper qualification when taking on such activities as his occupation. This definition expands to include any company which undertakes a commercial activity or has adopted one of the legal forms defined by the Commercial Companies Law, even if such an activity whereof civil nature. Commercial activities were defined by the law as those activities which are carried out by traders in the normal course of their trade affairs. That includes those activities carried out by a person, though not a trader, with the intent of realizing profit. However, certain activities were specifically defined by the law as commercial whether by their nature or when practiced as profession (please refer to tables below).

Commercial Activities (By Nature) The purchase / hiring of commodities and other material and non-material movables with the intention of leasing out/selling them at a profit, whether in the same condition or after processing or manufacturing them. The banking, exchange, stock markets and investment companies operations, trust funds, financial establishments and all kinds of other financial brokerage operations. All kinds of transactions related to commercial papers, irrespective of the capacity of the concerned persons therein or the nature of the transactions for which such operations are carried out. All kinds of sea and air navigation activities, including construction, sale, purchase, chartering or taking on charter, repair or maintenance of vessels and aircrafts, as well as sea and air shipment and carriage. b. The sale and purchase of vessel and aircraft supplies, tools and materials and supplies thereof; loading and unloading activities; maritime and air loans; employment contracts for commercial vessel and aircraft captains and pilots. Formation of companies, current accounts, all kinds of insurances with the exception of the cooperative insurance. Public auction sale premises, hotels, restaurants, movie halls, theaters, play grounds and amusement centers activities. Publication of newspapers and magazines with the intent of making profit through the publishing of advertisements, news and articles, post, telegraph and telephone activities; and broadcasting, television, recording and photography studios activities. Water, electricity and gas distribution activities, and the activities of public warehouses and mortgages on property deposited therein. Commercial Activities (By Profession) Water, electricity and gas distribution activities, and the activities of public warehouses and mortgages on property deposited therein. Brokerage, commercial agency, commission agency, commercial representation, Supply contracts, purchase and sale of lands or real-estates with the intent of making profit by selling there in their original condition or after transforming or dividing Land transport, real estate activities at times when the Contractor undertakes to supply the materials or the workers. Industry; and the income from extraction industries of natural resources. Tourism, travel, export, import and customs clearing activities, as well as the activities of services and recruitment offices. Printing, publishing, photography, recording and advertising activities.

Special Commercial Transactions Commercial Transactions Law puts clear regulations to organize certain types of commercial transactions. That includes public auctions, sale of goods by installments, sale of goods at reduced price usually conducted by chain and department stores. The spirit and view in which the law deals with these transactions, is very balanced, as it considers giving the public authority a room to supervise the market, without jeopardizing Why UAE ?

the freedom of trade nor the duty to protect the public.

International Sale of Goods The law includes a chapter that adopts a set of frequently used and predefined forms of commercial terms (incoterms) used to identify responsibilities with regards to the costs associated with sale of goods (transportation, insurance etc...). The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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The mortgagor shall have priority right to collect his debt- principal, interests and expenses incurred in his claim of it - from the price resulting from the sale.

Commercial Mortgage CTL defines the special provisions pertinent to commercial mortgage, where a party surrenders the possession of a movable property to another, in security of a commercial debt. Once the mortgaged item passes to the custody of the mortgagor or such other agreed upon third part, then the mortgagor is bound to take all the necessary measures to safeguard the mortgaged article and undertaken maintenance thereof. Where the mortgagee fails to pay on the date of maturity of the debt secured by the mortgage, the mortgagor may, after the lapse of seven days from the date of service of notice on the debtor to pay, submit a petition to the Court to the effect of authorizing him to sell the mortgaged item. The petition shall be looked into promptly and without delay and the Court shall determine the mode of payment.

Brokerage and Commercial Representation As one of the very common activities in the world of trade, brokerage contracts whereby a broker undertakes to another person to look for and mediate in the negotiations with a second party in order to execute a specific contract in consideration is also covered by the law. This covers a great deal of potential areas of dispute, such as the broker’s scope and limits of responsibility, and the time in which he is entitled to his remuneration.

Carriage The law does apply on dealings relevant to all types of carriage with the exception of carriage by sea; a domain that is covered in detail by the provisions of the UAE Maritime Law.

Good to Know When you wish to transport goods that, owing to their nature, need special preparations (packing or wrapping), you shall have to take such precautions as would protect the goods from perishing or being damaged and would not expose other persons or goods carried with it to injury or damage respectively.

Commercial Agencies Commercial activities like distribution of goods and services are usually conducted by appointed local agents. Such activities often introduce certain challenges that require special attention by the authorities in charge of legal regulation in any given country. The UAE legislature has responded to this fact by issuing the federal Commercial Agencies Law, 1981 (“COML”), which has been subject to several updates, the latest of which was issued in 2010. COML defines a commercial agency as: “The representation of a Principal by an Agent on the distribution, sale offer or presentation of commodities or services within the UAE”

Features of Commercial Agencies under COML: Hereunder is a brief overview of some of the important features of commercial agencies under COML:

For a local agent to be legally recognized, he must be either a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals. All commercial agencies must be registered at the Ministry of Economy. Principal-Agent relationship must be exclusive in relation to territory or to a specific product and foreign principals may appoint a sole agent to be their representative in the UAE, or appoint several agencies in any or each of the emirates. A commercial agent is entitled to receive commissions on sales activities in the designated areas, no matter whether such sales are made by or through the agent.

Commercial Agency Committee: Before resorting to competent courts, disputes arising between principals and commercial agents are to be brought before the /commercial Agency Committee, of the MOC The Committee’s decision can be challenged before a competent court within 30 days of the date of the Committee’s decision, otherwise, the Committee’s decision shall be deemed final.

Termination: Provisions of COML relevant to terminating a commercial agency have been subject of several amendments. Currently, for a foreign principal to terminate or refuse to renew an agency, it is required to show a material reason justifying its termination or nonrenewal, e.g. failure to meet sales target.

The carrier’s liability shall cover his acts and those of his subordinates (employees) when such acts are committed by them in the course of rendering their services. All persons employed by the carrier for the performance of his obligations under the carriage contract shall be considered as his subordinates. The carrier shall be responsible for the safety of the goods during the performance of the carriage contract. No persons other than a U.A.E. nationals may practice trade in the, unless he has one or more U.A.E. partners according to the conditions and within the limits stipulated by the Commercial Companies Law. Professionals (e.g. engineering consultant cannot import building materials) may not practice import and export activities. As a trader, you would be under a legal obligation to keep correct and orderly books of accounts of your business.

+ UAE law recognize the use of software to keep record +UAE laws recognize lenders’ right to claim for interest over commercial loans with a cap of 12%. Why UAE ?

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Foreign Companies Provisions of the CCL are applicable on foreign companies who are licensed to do business in the UAE.

Commercial Companies All matters relevant to commercial companies, starting from formation till winding-up are regulated across the seven Emirates by the provisions of the Commercial Companies Law, 1984 (CCL) as amended.


Although the CCL is applicable on the federal level, individual Emirates has the powers to issue local supplementary regulations. Orchestrated by the federal Ministry of Economy, Local authorities are also entitled to oversee and regulate the formalities relevant to companies within the respective Emirate, including setting-up, transfer of shares, and winding-up.

General Partnership (GP):

Nationality and Corporate Identity A company registered under the CCL is considered to be domiciled in the UAE and have its nationality. However, this would not necessarily entitle such a company to privileges reserved only to U.A.E nationals, such as purchase of immovable property outside permitted zones, and being given the right to have a registered commercial agency. Except for joint-ventures, companies shall attain their respective corporate entity (legal capacity), and shall perform their functions only after being registered. However, during establishment, a company would enjoy a corporate entity to the extent that allows registration procedures to be completed. For example, companies have the right to open bank accounts even before obtaining the official license, in order to

CLL recognizes and permits certain types of companies. Any company that takes another form is considered void and liabilities arising out of its dealings shall be born be the person(s) dealing in its name. Recognized forms are:

facilitate registration formalities.

Shareholding Partners of a company may settle the value of their shares by way of an allocated fund (cash share) or in kind (corporeal share). Within this context, even efforts undertaken to be exerted by a partner may be acceptable as a value for his shares. However, it is not permitted for a partner to contribute in the shareholding of a company against his reputation or any authority which such partner may have.

A general partnership is a company comprising two or more partners who are jointly and severally liable (meaning individually and mutually) for the obligations of the company. Such liability extends to partners’ personal assets. This type of companies is restricted to UAE nationals. Name of a GP company shall be composed of the names of all or part of the partners together with what may show the existence of company, or it may simply have a special trade name of its own. In a GP company, shares may be assigned

either by approval of all the partners or in the manner prescribed by the memorandum of association, which is required to include particular details covering the main areas of partnership e.g. company’s capital, shares and rate of profit/loss distribution.

Limited Partnership (LP): A limited partnership company comprises general partners together with one or more silent partner(s). Liability of general partners, who are involved in company’s dealings with third parties, is similar to partners of a joint venture company i.e. they are individually and mutually liable for the obligations of the company, while those sleeping partners is limited to the value of their shares in the company. Unless the parties agree to the contrary, decisions in this type of companies are to be made by ammoniums agreement. CCL puts restrictions on the position of general partner, as it is only allowed for UAE nationals, although non-UAE nationals may participate as sleeping partners. Name of an LP company shall be composed of the names of all or part of the partners (except silent partners) together with what may show the existence of company, or it may simply have a special trade name of its own.

Profits and Loss Allocation Usually, parties’ profits and losses are linked to the percentage of shares they hold. However, if the parties are in a lawful agreement to adopt another allocation methodology, that would be permitted.

Good to Know A company’s purpose must be lawful with due consideration given to standardization and specialization of its main objectives. Companies taking any permitted form other that joint venture have to have a written and duly notarized memorandum and articles of association. Unlike the case in UAE free zones, 51% of the shares of an inland company shall be held, as a general rule, by one or more UAE national. Why UAE ?

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company’s shares and 45% at maximum.

All essential elements defining the partners’ relationship are to be spelt out in the JV agreement, including their entitlements and obligations, the manner of distribution of obligations, profit and loss. Unless the parties agree to the contrary, decisions in this type of companies are to be made by ammoniums agreement.

After the required approvals are granted, invitations for public subscription shall be announced to the public. In addition to a summary of the Memorandum and Articles of association, the announcement shall contain all details relevant to payment, shares, board membership requirements and any other matters affecting the entitlements or obligations of the shareholders. Management responsibilities of a PJSC are to be borne by a board of directors (3-15) members, and the financial affairs of the company are to be audited by an accredited auditor. CCL defines the framework of managing PJSCs in a reasonable detail, so as to ensure sound management of shareholders funds invested in the company.

Public Joint-Stock (PJSC):

Private Joint-Stock (PrJSC):

With few exceptions, all companies interested in the business of banking, insurance, or investment of funds is to take the form of a PJSC. In a PJSC, capital must be adequate for the achievement of its objectives, and in all cases may not be less than USD 2.7 million.

PrJSC is another option available for investors under the CCL. Number of founders in this type of companies shall not be less than three, and shares shall not be offered for public subscription. Founding partners may subscribe to the full amount of the capital which is to be USD 0.54 million or more.

Capital is to be divided into negotiable shares of equal value. It is important here to mention that founding members are of a PJSC are required to hold at least 20% of the

Except for provisions concerning public subscription, all provisions contained in the CCL with regard to public joint-stock shall apply to private joint-stock companies.

Joint – Venture (JV): A JV company is an association between two or more partners to share profit or loss of a commercial business or businesses carried out in the private name of one of the partners, while is other remain undisclosed to third parties.

Steps for Setting-up an LLC Selecting a commercial name and have it approved. Preparing the Memorandum of Association and have it notarized by a Notary Public. Getting approval from the Economic Department in the desired Emirate and apply for entry in the Commercial Register. Enrollment in the Commercial Register. Issuance of the license by the Economic Department. Registration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Limited Liability (LLC): An LLC is an association of a maximum number of fifty and minimum of two partners. Partners in an LLC are liable only to the extent of their shares in the capital.

Orderly books of accounts are to be maintained by the management of an LLC, and the annual statements of accounts are to be audited by an accredited auditor.

LLCs are noticed to be the preferred vehicle of doing business by expatriates, for the great deal of flexibility it provides. Notably, this option gives an opportunity for the expatriate partner to assume full management of a business, as well as agreeing on a methodology for profit/loss distribution that does not necessarily follow the percentage of shares. LLCs are also recognized as offering a suitable structure for entities interested in developing a long term relationship in the local market. With the exception of banking, insurance and investment of funds, an LLC may practice any lawful activity. Capital of an LLC should not be less than USD 47,850 (81,700 in Dubai), and is to be divided into equal shares of a value not less than AED 1000 each (USD 272). Managers (1 to 5) shall be appointed to assume management responsibilities. With regards to managers, there is no restriction on the nationality status i.e. it is not mandatory for managers to be of UAE nationality. Good to Know One of the requirements for a branch to a foreign company to operate in the UAE is to have a local agent, who must be a either a UAE national or a company that is 100% owned by UAE nationals. Local agents are not involved in running the business. They just liaise in issues similar to obtaining visas, labor cards, etc and are usually paid a lump sum and/or a percentage of profits or turnover.

Why UAE ?

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Partnership Limited with Shares (PLS): A PLS is an association comprising two types of partners: general partners (must be UAE nationals) who are mutually liable, to the extent of their personal assets, toward the company obligations; and shareholding partners who are liable only to the extent of their shares in the capital of the company. The capital of a partnership limited with shares shall be not less than AED five hundred thousand (USD 136,147), and is to be divided into negotiable shares of equal value. The name of one or more general partners shall be reflected in the name of the company. In many aspects, such as establishment, issuance of stocks, functions of directors, accounts and alike, a PLS is to follow the same provisions applicable on PJSCs.

The United Arab Emirates An Accommodating Legal Environment

The company management shall be assumed by one or more general partners. Name and scope of responsibility of such manager(s) are to be mentioned in the memorandum and articles of association of the company.

Branch and Representative Offices of Foreign Companies: CCL also regulates with formation and regulation of branches and representative offices of foreign companies in the UAE. It is important to understand that a branch does not have a legal identity and is, legally speaking, considered as part of the parent company. Branch offices have a restricted status, as they are not allowed to directly engage in the UAE market, save to representation and marketing of the parent company, and provision of services similar to maintenance.

Bankruptcy A bankruptcy or insolvency law was promulgated by the UAE as early as 1973, which was later amended under the UAE Federal CTL. Rules governing bankruptcy in the UAE aw similar to those applied internationally. By the declaration of a debtor as bankrupt by the court, a notice is issued to all creditors to register their claims. Emirati creditors of a bankrupt merchant must register their claims within 10 days of publication of the notice. Foreign creditors staying outside the country must register their claims within one month of the announcement. The judge of the bankruptcy court will verify Why UAE ?

the documents submitted by the debtor and will reschedule debts and lodge them as per the court’s instructions. A copy of the schedule along with a statement of the amount that the court intends to accept as debt will be sent to every creditor and the bankrupt entity. The creditors could object to the amount stated by the court and the judge supervising the bankrupt merchant or company will decide whether to accept or reject the objection It is important to state that one of the major consequences faced by those who are declared as bankrupt will not be able to carry out businesses. As well, the bankrupt merchant cannot leave the country without informing the court. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Employement All matters relevant to employment relationships in the UAE are regulated by the provisions of the federal Labour Law, which was issued in1980 (LL). That was only the beginning for many significant developments in the regulation of the area of employment.

Scope The EL covers all the employees, regardless of nationality, and contains a wide definition of “employee”, which includes all persons who, for wage of any kind, are in the service or under the management or control of an employer. Definite Contract

Due to the special nature of their activities and professions, EL excludes employees of the federal and local government, members of the armed forces, police and security, domestic servants employed in private households, and the like, as well as farming and grazing workers, other than those working in agricultural establishments that process their own products, and those who are permanently employed to operate or repair mechanical equipment required for agricultural work.

Employment Contract The EL defines the employment contract as any agreement, concluded between an employer and an employee, whereby the latter undertakes to work in the employer’s service and under his management and control, in return for a certain wage that the employer undertakes to pay. Indefinite Contract

Shall not exceed four years.


may be renewed by mutual Agreement

Does not need to be renewed.

Renewal shall be deemed as an extension of the original term and shall be added thereto when calculating the employee’s total period of service.

Why UAE ?

Employee’s total period of service starts from joining till termination of service.

Employment contract is considered as ‘Indefinite’ if it: Is not written if it concluded for an unspecified period. If it was originally written and concluded for a definite term but both parties, without a written agreement between them, continued to perform it after its expiry; or Was originally concluded for the execution of a specific work that had no specific duration or that is recurrent by nature, but the contract continued after completion of that specific work.

