Modern technology has changed the way we live and communicate on a global scale. Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) connect almost every task in some way to technology and cyberspace. In fact, we’ve become so reliant on technology, we would be hard-pressed to reimagine a world without ITES or the Internet.
From digital marketing, software development, and cybersecurity to electronic management, Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), the UAE is poised to become an international IT hub with attractive incentives and benefits for startups and established tech companies alike.
One of the common challenges faced by any business looking to enter the UAE market is selecting between a free zone or a mainland company. Where you decide to set up your tech company will be based on your organisational needs.
Main Land Company – A mainland company provides attractive options for foreign investors to set up their tech companies in mainland UAE. Companies operating in mainland UAE can trade freely across the UAE, GCC, and international markets. A mainland business requires a local sponsor to hold 51% of the company’s shares. However, when you partner with a local corporate sponsors through a corporate nominee program, such as the professionals at Creation Business Consultants, your company will retain full control of your operations and 100% of your profits. The bonus of having a UAE mainland company is having the ability to bid for local government contracts. Technology is coming more of a focus across all of the UAE government departments. As a result there are many opportunities for businesses to apply, bid and lodge tenders for such lucrative contracts.
Primary benefits to establishing a mainland entity include:
Free Zone Company – The UAE has over 50 free zones. Each free zone is governed by its own rules and regulations. Free zones provide attractive options for foreign investors to set up their company in the UAE. Companies operating within a free zone can trade freely across the free zone and international markets. However, they are not permitted to trade within the mainland. Primary benefits to establishing a free zone entity include 100% foreign ownership, zero percent corporate tax and personal tax, 100% exemption from import and export duties, access to international markets, and much more. The only downside with free zone company is not having the ability to be able to bid for government contracts. Should a company wish to apply, bid and lodge tenders for such lucrative contracts, they must be a mainland company and provide a copy of their mainland trade license and Chamber of Commerce registration.
With several sectors dedicated to technology and IT operations, the city of Dubai has earned a reputation as the ideal location for startups and established companies alike.
Dubai Internet City (DIC) is a sector located in the free zone covering over 1.5 million square feet. DIC provides access to approximately 1600 business partners across the tech sector, to include cybersecurity, big data, the Internet of Things (IOT), artificial intelligence (AI), and more.
Established in 2003 and located at the heart of Dubai’s industrial zone, Jebel Ali, Dubai TechnoPark covers an area of 21 million square feet. With a focus aimed at maximizing the growth of the IT Sector in the UAE, TechnoPark is one of the largest industrial hubs in the Middle East. Additionally, Techno Park is home to some of the world’s most high-profile companies specializing in technology, gas, oil, and other industries.
Launched in 2001, Dubai Media City (DMC) is a massive tech sector that has become home to many diverse tech companies. DMC provides an environment that is ideal for web development companies, graphic design, and various IT services.
Considered to be the only technology park in the region that provides both a working and living integrated community, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) provides a hi-tech ecosystem to encourage electronic innovation within the UAE and GCC. The center supports and provides technology investment for both startups and existing companies, an incubation center, and much more.
As technology becomes more innovative and accessible, the UAE’s entrepreneurial spirit and startup ecosystem are reaching new heights, especially when it comes to the tech industry. As one of the region’s leading startup hubs, the UAE continues to attract global interest from tech entrepreneurs who are eager to set up their tech business in the region.
At Creation Business Consultants, we understand forming a tech company involves risk. However, our team of business experts will help you throughout the entire process. From selecting the right structure for your company (i.e. mainland or free zone) and securing the proper documentation to business and office registration and license fees, we are here to guide you towards the most appropriate solution for your business needs. These solutions can range from obtaining contract management resources, an E-signature system and a system for managing vendors to make business more efficient.
We’ll leverage our experience to help simplify the process while simultaneously providing you with all the details needed to set up your company in UAE. Contact a member of our team to learn more.
Creation ensures clients receive a seamless, cost effective and proficient entry to the GCC market. We provide clients with the foundations and best practices empowering them to build and control a successful business.
We continuously strive to exceed client’s expectations whilst making certain they are protected from undue risk at all times. Creation Business Consultants is the preferred and truly trusted business partners for the GCC.