As the United Arab Emirates have emerged as a strong financial centre in the past 10 years, a number of Freezones have positioned themselves in offshore incorporations. The leading International Companies providers being RAK ICC (Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre) and Jebel Ali freezone (JAFZA). Please contact us
to find out more about freezone company incorporation.
This jurisdiction is a result of the amalgamation of certainly the two largest offshore incorporators in the UAE. Before 2017 the two authorities operated separately as RAKIA and RAK FTZ offshore authorities. Their merge was certainly a positive move as they were looking to compete with the other Freezones. Benefits of incorporating an offshore is a developed business hub such as the UAE still exist and a swift registration process in RAK ICC attracts incorporation for around the world in order to hold assets or shares or create a legal entity partnership
Jebel Ali Offshore companies used to have a distinct advantage as this type of legal form was the only one eligible to hold real estate property in Dubai. However recently in 2019 other types of companies as well as RAK ICC company have been added to the types of entity able to hold UAE and Dubai properties. It is significantly more expensive to incorporate a JAFZA offshore and the unique advantages are no longer applicable
DMCC have formed an offshore company registration process, however it was never the Authority’s core product as Freezone company registrations in the DMCC are one of the
highest amongst all Freezones and returns from freezone fees as so much higher as they
include incorporation, licensing as well as office lease fees.
Ajman Freezone was also a latecomer in the registrations of offshore
companies in the UAE. Similarly to DMCC it was never their core business.
The Dubai International Financial Centre has been offering for many years now registrations for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV). These legal entity is similar to an offshore company as it can only be held for special purposes such as investment holdings, estate planning or holding of funds, wealth or shares. Registering an SPV in the DIFC is far costlier than any other offshore jurisdiction however registering in this prestigious zone which processes it’s own laws based on UK common law and having their own courts, may well be worth the additional cost
The Abu Dhabi Global Market Authority is the financial freezone in Abu Dhabi similar to the IFC in Dubai. In 2018 they started registering SPVs as well. They have positioned themselves well in the market and in spite for some learning curve issues at the start, their online portal and response is user friendly and positive
All of the offshore jurisdictions above do accept redomiciliation or continuation of foreign companies in their jurisdiction. It essentially means a company from another country moving under one of the jurisdictions above. Especially RAK ICC they have waived any fees for accepting companies from other jurisdictions and have also streamlined the process to complete the redomicialition within 7 days.