Employment contract shall be written in duplicate, with one copy to be delivered to the employee and the other to the employer. Contract shall particularly specify the date of its conclusion, the date on which work is to begin, the type and place of the work, the duration of the contract, (if definite) and the amount of the wage. An employment contract may be for a definite or indefinite term. Below table summarizes the differences between the two types, as follows:

Probation Period EL recognizes inclusion of a condition of a non-renewable probation period not exceeding six months in employment contracts. During such a period the employer, without notice or severance pay may terminate employee’s services. An employee shall not be placed on probation more than once with the same. Where an employee successfully completes the period of probation and

continues in employment, said period shall be calculated as part of his period of service.

Employment of Non-UAE Nationals As the UAE is considered a preferred destination for professionals and skilled human resources from over the world, it was necessary that the EL outlines the legal framework for employment of non-UAE nationals. Non-Nationals may not be employed without the prior approval of the MOL and before first obtaining an employment permit in accordance with the revealing procedures and regulations such permit shall not be granted unless the following conditions are fulfilled: That the employee possesses professional competence or educational qualification the country is in need of. That the employee has lawfully entered the UAE and satisfied the conditions prescribed in the residence regulations in force.

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Employment of Children and Women In line with the public policy of the UAE, EL lays down several measures that aim at the protection and regulation of employed children and women. That includes determination of the minimum age for a child to be employed (15 years) and limiting the working hours for children to six a day. Additionally, EL prohibits employment of women and children in jobs that are hazardous or detrimental to health, or at night shifts except in very restricted conditions. Also, female employees are entitled as per the EL to maternity leave with full pay, and child nursing time within working days.

Wages EL differentiates between ‘total wage’ comprising the whole package payable to employee (including for instance travel,

The United Arab Emirates An Accommodating Legal Environment

accommodation, medical insurance and any other benefit) and ‘basic wage’ which does not include any allowances. Understanding the difference between basic and total salary is particularly important for both employers and employees as the basic wage is the one to be taken into account when calculating a gratuity for end-of-service.

Working Hours The maximum normal working hours for adult workers are eight hours a day, 48 a week. For certain types of establishments, this may be increased to nine hours a day (hotels, cafeterias, security services etc…).

Safety & Protection Each employer shall provide appropriate safety measures to protect employees against the hazards of occupational injuries and diseases that may occur during the work and also against fire and other hazards that may result from the use of machines and other work tools.

Termination Employment contracts terminate in any of the following cases: By mutual agreement of the parties, Upon expiry of its term, unless it has been expressly or implicitly extended; For the convenience of either party to an indefinite term contract.

Termination by the Employer: An employer may dismiss an employee without notice if and only if the employee: Assumes a false identity or nationality or submits forged certificates or documents. Is engaged on probation and is dismissed during or at the end of the probationary period; Commits a fault resulting in substantial material loss to the employer Disobeys instructions on the safety of work or workplace, provided that such instructions are in writing and posted at a conspicuous place and are communicated verbally to the worker, in case he is illiterate; Defaults on his basic duties under the contract and fails to redress such default despite a written interrogation and a warning that he will be dismissed if such default is repeated; Is finally convicted by a competent court of a crime against honour, honesty or public morals; Reveals any confidential information of his employer; Is found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of a narcotic drug during working hours; Assaults the employer, the manager in charge or any of his workmates during working hours; or Absents himself from work without a valid reason for more than 20 non-successive days in one single year, or for more than seven successive days.

Why UAE ?

Where an employment contract is for a definite term and the employer revokes it for reasons other than those specified above, he shall be required to compensate the employee for any damage the latter sustains. Said compensation shall in no case exceed the aggregate wage of three months or the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract. An employee may abandon his work without notice in either of the following cases: If the employer fails to honour his obligations towards the employee, as provided for in the contract or in the EL.

If he is assaulted by the employer or the employer’s legal representative. Where a contract is revoked by an employee for reasons other than those specified above, he shall be required to compensate the employer for any damage the latter sustains as a result, provided that the amount of compensation shall not exceed half a month wage for three months or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Cooperation Treaty; WIPO Convention and WIPO Copyright Treaty.

Intellectual Property Protection of Intellectual property rights is one of the areas that the UAE has considered as vital to achieve its ambitious economic plans. Historically, Ras Al Khaimah was the first among the Emirates to enact a law to regulate the registration of trademarks. Later, numerous laws regulating the rights considered as intellectual has been enacted. In 1992, the federal Trademark Law was issued, introducing a modern reliable trademark protection system for the business community. In the same year, the Copyright Law was also enacted. The latter was repealed in 2002, by the Copyright and Related Rights. In 2002 another relevant law was passed which is the one regulating the industrial property rights for patents, designs and models. The UAE is a committed party to a member of international intellectual property treaties, like the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); Berne Convention for the Protection Literary and Artistic Work; Paris Convention for the Protection Industrial Property; Patent

The UAE also adopts the International Classification of Goods and Services under the Nice Agreement, 1957. Additionally, the UAE has agreed with other members of the Gulf Countries Council on the adoption of a unified trademark law.

Trademarks Registration of a trademark extends protection for renewable period of 10 years from the date of filing of application. Trademarks eligible for registration include names; signatures; letters; numbers; drawings; symbols and pictures. Applications for trademark registration are to be submitted to the Ministry of Economy (MOE); the government body in charge of the trademark registers in the UAE. Application is to be accompanied by all relevant documentation like labels of the mark desired to be registered, and a duly notarized power of attorney, if the application is submitted by an agent. Once the application for registration is approved, the trademark shall be published in the official trade mark bulletin as well as two newspapers. The purpose of publication is to allow any party that claims interest or right on the trademark to oppose the registration, and such oppositions, if any, are to be decided upon by the MOE and the competent court. If no opposition is successful, the MOE shall issue a registration certificate in the name of the applicant.

Copyright and Related Rights Copy right and Related rights Law governess the protection given to authors on their intellectual works like books and other forms of written materials, computer softwares, music pieces, audio and video productions, drawings, paintings, photographs and alike. However, some materials cannot be registered due to their nature, like laws, materials which enters the public domain. Rights granted include both moral rights (such as use for the first time), as well as the Why UAE ?

of commercial use of the material subject to intellectual property rights. Such protection is granted for 50 years for the lifetime of the author, and 50 years thereafter. As to applied arts the protection period is 25 years, and 20 for broadcasted materials. Protection of copyrights is granted regardless of the fact that the material was registered at the Ministry of economy or not. However, it is advisable to register intellectual works and materials as this would make the process of evidence much easier in case any conflict arises.

Industrial Property Rights for Patents, Designs and Models The important area of intellectual property rights relevant to inventions and industrial know how and models is also covered by the UAE laws. In broad terms, for such kind of intellectual works and materials to enjoy protection, they are to be new, and do not in violation of the law and public policy. Rights over inventions are granted to the inventor himself, unless the invention was a result of the inventor’s work as part of his

duties as an employee, where in such a case, the rights pertinent to the invention will be granted to the employer.

Enforcement actions The UAE legal system provides an extensive protection to intellectual property related rights, including very efficient enforcement actions whether through the civil court, or the police or the public prosecutor. Certain government departments have also the authority to take some immediate actions against proven cases of infringement of intellectual property rights, like seizing and even destroying counterfeited goods and impose fines. It is important to highlight that, during the past decade, the UAE has very much increased its cooperation with regard to enforcement with WIPO, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition. The role of government departments in charge of customs is being played by local authorities at local level. Within this context, it is important to state that the UAE is extensively co-operation with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as the World Customs Organization in this area. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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(“ADX”); NASDAQ Dubai; and most recently Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (“DMCC”).

Exchange of Securities & Commodities In its quest to actualize the vision of being the preferred destination in the region for financial institutions and attract corporations and investors involved in the sector of financial services and stock exchange, it was vital for the UAE to carefully set-up its legal and institutional platform. The first step in that direction was the enactment o the Securities and Commodities Exchange Law (“SCEL”) in 2000. Under the law, a federal authority called the Securities and Commodities Authority (“SCA”) was established, to undertake regulatory authorities over the exchange markets As soon as the law came into effect, the Dubai Financial Market (“DFM”) started trading, followed by Abu Dhabi Exchange

Since then, these markets have witnessed considerable growth and expansion in terms of trading, which made them on top of the list of regional stock exchange markets in the region. In order to understand the legal framework under which the DFM and AD… operate, it is necessary to give a brief account of the main features of the SCEL, including its objectives and the regulatory body it created.

The SCA SCEL was intended to serve as the umbrella of rules governing the stock exchange activities within the UAE, leaving a room for local legislations and regulations issued by the respective exchange markets. To that end, it created SCA which was assigned the mandate of providing the opportunity for investment of savings and funds in securities in a manner that servers the national economy and ensures accuracy and soundness of transactions, further to assuring interaction of supply and demand factors with a view to fix prices with a view to fix prices and protect investors through consolidating proper and fair transacting principals among the various investors. Additionally, the authority was sought to play a role in developing investment awareness by conducting studies and recommendations to the concerned authorities, as well as to seek to insure financial and economic stability.

the SCA, the law gives the latter powers to suspend the dealings of any market or in the shares of any company in case exceptional circumstances that threaten the progress or regularity of occur.

Scope of the SCA The SCEL envisages the establishment of markets for negotiation of securities and commodities, either in the form of a local public institute, or a public corporation. Such markets are to be licensed by the SCA, and are to operate under its supervision. The SCEL also requires markets operating in the UAE to display prices of securities and commodities in the manner prescribed in the regulations that are issued to detail its provisions. To enforce the regulatory authority of Why UAE ?

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Disclosure and Transparency Understanding that transparency is a corner stone in the stability of securities and commodities exchange markets, SCEL dedicated a whole chapter to place the rules that shall govern this area. For that purpose, a wide range of powers is given to the SCA, including: To conduct investigations deemed to be necessary in the course of applying the Law To publish any information that may affect the prices of securities pertinent to any company To order any firm whose securities are listed in the market to publish explanatory information regarding its position and activities in a manner that would guarantee safe dealing.

Securities and Commodities Exchanges Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) ADX was established on 15 November 2000. Functions assigned to the Abu Dhabi Exchange include:

Brokers As per the SCEL, transactions in exchange markets within the UAE are to be undertaken by licensed brokers only. Being positioned in this particularly sensitive role, the Law required brokers to act honorably and comply with its provisions, as well as the terms and regulations issued by competent authorities. Under the Law, brokers are also to refrain

from involving themselves from any practices which may be in any way harmful to the markets in which they operate; or the investors, with specific emphasis on fictitious transactions not actually leading to transfer of securities or funds.

Provide opportunities to invest savings and funds in securities in order to benefit national economy. Ensure the soundness and accuracy of transactions and to ensure the interaction between demand and supply in order to determine prices. Protect investors through establishing fair and proper dealing principles between

various investors. Impose stringent controls over securities transactions to ensure sound and conduct procedure. Develop investment awareness by conduction studies and issuing recommendations in order to ensure that savings are invested in productive sectors. Ensure financial and economic stability and develop trading methods in order to ensure liquidity and stability of prices of Securities listed on the market. Moreover, ADX has the authority to establish centers and branches outside the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. To date it has done so in Fujeirah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Zayed City.

Good to Know Foreign companies applying to list in the UAE must exist for more than two years prior to application, their capital must exceed AED 40 million (USD 10,900) and the number of registered shareholders in the company must exceed 100. All stock brokers must be registered in the Register of Brokers. There are separate licenses for brokers dealing with domestic shares and bonds and foreign shares and bonds. Listing is restricted to the following: Shares in joint stock companies incorporated in the UAE or those whose head office is located in the UAE. Shares of companies not holding the nationality of the UAE which are approved for listing by the Board of the respective institution. Bonds and debt instruments which the Board resolves to list. Any other securities approved for listing by the Board Why UAE ?

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Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) NASDAQ Dubai Formerly called the Dubai International Financial Exchange, or (DIFX), NASDAQ Dubai started operation on Sept 26, 2005. NASDAQ Dubai is located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC); the Dubai dedicated financial free zone. Financial activities in the DIFC are governed to international standards by an independent regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). NASDAQ Dubai has recently taken a giant step by outsourcing its key market operations functions for equities to Dubai Financial Market (DFM). The outsourcing is considered an important step in exchange consolidation in the GCC.

DGCX commenced trading in November 2005 as the region’s first commodity derivatives exchange and has become today, a leading derivatives exchange in the Middle East. DGCX has a fully operational Compliance Department which, in liaison with ESCA, ensures that Members maintain strict adherence to the relevant laws and by-laws in place. In addition, all DGCX Broker Members that are licensed by ESCA are required to apply robust ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) disclosure procedures to their clients’ account opening formalities. Furthermore, they are required to conduct their business with clients to DGCX in accordance with the international ‘best’ code of practice and standards observed on other major exchanges around the world

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) DFM is operating as a secondary market for trading of securities issued by public joint-stock companies, bonds issued by the Federal Government or any of the Local Governments and public institutions in the country, units of investment funds and any other financial instruments, local or foreign, which are accepted by the Market. The Market commenced operations on 26 March 2000. Objectives of the DFM include. Regulating the process of trading in securities ensuring the protection of investors from unfair and improper practices. Creating highest liquidity in the marketplace through the interaction of Why UAE ?

supply and demand based on fair and equitable trading practices between investors. Organizing the transfer of securities ownership through the Clearing, Depository and Settlement Department, which operates an electronic system ensuring efficiency and timeliness of transfers. Implementing rules of professional conduct and discipline between brokers and DFM staff to maintain a high level of integrity and provide them with proper training. Collecting data and statistics about securities and issuing reports based on this information. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Insurance Authority

Insurance Insurance activities in the UAE are regulated by the provisions of the Insurance Law 2007 (“IL”). Said law replaced the Insurance Companies and Agents Law, 1984, and it applies on national and international insurance and re-insurance companies licensed to carry on business in the UAE. IL provisions also regulate roles, liabilities and relationship of different parties involved in insurance operations including insurance agents, brokers and loss adjusters.

Insurance Categories IL divides direct insurance operations into three categories, as follows: Life assurance and funds accumulation operations Properties insurance Life liability insurance

By virtue of IL, a federal regulatory authority; the Insurance Authority (“IA”) was established. The IA is aimed to take charge of organizing and overseeing the insurance sector in a way that would ensure suitable environment to develop it and enhance the role of the insurance industry to secure lives, properties, and liabilities against risks in order to protect the national economy; collect, develop, and invest the national savings to sustain the economic development of the State; encourage fair and effective competition; provide the best insurance services in competitive premiums and coverage, and Emiratize the insurance markets jobs. Insurance and re-insurance operations are reserved to be carried out by public stock companies established in the UAE; branches of foreign insurance companies and insurance agents, who are duly registered and licensed by the IA. The IL also provides for that insurance companies licensed to operate in the free zones shall not carry on any activity outside these zones other than the activity of re-insurance.

Insurance Policies

Protective Measures

Any insurance contract concluded by a company not duly registered according to the provisions of the IL is deemed invalid and any party affected by such unregistered insurance company may claim compensation by reason of so invalidation.

To protect the public, the IL obliges insurance and re-insurance companies to observe rules of disclosure and transparency in their dealing with their patrons and in respect of all the documents, papers, bulletins, advertisements, propaganda and articles and scientific materials of their issue.

Insurance policies are required to be written in Arabic and a translation into another language may be attached therewith. As it is a common practice by insurance companies to include in insurance policies clauses that are intended to limit their liability, IL provides for that such clauses shall be written in bold letters, different color and endorsed by the insured.

Why UAE ?

The Authority is also required by the IL to conduct periodical inspection of the insurance and re-insurance companies to ensure safety of the financial situations, observance of the provisions of the law and the technical basis of conducting the insurance and re-insurance operations.

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the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (“TRA�) was established.

Telecom Since its early days, the UAE has given much of importance to the Telecommunication sector. The first relevant law to be issued was the Wireless Telecommunications & Devices Law, 1973, followed by the establishment of the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat). Said corporation was assigned all regulatory authorities over this sector, including the licensing of telecommunication devices of all types and purposes. Additionally, the corporation was granted an exclusive license to plan, develop, construct and operate telecommunication networks within the UAE. In 2003, a further step into developing the sector was taken by the federal government by enacting the Telecom Law, under which

Why UAE ?

This structural reform was intended to prepare the ground for new players to join the market as telecommunication network operators, which made it necessary to assign the regulatory authorities to an independent body. That resulted in

The TRA The mandate assumed by the TRA includes Grant of licenses related to the operation of telecommunication networks and use of telecommunication devices; Ensuring that up-to-date telecommunication services are available across the UAE, by overseeing the operators’ adherence to the quality standards and policies, as stipulated in the licenses; Facilitating and overseeing the interconnection between operators and networks and parties compliance to interconnection agreements.

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shall be collectively referred to as the “UAE ETC Laws”.


Electronic Transactions and Commerce As in many other fields, the UAE was the first country in the region to recognize and regulate the electronic documents and transactions. An early sign to the sensitivity and responsiveness to the rapid growth in the reliance on electronic means can be seen in the UAE’s Commercial Transactions Law where the legislature adopted and recognized commercial and financial records produced and kept in electronic forms. The first major step to regulate the use of technology in business transactions was taken by Dubai in 2002, when the Emirate issued its law on the subject. The federal government took a similar path in 2006. These developments were highly praised by the local business community as it allowed the use of the many flexible features and advantages that today’s technology makes available. As both Dubai and the federal laws referred to above are very similar in terms of structure and topics covered, the below overview shall cover them both, where they

Why UAE ?

UAE ETC Laws made a clear statement as to their objectives, which, broadly speaking revolve around regulating, encouraging and facilitating electronic commercial transactions and communications by means of reliable electronic records, while ensuring the rights of persons doing business electronically are maintained, and their obligations are clearly determined. Said laws also aim at facilitating and eliminating barriers to electronic commerce and other electronic transactions resulting from uncertainties over writing and signature requirements, and to promote the development of the legal and business infrastructure necessary to implement secure electronic commerce Considerable attention is also given by the UAE ETC Laws to facilitate the electronic filing of documents with governmental and nongovernmental agencies and departments and promote efficient delivery of the services of such agencies and departments by means of reliable electronic communications. To that end, it is also aspired that uniform rules, regulations and standards for the authentication and validity of Electronic Communications.

Scope UAE ETC Laws focus on providing definitions and regulations relevant to electronic signature, as well as electronic records or documents that are created, stored, generated, copied, sent, communicated or received by electronic means. However, certain transactions and documents were excluded from the scope covered by the UAE ETC Laws, namely: Transactions and issues relating to personal law such as marriage, divorce and wills; Deeds of title to immoveable property; Negotiable instruments; Transactions involving the sale, purchase, lease (for a term of more than 10 years) and other disposition of immoveable property and the registration of other rights relating to immoveable property; Any document legally required to be attested before a notary public; and Any other documents or transactions exempted by special provision of law. Important Definitions Electronic Record or Document: A record or document that is created, stored, generated, copied, sent, communicated or received by electronic means, on a tangible medium or any other Electronic medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. Electronic Signature: Any letters, numbers, symbols, voice or processing system in Electronic form applied to, incorporated in, or logically associated with a Data Message with the intention of authenticating or approving the same.

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‘attestation certificate’, issued by messaging and IT service providers.

Electronic Signature An electronic signature is one of the key tools used in the domain of electronic transactions and commerce. It is very similar in terms of value and reliability, to the regular signature. Electronic signature can be made in many electronic forms like letters, numbers, symbols, voice or processing systems that are incorporated in, or associated with a data message, with the intention of authenticating or approving the same. With such a flexible definition, many tools provided by the modern technology can contribute in ascertaining that a certain data message has been produced by a particular person. However, such reliance requires some sort of assurance in order to mitigate any manipulation. The most common verification tool to electronic signature is called


UAE ETC Laws did not leave this sensitive area to be a grey one, as it puts strict obligations on such service providers, to ensure accuracy and reliability of attestation certificates. Even more, activities of service providers involved in this type of service are being overseen and controlled on the federal level. A person may rely on an Electronic Signature or Electronic Attestation Certificate to the extent that such reliance is reasonable. In determining so, the following factors are to be considered, including: The nature and value of the transaction that electronic signature was intended to support; Examination of whether the parties to the transaction in question had taken appropriate steps to determine the reliability of the electronic signature Any agreement or course of dealing adopted in general or by the parties to the transactions.

Requirements for Electronic Transactions Under the UAE ETC Laws, deals, contracts or agreements that are concluded or performed, in whole or in part, through electronic communication means e.g. e-mail, are legally recognized. That includes contracts and deals made for example by two traders living and practicing business in two different countries, or simply between banks and their customers using their ATM machines. Some key considerations that should

be taken into account while using electronic means to communicate in commercial transactions: If you wish to rely on electronic documentation, then you have to make sure that proper documentation and document retention system is in place. In case of electronic correspondences, you will have to keep the messages retained in a way that enables identification of the origin and destination of the message. As long as it is considered as legally reliable, electronic signature has the same value as regular signature.

Good to Know UAE Laws does not restrict recognition of electronic signatures and attestation certificates to those issued in the UAE. Many UAE government departments do: Accept the filing, submission, creation or retention of documents in the form of Electronic Records; Issue any permit, license, decision or approval in the form of Electronic Records; Accept fees and other payments in Electronic form; Put out tenders and receive bids relating to Government procurement by Electronic means. Why UAE ?

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Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

Chapter 7

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The ease of doing business through the simplified incorporation procedures and the various government services channels is one approach of the government’s strategy toward creating an encouraging competitive business environment in the UAE.

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he UAE government always aims at encouraging the establishment of new businesses by providing easy incorporation procedures and reducing the bureaucratic steps that an investor may face in other countries, in addition to the government’s grants given to support selected initiatives. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report 2011, it only takes 15 days to set up a new business in the UAE while it may take up to 60 days in other countries across the region.

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

established government entities contact the various government bodies involved. Whereas this process is time consuming in most of the countries by running from a government entity to another, it only takes 20 to 30 days to pick up the new industrial license in Abu Dhabi.

Making business entry easier has always been a target for the UAE government. In this regard, a one stop-shop was introduced in some emirates. These one stop-shops either serve a type of business or a location where the entity to be established. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, for example, established separate industrial licensing authorities as a “onestop-shop” where investors and businessmen can submit all the required documents and obtain industrial license easily. These new

E-Govt Official Portals Federal Government Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Ajman Umm Al Quwain Ras Al Khaimah Fujairah Why UAE ?

The continuous efforts in Dubai extended by initiating strategic decisions including incorporating Trakhees, a business licensing authority to serve selected business locations such as Dragon Market and Atlantis. Tas’heel, an online government system, was also launched to simplify all labor related processes, improve output volume and increase efficiency. It allows companies to make online transactions and payments to Ministry of Labor. In addition a service called “Enjaz” was initiated by Dubai Department of Economic Development to facilitate the renewal and cancelation of commercial licenses from the workplace without the need to visit the authority. The abolishment of the minimum capital requirement condition in establishing an LLC company in the UAE has also stimulated growth in small and medium enterprises sector. This new decree also reduced the bureaucratic hurdles like producing a bank certificate showing the required capital.

Committed to excellence in service quality and higher levels of convenience for investors and businessmen, the UAE’s different authorities have insured the availability and accessibility of the services offered in all parts of the country through conventional and digital channels. The different government entities established customer service centers and offices in key locations to be around the cities near its clients. Superior customer-service has always been a key figure of the performance of the government efficiency. In April 2011, the Prime Minister of the UAE launched the Emirates Program for Excellence in Government Services. Under this program government service centers will be classified using a 7-starratings system, with the quality of service determining the number of stars awarded. The rating is based on the level of customer care and the ease of process the entity has achieved or was able to achieve. Various government excellent programs were also launched in all emirates across the UAE to encourage the simplification of processes and to establish a culture of quality and customer-orientation. These strategic initiatives have caused a positive stir among government entities and their employees, driving them to provide the best possible services to all investors and businessmen in the country. In realizing the UAE’s vision to become the location of choice for investors around the globe and taking forward its promise to simplify the business set-up and run businesses, local and federal entities have established various digital channels through which its clients can obtain their services at any time and in any location. Not only clients today can find offices and

branches of government entities easily, but they can also contact the concerned authority by dialing free toll numbers around the clock. As the world is moving virtual, the UAE government is always at the cutting edge by providing the latest of electronic and mobile services to investors, businessmen and residents. The UAE is currently ranked 2nd in e-Government Readiness Index 2010, proving the government’s strong commitment. Today, most of the procedures for licensing and registering businesses can be conducted within a mouse-click through the different government entities e-portals. All documents required can be submitted and verified electronically from all over the world. For example, checking the availability of a trade name and reserving it can be done over the internet. In fact, gaining the initial approval for setting up a new business entity is easily done by using the departments of economic development web portals. Furthermore, Government entities have gone the extra mile by introducing convenient and user-friendly applications that can be used over the different smart phones’ platforms. For example, all immigration procedures can be pursued through a state-of-the-art application over iPhone. Potential investors can also browse all the laws and regulation related to business by using phones and iPad devices. Social Media tools have also been used efficiently as an integral part of different government entities’ communication strategy. Most government entities today are ready to address stakeholders’ issues and queries directly on facebook and twitter. For example, Dubai Department of Economic Development’s news can be followed on

Samples of Government Entities’ Customer Communication Channels Ministry of Labor

800 665

Ministry of Economy

60 052 2225

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (DNRD)

800 5111

Ministry of Environment and Water

800 3050

Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre

800 555

Dubai E-Government Contact Centre

70 004 0000

Sharjah Contact Centre

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and transparent statistics. National Bureau of Statistics Centre was established in 2009 as the national statistics centre that provides comprehensive social and economic data.

Understanding the UAE Market A vital tool in succeeding any business in the world is understanding its market: its conditions, demand and supply. Providing the historical and today’s in-depth data allows investors to draw the conclusions of tomorrow’s success and therefore value the presented opportunities. Since the success of businesses partially indicates the growth of the country’s economy, the UAE government is keen to provide transparent up-to-date information through its statistics centers and by encouraging the establishments of business intelligence units. Obtaining updated economic information has become relatively easy with the establishment of official statistics centers, the coming of internationally-recognized consulting firms and the rise of young business intelligence houses. The advancement in technology has also boosted the methodology of presenting the figures. This enabled investors and businessmen to obtain secondary-research data from various sources at a convenient time.

National Statistics Centers The UAE is among the first nations that realized the importance of providing updated

National Bureau of Statistics Statistical Centre – Abu Dhabi Dubai Statistics Centre Ministry of Economy Ministry of Foreign Trade Why UAE ?

Attracted by the economic expansion and the productive business environment, international business and industry intelligence units headquartered in the UAE to not only serve the country’s market but also to provide data that cover the MENA region. Examples of the most noteworthy these units are Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC), Nielsen, CB Richards, Jones Lang LaSalle and Zaway. In addition, growing local business intelligence units such as Medialogy, an intelligence house that provides tailored and customized business intelligence solutions for firms that are interested to operate in various emerging sectors within the UAE, are taking their appropriate positions today’s emerging market. The UAE is the home for some of the top global tier consulting firms that are prepared to assist investors and entrepreneurs for setup and best advice with strategies to utilize the opportunities in this growing region of the world. Not only do consultants provide business planning services but many consultants also can help investors projectmanage their business setup process and facilitate in the process of employing new local or expatriate staff, finding good premises, the best jurisdiction and office rent. Names like Price Water House Cooper (PWC), KPMG, Mckinsey & Company and Deloitte based their entire Middle East and North Africa offices in the UAE. Many small growing consulting firms also exist to serve investors and businessmen.

Outside Free Zones Select the Bussiness Location Inside Free Zones (Refer to Page -380)

Establishing a Business in the UAE In order to operate a business in the UAE, the business entity must be registered and licensed by the authorizing body. There are two main locations where to establishing a business in the UAE: establishing a business outside free zones and establishing a business in a free zone. They differ in the government authorizing entity, forms of business entities, types of business licenses, procedures and fees. Free zones are districts arranged by the government to encourage investors and businessmen to do businesses in selected sectors such Dubai Media City, Ras Al Khaimah Creative City, with exclusive incentives and privileges for foreign investors. A Business entity established in a free zone must comply with the regulations and follow the procedures of the free zone. For example, a company that intends to be established in Dubai Media City (DMC) must follow the regulations and procedures of DMC (refer to chapter 5 for more information on free zones). In contrast, a business entity established outside free zones is treated as a fully Emirati entity and can operate within the jurisdiction of the emirate. They must comply with the regulations of the Federal and local licensing authorities. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Business Licensing Authorities in the UAE Dubai

Contact the Local Emirate’s Licensing Authority Establishing a Business Outside Free Zones

Dubai Department of Economic Development

P.O. Box: 13223 Dubai, Tel.: +971 4 4455555, Fax: +971 4 4455554 Email:, Website:

Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce

Follow the Processes

To Establish a Tourism Business Entity in Abu Dhabi

Dubai Trakhees

To Establish any Type Business Entity in Designated Areas in Dubai (Dragon Market, Atlantis and Ibn Battuta Zone)

P.O. Box: 17000 Dubai Tel.: +971 4 3636888, Fax: +971 4 3636858 Email:, Website: Sharjah

Investors and businessmen wishing to establish a new business in the UAE (outside free zones) should contact the licensing authority of the emirate. Each emirate has its own business licensing authority that grants commercial, industrial and civil licenses (as indicated in the table below).

Sharjah Department of Economic Development

Call Centre: 600 567777, Tel.: +971 6 5122222, Fax: +971 6 5287999 Email:, Website: Ajman

Abu Dhabi and Dubai established separate industrial and tourism licensing authorities to best sever their clients and enhance government’s efficiency.

Ajman Municipality

P.O. Box: 3 - Ajman, Tel.: +971 06 7422331, Fax: +971 06 7457566 Email:, Website: Umm Al Quwain

Business Licensing Authorities in the UAE Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development

Tel.: +97126727200, Fax: +97126727749 Email: Website:

Abu Dhabi Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones


To Establish a Commercial Business Entity in Abu Dhabi

P.O. Box: 36000 Abu Dhabi, Toll free number: 80096637 Tel.: 00971 (2) 5500000, Fax: +971 (2) 5500550 Email: Website:

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

To Establish a Tourism Business Entity in Abu Dhabi

P.O. Box: 94000,Toll free number: 800 555 Tel.: +971 2 444 0444, Fax: +971 2 444 0400 Email:, Website: Why UAE ?

Umm Al Quwain Department of Economic Development P.O. Box: 1333 Umm Al Quwain Tel.: +971 06 7652200, Fax: +971 06 7653322 Email: Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development To Establish an Industrial Business Entity in Abu Dhabi

To Establish a Industrial Business Entity in Abu Dhabi

P.O. Box: 594 Dubai, Toll free number: 800 70 90 Tel.: +(9714) 2821111, Fax: +(9714) 2821131 Email:, Website:

(Refer to Page -376)

Business Licensing Authorities in the UAE


P.O. Box: Tel.: , Fax: Email: , Website:


Fujairah Municipality

P.O. Box: Fujairah - 7, Tel.: +971 9 2227000, Fax: +971 9 2222231 Email:, Website:


To Establish any Type of Business Entity in Sharjah


To Establish any Type of Business Entity in Ajman


To Establish any Type of Business Entity in Umm Al Quwain Services

To Establish any Type of Business Entity in Ras Al Khaimah Services

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Selecting a Trade Name Before the new business entity can operate in the UAE, a trade name must be selected and registered at the “Licensing Authority” of the emirate. Checking the availability of trade names and reserving them is now accessible online through the websites of the licensing authorities (in Dubai and Abu Dhabi). Trade license regulations are similar throughout the UAE. The licensing authority of each emirate provides detailed trade name registration conditions which are also available on their websites. The registration of the Trade Name shall be subject to the following conditions : 1. The name should not have been previously used or registered in someone else’s name for the same category of activity or for a similar type of activity that might cause ambiguity. 2. A unique name not commonly used in the type of activity to be employed for, unless the trade name was composed of the person’s name or title or was similar to a trade name that was already registered with the Department, in which case an addition must be made to the name in order to make it distinctly recognizable in order to avoid any potential ambiguity. 3. The individual trader or the company must clearly display the trade name on the façade of the establishment, and in case the latter is a branch, the displayed trade name must highlight this fact accordingly. Why UAE ?

Processes of License

Trade Name Reserved

(Refer to Page -377)

Pay Trade Name Fees

Trade Name

Reseve a Trade Name


4. The name must be compatible with the required type of activity and legal status.

The registration of the Trade Name shall be denied in the following cases: 1. If the name depicted Allah Almighty’s Names, religious or denominational names, governing authorities names or names or logos of local, Arab and international bodies, institutions and organizations.

2. If the name was identical or similar to a registered local or international trade name, knowing that such names may be registered by their owners or attorneys thereof. 3. If the trade names stood in violation against public law and order. 4. If the trade name was misleading to the consumer with regard to the type of business it depicted or its importance, size, etc.

By selecting the appropriate trade name that fits the business activity to be conducted, fees must be paid. Fees might slightly differ from an emirate to another. As illustrated in the fees table which represents the fees involved in establishing a business entity in Dubai, AED 100 is charged for reserving a new trade name. After selecting and reserving a trade name either online or at the licensing authority, an investor will be given a receipt which should be kept to be submitted with other required documents for initial approval. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


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Selecting the Form of the Business Entity

Required for

In all Commercial Licenses can be in Professional Licenses

In all Professional Licenses and Branches or Representatives Offices of foreign companies

Ownership status

At least 51% of the company’s capital

None. But for civil works company, the agent must have percentage of the company’s capital even if 1%.


Assisting in obtaining visas, labor cards, and issuing the license and can have other operation and managerial role as agree upon the partners

Assisting in obtaining visas, labor cards, and issuing the license

How much is paid

As agreed in the Articles of Association

A lump sum and/or a percentage of profits or turnover.

Why UAE ?

General Partnership Company

Local Service Agent

Forms of Business Entities in the UAE

int Jo ture n Ve

Local Sponsor/Partner



The table provides a clear distinguishing between the local sponsor and the service agent:

Pr Shar ivate eh Com olding pany

Pa lim rtne ite rsh sh d w ip ar ith es

advertisements as well as the web may provide some results.

Civil Company

Finding a local partner or service agent mainly depends on personal contacts. Searching on newspapers and magazines

ic Publ ding o eh l Shar pany Com

d ite ty Lim bili ny Lia mpa Co

Establishing a new business entity outside a free zone in the UAE requires having a local (UAE national) sponsor/partner or service agent. This depends on the entity’s business license (refer to “Types of Business Licenses in the UAE” section). The sponsor national is a silent partner.

The definitions of business forms and process of incorporation are almost similar to all emirates. However, the licensing body (refer to “Licensing Authorities section”), third party approvals required and the setting up fees may slightly vary. The below process charts explain those procedures and requirements. More details can be obtained from the competent licensing bodies within the emirates.

Lim Part ited ne Com rship pan y

or a anch itive r B A t esen repr ce of a ny offi ompa C ign r o F e

S rie ole to rsh

Selecting a Local Partner Sponsor or Service Agent

Once the Trade Name is reserved, investors and businessmen are then allowed to choose from a variety of forms of business entities that exist under the UAE federal legal system, after complying with conditions and requirements as illustrated in the diagrams. The Federal Commercial Companies Law and the UAE Civil Transactions Law regulate the formation and functioning of professional, industrial and commercial companies. These two codified legislations are applicable throughout the UAE. The most common business forms are shown in the diagram below and explained

in more details in terms of ownership, legal requirements, minimum capital levels and incorporation procedures. All foreign business entities wishing to operate in the UAE, in districts other than free zones, must have a local partner or a local sponsor or local service agent depending on the legal form of the business entity. The role of the local partner or sponsor or agent may vary from a business entity to another (illustrated in the below diagrams when needed).

Pr op

Select the Type of Business License

Select the Form of the Business Entity

Select a Local Sponsor or Service Agent

Business License

Recieved Trade Name


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Chapter 7 Form

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Ownership

Minimum of two and not more than 50 persons Shares can be transferred between partners or to third parties Foreign equity in the company may not exceed 49 percent No public subscription to make up capital Liability

Each shareholder is liable to the extent of his share capital Management

Not more than 5 managers and the method of operation for each manager must be specified An expatriate may be a manager and carry out full authority to manage the affairs of the company Minimum Capital

No minimum capital required Shareholders have the right to determine the share capital of the company and the company must have sufficient capital to achieve its objectives. Documents Required for Initial Approval

The “General Documents” for initial approval The Company’s Board of Directors resolution to subscribe to the new company if the Partner is an existing corporate entity in UAE or abroad (the resolution must be attested by UAE Embassy / Consulate or by a GCC State Embassy / Consulate and UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and duly translated into Arabic). Photocopy of the director’s passport, and no-objection letter from the director’s current sponsor.

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities Form

A Branch or a Representative office of a Foreign Company Ownership

100% foreign owned but must appoint a local service agent A part of the parent company and does not have a seprate legal identity The UAE national sponsor does not own shares Liability

The parent company holds the liablitiy of the brnachs or the representitive offices Management

An expatriate may be a manager and carry out full authority to manage the affairs of the company The Local Agent can’t perform any management role nor hold any share of the company Minimum Capital

AED 250,000 (in Abu Dhabi) Documents Required for Initial Approval

“General Documents Required” for Initial Approval Company Registration Certificate from the Ministry of Economy (for commercial license only) The Company’s Board of Directors’ Resolution authorizing opening of the branch Power of Attorney to the representitive Parent Company’s Memorandum of Association Photocopy of the main company’s certificate of Incorporation Documents Required for Final Approval

Documents Required for Final Approval

The “General Required Documents” for final approval Memorandum of Association authenticated by Notary Public Certificate of Capital Contribution from A bank Auditor’s Certificate for all shares Fees

General Fees AED 230 (Dubai) Commercial Register IssuingLLC Incorporation Application (Ministry of Economy)- AED 3000 AED 500 Partner Addition FeeSpecial Requirements

“Company with limited liability” must be added to the company name Capital must be stated Mandatory to appoint auditors on an annual basis An LLC can not be formed for professional activities Note

Most preferred choice for expatriates since it allows them full management control of the Company Business performing banking, insurance and investment Activities can not form an LLC

Why UAE ?

Financial Statments for the past two years Contratual Agreement with the local sponsor authenticated by the Notary Public Details of the national sponsor Fees

General Fees Incorporation of a froeign company branch- AED 5000 Ministry of Economy registration feesAED 10000 Service Agent FeeAED 700 Special Terms

A UAE national must be appointed as a “Local Service Agent” The office may only carry out the name and activities of the parent company and not permitted to carry out commercial activities Account must be audited annually Note

Popular form for foreign companies to benefit from 100% foreign ownership The representitive office is more limited than the branch

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Chapter 7 Form

Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) Ownership

A minimum of ten founding members unless incorporated by the government Local equity in the company must be a minimum of 51 percent Liability

Each member is liable to the extent of his respective share value Management

Board of Directors (3 to 15 directors) manages the company The Chairman of the Board must be a UAE national Minimum Capital

AED 10 million, a minimum of 25% and a maximum of 45% of the share capital of the company can be listed Documents Required for Initial Approval

General Documents required for Initial Approval Memorandum and Articles of Association Project’s Feasability Study Approval of UAE Securities and Commodities Authority Photocopy of the director’s passport, and no-objection letter from the director’s current sponsor.

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities Form

Private Joint Stock Company Ownership

A minimum of three founding members who fully subscribe to the company’s capital between them Local equity in the company must be a minimum of 51 percent Shares cannot be offered to the public unless conditions met Liability

Each member is liable to the extent of his respective share value Management

Board of Directors (3 to 15 directors) manages the Company The Chairman of the Board must be a UAE National Minimum Capital

Not less than AED 2 million Documents Required for Initial Approval

General Requirments for Initial Approval Memorandum and Articales of Association Project’s Feasability Study Photocopy of the director’s passport, and no-objection letter from the director’s current sponsor. Documents Required for Final Approval

Documents Required for Final Approval

The General Documents for Final Approval Fees

General Fees Partner Addition Fee – AED 500

General Documents Required for Final Approval Certificate of Capital Contribution from A bank Auditor’s Certificate for all shares A written contract between the partners Fees

General Fees Special Terms and Conditions

10% of the net profit must be retained as a statutory reserve until it makes half of the capital Mandatory to appoint auditors on an annual basis Note

Preferred choice for local and foreign investors since it raises a huge a mount of capital

Why UAE ?

Special Requirements

10% of the net profit must be retained as a statutory reserve until it makes half of the capital Mandatory to appoint auditors on an annual basis Note

May be converted to a PJSC after a period of not less than the expiration of two financial years.

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 7 Form

Partnership Limited with Shares Ownership

Owned by one or more general patners and one or more participating partners General Partners must be UAE nationals and Participating Partners may be non-UAE nationals Liability

General Partners are jointly liable to the extent of their assets for the company liabilities Participating partners are liable only to the extent of their shares in the capital Management

General Partners take the mangement role Limited Partners can take internal management roles Minimum Capital

AED 500,000 The capital of Partnerships Limited with Shares shall be divided into negotiable equal shares

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities Form

Limited Partnership Company Ownership

Owned by one or more general patners and one or more limited partners General Partners must be UAE nationals and Limited Partners may be non-UAE nationals Liability

General Partners are jointly and severally liable to the extent of all their assets for the liabilities of the company Limited partners liable for the company liabilities to the extent of their respective shares in the capital only Management

General Partners take the mangement role Limited Partners can take administrative roles Minimum Capital

None Documents Required for Initial Approval

General Documents Required for Initial Approval

Documents Required for Initial Approval

General Documents Required for Initial Approval Documents Required for Final Approval

General Documents Required for Final Approval Memorandum of Association (MOA) Fees

General Fees Partner Addition Fee – AED 500 Special Requirements

Documents Required for Final Approval

General Documents Required for Final Approval Memorandum of Association Simple Liability Contract or “Partnership agreement” Fees

General Fees Partner Addition Fee – AED 500

(MOA) must be signedby general partners Capital must be divided into negotiable shares of equal value Must have a Board of Supervisors Account must be audited annually

Why UAE ?

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Chapter 7 Form

Joint Ventures Ownership

Two or more foreign and local partners agree by contract to share the profits and losses of one or more enterprises One or more partners will carry out the the commercial enterprise in thier names while other partners will remain undisclosed to third parties Local equity in the company must be a minimum of 51 percent

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities Form

Sole Proprietorship or Individual Establishment Ownership

Owned by a sole proprietor Can be 100% foreign owned only in professional licenses and must appoint a “local service agent” Liability

The proprietor shall be responsible for all its financial obligations to the extent of his assets Liability

Each shareholder is liable to the extent of his share capital Profits and losses can be prescribed Management

An expatriate can carry out the management role Minimum Capital

None Documents Required for Initial Approval

The General Requirments for Initial Approval Documents Required for Final Approval

The General Documents for Final Approval Fees


An expatriate can the role of management Minimum Capital

None Documents Required for Initial Approval

General Documents Required for Initial Approval Documents Required for Final Approval

General Documents Required for Final Approval Appointment Contract of Local Services Agent Fees

General Fees Service Agent Fee – AED 700

General Fees Special Requirements Special Requirements

The joint venture should be disclosed to third parties Note

Practically, a joint venture is a preferred form for companies working together on specific projects The Contract of Joint Participation is formed bewteen the partners and regulates the rights and obligations of the partners and the distribution of profits/losses Does not have to be registered or declared Existance of Joint Venture may be proved by any method of proof

Why UAE ?

The role of the local service agent is to assist in obtaining licences, visas, labour cards, etc. The local service agent shall not own any share in the company’s capital. Note

A preferred choice by many expatriate since no sponsor or partner needed to operate this form of company

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Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities


Civil Company or Civil Works Company Ownership

A number of partners Can be 100% foreign owned, however must appoint a “Local Service Agent” Liability

Partners are jointly or severally liable to the extent of their personal assets for all of the liabilities of the company Management

Can be 100% foreign managed The local service agent has no direct involvement in the business and is paid a lump sum and/or percentage of profits or turnover Minimum Capital

None Documents Required for Initial Approval

The General Requirments for Initial Approval Documents Required for Final Approval

General Documents Required for Final Approval Contract of Civil Works Company authenticated by the Notary Public in the emirate Appointment Contract of Local Services Agent Fees

General Fees Partner Addition Fee – AED 500 or Service Agent Fee – AED 700 Special Requirements

The role of the local service agent is to assist in obtaining licenses, visas, labour cards, etc. The local service agent shall not own any share in the company’s capital. Activity must involve the use of intellectual faculties such as consultancy, research, medicine Activity to be liscened must not be commercial Note

General Partnership consists of two or more partners. All partners are jointly and severally liable to the extent of all their assets for the

company’s liabilities. This type of company is confined to UAE national as most assets of foreign investors are located outside the UAE.

The General Documents Required for all forms of Business Entities General Documents Required for Initial Approval for all business entities

A proof of reserved trade name (not applicable for branches or representative offices of foreign companies) Photocopy of applicants’ passports (with residence permit / visa details for non-GCC nationals) Photocopy of applicants’ naturalization identification for UAE nationals only. Non-objection letter from the applicants’ current sponsor for non-GCC nationals. Authorization of signature form (not applicable for establishments and civil works companies) Permission from the court to practice business, for applicants under 21 years. Approval issued by other Government authorities according to the type of activity (if needed).

Prefered by foreign investors since it gives them 100% ownership General Documents Required for Final Approval for all business entities

Initial Approval receipt. All documents submitted before in order to get the Initial Approval Lease/A copy of valid lease contract in the name of the business entity All foreign documents should be translated into Arabic by a Legal Translator, attested by the Ministry of Justice and attached to the file submitted.

Why UAE ?

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Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

Commercial License License Type

Initial Approval

Commercial License Issued for

Types of Business Licenses in the UAE By selecting the legal form of the business entity, a business license must be obtained from the same licensing authority. In general, three different business licenses exist in the UAE: commercial, industrial and professional. In addition, a new business license – tourism – was lately introduced by Abu Dhabi and Dubai in order to best organize the business

(Refer to Page -377)

Recieve Initial Approval

Pay the Fees for Initial Approval

Initial Approval Obtained

Business entities wishing to practice commercial activities in the UAE

Submit the Required Documents for Initial Approval



Import, export, sell, distribute or store items Banking and insurance Hotels and transport Special Requirements

Commercial companies (e.g. LLC) must register the company Articles of Association in the Ministry of Economy commercial registry

activity. The below diagrams identify these different types and its classifications in terms of documents needed, special requirements and examples of business activities that fall under the respected license type. As explained previously, these licenses are all issued by the business licensing body of the respective emirate (please refer to “Business Licensing Authorities in the UAE page ).

Industrial License License Type

Industrial License Issued for

Business entities wishing to practice industrial activities in the UAE

Commercial License

Professional License

Discover natural resources Transform raw materials in terms of its structure or appearance into manufactured or semimanufactured products Transform the semi-manufactured products into fully manufactured products by using mechanical power, and segregate the products, filling, Assembling or packing

Types of Business Licenses in the UAE Industrial License

Why UAE ?


Tourism License

Special Requirements

A minimum capital of AED 250,000

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Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

Professional License License Type

Professional License Issued for

Issued for business entities wishing to practice professional or artisan and service activities in the UAE Examples

Accounting and Marketing Consultancy Services (law, medicine, engineeting and research activities) Special Requirments

The number of staff members shall be limited Special Requirements

Can be 100% foreign owned if conditions met (check sole pro and civil companies in Business Forms Section of this chapter) The most common form of civil entity used by foreign investors

Tourism License License Type

Tourism License (Only apply in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In other emirates, tourism activities fall under the commercial license.)

Previous procedural steps including submitting the required documents as indicated in the forms of the business entities and the general documents section, and paying the fees (for trade name reservation and initial approval). This segregation is needed to best organize the formation of business entities and give investor the different options of incorporating.

Some activities require an approval from a third party, other than the licensing authority of the emirate. The third party could be a ministry, a national department or a relevant local authority. The following step is considered the most important procedure in order to obtain a business activity, keeping in mind that the larger portion of business activities does not need an approval from third parties such as trading.

Issued for

Issued for business entities wishing to practice tourism activities in the UAE Examples

Hotels and Restaurants Travel Agencies and Tour Operators Recreational and cultural activities – pictures and libraries Sporting Activities – Adventure sports and amusement parks Special Requirements

Commercial companies must register the company Articles of Association in the Ministry of Economy commercial registry

Why UAE ?

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities Business Activity

Final Approval

Third Party Approval Authority

Banks, Money Exchange & Transfer, Financial Consultancies

The Central Bank of the UAE

Insurance and Related

UAE Insurance Authority

(Procedure Ends)

All Industrial Activities

Final Approval

(Refer to Page -377)

Pay Fees for Final Approval

Submit the Documents Required for Final approval

1) Ministry of Economy and

Obtain Third Party Approval if Needed


Third Party Approvals By selecting the business license and the legal form of the business entity wished to be established in the UAE (outside free zones), investors and businessmen should be aware that some business activities require an approval from third parties such as ministries and other authorities. The chart below lists the most common business activities in the UAE and the third party approval needed for each activity. For a detailed list of third party approval, please refer to the website of

Why UAE ?

the licensing body of the emirate or the web portals of the third parties bodies. Obtaining a business activity that needs an approval from a third party depends on meeting the conditions set by the authority such as the location of the business, the technical staff requirements, the minimum capital needed, etc. To obtain the procedures, fees and regulations for each activity, businessmen are strongly recommended to visit the websites of the relevant authority.

2) The Environment Department of the Emirate

Hospitals, Private Clinics & Practices, Medical Laboratories, Pharmacies

Ministry of Health

Car Rental Activities

Relevant Traffic and Transportation Department of the Emirate

All Media Related Activities: Advertising & Publicity Office, Drawing & Scripting, Computer Trading, Digital TV & Cable Services, Publishing, Broadcasting, Distribution of Publishments

National Media Council

Accounts Auditing, Foreign Companies Branches

Ministry of Economy

Babysitting Services, Nurseries

Ministry of Social Affairs

Labor Services

Ministry of Labor

Plant Nurseries, Farms, Cattle & Bird Trading Fish Trading, Seeds & Fertilizers Trading Quarries, veterinaries

1. Ministry Environment & Water 2. The relevant Environment Department

Organizing Hajj and Omrah Campaigns, Quran Recital Centers

Islamic Affairs and Awqaf

Law Firms

Ministry of Justice

Private Schools, Kindergartens, Educational Institutions, Gymnasiums

Ministry of Education

Air Transport, Air Cargo

1. Department of Civil Aviation 2. General Civil Aviation Authority

Telecommunications Equipments

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

Engineering and Construction

The Relevant Municipality of the Emirate The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities Trade Name Reservation fee

Check the availability and Reserve a “Trade Name” at the “Licensing Authority”

Register the “Trade Name” at the “Licensing Authority” of the Emirate

Pay Trade Name Fees

Select a Local Sponsor or a Local Service Agent

Pay Initial Approval Fees

Trade Name Reserved

Submit the License Application and the “Documents Required” for Initial Approval at the Licensing Authority

Trade Name Reservation

AED 200


If Trade Name Not-Arabic

AED 2000

Businessmen and investor come across a different range of fees prior and after incorporating their business entities. Most of them are paid to the licensing authority while some are paid to other authorities such the relevant municipality. The fact box below differentiates between the fees that are paid for trade name reservation, initial approval fees and final approval fees from those that are applied once the entity is established.

If Trade Name Arabic

AED 1000

The provided fees underneath are for establishing a business entity in Dubai. However, Fees might slightly differ from an emirate to another. To review a detailed list of fees in each emirate, website of licensing authorities are the best relevant source.

Initial Approval Fees

Preliminary Approval Fee Registration Fees / Activities (Percentage of the Activity fees)

Special Services Fees – VIP (optional)

Final Approval Granted

Why UAE ?

Select the “Activities” to be Conducted

Obtain the “Third Parties Approval” Depending of the “Business License” and “Activities”

Submit All the “Required Documents” at the “Licensing Authority” for Final Approval

Pay the “Fees”

AED 1000

Commercial License Fee

AED 480

Professional License Fee

AED 440

Industrial License Fee

AED 600

Manager Insertion Fee

AED 500

Commercial Registration Issuing Fee

AED 500

Improve Services Fees

Select the “Type of License” to be Conducted

Initial Approval Granted

100 %

Final Approval Fees

(Only for Commercial Companies)

Select the “Legal Form” of the Business Entity

AED 100

Prepare all the “Required Documents” Depending on “Type of License” and “Form of Company”

Inscripte in the Commercial Register if Commercial Company


(Percentage of the Activity Fees)

Market Fee


(Percentage of Rental Charges)

Local Fees



Cleaning Fees



Advertising Sign Fees



Activity Addition Fee



License Renewal Fee



Activity Change Fee



Company Name Change Fee



Legal Form Change



Register Fees



License Transfer Fee



Legal Form Amendment Fee



Temporary Advertising Sign Boards

AED 1,100

Issue License of General Trading

AED 15,000

Merger Fee


Final Approval Fees


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Chapter 7

Commercial Registration Commercial Registration is a condition that precedes the operating of the business activity. Within two months from the date of establishment and preceding the commencement of the business of a company, every merchant, branch manager, managers of commercial companies’ agents of foreign companies must inscribe their companies in the Commercial Register of the licensing authority in accordance with the terms and conditions determined by the law. Commercial Companies and Branches of Foreign Companies must be inscribed in the Register and Companies that practice professional services are not subject to this inscription.

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

Appointing a Commercial Agent: An Alternative Form of Investment Carrying out business activities in the UAE does not require foreign investors to maintain a physical presence. Investors have the choice to appoint a commercial agent to represent their interest in the country. The Agencies Law regulates and governs the appointment of commercial agents, sales representatives and distributors. According to this federal legislation, a commercial agency is defined as “any arrangement whereby a foreign company is represented by an agent to distribute, sell, offer, or provide goods or services within the UAE for commission or profit�.

Commercial Agencies Requirements in the UAE Must be a UAE national or a Company wholly-owned by UAE nationals Agent must be registered at the Ministry of Economy as a commercial agent in order to gain the protections of the Agency Law Commercial Agency agreement must be written, notarized and registered in the Ministry of Economy Agent entitled to receive commissions on the sales he makes The agency must be exclusive Must be a UAE national or a Company wholly-owned by UAE nationals

Why UAE ?

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Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

Establishing a Free Zone Business Entity: Where some conditions are viewed by foreign investors and businessmen as restrictions in establishing a business entity outside free zones, free zones in the UAE were established to compete on attracting foreign investments by providing outstanding privileges and incentives especially for international entrepreneurs who seek opportunities and grave for business success and prosperity. Over 50 free zones are scattered all over the

emirates. Some are designed as purposebuilt zones to serve a specific sector like Dubai Health Care City and Fujairah Creative City; and some were built to best utilize the geographic location such as Jebel Ali Free Zone. Since some free zones are dedicated to serve a particular sector such as Dubai Internet City, which a unique free zone dedicated to IT and e-business companies, they only allow the establishment of the business that fit their specific categories. Overall, free zones are united on two main pillars; reducing bureaucratic steps and allowing foreign ownership. Before operating a business in a free zone, the business entity must be registered and licensed by the free zone authority. Businessmen must choose the legal form and type of license they will practice business activities under.

Forms of Business Entities within a Free Zone The below types of business forms are generally offered in freezones. A free zone does not have to offer all types. Some free zones offer only one type such as FZCO. Please contact the relevant freezone authority.

Free Zone Establishment

A Single Shareholder

Free Zone Company (FZCO)

2-5 Shareholders

Free Zones Incentives and Benefits

Branches of Foreign Coms.

Freelance Permit

Not a Separate Legal Entity.

Not Offered by all Free Zones.

Must follow the Parent’s Company Activities.

Only can Perform a Freelance Professional

Branches of Foreign Coms.

Freelance Permit

Types of Licenses A “one-stop-shop” 100% Foreign Ownership 0% Corporate Tax Free Capital Transfer 0% Import and Re-export Duties

Prior establishing a business in a free zone, it is necessary to obtain a license from the free zone’s authority. The license must relate to the business activities the business entity will undertake. Mainly, there are four types of licenses issued in the freezones. Free Zone Establishment

Free Zone Company (FZCO)

0% Personal Income Tax Unlimited Foreign Employees No Currency Restrictions Low Operating Costs State-of-the-art Facility Effecient Communication Infrastructure Why UAE ?

Issued for businesses that wish to import, export, distribute and store items specified on the licence.

Issued for businesses that wish to import raw materials, carry out the manufacture of specified products and export the finished product to any country.

Issued to businesses wish to provide a service like business management, marketing, consulting, IT within the free zone.

Issued to industrial companies registered within or outside the UAE, provided they meet the conditions of having at least 51 percent GCC equity and their local production accounts for at least 40 percent value added

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Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

Procedures and Documents

Selling Outside Free Zones

The procedures of establishing businesses in the UAE free zones are very similar. The following procedures and documents required are shown only for demonstration purposes. To obtain detailed procedures, documents required and fees, please contact the free zone authority.

In order to sell products outside free zones, the business entity must appoint a UAE official agent. Other, a 5 percent customs duty is applied on most goods. However, obtaining services and products from and within the UAE is not confined to this restriction.

Fill out an Application from the Relevant Free Zone Authority

Select Type and Form of Business Entity

Select Business Activities

Submit “Required Documents”

Pay the Fees

Documents Required for Business Entity in a Free Zone

Business Plan Company and personal details (passport copy, etc.) Certificate of Registration or Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Good Standing of the Mother Company

A Legal Identity Established

Acquire a Lease Premises

Obtain Operating License

Memorandum of Article and Association Board of Resolution calling to establish a branch in the UAE (for establishing branches only) Appointment of Negotiator of Legal Representative (optional) Power of Attorney, Specimen of his/her Signature and valid Passport Copy Applicant’s Personal Details/Profile, Specimen of Applicant’s Signature and valid Passport Copy All documents must be notarized and attested

Why UAE ?

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Chapter 7

Setting Up a Business in the UAE Seizing The Opportunities

businessmen can select from a relatively large number of either fresh graduates or experienced employees.

Employment in the UAE: Easy Regulations and Spirited Workforce Amid the developmental factors that contributed to the evident growth in the UAE across all fields, the role of the colleges and universities could not be ignored. It is the government’s belief on the human factor as the prime pillar of consistent development that drove the rise of the universities and colleges in terms of number and specialty. More than forty higher educational institutes in the UAE pump the market with qualified manpower. Today,

Register and Open a File at the Ministry of Labor to Recruit Staff

The labor law, generally, governs the relations between employer/employee relations such as working hours, termination rights, medical benefits and repatriation. The nationality is important when it comes to employment. Employing a GCC-national (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman) does not require issuing an employment visa. Expatriates, however, must be sponsored to obtain a visa in order to work in the UAE. The issuing authority differs based on the location of the business entity. The Ministry of Labor is the legal government entity to be contacted for businesses established in the UAE (outside free zones). In contrast, businesses established in free zone should contact the free zone authority to apply for a visa for their employees.

Submit an Application at the Ministry of Labor

Employment Visa An employment visa is issued by the immigration department of the emirate. Approval must be obtained from the Ministry of Labor, allowing a foreign national to work in the UAE. Sponsorship is required to obtain the visa. A business entity can sponsor a non-GCC national in order to obtain an employment visa.

Working Hours The UAE Labor Law sets the maximum working hours at eight hours per day, or forty eight hours per week. However, for certain industries such as retail trade, hotels and restaurants, this extends to nine hours per day. During the holy month of Ramadan, normal working hours are reduced by two hours. Under the same law, Friday is an official day off but the government sector and many organizations in the private sector give two days off weekly which are Friday and Saturday. The official working hours in both sectors may vary depending on the emirate and the department.

Holidays There are eight days of public holidays (paid) in the year, as shown in the table “Public Holidays in 2012”. In private sector, annual paid leave is usually 22 working days or 30 calendar days Public Holidays (2012)

New Year’s Day

Jan 1, Sun

Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday

Feb 5, Sun

Ascension of the Prophet

Jun 17, Sun

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Aug 22, Wed

Arafat (Haj) Day

Oct 25, Thu

Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

Oct 26, Fri

Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year’s Day)

Oct 25, Thu

UAE National Day

Dec 2, Sun

Generally, they can be summarized as:

Government Sector: 7:30 am – 2:30 pm Private Sector: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

An Emplyoment Visa is Issued

Labor Card Issued by Ministry

Why UAE ?

Employee goes Under a Medical Test

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


The United Arab Emirates A Rooted Business Culture

Chapter 8

The United Arab Emirates A Rooted Business Culture

Embedded openness, ingrained hospitable nature, highly responsible manners, and continues drive for excellence are characters carved in the Emirati personality. Those are the ingredients making up the essence of the UAE’s success story.

The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


Chapter 8


he United Arab Emirates’ present-day make-up is a balanced combination of tradition and modernity. From the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai to one of the world’s spectacular mosques in Abu Dhabi, both the Islamic heritage of the country and the adopted global ethos sit happily side by side, creating an indomitable cultural society that offers the best of both worlds to all who function within it. While the UAE might be viewed as a more liberal society in comparison to other countries in the region, many present-day laws are rooted in Islamic principles. Thus, a general overview of what is acceptable in a Muslim society will help the UAE’s newcomers to successfully integrate into the local community.

The United Arab Emirates A Rooted Business Culture

The Emirati Identity A lot has changed for the original inhabitants of the UAE. In its earliest days, the area now joined under the banner of the United Arab Emirates was a split culture that consisted of desert-oriented Bedouins and seamen who dealt in trading and pearling, across seven small, separate emirates. Despite being individual entities though, the emirates were interdependent with similar subcultures that relied economically, socially and politically on one another, casting somewhat of a unifying web that allowed them to share a common culture and, to a degree, a communal social identity. This remains true to this day. Each emirate still has its own unique flavor, but the overall feeling is one of unity and familiarity. Bedouins may be a thing of the past and pearling may be nothing more than an admired re-enactment of days gone by, but the culture in the UAE is still very much thriving, having adapted to the global revolution better than any other Middle Eastern country. Today, visitors can spot an Emirati wearing jeans at a shopping mall as easy as finding an Emirati wearing a traditional kandoorah and ghetrah. Times have changed, but traditions and customs are still valued. A plenty of ways to experience them are amidst the modern surroundings.

Why UAE ?

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Chapter 8

Modern Identity The heritage of the UAE may go back centuries, millennia even, but it is the cities that are standing today that draw the most attention. Think of Dubai and what comes to mind? A glittering metropolis of extravagance, entertainment and enjoyment, where living is easy, business is good, and the sun shines nearly every day of the year. Things in the other Emirates are not so different; Abu Dhabi, for example, is no less glittering than its sister city, what with hosting the Formula One being only one of the latest feathers in its multi-plumed hat. This is where the old meets the new, where the UAE is playing it smart and keeping up with the times by creating a name for itself by going above and beyond what would have been expected from a Middle Eastern country not so very long ago. It is undeniably modern, but with a definite Arabian twist.

Why UAE ?

The United Arab Emirates A Rooted Business Culture

Burj Al Arab, Dubai The Burj Al Arab dominates the Jumeirah coastline, an impressive sail-like structure that is repeatedly voted the most luxurious hotel in the world and has been described as being ‘seven-star’. Popular with celebrities and others affluent travellers, room rates aren’t cheap – but you can get a peep inside by paying a minimal fee.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai Another record-holder for Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Part of the Downtown Dubai project, attached to it is the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, the Dubai Mall, which even has its own aquarium – with the world’s largest viewing panel.

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The Palm Trilogy and The World, Dubai These man-made islands are renowned the world over and have sparked a regional craze, if not an international one, for their innovation and creativity. The Palms, consisting of The Palm Jumeirah, Deira and Jebel Ali, and The World, could quite possibly be considered the ultimate symbol of how the UAE is bolstering its appeal to the world, by demonstrating not only its wealth, but its ingenuity too.

International Sports A plethora of sporting associations hold major events in the UAE every year. The International Cricket Council has settled in Dubai and Formula One is one of the more recent additions at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, but the Dubai World Cup has drawn in international horseracing contenders for years (champion jockey Frankie Dettori now calls Dubai home)

Why UAE ?

no need for the part in brackets, several high-stakes golf tournaments attract the top sportsmen in that field, and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships call in the big names… and that’s just to mention a few.

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Although it’s not yet complete, Saadiyat Island, expected to be entirely finished in 2020, is set to become the UAE capital’s cultural hub. Alongside the residential and commercial sectors there will be a Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, a Louvre, a New York University campus and an 18 hold championship golf course and academy, designed by Gary Player.

The go-to spot for, well, just about everything, Abu Dhabi’s manmade island is no small feat. It is currently home to the Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts Formula One races, Ferrari World (a theme park dedicated to the car manufacturer) and the Yas Arena where some of the biggest names in music have performed, and soon to come are a whole host of other attractions, including a Warner Bros. Theme Park.

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Down to Business You may have fathomed the traffic systems and got to grips with the weather, but do you know how to walk the walk and talk the talk?

The Emirati Perspectives It is essential to have at least a basic understanding of the concepts and perspectives that make the UAE society tick, as many notions are held in a very different light to how the Western world perceives them.

Religion Very important. Religion is the key to life, and everything is done by the will of God. All mention of religion should be done in a respectful manner.

Family Very important. Families are a patriarchal structure, and ties between family members tend to be strong – even with distant cousins.

Honour The honour of a family is often held in higher regards than the wishes of the individual; it is considered vital to maintain a good reputation.

Shame Shame is avoided as much as possible, especially when it comes to family. Much as

with honour, it is more important to protect the family honour than to acknowledge the individual’s wishes. Slights against the family are taken to heart.

Friendship Considered important, but not valued as highly as family, which will always come first.


How to Behave with Women Women are respected in Islamic societies for being the ones who give birth to and raise the next generation.

Family comes first. Islam encourages acts of charity, and so most Muslims are generous to those in need, especially when it comes to human causes.

In the UAE and even in other GCC countries, they are very much a prominent part of the workplace.


It is best not to approach or speak to an Emirati professional woman, unless it is for business reasons.

Very important. Respect is paid to elders, with a special focus on age, wisdom, and, to a degree, wealth.

Time Very laid back. Don’t be surprised if an appointment turns up late; time is considered a rough guideline as to when something should start.

Government Laws are mostly secular and based on Islamic beliefs.

Justice Muslims believe that equality and justice should be held in equal regard, and justice is considered important.

Tradition Held in high regard, even if it is being overtaken by modern advances in some cases; this can lead to a conflict of interests. Why UAE ?

While the UAE tends to be a lot more welcoming of foreign customs than its fellow GCC and Muslim countries, it is also important to remember that the UAE is an Islamic nation, which means that certain normalities that are applicable in the rest of the world are not as well accepted. Obviously the rules of common decency will apply wherever you are in the world, but bear in mind some of the points mentioned in the following section, and remember that being conservative is the best way to behave.

How to Deal with Government Authorities Most expatriates appoint an Emirati to handle ministerial-related matters, as they are able to use contacts and know-how to get the job done quicker. Remember that English is spoken as a concession, not a necessity. Time runs on a different scale in the UAE to the rest of the world. Manners are important; you’re more likely to be seen quicker if you’re patient and respectful, than if you’re angry and demanding. Good to Know The general reaction to someone losing their temper or an overly serious situation is laughter, as a way of clearing the air; it definitely isn’t intended to anger you further! (This depends on the personality of an individual)

Remember to respect a woman’s privacy.

Only shake hands if they offer their hand first. Be aware of boundaries; do not flirt, touch, hug or maintain eye contact – definitely don’t stare! Some men may find it offensive if you ask as to the well-being of the female members of their family.

How to Get a First Meeting You may find it difficult to establish initial contact with someone on your first phone call or email, especially if you haven’t met the person previously. Speaking to a secretary or personal assistant will not necessarily land you a meeting; most do not have the authority to schedule their boss’s time, and will need to seek his or her approval before doing so. Due to the naturally hospitable trait of emiratis, setting up a first meeting might not be difficult Its advisable to make an effort to contact the person one is trying to visit through phone or email before showing up. If you already know someone, it is an expected courtesy that you will call in to visit them if you’re in their area. Be aware that they will likely do the same for you though.

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How to Give and Receive Gifts You’ll find that giving and receiving gifts is an important part of Emirati culture. Be wary of the circumstances in which you give a gift; offering one to a boss or superior without due cause may look as if you are trying to bribe them. Different Arab nationalities prefer different gifts, on top of personal preferences; a little bit of research can go a long way! A general rule of thumb is to always buy the best quality gift within your budget, from a reputable brand – and local is good, too! A well-received gift is traditional perfume, which is as much a status symbol in the UAE, though this should only be gifted to men as it may be considered an insult for a man to proffer it to a woman. Incense is also popular, such as oud, but again be sure to pay special attention to the quality of the product. Chocolate is always a popular choice, as are traditional sweets such as baklava. It is common for someone celebrating (a wedding, birth, purchase of a new home or car and so on) to bring in treats to share with their colleagues.

The United Arab Emirates A Rooted Business Culture

It is the host’s place to set the topic of conversation.

How to Address Someone While it may be fine to call someone by their first name in the West, it is best to start out relationship by using last names, with a title affixed. There is no equivalent to Mr. or Ms., however Sayed or Sayeda, followed by the first name (for example, Sayed Mohammed) will suffice. An alternative is the use of the Kunya, or a teknonym; Abu for men, or Umm for women, which literally means ‘father/ mother of’. This will usually be followed by the eldest son’s name (for example, Abu Khalifa, or Umm Hussain). Royal family members should be addressed as in the West, using ‘His/Her/Your Highness’ Samu al-Emir, in Arabic, and Ministers and Ambassadors should be ‘Excellency’. Other titles that can be used are Doctor, Shaikh (meaning ‘chief’; use Shaikha for women), Mohendes (meaning ‘engineer’), or Ustadh (meaning ‘professor’). Don’t be surprised if colleagues working under you call you Shaikh, as it is a sign of respect and an acknowledgement that you are in charge. Shaikh may also be used in the same manner as ‘Sir’ (as in knighthood) is used in the United Kingdom – always followed by a first name only, e.g. Shaikh Ibrahim.

Conversations You’ve got your first meeting, or you’re about to go to a business lunch with new colleagues, acquaintances or potential business partners… but what do you talk about? Here are some guidelines to help you pick acceptable conversation topics – and to let you know what to avoid. A conversation will always begin with platitudes – these may go on for some time, and, in the case of two Arab nationals greeting one another, will likely be accompanied by kissing on the cheeks. Pleasantries such as inquiries into health, business and home country are more than acceptable, as is a handshake – bear in mind though that handshakes in the Middle East are far softer than those used in the West, so don’t just someone on the strength of their grip!

If you arrive and there are already guests in place, then you will be enlightened on the topic of conversation and asked to contribute to it. Remember to always be polite. Being forthcoming is fine, and a reasoned, intelligent argument is welcome – so long as it is presented in a courteous manner, and does not fall into quarrelling or bickering. Provoking feedback through your conversation will place you in good stead – so long as the feedback isn’t the result of angered emotions. Do not be afraid to disagree with an opinion, bearing in mind the abovementioned points, as the object of raising controversial subjects is to spark a debate that isn’t for winning, but for enlightening one another to views which may not otherwise be known. It’s considered more valuable to have a conversation in which all parties involved learn something.

What not to give: jewelry, silk garments (for men; both are considered effeminate items and should only be gifted to women), alcohol, pork or pig products, overly personal items, images containing nudity – even artistic forms. When receiving a gift, it is impolite to refuse. Common courtesy applies; show appreciation for the giver having gone out of their way to find something for you.

Why UAE ?

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It is always safer to err on the side of being too conservative.

What to Wear

The UAE’s weather is hot most of the year – and very hot in the summer. Bear this in mind when choosing clothing. Lighter fabrics and natural materials, like cotton, are most suitable.

Useful Arabic Phrases English

Hi / Hello

While it may be hot outside, air conditioning means that most interiors are cool, sometimes to the point of being cold. If possible, carry a wrap or a shawl in case it gets too cold. Remember that the UAE is a multicultural society and therefore many forms of national dress are visible on a daily basis. Certain institutions (such as government offices and places of worship) have stricter, more conservative dress codes than elsewhere. If in doubt, call ahead to check what is acceptable.

Acceptable Dress Code in the UAE Ocassion




Why UAE ?


Casual Western dress is sufficient.


Acceptable casual dress could vary according to situation and place. For example, wearing shorts during excersicing is acceptable but it may not be so in malls in some areas. However, wearing longer trousers or skirts and sleeved tops is more advisable at all places.

Wearing an evening gown is fine, though bear in mind the location and the people who will be there. Showing a little more skin is National dress, tuxedoes, dinner acceptable if you’re going to a suits. predominantly Western-attended function or a ladies-only event, but take a shawl with you to cover up if needs be. Avoid figure-hugging clothing, short hemlines, and plunging necklines as much as possible. Dependent upon the office, this Trousers or a long skirt with a shirt could be anything from suit and tie (if it’s a light shirt, wear a vest to shirt and jeans. underneath to avoid underwear showing through) will be suitable, though office standards may vary.


Salam / Asalaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you) Response: Wa Alaikum Asalaam (And peace be upon you) Marhabah Response: Marhabta’n Sabah Al Khair

Good morning

Response: Sabah Al Nor

Good afternoon / Good evening

Masah Al Khair Response: Masah Al Noor Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Welcome (Greeting)

How are you?

Response: Ahlan Beek (to a man) Ahlan Beech (to a women) Ahlan Beekum (to a group) Kaif Halek? Response: Al Hamdulillah, Bi-khair (Praise be to Allah (well) Ana Bikhair, Shukhran (I’m fine, Thank you)

And you?

Wa Ant? (to a man) Wa Anti? (to a women)


Ma’Salaamah Response: Fi Aman Allah

See you tomorrow Ashoofuk Bukhrah

Good to Know When complimenting someone or something, you can use ‘Ma’ashallah’, which means ‘What Allah wishes’. This is especially used for health and when complimenting beauty or success.



Do you speak English?

Titakellem Ingleezi?

I don’t speak Arabic

Ana la atakellum Al Arabi

I speak Arabic / Atakellum Arabi / Ingleezi English Thank you (very much

Shukran (jazeelan)

You’re welcome







Min fudluk

No problem

Ma’afi mushkil



Excuse me



Il youm







0- Seffr

1- Wahid

2- Ithnain

3- Thalatha

4- Arba’a

5- Qamsah

6- Sitta

7- Seba’a

8- Thamaniyah

9- Tissah

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Relocating to the United Arab Emirates

Chapter 9

Relocating to the United Arab Emirates


When the easy and cost-effective residency procedures combine with an environment that is set to incubate different cultures and nationalities from all around the globe, the relocating process becomes a tranquil and enjoyable experience.


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UK Citizens

it is a great place to raise a family or to further careers, due to the ample job opportunities and a decent standard of living on offer.


s much as its pulse peaks with the Burj Khalifa, it also knows when to bow down to culture and tradition – striking a balance so unique that over 200 nationalities have made the UAE their home away home. Dubai and Abu Dhabi may have put the United Arab Emirates on the world map. However, with its contrasting landscapes, a skyline that boasts the world’s tallest tower, state-of-the-art facilities, a safe and welcoming tax-free environment, the most coveted hotels and designer brands, some of the world’s largest shopping malls, upscale infrastructure and technology, and an effortless blend of modern meets traditional, there are many aspects to this nation that set it apart from the rest of its GCC cousins. The world is watching the UAE. Its meteoric progress and developments have made this very young nation the envy of the region and showcase to the world just what’s possible with vision and an intelligent use of resources. Most expatriates are lured by the fact that

Additionally, considering the fact that there is no personal income tax, it is the ideal place to save and repatriate money back home too. This also facilitates shopping for goods at tax free prices – one reason why the world’s most recognized and sought after brands are available here. With nearly eighty per cent of people living in the UAE being expatriates, there is an ample choice of lifestyle, food and cultural options, making it a great place to mix or match. This is helped by the fact that the UAE is centrally located which makes it an easy access point from anywhere in the world – one reason why it is a convenient place to relocate for most since home is just a flight away. Also, when moving out of one’s comfort zone, a safe and secure environment is an important factor for many. UAE’s low crime rate and political stability ensure just that, as do many other factors which will be explained at length in this chapter. However, it would be advisable to understand the entry requirements and regulations to make the move as stress-free as possible.

Things to do Prior to Arrival:

British citizens are eligible for a free visa on arrival, which is valid for 60 days and can be renewed for an additional 30 days by paying an extension fee of Dh500 (US$ 137). Failure to pay the fee or exit the country once the extension period is over can result in a fine.

Obtain a Visa


As with all developed nations, there are certain criteria in place to procure entry into the UAE. However, a well-equipped and updated immigration system facilitates this. While there are some categories and citizens from certain nations that do not require prior approval, others are required to follow a stepby-step process to secure a visa to the UAE.

Besides the UK, there are 33 other countries whose residents enjoy similar privileges. These include France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

This depends on the type of visa one is looking to procure, nationality, purpose of the planned visit and its duration, and other essential factors. Regulations do change from time to time. However, the basic criteria remain the same. It is best to check with the travel consultant and regional UAE embassy or consulate prior to making any arrangements. The most important factor to keep in mind is that one’s passport must be valid for at least six months - beyond the end of intended stay – before applying for any type of visa to the UAE. Essentially, there are five types of visas namely residence visa, visit visa, family visa, tourist visa and transit visa. Here, their purpose and requirements is explained at length.

Obtaining on Arrival Visa GCC Citizens Citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Saudi Arabia – better known as the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states - do not need a visa. Expatriates from the aforementioned countries are eligible for a non-renewable 30-day visit visa upon arrival.

Visit Visa This is the most sought-after type of visa, especially by tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in the UAE. There are two types of visit visas and both are non-renewable. The long-term visit visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE for 90 days, while the short-term visa is valid for only 30 days. Key Points to Remember:

The visitor must have a spouse or relative who is a legal resident of the UAE - in order to sponsor the visa. Proof of marriage or justification for the visit must be furnished prior to applying for a visit visa. The sponsor would be required to deposit Dh 1,000 as a financial guarantee. This will be refunded once the visitor exits the UAE. Individuals with a visit visa will only be allowed to re-enter the UAE if he or she has stayed out of the country for a minimum period of one month.

For Further Information for Visa Abu Dhabi

UAE Federal Government Tel:+971 6 00522222 Why UAE ?


Naturalization and Residency Department Tel:+971 4 398 0000 The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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cost - are issued only if a passenger has a valid ticket for an onward flight.

Tourist Visa Citizens of all other nationalities – from countries not included in the aforementioned list – would need to be sponsored by a resident of the UAE, hotel, travel agency, or company, in order to enter the UAE. Tourist visa for a relative or friend can only be sponsored by a legal resident of the UAE who earns over Dh4,000 per month. Hotels can also sponsor a tourist, only if the visitor stays at the hotel. Laws in the UAE require foreign guests to hand over their passports when they check into a hotel. It is a normal practice for hotels to take a photocopy and return the passport to its owner. However, some hotels insist on keeping the passport until all payments are cleared.

Transit Visa Certain UAE airlines offer to sponsor a visa for their passengers as an additional facility. Also known as a transit visa, this allows a passenger entry into the UAE for a maximum period of 96 hours or four days. Such visas – normally free of


Residence Visa Also known as an employment visa, such visas are provided by an employer of the individual. UAE employers may ask foreign employees to deposit their passports with the company as part of their terms and conditions of employment. While this is not an unusual practice, it is illegal under UAE labour law. Key Points to Remember:

A visit visa can be transferred into a residence visa by either re-entering the country or facilitating the transfer at the Immigration department. A residence visa is valid for three years from the date of issue, following which the individual will have to undergo a medical test for the visa to be renewed. This will provide an individual with a health card at a cost of Dh300 (US$ 82). The health card - issued either by the Ministry of Health or a recognized private hospital - needs to be renewed every year.

Visitors who overstay without securing the required permission or paying an extension fee would incur a fine of Dh25 - Dh100 per day. Exit Requirements

Family Visa This type of visa is required if an expatriate intends to bring a member of their family to the UAE for an indefinite period of time. A family visa can be acquired based on the following criteria:

Cancel the visa before permanently leaving the country. Failure to do this will result in the individual being listed as an absconder and could even lead to arrest on re-entry. If the expatriate is subject to a travel ban, is involved in legal proceedings, has unpaid debt or are a child subject to a custody dispute, they may be prevented from leaving the country.

Expatriates or residents (also known as sponsors) earn a minimum monthly salary of Dh4000 or Dh3000 + accommodation. A short term visa, valid for 30 days, can be acquired for an application fee of Dh620 + typing fees, while Dh1,120 + typing fees needs to be paid for a long term visa which is valid for only 90 days. Neither of the visas can be extended beyond this period. A deposit of AED 1,000 needs to paid, which can be refunded after the relative has left the country. Documents Required: A typed application form entailing personal details. Copies of the sponsor’s and family member’s passports. Passport sized photograph of the family member. Marriage contract attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or UAE Embassy in case the expatriates wish to sponsor a wife or husband.

Proceduer: Fill out a visa application form and submit it to the sponsor along with copies of the valid passport pages. A tourist visa costs Dh650 (US$ 178) and requires seven days to be issued. The tourist visa must be deposited at the relevant airport’s immigration counter at least one hour before the visitor’s arrival. Why UAE ?

The birth certificates need to be attested in case children are being sponsored. Attested documents in case the relationship cannot be proven in the sponsor’s or relative’s passports. An attested work contract is also required if the sponsor is working in a private company or a salary certificate if he/she is employed by the government. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Visa Formalities for Parents

Hiring a Maid

UAE expatriates with valid resident visas must earn a minimum salary of Dh6,000 per month with accommodation or Dh7,000 per month without accommodation. This will allow them to get a one year renewable resident visa.

Domestic help is one of the most sought after services in the UAE mainly due to the fact that many expatriates can afford housemaids to do their home chores or take care of their children for very little money. There are guidelines designed to make the process more transparent for maids and sponsors. Unlike other types of visas, domestic staff is subject to a different sponsorship and visa approval system.

The expatriate would need to sponsor both parents, but only after providing proof that he/ she is the sole provider. Documentary proof is also required if the parents are divorced or either one is deceased. The expatriate would also need to obtain a medical insurance policy

for each parent that extends a minimum coverage of Dh600 per year.

Key Points to Remember: The sponsor needs to provide a salary certificate in Arabic (in case they are employed by the government) or a labour contract (in case they

are private employees), alongwith a tenancy contract of a two-bedroom apartment. A typed application form from an authorized typing office. Copies of the sponsor and maid’s passports. Minimum three passport-sized photographs of the maid. An affidavit from the respective embassy/ consulate certifying that the maid and sponsor are not related, especially if they are from the same country. Once all documents are in place, approach the respective residency department for a ‘domestic worker identity card’. A refundable deposit of AED2,000 (about USD 545) needs to be paid which will be returned once the housemaid permanently exits the country.

Key Points to Remember: Domestic workers do not have a labour card as they are not covered by the Ministry of Labour. They must be personally sponsored by an individual who is usually male and the head of the family and earns a minimum salary of AED 6,000 (USD 1,634) a month or AED 5,000 (USD 1,361) plus accommodation. Bachelors cannot sponsor a maid. The only countries from which domestic staff can be employed are Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and The Philippines. As per regulations set by their respective embassies, an Indian or Filipino maid must be older than 30, but not more than 60 years of age.

Documents Required for Parents Visa: A typed application form that clearly entails all personal details. Original passport of the sponsor. Passport copies of the parent/s alongwith their passport size photographs. Proof of relationship from the respective embassy/consulate, with proof that he/she is the sole provider for their parent/s. Copy of the employment contract and/or salary certificate from their employer. The expatriate would also need to provide a copy of their water and electricity bill (authenticated by the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority) and their tenancy contract as proof that they have adequate space for their family members in their place of residence. This would need to be stamped by the Land Department, certifying that the expatriate resides in a minimum two bedroom apartment. In case the tenancy contract fails to mention this, an affidavit from the landlord would need to be submitted. Once all the documents are ready, these would need to be submitted to the residency department of the respective emirate that one is a resident of. A safety deposit (which varies from one emirate to another) would need to be provided, which will be refunded when the visa is cancelled or in case a parent dies. Once the parents enter the UAE based on the entry visa, the sponsor must convert it to a residency visa in no later than 60 days from the date of entry. Why UAE ?

Minimum wages for housemaids have been set by the embassies of their respective countries. However, the monthly salaries differ for various nationalities. An Indian maid, for example, must be paid AED 1,100 (USD 300) per month, while the minimum salaries for maids from the Philippines and Sri Lanka are atAED 1,400 (USD 381) and AED 825 (USD 225) respectively. The minimum wage limit for Indonesian maids is AED 800 (USD 217), while Bangladesh has set AED 750 (USD 204) as the salary limit for its nationals. All employers are encouraged to pay more than the minimum. Every housemaid is bound by a contract for one or two years – approved by the residency department of their respective emirate - which is renewable. Once the contract expires, the maid is free to leave and does not have to pay any severance charge to her employer. Prior to applying for a residency visa, sponsors must ensure that the housemaid undergoes certain medical tests, at least 30 days before her arrival in the country. These tests will screen the maid for HIV/Aids, pregnancy, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, tuberculosis and leprosy. Employers are obligated to provide a one-way ticket once the contract ends and the worker is repatriated. Additionally, during the period of employment, a two-way ticket must be provided to the maid once every year. Employers can cancel their maid’s visa at any time. They can also report the maid in case she absconds, following which a ban may be placed on the individual in the event of a breach of contract or illegal activity. If a ban is placed because of a contract breach, it cannot be appealed by the maid. The sponsor, however, can have this nullified at no particular charge. Employers who indulge in hiring maids that do not have a valid visa/passport or are illegal can be subject to a USD 19,061 fine, imprisonment for a month, followed by the deportation if the employer is an expatriate. It is advisable to approach registered agencies to hire part-time help. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Housing and Accommodation Individual taste and preference is what turns any house into a home. When moving to the UAE, finding an ideal place to live – in a community that reflects one’s needs and requirements – is a major concern for most. Fortunately, the UAE’s housing and accommodation sector ensure that there is something to suit every budget and lifestyle. Many companies advertise rental accommodation options, including private villas and luxury apartments, in the classified sections of local newspapers. Moreover, specialized housing agents are always on hand to assist with relocation and house hunting. There are no limitations for expatriates looking to purchase a property as part of their relocation plan to the UAE. Should an individual wish to take more time before buying an apartment or villa, a wide variety of options including five-star, fourstar, three-star, budget hotels, furnished and semi-furnished hotel apartments help facilitate this. Additionally, when renting a property, there are various mortgage options to finance a purchase. However, it is advisable to study residence options as per budget, travel convenience and other individual

Freehold Property Purchase This option is available on almost all developments in the UAE, with a mixture of freehold and a 99-year leasehold property in some cases. Expatriates with a valid residence visa and even overseas investors can purchase property in the UAE. factors before finalizing a property to rent. Having said that, it’s easier and more convenient to rent an accommodation rather than purchase a property. Before deciding on whether to rent or buy a property, it is best to rule out the following points first: How much is the rent or installments – is it paid weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly? Research the seller, the area and community, neighbours, market value and best areas to reside in. An individual is required to pay annual rent in advance either with post-dated cheques or cash. The number of cheques or installments to be paid varies from one landlord to another. A refundable security deposit will also be required at the time of agreement. Once the terms and conditions of a tenancy contract have been decided upon, it is imperative that all lease agreements are registered with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) as otherwise neither party can assert their claim in case of a dispute. Property agents who act as middlemen between the tenant and landlord usually charge a commission. Documents Required:

A valid passport. A valid residence visa. A salary certificate – this is a testament of an individual’s income, his or her employment and financial status. Why UAE ?

Key Points to Remember: After thorough research – which can either be by liaising with authorised property agents or by scouring on the internet - decide on a budget and secure financing before choosing a property. Expatriates can only purchase property in areas that are specifically designated for them. There are a wide variety of mortgage options to choose from. This includes local and international lending facilities. While most overseas banks do not directly provide such facilities for purchase of UAE properties, arrangements can be made with favourable international interest rates, if one has assets overseas. It is best to secure a loan as most banks require the amount to be repaid from an insurance policy, in case of emergencies. The payment terms are usually at an average deposit of between 10 and 20 per cent of the price. This would need to be paid during the contract-signing stage for all new development properties. Once the initial payment has been made and based on the agreement between the buyer and the seller, other stage payments would follow through to completion. An investor does not need to have a local bank account to buy property in Dubai, especially since most banks extend an easy funds transfer facility from their client’s current account to the necessary developer, landlord, or real estate agency in the UAE. It is advisable to consult a lawyer before finalizing any property deal or when buying property from the second hand market to avoid any unforeseen circumstances or legal tussles in the future. Reputed developers, however, do not pose any such threat. UAE charges a minimal development fee for maintenance and landscaping. This service charge varies from one development to another and based on facilities offered. Once purchased, an owner can rest assured that he or she will not be required to pay a government tax against the property. However, there is no Capital Gains Tax on the property either. Once a title is registered by the Dubai Lands Department, owners will be required to pay a 1.5 per cent registration charge based on the purchase price of their property. In case of a mortgage, the payment would be 0.25 per cent of the total value of the loan. Investors do not require a residence visa to purchase property in the UAE. On the contrary, an investor becomes eligible to apply for a residence visa on the purchase of a freehold property. However, the purchase of a property is not the sole reason for an individual to be granted a residence visa – this is based on the sole discretion of the immigration authorities. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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representative offices of foreign banks. Both Islamic (Sharia’a-compliant) and regular banks are all governed by the Central Bank of the UAE.

Banking Processes and Procedures Banks in the UAE offer varied choices that are at par with international standards. There are both locally incorporated as well as foreign banks, both commercial/retail and investment. In most cases, the foreign banks also offer non-resident accounts to be opened if it has a presence in the account holder’s home country. The UAE is also home to several renowned Islamic or Sharia’a-compliant banks and institutions, including Dubai Islamic Bank, the world’s first Islamic bank. At present, the number of commercial banks in the UAE is close to 47 including both locally incorporated and foreign ones, aside from nine Documents Required:

Passport with residency (original and copy) The individual has to personally carry their original passport with copies of the same with the residency visa stamped A letter of no-objection or NOC from the employer/sponsor Procedure:

The required documents must be taken to the choice of bank and in most cases, an account will be functional within 48 working hours, while the cheque book and ATM/ Debit Card could take up to a week. NOC

The “Letter of No Objection” or a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) from the employer or in the name of the company signed by the authorised signatory and stamped. The letter should stipulate salary and date of joining. Some banks require tenancy agreement to establish the account holder’s residential address. Additionally, the employee should have completed 3 to 6 months in the company to be eligible to open an account. The employee’s dependants or immediate family can open an account with the individual’s signed permission, is the employee is their sponsor. Why UAE ?

Initiating Accounts Opening a commercial bank account for individual purposes in the UAE requires very simple procedures, but sometimes these vary from bank-to-bank and account type. Expatriates must have a valid residency visa with an expiry date of not less than 1 month to open an account.

Accounts Largely, the main types ofaccounts that can be opened are Current, Savings and Deposit Accounts. Current Accounts Offer a cheque book facility, but require a minimum account balance while Savings Accounts have no cheque book facility and in certain case, only an ATM car and no minimum balance required. The Deposit Accounts vary according to the fixed savings/amount, tenure and interest accrued.

Deposits and Withdrawals There are ample ATMs located across the UAE for cash withdrawals, which can also be used for making utility bill payments, while the same also house Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs) for credit card payments and account deposits. Overdrawing on the accounts is done only with prior application and approval from the bank.

Issuing Cheques The layout of cheques is similar to UK or American cheques and these can be easily filled with information listed in both English and Arabic. Although cash or debit payments are preferred for everyday transactions in Dubai, a large number of service providers require personal cheques for regular payments like tenancy payments or guarantees in case of loans, mortgages and utility services. Cheques are mostly not accepted by local retailers. It is important to note that issuing a cheque without the necessary funds in the account is a criminal offence in the UAE. If the cheque bounces, the bearer can file a criminal case against the issuer. This could result in a travel and/or immigration ban on the defaulter.

Credit Cards Most banks issues credit cards which carry set interest rates, while in the case of Islamic banks, a pre-listed fee is charged. Every bank has different salary and employment tenure criteria for issuing cards, while all of them

require a cheque as a guarantee. Nonpayment of credit card dues can also be a criminal offence if the cheque is deposited and returned due to insufficient funds.

Bonds and Savings Certificates Some banks and financial institutions, both regular and Islamic, offer fixed bonds and certificates as investment or saving vehicles. These offer attractive returns or interest and can be encashed at any time at the same bank or institution.

Currencies Although AED is the currency of record, in some banks, savings accounts can be opened in major foreign currencies, predominantly USD and GB£.

Salary Transfer Having the salary transferred to an account is required to apply for loans, mortgages, utility services or tenancy contracts, as a bank statement is usually required along with a proof of income.

Services As with all global banks, all standard banking services are offered by UAE banks. These include cheque clearance, standing orders, direct debits, salary transfer and credit card repayments. Most of these transactions per year are usually free, including withdrawing cash from any of the bank’s ATMs, although a nominal fee is charged for withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



Chapter 9

Essential Do’s and Don’ts As with any other country, there are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to in the UAE too, in order to ensure a safe, secular and respectful environment for all. Here’s a checklist of essential dos and don’ts.

Dress Code Emirati men or Arab citizens from GCC states usually wear the traditional clothing of their native country. Many Muslim women cover their hair with a scarf and wear a long, black robe called the abaya. Key Points for Dress Code for Expatriates:

It is essential for men and women to dress modestly at all times. All malls advertise the type of clothing that is considered permissible while shopping in the UAE. Please read these instructions carefully. Swimming attire can only be worn on beaches or at swimming pools. Topless sunbathing is not allowed.

Drugs and Alcohol UAE adopts a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol - it is a punishable offence to drink, or to be drunk, in public. To purchase or consume alcohol in the privacy of their homes,

Relocating to the United Arab Emirates

residents can obtain a liquor license. However, the license will be applicable only in the emirate where it has been issued - a permit issued in Abu Dhabi, for example, is not valid in Dubai. Any alcohol consumption is illegal in Sharjah. The penalties for drug trafficking or smuggling are severe. The possession and/or import of even the smallest amount of drugs can result in a minimum prison sentence of four years.

Languages Used Arabic is the most commonly spoken language, followed by English, French, Russian, Hindi and more. Almost all official documents, forms, laws and decrees are in Arabic. Therefore, it would be advisable to have working knowledge of the language.

marriage is considered illegal and unmarried couples indulging in adultery risk prosecution, imprisonment and/or a fine and deportation. If an unmarried woman gives birth in the UAE and is brought to the attention of the authorities, she may face severe punishment - ranging from a refusal to issue a birth certificate to arrest and imprisonment. Cohabitation (including in hotels), cross-dressing and homosexual behaviour are also banned in the country. It is imperative to avoid using obscene language or make rude gestures in public as offenders have, in the past, received six-month jail sentences for such acts. Some have also been deported. Be aware to avoid prosecution.

Censorship and Photography of residence first before deciding to bring pets into the UAE.

Medication Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available outside of the UAE are considered controlled substances within the emirates. It is best to procure a prescription or prior permission from the UAE’s Ministry of Health before travelling with any such medicine to the UAE. Failure to do this may lead to prosecution under UAE law. For more information and to view the list of controlled medication, visit the Ministry of Health’s website:

Etiquette UAE is very particular about public displays of affection and there have been several arrests for kissing in public. Sex outside of

Key Points to Remember:

Photography of certain buildings is not permitted.


It is advisable not to photograph people (especially women) without their permission. Do not take pictures of military sites. Avoid bringing any magazines, DVDs or books with pornographic content into the UAE. Certain international magazines and newspaper sold in the UAE are censored – all objectionable material is marked in black, while intimate scenes in films shown in the UAE movie theatres are censored.

Pets The UAE places no restrictions on bringing pets into the country. However, if an individual opts to rent an apartment, the confined space can prove to be a hassle for both the pet and its owner. Additionally, unfavourable climatic conditions make it difficult to leave pets outdoors. Research and decide on the choice Why UAE ?

Pets from some countries would need to take a blood titter test to check for rabies. This does not apply to pets arriving from the US, Canada, an EU Country or a country that is considered to be “free of rabies”. Owners can only bring in their pets as cargo. No airline allows pets to travel with its owner in the cabin of the aircraft. It is important to procure an import paper from the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries prior to a pet’s arrival. This is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. To obtain the import permit, the owner needs to submit an application form identifying the pet based on its type and colour. The form would also identify the owner. Along with the form, the owner would also need to furbish copies of his or her passport and valid residency visa. Another important document to be included is the pet’s full vaccination card/certificate clearly detailing its history of vaccinations. It is essential to micro-chip all dogs and cats before their arrival in the UAE. The vaccination card would need to display the micro-chipping details. If handwritten, it would need to be stamped by the veterinarian. The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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Education With an influx of nationalities streaming into the UAE each year, catering to multicultural needs and requirements - especially in complex fields such as education - can be a mammoth task. However, the UAE does this with aplomb. Irrespective of whether an expatriate student is used to an O level or A level type of education or has had another educational background, schools in the emirates have courses to suit all palates. One of the great things about education and schooling in the UAE is the opportunity

Relocating to the United Arab Emirates

to interact with students from various nationalities and backgrounds, which in the long run ensures greater global awareness. This is possible through a wide variety of curriculums on offer which includes American, British, Australian, French, German, Indian, Iranian, Japanese, Russian and of course Arabic. To ensure all schools meet parents’ expectations, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority took it upon itself to grade each school based on performance, facilities and level of education by providing a detailed report on every school each year. Besides a wide variety of primary school options, the UAE also offers the best in higher education facilities. A dedicated complex for world-renown universities and campuses ensures expatriates and residents do not have to look elsewhere to offer the best in education to their wards. Also known as the Dubai International Academic City, this educational free trade zone houses some of the most sought after universities with over 400 institutions operating within the city. For more information on each school, log on to For more information, log on to / Parents and students looking to make enquiries and lodge complaints about education and schools in the UAE can also contact the

The Ministry of Education - UAE Call: 800-51115

List of Driving Schools Abu Dhabi

Driving and Etiquette Learning to drive in the UAE is relatively easy. As with all nations, there are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered to. In order to procure a UAE driving license, an individual needs to be 18 years of age and above. Documents Required: A no-objection letter from the sponsor. Original passport and copies. Copy of a valid residence visa. Eight passport size photographs. An eye test certificate listing the condition and health. Driving Do’s and Dont’s:

Al Aqeed Driving School, 02-642-4577 Al Aqeed Driving School, 02-642-4577 Emirates Driving Company, 02-551-1911 Dubai

Al Ahli Driving School, 04-3411500 Belhasa Driving School, 04-3243535 Dubai Driving Center, 04-3455855 Emirates Driving Institute, 04-2631100 Galadari Driving School, 04-2676166 Sharjah

Al Badoor Motor Driving School, 06 5650487 Al Deyar Driving School, 06 5656285 Al Nasr Driving School, 06 5647111

Do follow the rules and speed limits of the emirate you are travelling in at all times. Do not indulge in ‘road rage’ such as rude gestures or verbal abuse when driving or if involved in an accident, as this can attract penalties such as fines, a jail sentence, and possible deportation. In case of an accident, alert the police first. It is an offence to leave the scene of the accident before the police have arrived. Do not drink and drive as this is considered a serious criminal offense. Should an individual be caught in the act, his/her insurance is likely to be invalidated, which means the offender will have to pay the claims of all parties involved in an accident, if any. Offenders caught drinking and driving also risk imprisonment.

Key Points to Remember: It is best to physically visit a nursery, school, college, or university in as a first-hand impression is worth far more than any information available on the internet, or advice provided by educational consultants. Most school websites provide a detailed overview of the curriculum and programs on offer. While this makes for ample reading material, word of mouth is sometimes also a good way to go. Most institutions do not encourage a child to switch schools during the academic year, unless approved by the Ministry of Education or in special cases. Another important factor to remember is that majority of the schools begin their academic year from September, instead of April / May. Why UAE ?

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Hospitals & Health Services in the UAE

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Tel: +971 2 819 0000

Ramadan in the UAE

Places of Worship

All individuals are expected to extend basic respect and courtesy to Muslims fasting during Ramadan. A clear guide is available on arrival at all major airports. One of the great things about education and schooling in the UAE is the opportunity.

UAE has some of the most beautiful mosques in the region, with one in almost all major areas and communities. Some mosques such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai have touring options for non-Muslims too.

Health Services on Offer Hospitals and health care providers in the UAE offer some of the most advanced and diverse facilities - a testament of the emirates’ thriving health care system. Well-equipped private and public hospitals and clinics extend the best in specialized health care through in and out-patient facilities at world-recognised institutions. Health insurance is essential, irrespective of whether an individual is on a tourist visa or has been sponsored for a visit. Most employers offer insurance coverage at a premium. Insurance can also be bought through different service providers at a fee. It would be advisable to contact your sponsor or agency for a list of health insurance options. Emergency Contacts

Abu Dhabi

Al Noor Hospital Tel: +971 2 444 66 55 Rashid Hospital Tel: +971 4 337 1111




Umm Al Quwain

Ambulance - 998 Abu Dhabi - 02 446 1461 Churches

Key Points to Remember:

Do not eat, drink or smoke in public view during the day (including in the car). This is considered highly disrespectful and is also against the law. Failure to comply could result in arrest. Pregnant, nursing women and young children are exempt from fasting. However, it is advisable to exercise discretion at all times.

Abu Dhabi

St. Joseph’s Cathedral Tel: +971 2 446 1929

Al Ain

St. Mary’s Church Tel: +971 3 721 4417


St. Michael’s Church Tel: +971 6 566 2424

As per law, almost all eating and drinking establishments will not be operational during the day.


Dress modestly. While it is advisable to avoid skimpy clothing at all times, particular caution must be taken during Ramadan so as not offend religious beliefs and the local customs and traditions.


Loud music and dancing is considered disrespectful during the month. Kindly avoid. Why UAE ?

Ras Al Khaimah

Dubai - 04 229 2222 Sharjah - 06 563 1111

Al Maktoum Hospital Tel: +971 4 2221211 Dubai Hospital Tel: +971 4 271 4444 Al Wasl Hospital Tel: +971 4 2324 1111

Police - 999 Fire - 997

Mafraq Hospital Tel: +971 2 25011111


Al Qasimi Hospital Tel: +971 6 538 6444 Khalifa Hospital Tel: +971 6 743 9333 Ajman Hospital Tel: +971 6 742 2227 Umm Al Quwain Hospital Tel: +971 6 765 6888 Saqr Hospital Tel: +971 7 222 3666 Al Nakheel Hospital Tel: +971 7 222 3555 New Fujairah Hospital Tel: +971 9 224 2999

St. Mary’s Church

Tel: +971 4 337 0087 Church of Our Lady

of Perpetual Help Tel: +971 9 223 1377 Temples


The Shiva Mandir and

Krishna Mandir, Bur Dubai The Unlimited Opportunities 2012



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wildlife such as the Arabian Oryx and gazelle, to name a few. for more information

Lifestyle and Entertainment As much as the UAE prides itself in being a hub of culture and tradition, its wide variety of entertainment options is also a testament of the country’s secular nature. Many expatriates make the most of their tax free lifestyle by indulging in high standard international cuisine at world-renown restaurants. There are numerous night clubs around the emirates too. Some of the clubs attract international DJs, including talent from the Middle East and Asia and the rest of the world. Clubbing facilities in Dubai include sophisticated cocktail lounges serving an eclectic mix of cuisines and drinks and the best in live music and entertainment. Another feature is the emirate’s emphasis on featuring the best talent of the music industry, be it by way of numerous piano and jazz bars, world renowned singers or gems from the local talent pool.

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort is one of the best conservatories in the region where visitors are treated to a unique glimpse of some of the animals that comprise UAE’s

Al Bastakiya-Dubai It’s easy to forget the hustle and bustle of the modern world once you’re tucked into a Sikka (narrow alley) in Al Bastakiya. One of the oldest residential areas in the city, where houses were once built for the Iranian merchants.Where once wealthy traders and pearl divers lived, the area has been protected and is now home to museums, coffee shops and art galleries that are open to all.

Al Mamzar Beach Park One of Dubai’s most popular parks, Al Mamzar houses an amphitheatre, with plenty of picnic spots and a well-equipped children’s playground. The park is neatly surrounded by beaches that have sheltered areas for swimming with ample security in the form of trained lifeguards.

true representation of what Bedouin living in the UAE was like, a desert safari will nevertheless allow you to experience the wild world beyond the city’s tarmac and towers. Dune-bashing, camel-riding, henna, bellydancing and traditional food can all be found on the various tours offered from each of the Emirates.

Open Hours: 8am-11pm daily, 8am to 11.30pm on Thur and Fri.Wed only for ladies.

Dreamland Aqua Park

Atlantis - Aqua Venture Relatively new hot spot for water sport activities that promise to leave visitors with an experience of a lifetime. Unique selling Point – its Leap of Faith ride.

Camel Racing The Dubai World Cup may be one of the richest horse races in the world, but camel racing is by no means less appealing in the Emirates, since the former UAE president, Shaikh Zayed, endorsed the sport and offered financial aid to citizens who cared for the camels. There are 15 racetracks located throughout the country, with races taking place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the winter season.

It would not be incorrect to say that this park put Umm Al Quwain on the world map. Considered one of the largest water parks in the region, Dreamland offers a variety of programs and hosts special events throughout the year.

Dubai Aquarium Located in the Dubai Mall, this 10-million litre tank is one of the top draws in the UAE, mainly due to its massive size and an

underwater zoo tour attraction.

Dubai Meusium Located within Al Bastakiya, Al Fahidi Fort is the oldest building in Dubai, having been built in 1899 to defend the emirate against sea attacks. It was expanded on in the 1830s18502, and today is considered to be one of the most important historical monuments the city has. The fort has housed the Dubai Museum since 1970, showcasing the cultural history of the area, going back as far as 30004000 years ago.

Ferrari World A theme park that focuses on the fast and the furious, Ferrari World is a must visit spot irrespective of whether you are a sport enthusiast or not.

Desert Safari While it is, admittedly, a trip that is tweaked to appeal to the tourists’ tastes rather than a Why UAE ?

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Geting Around

Heritage Village - Abu Dhabi

Land Transport

Replicating a traditional oasis village, you won’t find anywhere better to get a real look at what the days of yore were like for the Emirati people. Complete with a tent made from goat hair, a falaj irrigation system and a campfire with customary coffee pots, you’ll find workshops given by traditional craftsmen to demonstrate the skills that their forefathers were famed for – metalwork and pottery for the men, and weaving and spinning for the women.

Hili Archaeological Gardens Located 10km outside Al Ain, historians assert that the most untie feature about this park are the remnants from a Bronze Age settlement (2,500 2,000BC, excavated and restored in 1995) and a number of national treasures displayed at the museum.

Jumeirah Beach Park The preferred park for most Western expatriates, JBP boasts a beach front and is frequented by tourists who are lured by its clean waters and round-the-clock security. Location: Opp Chilli’s Restaurant on the Beach Road, Jumeirah. Open Hours: 8am-10:30pm daily. Thur & Fri till 11pm.Saturday for children and ladies only

Saadiyat Island A natural island, Saadiyat is currently undergoing development on a massive scale and once completed it will house the Abu Dhabi Louvre.

Sir Bani Yas Island This island has been named after the Bani Yas tribe, who first inhabited Abu Dhabi. A natural reserve, it also houses a five-star resort. Why UAE ?

The Creek - Dubai Splitting the city in two, the Creek (also known as Khor Dubai) was once a lifeline for Dubai’s industry. Still a bustling thoroughfare today, you’ll find plenty of boats riding the waves, from dhows to more modern affairs, and there are a number of tours you can take along it, from day-time tourist rides to romantic evening dinner rides. Or, hop on an abra, a cheap taxi boat that will take you from shore to shore.

Tour a Mosque Two of the best examples you can experience are the Shaikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the eighth largest mosque in the world and home to the world’s largest handwoven carpet, and the Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai. Both are open to non-Muslims for guided tours which will offer an invaluable insight into the local religion, plus a unique opportunity to see the exquisite Islamic architecture both buildings demonstrate. Visitors should dress conservatively, though.

Wild Wadi A water park to suit all ages. Located between Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, Wild Wadi is the ideal place to be to have some fun in the sun.

UAE’s public transport system is one of the best in the world with a widely connected network of buses, taxis and a Metro link in Dubai. The Dubai Metro connects all major areas of old and new Dubai, with construction underway to launch new routes. Metro users are required to buy a one-time Nol card which needs to be recharged once all funds have been exhausted. It is the most preferred mode of transport within Dubai due to its state-ofthe-art facilities, easy access, cheap fares and level of comfort. Additionally, a high-speed rail service between Abu Dhabi and Dubai carrying passengers at speeds of up to 200kph - is to become a reality soon after the Union Railway proposed adding a link between the two emirates. Once the proposal materializes it would be the only dedicated passenger line on Union Railway’s freight-focused network.

Water Transport Also known as Abras, water taxis are a preferred favourite for over 15,000 who commute between Deira and Bur Dubai each day. They are operational from 5am to 12am.

Air Travel Brands in itself, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline have now become the symbol of the UAE.To make bookings for holiday packages or for convenient travel options, contact: Etihad Airways

02 505 8000 or 800 2277 02 6939711 / Emirates Airline

04 21 44444 /

Budget Airlines in the UAE Air Arabia

04 3325555 / RAK Airways

07 2075000 / Fly Dubai

04 301 0800 / The Unlimited Opportunities 2012


Investing in the future Borouge has an annual manufacturing capacity of 2 million tonnes of polyolefins in Abu Dhabi, three logistics hubs in Asia, compounding facilities in China, and sales offices throughout the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Supported by the unique Borstar technology and a culture of innovation, Borouge continues to invest in the future and deliver value added solutions to its customers. R

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About Borouge Borouge is a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions. A joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world’s major oil and gas companies, and Austria based Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions, Borouge is a groundbreaking international partnership at the forefront of the next generation of plastics innovation. Borouge has its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, employs approximately 1,600 people representing more than 40 nationalities and serves customers in more than 50 countries across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Indian Sub-Continent and Africa. Building on Borealis’ unique Borstar® technology and experience in polyolefins for more than 50 years, Borouge provides innovative, value creating plastics solutions for the infrastructure (pipe systems, and power and communication cables), automotive and advanced packaging markets. In 2010 Borouge tripled its annual production capacity in Abu Dhabi to 2 million tonnes and an additional 2.5 million tonnes per year will be introduced by mid-2014 to create the world’s largest integrated polyolefins plant. Borouge is also investing in plants and logistics hubs in Asia and an Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi. Today Borouge and Borealis have a manufacturing capacity of over 5.4 million tonnes of polyethylene and polypropylene annually. Focused on Value Creation through Innovation they ensure that their customers throughout the value chain, around the world, can always rely on superior products and security of supply. Borouge is committed to the principles of Responsible Care® and together with Borealis proactively contributes towards addressing the world’s water and sanitation challenges through their Water for the World™ initiative. Visit and see how we are Shaping the Future with Plastics.

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Energy and communication cables Borouge is the leading supplier to the wire and cable industry providing solutions in insulation, semi-conductive and jacketing. Borouge has solutions for low, medium and high voltage energy transmission and distribution cables, data and communication cables, building and automotive wires.

Pipe systems Borouge pipe grades are used in water and gas distribution, waste and sewerage disposal, chemical and industrial projects, irrigation systems, domestic plumbing and heating and cooling systems, as well as oil and gas exploration and transportation. Setting standards in the industry, Borouge’s solutions add value through improved processing characteristics, lower maintenance, lower installation costs, longer product lifetimes, increased safety and no leackages.

Automotive components With a long track record in developing innovative plastics solutions with the automotive market and several international certifications, Borouge is a leading supplier to this rapidly expanding market. Borouge provides tailor-made solutions for dashboard, door side claddings, front-end carriers, air-vents systems, bumpers and under-body shields.

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Our History


About The Ministry of Foreign Trade


The Ministry shall regulate the affairs of foreign trade of the United Arab Emirates and the representation of the State to conclude trade agreements with countries in the world and the preparation of programs and studies that work on the development of exports and increase their competitiveness, the ministry is also responsible regulation of foreign trade, control and preparation of studies and concluding agreements that preserve the interests of the homeland and the citizen. It also takes the study of clusters and business entities Arab and international placement to the Council of Ministers on the feasibility of dealing with them and join it together with the effects on the national economy.

Introducing a foreign trade policy that is consistent with international foreign trade developments and serves the economy of the UAE.

Vision To become a leading Ministry working to promote the commercial standing of the UAE regionally and internationally through strengthening relationships and maintaining UAE foreign trade interests. Mission The Ministry of Foreign Trade adopts a foreign trade development policy and follows up its execution. The policy aims at protecting the UAE bilateral, regional and multilateral trade interests by adopting fair rules of trade, opening new trade and investment horizons for national goods and services as well as enhancing the UAE involvement in foreign markets. Values • Creativity • Efficiency • Team Work • Effective negotiation skills • Comprehensive trade culture • Active communication

Maintaining UAE trade interests abroad. Increasing UAE trade competitiveness regional and international markets.


Educating people about the trade regulatory environment that is consistent with the best international practices. Pursuing institutional achieving efficiency.



Responsibilities Developing trade policies required to promote commercial exchange in cooperation with the concerned bodies. Promoting the UAE at foreign markets in cooperation with the concerned UAE bodies. Conducting the required communications and negotiations to conclude foreign trade pacts and agreements and follow up their execution in coordination with the Foreign Ministry. Representing the UAE at regional and international foreign trade organizations, exhibitions and conferences in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and other concerned bodies. Developing relations with regional and international foreign trade authorities, institutions and organizations. Drawing up and updating draft laws and regulations concerning foreign trade and monitoring their execution. Managing the foreign trade offices abroad in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Disclaimer: The Ministry of Foreign Trade cannot be held responsible for colour matching, image resolution and content errors that may occur or be found in this book. Every possible effort has been made by the Ministry and the producer to ensure the accuracy of information and content of this book as well as the quality standards of images and illustrations. All photographs, illustrations, statistics and other graphic figures included in the this book have been obtained from its sources for fair use and are copyrighted to its respective owners. The Ministry is not responsible for any changes in facts that occur after the date of issue. The opinions, facts, figures. This book, and all content, pictures and illustrations herein are the sole property of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, and may not be reproduced, displayed on a website, distributed, sold or republished, without the prior written consent of the Ministry.

Produced by:

Consultancy and Studies Chief Executive: Mohammad Abdulla Al Hammadi, Team: Saqar Al Zaabi, Jihad Suailik, Sidhique Ameen P.O. Box 22239 Dubai, UAE, Tel. + 971 4 2387 871, Mob.+971 5 0550 7070, E mail:

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